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New trail, with scenic overlook, opens in Hyde Park

Author John Ferro
Date October 23, 2015

STAATSBURG – When Sue Scott-Herman heads out on local trails, she experiences one thing in particular.

“Peace,” she said.

Scott-Herman, a 54-year-old Salt Point resident, was among the first to experience the serenity of a new trail that runs through rolling forest along the Hudson River in the Town of Hyde Park.

“It’s not too hard,” she said, “and it’s very pretty.”


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Federal, state and local officials Friday opened the 1.85-mile trail that heads south from Thompson Lane at Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park.

The single-track trail, six years in the making, leads through forests, wetlands, streams and rock slabs to a scenic overlook at the former Dominican Camp property, which is now owned by Scenic Hudson.

Dogs are allowed on the trail, officials said, and should remain on a leash. Some stone steps and the trail’s narrow width do not make it suitable for biking, they said.

Two benches at the overlook allow for a respite, and perhaps some serene introspection.

Steve Hesse of Poughkeepsie, left, and Christine Welker

Steve Hesse of Poughkeepsie, left, and Christine Welker of Rhinebeck take in the view from the scenic overlook at the end of the new Greenway trail in the Town of Hyde Park on Friday, Oct. 23. (Photo: John Ferro/Poughkeepsie Journal)

The entrance can be found in a grassy field that is on the immediate left of Thompson Lane. Officials said visitors can park in the field. Follow the tree line along the southern edge to the trail’s cut-out entrance.

Scenic Hudson, the Anderson Center for Autism and the state parks office are among the landowners that donated easements along the corridor. More than a dozen public and private groups collaborated on the project.

Officials gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday,

Officials gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Oct. 23, marking the official opening of a Greenway trail at Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park in the Town of Hyde Park. From left is Karl Beard, projects director with the National Park Service; Aileen Rohr, the Hyde Park town supervisor; and Frank Boger, park manager at Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park. (Photo: John Ferro/Poughkeepsie Journal)

Officials said the trail is part of a larger effort to connect the Mid-Hudson Bridge to the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, and beyond. It is part of the Hudson River Valley Greenway, a necklace of parks, hiking trails and open spaces running the length of the valley.

“We think it’s a great time to take a look at the whole system and to identify where the gaps are,” Greenway Acting Executive Director Mark Castiglione said, “so we can prioritize areas for future investment, examination and planning to connect to the Greenway Trail.”

To that end, planning is underway for a riverside trail through the Town of Fishkill. The 2 1/2-mile trail would stretch from the Wappinger-Fishkill town line south to the Beacon city line.

Earlier this month, Fishkill was awarded a $10,000 Greenway grant toward planning expenses, according to Fishkill Supervisor Bob LaColla.

LaColla said the goal is to connect the Fishkill section to existing and future trails in Beacon and further south, including the Hudson-Highlands Fjord Trail.

 A rendering of the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail.

A rendering of the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail. (Photo: Photo courtesy of the RBA Group )

“We want to pick it up there (at the Beacon line) and run it up to the Wappinger trail system,” LaColla said.

John Ferro: 845-437-4816; jferro@poughkeepsiejournal.com; Twitter: @PoJoEnviro