Zoar Valley is an incredible place to visit.  It really is beautiful.  But it's also incredibly dangerous.  The DEC is hoping to make it safer with some changes this year.

What is Zoar Valley?

If you've never been there, it's really a sight to see.  Essentially it's a gorge with hiking trails around a creek that winds through it.  From the rock formations on the walls of the gorge to the rolling creek that flows through the middle and the winding trails, it's a hiker's dream.

It sounds beautiful.  Why is it so dangerous?

The gorge has very tall cliffs that can give away at any moment and people have been known to get injured walking the creek.  It's also very difficult to get rescue equipment into which makes it very dangerous if you get injured there.

What are they doing to make it safer?

“We need to educate—warning stay away from the edge,” -  DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

This year, the Department of Environmental Conservation is hoping to make it a little safer for people who may not know the dangers exist.  This year, according to WKBW, they've done a few things to make it at least a little safer:

  • added over 400 safety and warning signs
  • hired two new Assistant Forest Rangers to patrol the area
  • restricted access to some upstream areas
  • added new trails that are ADA accessible
  • worked with Google to improve outdated maps of the area

The problem is that someone is taking the signs down and throwing them over the cliff.  They compare it to taking down stop signs at an "All Way Stop."  They are investigating to see if they can find who is stealing the signs.

If you plan to visit Zoar Valley this summer, please be incredibly careful.  Enjoy it for what it is, but be aware that there are dangers close to the cliffs.


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