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Posted on: November 19, 2020

County Executive Neuhaus celebrates extension of Heritage Trail to Palmer Avenue in Middletown

heritagetrailpalmerpicture-cropped-again

Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking with other dignitaries on Thursday to celebrate the extension of the Heritage Trail an additional three and a quarter miles. The extension will go from Hartley Road in the Town of Goshen to Palmer Avenue in the City of Middletown.

However, due to New York State Department of Transportation construction on the Interstate 84 overpass bridge trail usage will be limited temporarily to just north of Ryerson Road.

Neuhaus was joined at the event by Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois, City of Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano, Orange County Legislators Michael Paduch and Joel Sierra, Town of Wallkill Supervisor Frank DenDanto, Town of Goshen Supervisor Doug Bloomfield, Town of Wawayanda Supervisor Denise Quinn, Department of Public Works Commissioner Erik Denega, Parks Commissioner Jim Brooks and Director of Tourism Amanda Dana.

“We are glad to see this expansion of the Heritage Trail, and look forward to continuing this important project,” Neuhaus said. “The Heritage Trail is one of the most popular recreation destinations in the County and the extension of the trail will greatly benefit residents who utilize it for exercise and wellness. This project has been talked about for more than 20 years. We are all proud and excited that it is finally coming to fruition.”

Neuhaus said the County’s Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation will begin work on the next phase of the extension of the Trail to East Main Street in Middletown. That portion of the Trail should be completed in the spring of 2021. The total cost for extending the Heritage Trail from Goshen through Middletown will be approximately $8.4 million, with funding for the project coming from a combination of New York State Parks grants ($500,000), Federal Transportation grants ($6.7 million) and Orange County funding ($1.2 million).

The Palmer Avenue project included grading and paving a 10-foot-wide asphalt shared-use trail including constructing a tunnel under Dolsontown Road and repairing four existing railroad bridges.  

The Heritage Trail now runs approximately 18 miles from Middletown to Harriman with approximately 500,000 people using it each year for running, biking, hiking and environmental and natural studies. It has access points in Harriman Monroe, Chester and Goshen. The Trail features historic landmarks, scenic views, a bird/wildlife sanctuary and access to dining and shopping in the municipalities.

“I am very happy that this day has come and want to thank County Executive Neuhaus for leading the effort to bring the Heritage Trail into Middletown,” DeStefano said. “Our community is excited about the health and wellness benefits that the Heritage Trail will offer, and we look forward to the construction that will further extend the Trail to East Main Street in the heart of the City. The Heritage Trail is a great economic engine for Orange County and is enjoyed by many residents and visitors.”

For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or jrodriguez@orangecountygov.com.

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