June 27, 2014 – Last weekend, two OSI staffers hopped on their bikes and rode 130 miles from midtown Manhattan to Rosendale, NY (View the map here).
Over two full days, they experienced the very best that lower New York State and the Hudson Valley have to offer, and they did so almost entirely on publicly accessible rail trails.
One of OSI's longtime goals has been to help create an interconnected trail network throughout the Hudson Valley, and these staffers went on this two-day ride to advocate for OSI’s vision, and for something even larger: the creation of an unbroken linear park from lower Manhattan to the Catskills. This isn’t something OSI can build all on its own, but with the help of municipalities and conservation groups along the way, the vision could become a reality, and we hope to be a part of it.
Their ride is going to be documented in detail in an article that will be appearing soon on the Hudson Valley Magazine website. You’ll be surprised at how much of this route is already in place and what municipalities and conservation groups need to do to complete it.
Overall, we’re a lot closer than you might think.
Their Journey began on the Hudson Valley Greenway on the west side of New York City, followed by the public rail trails of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Then on to the heart of the Hudson River Valley with its thriving rail trail system, which OSI is proud to have helped assemble. The ride concluded many hills and more than a few bottles of Gatorade later, just beyond the historic Rosendale trestle—which OSI and the Wallkill Valley Land Trust reopened to the public one year ago.
Research increasingly shows that access to the natural world is critically important for developmental, physical and mental wellbeing. OSI believes in this principle, and it is one of the reasons we’ve worked so hard to enhance access to the outdoors all over New York State. Whether it’s the rail trails of the Hudson Valley, any of New York’s spectacular state parks, or the family farms that keep us deeply connected to the land, the benefits of the natural world are many and they’re available to anyone.
So, be sure to keep an eye on the Hudson Valley Magazine website to read about OSI’s journey across the rail trails of lower New York State. You’ll read about history and habitat, and follow along as our riders see and experience a tremendous cross-section of our great state. I think you’ll also be impressed with the potential we have to develop these outdoor assets even further.
Who knows—maybe one of you will be the next to jump on your bike and ride from Manhattan to the Catskills. OSI hopes to be part of the effort to make it happen.