By Debbie Cohen, Port Washington patch, link to original post
Mention greater access to Port Washington’s waterways, and local kayakers seem to be all in favor. This was evident on Aug 17th, when Twin Pines Kayak Club members and Councilman Fred Pollack met at the Community Chest of Port Washington.
In total, about 20 attended the meeting, eager to discuss a proposed Town of North Hempstead Blueway Trail, which would run from Hempstead Harbor to Manhasset Bay, leading into Little Neck Bay and include approximately 32 miles of coastline.
“I am excited about this new trail for all the kayak members,” said Robert Bloom, a kayak club member.
A Blueway Trail is a water path, similar to a hiking trail that is developed with launch points, camping locations and points of interests for canoeists and kayakers. According to Pollack, this project would take approximately 18 months to build and would be an educational trail for environmental activities.
To create the trail, the town was awarded a grant of $75,000 by the New York State Department of State Division of Coastal Resources in 2006, Pollack said. The process – including the review of grants and contract documents and request for proposals – took several years. Now the town is partnering with Nelson, Pope and Voorhis, a Melville-based engineering firm, to design the the town’s waterway trail. No visuals yet on what the trail would look like, but Pollack said a draft would be available in the near future.
Twin Pines Kayak Club Member Alan Bergman said that while the blueway trail is a route for non-motorized boats, such as canoes, kayaks, small sailboats and paddleboats to operate, it is not intended for wave runners or high-speed motorboats. However, wave runners would be allowed on the trail if they keep their speed to a minimal pace, he said.
“The Kayak Club members and the consulting firm are analyzing where we can have permanent storage facilities so we can store our boats, possibly at Bar Beach,” Bergman said. “The club is also looking at several launch sites in Manhasset Bay, which would also allow us to stop and take a walk on a nature trail. Our waterways our underutilized by motor crafts and this Blueway Trail will be the first of its kind on Long Island.”
Kayak Club Member Robert Bloom suggested a launching site by Sunset Park.
“Using the north side of the Town Dock by the beach in Sunset Park would be one good place to launch the boats,” Bloom said.
Residents are encouraged to suggest their ideas for the trail by completing an online survey through the Town of North Hempstead website: www.northhempsteadny.gov.