No matter which trail or carriage road you choose to run on, you know it’s going to be hard for you. It’s going to be cold, especially at first, until your core temperature rises and your circulation gets flowing.
Central Ulster County, with the miles of groomed carriage roads, linear rail-trail parks. and now the River-2-Ridge trail that leads outdoor enthusiasts from the Village of New Paltz to the heart of the Shawangunk Mountains. This is a pristine and magical place to wax up cross-country skis and glide across the wintry landscape.
As an aesthetic experience, traveling the Hudson River Brickyard Trail is a time-trip through two centuries of the valley’s industrial past, rather than a sojourn in pristine wilderness. As long as you don’t expect manicured parkland, you’ll have a fine time.
New Paltz’s River-to-Ridge (R2R) Trail, whose popularity surged with the pandemic and is expected to top 200,000 visitors this year, has now become much more accessible for a particular subset of seasonal users: cross-country skiers.
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.
The River-to-Ridge Trail in New Paltz is on track to host more than 200,000 visitors in 2020. The visitorship is more than double the number of visitors from the previous year.
Phil Warish became a local business owner. In 2007 he hauled his 19th-century floorstanding Chandler Price platen press out of storage, where it had been for fifteen years. He arranged an eclectic collection of vintage items, put up a sign, and opened Blue Farm Antiques and Letterpress Printing. He’s been in his current location for six years.
Work patterns have changed. Huge numbers of jobs have been rendered virtual, shifted commutes from hours and minutes to the seconds it takes to get from one’s kitchen to whatever you’re calling an office.
The Hudson Valley in general, and recently Ulster County in particular, have gotten national attention for the precipitous rise of the cost of housing. But the mass exodus of buyers from the New York City area to upstate covers a lot more ground than that. Delaware County, the forgotten, sleepy area the size of Rhode Island, has been white-hot, too.
After being dominant from Georgia to Maine for thousands of years, this “keynote species” of the Catskills in particular had succumbed to Asian blight in the first decades of the twentieth century. (Asian chestnuts were imported because they produce fatter nuts. These brought blight to which the older, squatter Asian species was – and is – immune.)