I would like to thank the girl scouts who worked so hard to breathe new life into the rail trail between Accord and Kerhonkson. As I entered the rail trail at the canoe access off Berme Road, I saw a group of picnic tables that seemed to say, “This trail is in use, and we’re proud of it.”
While on the topic, I would also like to commend the Rondout Valley Business Association, the Open Space Institute, and all those involved in the exciting progress to open the rail trail from High Falls to Accord, The health of our rail trail system is directly linked to the economic health of our communities.
As we all get used to riding our bikes more—or horses if you prefer—we won’t have to wait in traffic while road are rebuilt or sidewalks installed (like in Stone Ridge), and we won’t have to travel miles out of the way on detours (as in the closure on the main thoroughfare in Rosendale, or the never ending closure of the Kerhonkson bridge). I recently sat in traffic imagining bicyclists traveling by to solicit local business.
Our communities developed around rail lines for a reason; they’re efficient, direct, beautiful, and they help orient development around community centers, instead of sprawling out into the hinterlands.
There are many rail trail connections in place already. The steady traffic on the Hurley rail trail can lead the curious traveler into Cottekill and High Falls. After observing the view from the Rosendale railroad trestle, bikers can head over to New Paltz for a meal or a night at a bed and breakfast.
Visit local bike shops like Favata Table Rock Tours in Rosendale, The Bicycle Rack in New Paltz, or Accord Bicycle Service to get started on your explorations. Most of the rail trails are flat and easy to handle.
Get out on the trails while the weather is still cooperating. Once the snows settle on the ground, consider cross-country skiing.