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.)
What I want is a New Paltz of diversity, a New Paltz with room for the down-on-their-luck, where people can still discover themselves in shambolic, affordable and undistinguished ways, a SUNY where a kid can act the dilettante without accruing a prison of debt, a New Paltz where doing nothing — big nothing, like what Marriott and Con Ed got done here — really means something.
In the past seven months, the landscape of our daily lives has changed in ways we could have never imagined, unless we dwelled in the minds of fiction writers like Margaret Atwood or George Orwell. We’ve been transformed into a mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, plexiglass-shielding, remote-almost-everything state of existence.
Eels born in the Sargasso Sea south and east of Bermuda are living in a creek just off Route 9G south of Rhinebeck. In fact, eels are living in streams up and down both banks of the Hudson River. How did they get here from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?