The lands hiding scenic views just beyond the Town Transfer Station at Gardiner Park have seen exciting new activity over the last few months. Most of this is a result of the September 7th, 2021, unanimous approval by the Town Board for the Riverbend Trails phased project plan. A small group of determined individuals from Gardiner Parks and Recreation Committee and Gardiner Trail Alliance got to work bringing the community’s dreams closer to reality.
Fall is considered a late start in the season for trail building. Regardless, the team made the most of it, managing to complete the majority of the items for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project plan. While everyone was celebrating the New Year, we quietly celebrated the “soft opening” of Riverbend Trails at Gardiner Park on January 4th, 2022. This milestone marked the delivery of improved parking, a welcome kiosk with info and maps, three miles of roughed-in trails suitable for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, as well as an incredibly fun “flow trail” that is sure to delight people of all ages. At the same time, Gardiner Trail Alliance has made its nonprofit LLC filing with NYS and codified its operating paperwork and board of directors. These are key steps for the sustainability of our efforts while unlocking the ability to apply for grants and donations to fund future phases.
The next steps of the project involve training some of the hundred-plus people who showed interest in trail work days, grant writing, fundraising, and hosting events such as the inaugural “Dump Run” 5k/10k. Another goal is reconfiguring the parking and Transfer Station access so that we can expand Gardiner Park hours. Currently, the park is only open during Transfer Station hours.
We are off to a great start and invite you to check our progress while enjoying the trails. On Saturdays in August, we will be leading group tours of the trails. Keep an eye out for more details on these tours by checking the Parks and Recreation page or Gardiner Trail Alliance website at https://gardinertrailalliance.org