The Open Space Institute, in partnership with the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, and the Hudson River Valley Greenway, have announced the completion of a million-dollar project to improve the northern 9.5-mile stretch of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in Rosendale and Ulster.
This stretch of the rail-trail features vistas of the Shawangunk Mountains and the Rondout Creek, as well as historical cement quarries and Joppenburgh Mountain.
Beth Bengtson, president of the land trust, noted that the improvements reflect the benefits of collaboration between agencies, non-profits and other organizations. “The upgrade of the rail trail has essentially created a completely new experience for walkers, hikers, bikers and anyone using the trail for recreation and relaxation,” she said.
State parks official Tom Alworth said, “This project reflects the kind of teamwork by public-private partnerships at state parks that is accomplishing so much across the state. This work in the Hudson Valley will help make the Empire State Trail a world-class destination at a time when New Yorkers are flocking to healthy and safe outdoor recreation.”
The trail improvement project included resurfacing of the trail path with a permeable stone dust surface, rehabilitating three small bridges, and improved wayfinding signage. The project also improved safety at road crossings with warning signage that has increased trail visibility. Many of the safety upgrades are providing a more welcoming experience and universal accessibility at major access points along the trail, including regrading of steep locations, and the addition of gently sloped entrance ramps.