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 1/2 Station Road was constructed and opened between 1993 and 1994.
In June 1995 a 1.4 mile unpaved section between 6 1/2 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. View a map of the Heritage Trail (PDF) or find more information from Orange Pathways.