Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus participated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Tuesday, July 7 to celebrate the completion of the trailhead access to the Heritage Trail in Harriman.
Neuhaus was joined at the event by Department of Public Works Commissioner Erik Denega, Parks Commissioner Jim Brooks, Village of Harriman Mayor Stephen H. Welle, Chairman of the Legislature Steve Brescia and Legislators Barry Cheney and Pete Tuohy.
“We are excited to increase access to this segment of the Heritage Trail,” Neuhaus said. “The Heritage Trail is one of the most popular recreation destinations in the County and these upgrades will greatly benefit residents who utilize it for exercise and wellness. I am especially proud of the Orange County DPW and Parks departments for their hard work and diligence to complete these renovations.”
As part of the improvements at the Harriman trailhead, an existing rail bridge was reconstructed to create a pathway over the Ramapo River. In addition, a 200-foot concrete walkway and a paved parking lot were built along that portion of the trail.
“I want to thank County Executive Neuhaus and the County Legislature for making these improvements to the Harriman segment of the Heritage Trail,” Welle said. “Our community is excited about these upgrades and the benefits this extension will offer. On behalf of our residents, I am grateful that they will continue to be able to take advantage of the popular trail.”
The Heritage Trail now runs approximately 14.5 miles from Goshen to Harriman with approximately 150,000 people using it each year for running, biking, hiking and environmental and natural studies. It has access points in Monroe, Chester and Goshen.
The trail features historic landmarks, scenic views, a bird/wildlife sanctuary and access to dining and shopping in the municipalities through which it runs.
Construction on the extension of the Heritage Trail from Goshen to Middletown should be completed in the fall. At the conclusion of that work, the trail would extend 25 miles from Harriman to Middletown.