Dutchess County Trails

CHA is preparing design and construction documents for the creation of an 11.2 mile long rail trail and linear park located within minutes of the majority of population in Dutchess County, New York.

The project involves converting more than eleven miles of the abandoned Maybrook Rail line of the Penn Central Railroad to a paved bikeway and walkway.

Dutchess County is well on the way toward operating a countywide system of trails for residents and guests to explore the beauty of Dutchess County. Two major projects are currently underway.

The Dutchess Rail Trail Park is a 12-mile linear park stretching through the heart of the County from Morgan Lake on the Town/City of Poughkeepsie border through the towns of LaGrange and Wappinger, ending in East Fishkill with a trailhead in the Hamlet of Hopewell Junction.

The Harlem Valley Rail Trail Park is an ongoing project that has been built in phases since 1996. The upcoming 4th phase will connect the last 7 miles from the Village of Millerton to the Columbia County line. When completed, the park will actually extend from the Wassaic Train station all the way to Copake Falls in the Taconic State Park.

The development of these trails for the exercise and enjoyment of users of all ages is due is part to strong public involvement in the design phase. Public participation has been an integral part of these project's success and is being facilitated by continuously updated public involvement website with public meeting and contact information, trail maps, project schedule, reports & plans, photo galleries, FAQ. page and more (http://www.dutchesscountytrails.com).

Traditional public outreach efforts included design workshops that allowed community participants to provide creative input. During the workshops, community participants were divided into work groups and provided with aerial imagery maps of the project area. Each group was asked, “How can we improve the Dutchess Rail Trail so that it becomes the most desirable public space in our community?”

Participants responded with a wealth of useful input that identified activities that can be incorporated into the trail corridor, users that will frequent the corridor, linkages with neighborhoods, places of employment, and civic institutions, support facilities such as parking areas, comfort facilities, water fountains, and kiosks, and gateway, trailhead, and access locations.

Public Involvement Meeting