Trail along Wallkill River opens in New Paltz; first leg in River-to-Ridge project

A view of the trail before the greenery filled in (Susan Morningstar)

The Open Space Institute (OSI) has announced the official opening of the first section of its River-to-Ridge Trail in New Paltz. The completed three-quarter of a mile-long section of the trail runs along the Wallkill River from the Carmine Liberta Bridge to Springtown Road.

When fully constructed, the six-mile long River-to-Ridge loop trail will connect the Village of New Paltz to the protected lands on the Shawangunk Ridge. The $1.7 million trail is being constructed by OSI, with support of the Butler Conservation Fund, for public use and enjoyment.


The trail will span OSI and Mohonk Preserve lands as it winds through the gentle terrain at the base of the ridge. The section west of Springtown Road to Butterville Road remains under construction, with an estimated completion date of September 2018.

“The Open Space Institute is excited to open the river section of the River-to-Ridge Trail to New Paltz families, residents and visitors in time for summer,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “The trail will increase public access to this irreplaceable scenic, agricultural, and recreational landscape. Thanks to the Mohonk Preserve, the Village of New Paltz, the Town of New Paltz and Ulster County for their partnership on this project and to the surrounding community for their continuing patience and enthusiasm for the trail.”


(Susan Morningstar)

Offering bicycle rentals 

OSI is partnering with New Paltz Biking, a local outdoors outfitter, which is renting bicycles from the Springtown Road parking lot starting this Memorial Day weekend. The bike rental concession will support biking use on the trail by providing children and adults hourly bike rentals from Thursday through Sunday during the summer and fall months and for major holidays. For more information, visit


The newly opened portion is on the right, from the bridge to the Springtown Rd. parking area.

Rules of the trail

In addition to bike rentals, the concession will serve the public by providing a free hydration station to fill water bottles, as well as a dog waste station with bags and refuse receptacles.

As part of OSI’s partnership with New Paltz Biking, there will also be several picnic tables near the Wallkill River at the old boat launch site. The River-to-Ridge Trail is a carry-in, carry-out trail, so visitors are asked to take all items that require disposal with them or dispose of them in the proper receptacles.

As the trail is located alongside active farmland and construction is ongoing and nearby, the public is asked to stay on the trail, use caution when crossing roads and stay clear of maintenance equipment and other marked project areas.

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