Renovated Rosendale trestle reopens, reconnecting long-sundered Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

“A great day for Rosendale” is how supervisor Jeanne Walsh characterized the grand opening of the renovated railroad trestle spanning the Rondout Creek, linking the northern and southern portions of the nearly completed 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail from Gardiner to Kingston in New York.

Four years after the Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) and the Open Space Institute (OSI) teamed up to purchase 11½ miles of railbed in the towns of Rosendale and Ulster, including the 940-foot-long, 150-foot-high trestle, it finally became possible for walkers, cyclists, cross-country skiers and equestrians to traverse the Rondout Gorge safely without a long detour via local streets.

The stretch of trail leading from the Binnewater Kiln parking lot along the flank of Joppenbergh Mountain to the north end of the trestle was still a bit muddy following more than a week of muggy, thunderstormy weather. But shortly before the 11:30 a.m. scheduled start to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, cicadas began to trill as the clouds parted, the sun peeked out and a refreshing breeze swept the gorge.

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