With sadness, we report the sudden death of Jakob Franke on Thursday, November 10, 2016. Jakob was highly involved in the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference for 24 years, and chaired the Long Path South committee. A few days prior to his passing, Jakob received NYNJTC's highest honor; the Raymond H. Torrey Award, and with his wife Gely, he received the Paul Leikin Extra Mile Award in 2014. Jakob brought his skills in planning, organizing, and managing trail clearing parties to various sections of the Morris Canal towpath in Morris, Sussex, and Warren counties. Most recently, he led a large crew at Inclined Plane 4 West in Waterloo, which had become heavily overgrown due to lack of maintenance. This major canal engineering feature is now visible from across the river and can be interpreted from Waterloo Village.
A native of the Netherlands, Jakob held an MS in Biology and retired in 2008 after a career as a research associate at Columbia University. He was the lead author of
The Field Guide to the Morris Canal of New Jersey
, privately published in late 2014.