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Archive for the ‘Hudson Valley’ Category

Let it snow – Kick off the XC Ski & Snowshoe Season  
As the Hudson Valley hillsides change color and the leaves cover up the summer hiking trails, local outdoor enthusiasts’ attention will turn to the winter sport season.
To kick the season off and support cross-country ski and snowshoe fans in the area, the Fahnestock Winter Park’s 4th Annual Cross Country Ski & Snowshoe Swap Fundraiser will take place Sat., Nov 2 from 9 am to 1pm at Fahnestock State Park’s Taconic Outdoor Education Center (TOEC).
Do you have cross country ski gear or snowshoes that have not been used lately?  Consider selling them on consignment.
Are you interested in upgrading equipment? Used or new XC skis, poles and boots will be available for purchase form previous seasons at discounted prices.
For those not familiar with a Ski Swap – if you have Nordic gear or accessories in gathering dust in storage it is a chance to sell the equipment.  Bring them to us and we will help you tag and price your items for consignment.
New for the 2014 season is the total renovation of Winter Park bathrooms.  Next to be upgraded will be a newly designed Acorn Café, and rental building. The Stillwater Lake loop is also being upgraded with resources provided by a recreational trail grant.
Do you have a question or would like to make arrangements to drop items off before the Swap or receive a Ski Swap Equipment form?  At your convenience call 845.265.3773 or email paul.kuznia@parks.ny.gov
If you cannot drop equipment off before Swap, gear will also be accepted the morning of the event from 8-9am. Light snacks and beverages will also be available.
TOEC is located in Putnam County within Fahnestock State Park at 75 Mtn. Laurel Lane, Cold Spring, NY 10516. Facility directions:  htttp://nysparks.com/environment/nature-centers/3/details.aspx.

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By William J. Kemble, Daily Freeman, link to original post

Work has been completed on a 4,500-foot section of trail named in honor of the late David Corbett on the town-owned Comeau property.

“David designed the plan for renovating the trails back in 2009, and it was … his plan and the work of a lot of other people that really brought the trails up to a high-class standard,” Councilman Ken Panza said during a Town Board meeting on Tuesday.

Corbett is credited with securing wood slabs that had been used for the Coney Island boardwalk and having them placed on the 76-acre Comeau property to keep people from walking through wetlands. In December 2011, about six months before he died, Corbett said the project had proven popular despite concerns from people who wanted to avoid putting manmade materials along the trail.

“We put in 220 feet of the now-famous Coney Island boardwalk,” he said at the time. “Despite some initial protestations, some quite loud, most people are now using it, including a number of people who originally had a problem with it and feel it is more than a worthy solution now.”

A board-approved resolution honoring Corbett credits him with creating a “model for collaboration between the town, the public and Woodstock Land Conservancy for future stewardship of the Comeau trails.”

Panza said another recent milestone on the Comeau property is the expansion of its soccer field.

“This is a project that was presented to the Town Board in … 2009, and now, almost exactly four years later, it’s done,” he said. “The soccer field has been expanded. The grass is growing. I’m not sure it’s ready to be played on yet, but this was a major project. It took a lot of time and effort by a lot of people working out the details.”

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by: Greg Maker, Hudson Valley Reporter, link to original post

More opportunities to walk, run and bike are now available in Dutchess County with the Dutchess Rail Trail now officially open to the public.

County Executive Marcus Molinaro hosted a soft opening for trail on Thursday as county employees ceremoniously removed a barricade on the Rail Trail bridge over Route 55, Wappinger Creek and Old Manchester Road. Walkers, runners and bicycle enthusiasts dressed in their gear followed Molinaro down the trail for the first official walk.

“Today is an historic moment and one step closer to a very long path to bring the Dutchess Rail Trail to completion,” Molinaro said. “This effort began a long time ago thanks to a number of visionaries creating a beautiful linear park. This will be an attraction throughout the county.”

The final piece of the puzzle was a 743-foot bridge that was constructed in late July over Route 55 by the border of LaGrange and the Town of Poughkeepsie. The bridge connected the trail, which runs for 13 miles from the Hopewell Depot in East Fishkill to the Walkway Over The Hudson in the City of Poughkeepsie. The trail is built upon the abandoned Maybrook Line of the defunct Central New England Railway.

Molinaro said that with 2.4 million people from 42 countries visiting the Walkway Over the Hudson, they will now have an opportunity to see even more of Dutchess County by walking on the Rail Trail.

“The benefits of it are so reaching,” Molinaro said. “This really is a jewel for Dutchess County. This is an attraction to visitors, employers and tourists alike, As other governments are closing parks, we’re opening one today.”

Mary Kay Vrba, executive director of Dutchess County Tourism, said that she is hoping that the Rail Trail increases tourism in Dutchess County. She said that visitors to the county spent $475 million in 2012, an increase of 2 percent from 2011. Vrba said that the Rail Trail will attract more bicyclists from groups such as Bike New York and Hudson Valley Pedal.

“They can ride on the trail without having to deal with motorized traffic,” Vrba said. “It’s a win-win for them and us. Another benefit is people who come here will stay overnight, eat in our restaurants, and go to other venues.The outdoors is one of the things that we highlight and promote all the time.”

Rob Rolison, chair of the Dutchess County Legislature, who said he is a railroad enthusiast, agreed with Vrba that a benefit of the trail is that it will draw people to Dutchess County. He said that the Rail Trail will showcase areas of the county that people don’t normally see including both rural and urban areas.

“Dutchess County is an outdoor type of county and this addition really enhances our quality of life,” Rolison said. “People will spend money here and help with our county budget. As a government official I look at it as more than just a chance to walk, bike and run on it. It’s going to bring in tax dollars and keep Dutchess County running.”

Rolison and Molinaro both gave credit to former County Executive Bill Steinhaus whose administration spearheaded the effort to create the Rail Trail.

There are still portions of the trail that need to be completed. The county will hold another ceremony on Nov. 16 when the construction is finished to mark the official grand opening..

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To fully enjoy the sights and smells that autumn in New York has to offer, try walking or biking along a multi-use trail. Take your time as you stroll or pedal your way through a canopy of bright fall foliage, breathing in the fresh air, and drawing in the scenery around you.

Multi-use trails such as rail and canal trails, greenways and bikeways are family friendly places to walk, run, or bike. Many are along historic railways or canal corridors and are mostly flat. Many of the trails are also located near scenic rivers and streams. One thing they have in common, however, is that they all offer a view of the beautiful foliage during the fall months.

Parks & Trails New York has put together a list of Ten Terrific Trails we recommend for fall.

To find a trail near you, use TrailFinder, Parks & Trails New York’s online guide to multi-use trails across New York State at www.ptny.org/trailfinder. TrailFinder can be used to search for trails in several ways—by trail name, by trail attributes such as length, surface, allowable uses, distance from a particular location, or by browsing the interactive map.

Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space. Find out more about Parks & Trails New York by visiting www.ptny.org and our Facebook and Twitter sites.

Take Your Bike - Rochester available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Rochester available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Erie Canalway Trail – Between Albany and Buffalo more than 270 miles of Erie Canalway Trail provide the opportunity to experience quaint towns and a bounty of fall color along the state’s historic New York State Canal System.  The longest continuous stretch of trail begins in Lockport, about 10 miles east of Buffalo, and continues 100 miles to Lyons along the Erie Canal in western New York.  Other long stretches can be found in the 36-mile Old Erie Canal State Park between Dewitt and Rome in central New York and the more than 40 miles of trail between Little Falls and Amsterdam in eastern New York. When completed, the Erie Canalway Trail will provide 365 miles of multi-use trails along the canal, making it the longest intra-state trail in the country.

Genesee Valley Greenway
– In western New York, the Genesee Valley Greenway’s well-known “tunnel of green” turns to red and yellow as more than 60 miles of trail follows the Genesee River and the abandoned Genesee Valley Canal through woodlands, farmlands, and historic villages from Rochester to near the Pennsylvania border.  Within Letchworth State Park, the Genesee Valley Greenway affords sweeping views of the famous gorge and waterfalls of the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Catharine Valley Trail – The hillsides resplendent with autumn color above Seneca Lake are a perfect backdrop to begin a visit to the Catharine Valley Trail in Watkins Glen.   The 10-mile trail follows abandoned railroad and canal towpath corridors through the 900-acre Queen Catharine Marsh, historic villages, and a heavily wooded, glacially carved valley Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes.

Pat McGee Trail – In the western Southern Tier, the relatively rural 12-mile Pat McGee Trail offers the opportunity to experience the colors of fall while passing through woods, wetlands, and open fields filled with rich a variety of plants, trees, and wildlife.

Cato-Fairhaven Trail – Ponds, wetlands, and old farm buildings add to the rural and agricultural charm of the 14-mile Cato-Fairhaven Trail.  Dense stands of sumac, beech, maple, and aspen trees provide plenty of fall color along this corridor near the shores of Lake Ontario in Central New York.

TOBIE Trail
 
– What better place to experience autumn color than in the Adirondacks.  There are plenty of opportunities to be surrounded by the best of fall foliage from this 12-mile trail that connects the five mountain communities that give the trail its name – Thendara, Old Forge, Big Moose, Inlet, and Eagle Bay.

Catskill Scenic Trail
– The Catskill Scenic Trail follows the route of the former Ulster and Delaware railroad. Young and old will find this an easy and enjoyable route through the foothills of the Catskills.  The trail parallels the West Branch of the Delaware River for the entire route and offers many delightful fishing spots.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park:  Drink in breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley fully decked out in autumn color from more than 200 feet above the middle of the river on the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.  The Walkway is the center piece of a 3.6-mile loop that links riverside parks, cultural attractions and historic points of interest on both the Poughkeepsie and Highland waterfronts.

North County Trailway  Following the bed of the former Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad, this paved trail winds more than 22 miles through the woodlands, parks, and suburbs of Westchester County.  Historic rail stations and a beautiful bridge across the New Croton Reservoir add to the appeal of the route.

Bethpage Bikeway – The 6.5–mile Bethpage Bikeway links Long Island’s Bethpage State Park with the South Shore at Massapequa.  From the Park, the trail passes through a mature forest cover along the Bethpage State Parkway before entering the mixed evergreens and deciduous forests of the Massapequa County Park and Preserve.  The park’s ponds, wetlands, and Massapequa Lake and Creek can all be experienced from the trail.

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Written by Daniel Chazin, Poughkeepsie Journal, link to original post

This 129-acre preserve on the Hudson River in Philipstown is on private land, but an agreement with the landowner allows public access to the four-mile trail network. The trails are maintained by volunteers of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, who recently built a new trail to carry hikers away from the residential area and connect with the existing trails. The trail is open, and improvements to it will be made through September. The hike described here is a figure-eight loop that includes the new trail segment and offers spectacular views across the Hudson River.

Location: 1.8 miles north of the Bear Mountain Bridge (2.6 miles south of the intersection with Route 403 in Garrison), turn westward onto Mystery Point Road off Route 9D. A small parking area is on the left.

Time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Length: Four miles

From the kiosk at the end of the parking area, head south on the white trail. Almost immediately, a blue trail begins on the right. This will be your return route, but for now continue ahead on the white trail, which parallels Route 9D for about a quarter mile, then bears right, away from the road. After passing a connection to the blue trail, the white trail descends rather steeply to cross a stream in a ravine. It turns right and briefly parallels the stream, then bears left and climbs out of the ravine.

The white trail now begins a gradual descent toward the Hudson River, running close to the southern boundary of the preserve. About a mile from the start, the white trail ends at a dirt road. Turn right and proceed north on the road, passing the Manitou Marsh to the left and yellow and red trails to the right.

After passing a brick house to the right and abandoned wooden and brick buildings to the left, you’ll come to a T-intersection with another dirt road. Turn left and cross the railroad tracks on a wide stone-arch bridge. This is an active railroad, and you may see Metro-North or Amtrak passenger trains on their way to Poughkeepsie, Albany or New York.

On the other side of the bridge, turn left onto the blue-blazed River Trail, which parallels the railroad for a short distance, then turns right and crosses a woods road. The trail climbs over a shallow ridge and descends to the river, where it turns left and heads south, following a narrow footpath along a bluff overlooking the river. Use caution, as there are steep drop-offs to the right, and in one place the trail has been rerouted inland to avoid a dangerously eroded section. Soon you’ll reach a spectacular viewpoint, with Sugarloaf Hill to the north and the West Point Military Academy visible across the river.

After following closely along the river for about a quarter of a mile, the trail bears left and heads inland. At a junction with a red-blazed carriage road, turn right and continue to head south on the blue trail, which now runs slightly inland, with views of the river through the trees.

In another quarter mile, follow the blue blazes as they turn sharply left and head north. Soon, the trail bears right and begins to run close to the Metro-North rail line. It then bears left and reaches a carriage road. To the left, the carriage road is blazed red, but you should turn right and continue to follow the blue blazes, which head north along the road.

When you reach a T-intersection, turn right and continue to follow the blue trail until its end at the bridge over the railroad tracks. Turn right, cross the bridge, then immediately turn right and proceed south on the dirt road that parallels the tracks. When you reach the trailhead for the yellow trail, turn left and follow this trail steeply uphill on a rocky footpath. The yellow trail soon levels off and proceeds through an evergreen grove that was devastated by Superstorm Sandy, then reaches an intersection with a blue trail.

Turn right onto the blue trail, which soon descends into a ravine (the same ravine you crossed earlier on the white trail), climbs out of the ravine, then bears left and follows the top of the bank above the ravine. After awhile, the blue trail begins to parallel the entrance road, and it ends at a junction with the white trail. Turn left and follow the white trail a short distance back to the parking area where the hike began.

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Hiking: East Hudson Highlands

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On September 4th at 11:00am the Developers of the Williams Lake Project will open their 1.5 mile section of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail for public access with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Honorable Maurice Hinchey, Congressman Chris Gibson, Senator John Bonacic, Supervisor Jeanne Walsh and County executive Mike Hein and many others have been invited to participate in this historic occasion. All are welcome to attend and light refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

The planning for the opening of the Rail Trail has been ongoing for more than two years now. The Williams Lake Project’s developers have been working collaboratively with the Wallkill Valley Land Trust and the Open Space Institute to create a permanent public easement for the rail trail through the more than 779 acres of lands owned by the development company. The trail will open under a temporary easement that will become permanent once the Williams Lake Project developers receive approval for their master plan by the Rosendale Town Board.

As with everyone else in Rosendale and the surrounding area, the Williams Lake Project’s developers are excited about opening this beautiful section of trail. The connection through the Williams Lake area north of the trestle will allow the general public, from as far south as Gardiner, to travel all the way to the city of Kingston for the first time since the rails came up on the former Wallkill Valley Rail Road line in the early 1980’s.

“Connecting the Williams Lake Rail Trail to the greater rail trail network has been a priority for us from Day One. We are thrilled to provide public access to the beautiful historic resources on the property and to take an important step forward in creating a connection between the Resort and Main Street Rosendale”, stated Tim Allred, Project Manager of the Williams Lake Project.

This historic event is one more critical step forward in creating a county wide system of interconnected trails and trail systems that will soon become the envy of New York State.

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