Putney Woods celebration is today

Jerry Lloyd shows off the etched sign that will be placed at the Putney Woods trailhead kiosk. - Spencer Webster / The Record
Jerry Lloyd shows off the etched sign that will be placed at the Putney Woods trailhead kiosk.
— image credit: Spencer Webster / The Record

PUTNEY WOODS — After months of hosting post-digging work parties, marking and verifying trails and beautifying the main entrance, the Island County Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen will offer tribute to the trail system’s namesake, Gary Putney, at a ceremony this morning.

The equestrian group will unveil a renovated kiosk with a new permanent map etched on stainless steel that shows the acres of woods and 63 directional posts located at each of the trail’s junctions.

For years before he died, Putney cleared and maintained many of the trails that wound through what was then termed Goss Lake Woods. After his death in November 2006, a movement began to rename the woods for its longtime steward.

“It’s honoring his work. He helped put a lot of these trails in,” said Jerry Lloyd, a Putney Woods volunteer.

“His dream of keeping it open for all users, not just equestrians, is something we want to maintain,” he said.

As Lloyd hefted the sign into the air in preparation for mounting it on the kiosk, he paused.

“We think this is completion,” he said. “Now, it’s maintenance.”

When the Back Country Horsemen asked for help from the local community to help fund the materials, many people answered the call by purchasing posts, which were then branded with the names of the donors.

The group got so much cash, it put some aside for maintenance costs, Lloyd said.

The big thing to do now is to make island and off-island visitors more aware of Putney Woods, Lloyd said.

“We’re trying to put this park on the map,” he said.

All users — bikers, hikers, equestrians and walkers — are invited to participate in the ceremony to honor not only Putney but all the hard work of the volunteers who helped make it possible, Lloyd said.

The Putney Woods Trail and Metcalf Trust Dedication ceremony will take place at

10 a.m. today at the Putney Woods trailhead parking lot off Lone Lake Road.

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