Rail trail relies on public for help


Cleanup crew poses for a photo

POUGHKEEPSIE – The 13.4-mile William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail, a linear county park that runs through the middle of the county, relies on public help to keep the trail clean.
The trail is named for a former county executive and was called the “Best Hiking Trail in the Hudson Valley” in 2015 by Hudson Valley Magazine.  It runs along the former Maybrook Rail corridor and links directly to the majestic Walkway Over the Hudson. 
The county park has an “Adopt-A-Trail” sponsorship program that allows groups and companies such as Real Property Abstract & Title Service LLC to work with the county’s Department of Public Works to pick up litter along a portion of the trail in exchange for signage at each end of the company’s assigned section.
Paul Conrad, owner of Real Property Abstract adopted a section of the trail beginning at the Morgan Lake trail head and going west to the Buckingham Avenue trail head in Poughkeepsie.  Conrad pays his staff of clerical workers and title searchers their regular pay to assemble as a group at the trail several times a year to pick up litter such as beverage containers,  plastic foam coffee cups, bags and the occasional errant golf ball from neighboring College Hill Golf Course.
The company recently performed their fall cleanup at the trail which netted two bags of litter being carted away.  “It was nice to see that there were fewer Styrofoam cups littering the trail compared to last year,” said Conrad who also noted that his company usually nets more trash during the spring cleanup because of the limited vegetation that obscures the trash.
Dutchess County has maps available with designated trail sections that are available for adoption.  When you adopt a segment, the county DPW provides safety vests and garbage bags to aid in the cleanup.  Additional information on the program can be obtained by contacting Steve Olsen, Parks Director for Dutchess County at 845-298-4600.

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