• Walkway Over the Hudson - Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge

  • General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.
General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.

Moderator: railtrailbiker

  by Jeff Smith

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  by robmcalpine
So, when this section is completed, one will be able to ride a bike on a contiguous paved trail from Hopewell Junction in Dutchess County to Kingston, NY in Ulster County?
Do I have this correct?
That would be cool..

  by unichris
robmcalpine wrote: Tue May 15, 2018 2:20 pm So, when this section is completed, one will be able to ride a bike on a contiguous paved trail from Hopewell Junction in Dutchess County to Kingston, NY in Ulster County?
I hope so.

But the bigger news is that Empire Trail money has been funneled through Metro North to turn the middle portion of the Maybrook Line into a rail-with-a-trail from Brewster to Hopewell Junction, work has started with expected completion in 2021. Previous plans to build a bridge across the yard at Southeast seem to have fallen to the back burner, so there will be about a mile gap on roads. But basically one will be able to ride from the NYC subways in the Bronx some 48 miles up to Brewster on the current trails of the former Putnam Division, then up the Maybrook to Hopewell, the existing Duchess County trail to the Walkway, across it, and whatever is accomplished on the west side of the river. Even going just a bit west and turning back to catch a train at Poughkeepsie makes a Century ride - though it's too bad there aren't later evening return schedules on the Hudson Line.

I like the rail-with-a-trail in concept, especially as having a bikes-allowed commuter rail line intersecting with a trail at multiple points eases user planning a lot since it gives options to bail out if a ride isn't going well or is behind schedule. And relevant here, it keeps the rails! That said, of course the Maybrook is not a revenue line. One thing that I suspect will be unfortunate from a trail perspective is that building a rail-with-trail is probably going to mean trimming back the tree canopy, and depending on how widely that is done it could take 10, 20, 30 years to grow back. It sounds minor, but the experience of riding the mostly tree covered Putnam Division is very different from something like the Bike Sundays closures of the Bronx River Parkway where you're out there on the wide asphalt and shoulders of a highway under the summer sun with only the occasional rest stop under an overpass for relief.
  by RussNelson
robmcalpine wrote: Tue May 15, 2018 2:20 pm So, when this section is completed, one will be able to ride a bike on a contiguous paved trail from Hopewell Junction in Dutchess County to Kingston, NY in Ulster County?
It's even better than that. You'll be able to ride from the north edge of the Bronx to Kingston on rail-trails. Sorta. The trolley line from New Paltz to Lloyd was street-running, and the trail will mostly be along the edge of 299 rather than actually being IN 299 like the trolley.

In a more perfect world, the Maybrook right-of-way would have been preserved, but there's still no way to get from East Walden to Walden except via the street-running Newburg and Walden trolley.
  by Jeff Smith
That's fantastic! Russ, how does the Put ROW Rail-Trail connect to the Maybrook? As I recall, the Put ended between Brewster and Southeast.
  by Jeff Smith
Incidentally, WotH is OPEN: https://walkway.org/walkway-alert/


Visiting the outdoors during the COVID-19 outbreak

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourage New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice social distancing, and use common sense to protect themselves and others.

Getting outdoors to walk, jog, hike, ride a bicycle, or visit a park or state lands is a healthy way to stay active, spend time with your immediate household family members, and reduce stress and anxiety while practicing physical distancing. While indoor spaces and restrooms at State Parks and DEC’s public facilities may be closed to prevent community spread of COVID-19, parks, grounds, forests, and trails are open during daylight hours, seven days a week.

State Parks, Lands, Forests, and facilities are monitored by Park Police, Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Police Officers and other staff. These parks, lands, forests, and facilities and visitors will incorporate physical distancing to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. In addition, these officers and staff respond to, and assist, local agencies with search and rescue missions, wildfire suppression, and other response activities. Following this guidance will prevent unnecessary burdens on, and dangers to, state resources and local responders during the ongoing COVID-19 response.

While enjoying outdoor spaces, please continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

Stay home if you are sick, or showing or feeling any COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, coughing, and/or troubled breathing;
Practice social distancing by keeping at least six (6) feet of distance between yourself and others, even when outdoors;
Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, or high-fives;
Wash hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available; and
Avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces that are often touched, such as doorknobs and handrails.
DEC and State Parks also encourage visitors to State Parks, State Lands, and other parks to:

Stay local and keep visits short;
Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members;
Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks;
Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer;
Avoid playground equipment like slides and swings and other frequently touched surfaces;
Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees;
If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit; and
If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.
If you are sick or have had contact with someone who is sick in the last 14 days:

Stay home; and
Spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space. Do not visit public outdoor spaces.
If you are over 70 or have a compromised immune system:

Avoid visiting outdoor public spaces;
Remain indoors or spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space;
Pre-screen visitors by taking their temperature from a safe social distance; and
Require visitors to wear masks, if available.
Below are some specifics for State Park visitors:

Parking: To encourage physical social distancing at popular parks, trailheads, and scenic areas, State Parks will reduce the number of available parking spaces on high visitation days. Have a plan ready to visit a different park or another park area. Visit https://parks.ny.gov/parks/ for a list of parks. Park maps are available on each park page.

Effective Friday, April 24th the following roads around Bear Mountain and Harriman State Park are closed until further notice:

Exit 16 off the Palisades Interstate Parkway
Lake Welch Drive to St. John’s Road
Tiorati Brook Road
Rte. 106 from Kanawauke Circle to Rte. 17
Arden Valley Road
Perkins Memorial Drive
Exit 19 off the Palisades Interstate Parkway
Seven Lakes Drive remains open.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve and Sam’s Point Area: Parking capacity has been reduced by 50% to reduce the density of visitors at the park in an effort to improve social distancing. Parking will be limited until further notice. All Restrooms are CLOSED, please plan accordingly.
Hudson Highlands State Park: Multiple parking and trail restrictions are in effect. For more details, please visit https://parks.ny.gov/parks/9/details.aspx
Taconic State Park, Copake NY: The parking lot and trail for the Bash Bish Falls is closed.
Face Coverings: For the safety of all visitors, please wear a face covering when visiting the Walkway.

Playgrounds, Athletic Courts and Sporting Fields: All State Park playgrounds, athletic courts, and sporting fields are CLOSED. This measure is taken for the safety of all visitors and to stop the spread of COVID-19. Park visitors should maintain 6 feet of social distance and visit parks for solitary recreational activities only. Please avoid crowds and refrain from group activity.

Restrooms: Indoor restrooms at both Walkway Welcome Centers are open. They will close periodically throughout the day for sanitization. Visitors should plan accordingly and call the park office for more information.

Golf: Starting Saturday, April 25 golf courses operated by State Parks may be open. Operating schedules will differ across the state. Call the course directly for current information.

Camping & Pavilion/Shelters: All campsite, cabin, cottage and pavilion/shelter reservations are canceled through May 31. Visitors with reservations through May 31 will be issued a full refund. All new camping and pavilion/shelter reservations for the 2020 season have been suspended until further notice. For more information visit parks.ny.gov and dec.ny.gov.

UPDATE FOR 2021 CAMPING: New York State Parks has temporarily lifted the 9-month reservation window restriction for camping and will allow for transfers of existing camping reservations into the 2021 season. If you choose to transfer, the change fee will be waived until June 11th for online transactions only. In addition, you may also make new reservations for the 2021 season at this time. Please note that there is no guarantee that you will get the same camping site or dates for 2021 whether you transfer or make a new reservation. We encourage online reservations as the Call Center is experiencing longer than average wait times.

Swimming: State Park beaches will begin to open to swimming Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, at 50% capacity or less and with heightened precautions. You must practice social distancing at a state beach. Pools will remain closed.

Boat Launches and Marinas: Marinas and boat launch sites are open where conditions allow. Call the park or regional office directly for current status.

Entrance Fees: All entrance fees have been waived.

Events: All public programming and events have been canceled until further notice.

Lifeguards: At this time, all qualifiers have been postponed through the end of May.

As the situation continues to develop, we will take any necessary actions to protect visitor and staff health. We appreciate your support and patience as we navigate this public health crisis together.

Resources: New York State Health Department COVID-19

All Friends of the Walkway events are postponed through the end of May. The Friends will not operate information pavilions or have ambassadors on the bridge until state and local officials declare safe conditions for their operations and return. Additional updates will be posted at walkway.org and on our Facebook page as necessary.
  by RussNelson
Jeff Smith wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 7:28 am That's fantastic! Russ, how does the Put ROW Rail-Trail connect to the Maybrook? As I recall, the Put ended between Brewster and Southeast.
The Maybrook is going to be turned into a rail-with-trail. It was double-tracked at one time. One of the tracks was pulled, and in places the tracks were moved to the other side to improve curves & suchlike. In a few places where the tracks are now in the center, they are being moved back to one side. There will be a few places where the trail has to switch from one side to the other. It's been a few years since I've been there, but it looks like there's going to be a bridge across the active tracks, because the trail going up the Maybrook at that point is on the east side of the tracks.
  by robmcalpine
Isn't the paved rail trail on the West side of the bridge using the old Maybrook ROW paralleling New Paltz Road all the way to just before the village of New Paltz? What happens to the trail from there or does it just end at 299?
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