Although the majority of the shared-use/multi-use paths outlined below are off-road, some portions of the trail systems may use on-road facilities in order to continue the off-road paths. It is recommended that users review the “rules of the road” in the appropriate sections of the Vehicle and Traffic Laws of New York State.
Some of the shared-use/multi-use paths outlined below may be within facilities or near facilities that allows hunting. Various legal hunting season take place between September 1st and May 31 in New York State, refer to the NYSDEC informational page on hunting for more information. Always use caution when utilizing facilities that allow hunting.
The Heritage Trail has been an ongoing effort since the mid-nineties to develop a shared-use path through the central portion of Orange County via a linear multi-modal pedestrian oriented trail. Starting in 1988 the County of Orange began purchasing the R.O.W. associated with the mainline of the New York & Erie Railroad, which ended service to Middletown as of 1983. Over the next few years the concept of the Heritage Trail evolved and a one (1) mile unpaved section between Hartley Road and 6 ½ Station Road was constructed and opened between 1993 and 1994. In June 1995 a 1.4 mile unpaved section between 6 ½ Station Road and the northwest portion of the Village of Goshen was opened. The following year an additional 4.2 mile paved section was constructed and opened from the south west portion of the Village of Goshen to the Chester Depot Museum in the Village of Chester. In June of 1997, 3.9 miles of the R.O.W. was constructed and opened as a paved section from the Chester Depot Museum to Museum Village in the Town of Monroe. The latest section to be constructed was in July 2003 which connected Museum Village to Airplane Park in the Village of Monroe.
Since July 2003 when the latest section was constructed, planning, design and ways to obtain funding have been implemented. Currently there is an effort to finalize the paved portion with a section from Airplane Park to the Village of Harriman. Also in planning and design is a three (3) phase section which will connect the already paved portions of the Heritage Trail to the unpaved portions through the Town of Wawayanda, ending past the northwest boundary of the City of Middletown in the Town of Wallkill.
For additional information on the Heritage Trail:
D&H Canal Towpath
The D&H Canal Towpath is a continuous effort to transform what is left of the D&H Canal into a linear park. First opened in 1828, the D&H Canal was constructed in order to connect coal supply in the area of Honesdale, Pennsylvania to Kingston, NY; eventually to New York City via the Hudson River. The Canal was drained in 1899 and remained unused, with a small portion in Ulster County utilized until 1904. The Canal was eventually transformed into the rail right-of-way to expand rail operations or sold to various private companies. In developed areas the Canal was filled to accommodate expanding neighborhoods and for safety reasons.
Within Orange County the D&H canal trails traversed a variety of landscapes and stretches from the Ulster County border, southwest into the City of Port Jervis, then northwest along the Delaware River back into Sullivan County and eventually into Pennsylvania. Located in the town of Deerpark within the D&H Canal Park, the 1 mile walking trail follows the only section of the D&H Canal that is still filled with water. The path is unpaved, starting near the Neversink Valley Area Museum which contains classic canal era exhibits and memorabilia, and ending at Oakland Valley Road. The trail is the original towpath used by mules pulling barges through the canal. The park is a National Historic Landmark open daily from dawn to dusk
Walden-Wallkill Rail Trail
The Walden-Wallkill Rail Trail consists of 2.5 miles of rail trail in Orange County that utilizes the former rail bed of the Wallkill Valley Railroad. The paved portion of the Rail Trail continues in a generally northern direction for another 0.7 miles into the Hamlet of Wallkill and the Town of Shawangunk, ending at Bonaventure Avenue/ NYS Route 208. At this point the State Correctional facility needs to be bypassed utilizing the existing road network, but once around it the Rail Trail continues unpaved to New Paltz and beyond. The Rail Trail starts in Wooster Memorial Grove Park in the Village of Walden. Exiting the park in a westerly direction, The Trail crosses East Main Street/NYS Route 52 to access Woodruff Street. Woodruff Street traverses in a northwesterly direction. At the intersection of Woodruff Street and Wileman Avenue, approximately 0.3 miles from Wooster Memorial Park, there is a path that winds down the hillside and accesses the start of the Walden-Wallkill Rail Trail.