The Gardiner Trail Alliance (GTA) and Gardiner Parks and Recreation hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Riverbend Trails on Sunday, June 4 marking the official opening of the new parking lot and continued efforts towards the new trail system. The community showed up to support and celebrate the host of volunteers and committee members who had worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition.
Under the bright sunshine, the atmosphere at Riverbend Trails was delightful as all different types of trail users from mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners to geocachers and bird watchers mingled in the new parking lot. The trails, now easily accessible, provide a gateway to immersive outdoor experiences from a quick jaunt to the cap to witness an expansive view of the Shawangunk cliffs or hiking the single track to train for the annual Gardiner Dump Run. Riverbend Trails is a multi-use, community friendly trail system.
Ilka Casey, who is a board member of GTA and committee chair of Gardiner Parks & Recreation, kicked off the ceremony with a few words of gratitude reminding all in attendance of the remarkable achievements that can be accomplished through collaboration, dedication and a shared love for the great outdoors. Casey handed it off to town supervisor Marybeth Majestic, who expressed her appreciation to the GTA, Parks & Rec Committee, town staff and local businesses for their collective efforts in making the project a reality. Majestic emphasized the importance of preserving and enhancing the town’s natural resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations.
The trail system, parking lot and the event itself showcased the power of community collaboration. The town highway department, supported by PE Colucci Excavating, swiftly completed the parking lot. GTA volunteers, equipped with borrowed equipment from Hudson Valley Trailworks, efficiently finished the gravel connector trail from the parking lot to the trailhead kiosk. In just two weeks, the connector trail was successfully completed, enabling trail users to explore the trails daily from dawn to dusk, regardless of the transfer station’s operating hours. Within days of completion, the ribbon cutting event was scheduled with homemade goodies and refreshments donated by the Mountain Brauhaus.
For those who missed the event, the newly opened trails at Riverbend await exploration, offering endless possibilities for adventure and connection with nature. Lace up your hiking boots, grab your mountain bike, or bring along your geocaching gear — Riverbend Trails is ready to welcome all who seek outdoor thrills and tranquility.