Orange County and the Open Space Institute are hoping to add a new 9.8-mile trail that will be constructed conserving significant open space.

Nearly 10 miles of new trail is what Orange County is looking to add to its rail-trail system. The project would take approximately between 16 and 24 months to complete. This would be a great way for residents to explore new areas and see more of the beauty the Hudson Valley has to offer.

The proposed trail would span from Camp La Guardia in the Town of Chester to the Moodna trestle in Salisbury Mills. It would connect with Orange County's Heritage Trail in Chester. Construction on the Schunnemuck Rail Trail, which is subject to County Legislature approval and other reviews, could begin by late 2022 or early 2023, depending on title acquisition and environmental issues.

This project would also be a success in the OSI's Highlands West Connectivity Plan, in which the chief goal is to connect 93,000 acres of protected land and six state parks in eastern Orange County. This project would account for 30 percent of the goal of creating and rerouting 30-miles of trails throughout the county.

Orange County Executive, Steve Neuhaus said:

The Schunnemunk Rail Trail will provide residents with another venue to utilize for exercise and it will also facilitate bicycle and pedestrian connections for commuters. This project will improve public transportation and will showcase another beautiful portion of our County. It is an impressive expansion of the County’s rail-trail network and will facilitate the conservation of significant open space

The Schunnemunk Rail Trail is an abandoned portion of the former Erie Railroad Line, which travels through the Town of Cornwall, the Village of Washingtonville, the Town of Blooming Grove, ending at Camp LaGuardia near the Heritage Trail and running northeast to the Moodna Trestle in the Town of Cornwall.

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