Delaware-to-Hudson trail is now routed through Goosepond State Park

Check out the trail at park celebration in Chester, N.Y., on April 21


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  • The volunteer crew from the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, pictured last November, enjoys the view from the newly rebuilt bridge over the Seely Brook in Goosepond State Park (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




  • The Highlands Trail extends more than 150 miles from Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River in New York south to Riegelsville, N.J., on the Delaware River.



“On behalf of the area residents, we are thankful for the hard work, dedication and commitment by all those involved towards preserving important resources to the community."
Tracy Schuh, The Preservation Collective


— A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned to showcase the latest trail addition at Goosepond Mountain, a precarious road-walk section of the 150-mile Highlands Trail in Chester, in Orange County, N.Y., has been rerouted into the park.

Approximately two-miles long, this new section is a well-graded multi-use trail built for use by hikers and non-motorized bikes. The trail was built by volunteers with land and park partners.

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the Open Space Institute, and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission are celebrating the culmination of years of work preserving and improving land and trails at Goosepond Mountain State Park with a celebration at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 (rain date is Sunday, April 22). The park is lcoated at 2-164 Bull Mill Road in Chester.

The event is free and open to the public.

"Join us as we snip the ribbon, take a hike, and celebrate all who were involved!" says the invitation.

Tracy Schuh heads the local citizens' group The Preservation Collective and is a trail-building volunteer.

“On behalf of the area residents, we are thankful for the hard work, dedication and commitment by all those involved towards preserving important resources to the community," Schuh said.

Making vital connectionsThe trail improvement project is located on a 400-acre section at the southern end of the park. It was purchased by the Open Space Institute in 2016 after a decade of negotiations then transferred to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. In 2016, the Open Space Institute built a small parking area and helped realign the Highlands Trail to improve public access to the state park.

“The protection of this property is a vital link in the vision to connect Goosepond Mountain State Park to Sterling Forest along the Highlands Trail,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of the Open Space Institute. “We are grateful to all those who supported OSI’s effort to expand the park, as well as our many friends and partners who are working to improve access to this wonderful mountain.”

This stewardship project has not only preserved the area's forests and viewshed in the area, and made the park more accessible to the public, it is also part of the ongoing creation of an important greenway linking isolated state parks in Orange County. The potential Sterling Forest to Storm King Greenway, with the Highlands Trail as its backbone, would showcase the western Hudson Highlands as a premier destination for outdoor recreation and magnificent scenery.

The trail extends more than 150 miles from Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River in New York south to Riegelsville, N.J., on the Delaware River. Along the way it travels through Sparta Mountain Wildlife Area in Sussex County, N.J.; Norvin Green State Forest, the Long Pond Iron Works, and the Monksville Reservoir area in Passaic County, N.J.; and Goosepond Mountain State Park, Mombasha High Point, and Sterling State Forest in Orange County, N.Y.

For a map of the location and more information, visit bit.ly/tc-hto18.

Related story"Rotten, broken, dangerous Goosepond bridge is repaired": https://bit.ly/2Ex7ORW





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