Leaders of the John Burroughs Association and Scenic Hudson are planning a multi-modal trail along the Black Creek that will center on Slabsides, Burroughs’ historic writing cabin in West Park and its beautiful surrounding nature trails. According to Scenic Hudson urban designer Peter Barnard, the trail concept relies on minimal land acquisition, with the option of adding additional improvements as funds allow.
As it now stands, the first leg of the trail from Berean Park in Highland will be for bicycles. The middle section, accessible only by kayak on the Black Creek, will end with the third leg, a walking and running trail fully in Esopus. While it is hoped that bicycle or pedestrian access can eventually be obtained for the entire trail length, the multi-modal approach allows for a relatively short time until opening. It also may provide future opportunity for some kind of triathlon.
Public interest in this corridor being stitched together is high, Barnard reported, with 65 people attending a recent meeting held in Esopus. The planning phase to detail the connections needed along the route should also identify additional funding sources for future improvements such as trailheads, parking areas and bicycle bridges.
The trail would create or dovetail with economic opportunities already identified.