Wallkill Valley Rail Trail improvement project set to begin

The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in New Paltz. (Photo by Brett Cole)

A million-dollar plan to improve the northern 9.5-mile stretch of the Wallkill Valley rail-trail between  Cragswood Road in New Paltz and Route 32 in the City of Kingston has been announced. The project is expected to improve overall public access to a protected section of the trail, establish additional safety measures for residents and visitors, and reinforce the Wallkill Valley rail-trail’s inclusion in the Empire State Trail.

“Building on the creation of the River-to-Ridge trail in New Paltz and the protection and restoration of the Rosendale trestle, The Open Space Institute is excited to continue our efforts to build connections between people and land,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “Well-maintained and easily accessible trails play an important role in making communities more livable, healthy and prosperous. This project is another step toward establishing Ulster County as a world-class recreational destination and sets the stage for the transformative Empire State Trail.”

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The trail improvement plan includes resurfacing of the trail path, rehabilitating three small bridges, and the removal of invasive species and excess vegetation to improve drainage. The project will also improve safety through improved road crossing and other trail signage to increase trail visibility.

The improvement work is scheduled to begin in mid-July and be completed around mid-October. For public safety, sections of the trail may be closed during active construction on weekdays, but the entire trail will remain open on weekends.