HIGHLAND, N.Y. -- Five trails in New York are garnering some national recognition, including one right here in the Hudson Valley. The announcement was made over the weekend in celebration of National Trails Day.
“Six hundred and seventy thousand people a year use our trail right here,” said Hudson Valley Rail Trail Project Manager Raymond Costantino. “And once we came out with those numbers, and they were really true numbers, I mean, we didn’t dream them up, we got validity that this is here to stay.”
It took 18 years, according to Ray Costantino, for the rail trail to really come alive. What began as a vision has turned reality in Highland.
“It was wilderness and people would walk on it but they didn’t have the vision. So I brought the idea to the Town of Lloyd,” said Costantino.
It’s now joining the ranks of the 452 newly added miles within the National Trails System throughout 11 states.
“It’s few and far between that you get something like this, and when you have something that you can enjoy like this, and the walk that you can take on this, or bike ride, take every moment, every advantage, and the view is unbelievable when you hit that bridge,” said Hopewell resident, Phyllis Rampe.
Spanning 3.6 miles on the Hudson River's West Bank of Ulster County, the Hudson Valley Rail Trail travels through the Town of Lloyd and connects at the popular Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.
We’ve been on the whole trail, over to New Paltz and everything, it's enjoyable, very nice,” said Hopewell resident Dennis Rampe.
And it’s only going to get better, according to Costantino, as expansion plans are underway for what could potentially be the largest interconnected rail trail system in New York.
“Once we get this trail connected to New Paltz and up to Kingston and the Catskills, it’s just going to be phenomenal. It’s just going to go on and on forever,” he said.