NEW YORK, NY — June 20, 2013 — The Open Space Institute and
Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) are very happy to announce that the historic,
118-year-old Rosendale railroad trestle will officially be reopened to the
public as a pedestrian walkway over the Rondout Creek following a grand opening
inauguration to be held Saturday, June 29 at 11:30 a.m.
The events on the 29th will run from 11:30 a.m.
to 3 p.m. in the hamlet of Rosendale. At 11:30, there will be a ribbon cutting
at the north end of the trestle, high above Rondout Creek. Parking will be available
at the Binnewater Kiln parking area on Binnewater Road. The ribbon cutting
ceremony will include speakers from the Open Space Institute, the Wallkill
Valley Land Trust and the town of Rosendale, as well as other local dignitaries.
After the ribbon is cut, the trestle will then be open to the public.
From 12 to 3 p.m. there will be music at Willow Kiln Park in
Rosendale, as well as additional events, including opportunities to tie-die “Track
the Trestle” t-shirts, face painting and nature hikes led by guides up
Joppenbergh Mountain. At 2:30, children
of all ages and adults are invited to come out and decorate their bicycles and
join the Rosendale Brass Band in a parade from Willow Kiln Park to the trestle.
The parade will depart at 3 p.m. from behind the Rosendale Theater.
Following Saturday’s event, the trestle and the extension of the rail trail owned by the Wallkill
Valley Land Trust and the Open Space Institute will be open to the
public from dawn till dusk every day, unless the temporary need arises to make improvements
to the rail bed in other areas. The trail will be accessible to walkers,
hikers, bikers and horseback riders, but no motorized vehicles.
The completion of the trestle restoration nearly fulfills OSI
and WVLT’s goal of a continuous, 24-mile recreational rail trail running from the
southern border of the town of Gardiner to the city of Kingston. In August
2009, OSI and WVLT partnered to acquire 11.5 miles of railroad bed that doubled
the length of the rail trail, expanding it through Rosendale and Ulster, and on
to Kingston. The centerpiece of this protection effort was the historic
trestle—150 feet high, 940 feet long and a vivid landmark providing views of the
Shawangunk Ridge, Joppenbergh Mountain and the Binnewater Hills for all to
“The Rosendale trestle is a symbol of the history and scenic
beauty unique to this Hudson Valley town,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president
and CEO. “OSI and the Wallkill Valley Land Trust have both been inspired by the
support this project received from its community over the last three years. It
will truly be a magnificent recreational asset and a gateway along the expanded
Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.”
The two organizations partnered to raise $1.5 million to fund
the restoration of the trestle, once part of an active railroad that ferried
Ulster County produce down to markets in New York City. Major support for the
campaign came from the New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Preservation, the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust, Dyson Foundation, the
Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy, the Friends of the Shawangunks, the Mohonk
Preserve and more than 110 individual donors.
The project involved the installation of new railroad ties
and mounting naturally weathering Corten steel railings on the trestle. The
final stage saw recycled composite decking material (the walking surface) installed
over top of the railroad ties.
This project is a culmination of efforts not only by our generous
donors from the area and skilled engineers, but also of dedicated, hard-working
volunteers from the community.
“This is far and away the biggest project the Wallkill
Valley Land Trust has ever undertaken and we could not have accomplished it
without the enthusiasm and commitment of our volunteers,” said Bob Taylor, WVLT’s
During the last phase of the restoration, professional construction
workers and carpenters contributed weekend hours to installing the decking
materials. Over four weekends, volunteer teams braved wind, rain and blazing
sun to make this project a success.
“I thank our expert volunteers and all of the Rosendale
businesses and community members who brought us food and kept us going strong
through this last part of the restoration,” said Rob Hare, the well-known fine furniture
maker from Esopus, who is also a Wallkill Valley Land Trust board member and
chairman of the conservation committee.
Area businesses and residents were also recently invited to
purchase commemorative plaques that will be attached along the trestle railing,
with proceeds going toward the restoration project. The 4 ¾” x 4 ¾” bronze plaques will be etched and then lacquer sealed. Plaques can be purchased in
memory of a friend or relative, on behalf of a business, or as a fun and unique
gift for someone special, and are available for $1,200 each.
Wallkill Valley Land Trust at (845) 255-2761 for more information.
While the trestle will be officially open beginning June 29,
fundraising for the project continues,
as there is more work to be done—including the design and development of a
pedestrian trail from the south end of the trestle into Rosendale that will run
under the trestle and along the river. The Open Space Institute has committed a
generous 4:1 matching challenge grant for additional money raised for the
Trestle’s grand opening.
to the project can be made at www.trackthetrestle.org
or through the Wallkill Valley Land Trust. Thank you for your support!
(enews painting of the Trestle by Mary Ottaway)