In an exciting partnership the Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) and the Open Space Conservancy (OSC) have acquired 11.5 miles of the former Wallkill Valley Railroad, almost doubling the length of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. The highlight of this purchase is the iconic 940-foot-long railroad trestle perched 150 feet over the Rondout Creek in Rosendale. WVLT, along with OSC and the local communities, must now repair the 114-year-old trestle’s steel infrastructure and install wooden decks and railings. In addition, the trail bed needs erosion control measures, trash removal, brush clearing, re-grading, and widening.
When completed this will create almost 24 miles of linear park, connecting the Towns of Gardiner, New Paltz, Rosendale, and Ulster! This important “missing link” in one of the best networks of rail trails in the Hudson Valley will encourage new economic development along the trail and be a recreational and cultural resource for residents and tourist alike. It will provide users with an unparalleled recreational experience as they bike, walk, run, bird watch, horseback ride and cross country ski through many hamlets and towns, as well as through woodlands, open fields and farmlands, discovering a wide variety of birds and other wildlife, along with panoramically beautiful views of the Shawangunk Ridge and the Wallkill River.
Cost estimates for this work range from $500,000 to nearly $1,000,000. As daunting as those estimates seem, the WVLT, OSC, the Town of Rosendale, the Town of Ulster, and the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Association are working closely to move forward on this project. WVLT and OSC have applied for several large and small grants to complete the decking across the trestle and open it up to public use, as well as to repair the trail itself. They are confident that with support of the local communities, in-kind donations, grants, collaborative efforts with other organizations, and volunteer dedication, they will be able to achieve the goal.
WE NEED YOUR HELP to make this unparalleled recreational experience a reality! Please contact us to make a donation, join our email list, receive our newsletter, and ask any questions you might have: (845) 255-2761 info@WallkillValleyLT.org and find us on Facebook!