Orange County seeks to build rail trail in Town of Minisink

Heritage Trail in Town of Goshen

GOSHEN – Orange County is working to build a new 3.1-mile rail trail that would span from the Village of Unionville to the hamlet of Westtown in the Town of Minisink.

  County Executive Steven Neuhaus, in conjunction with the county’s Department of Planning, has applied to the State Department of Transportation for a grant for a total project cost not to exceed $6 million. The source of funds is Federal Highway Administration assistance which is administered by the state.

A local match of 20 percent is required which can be in the form of local funds and/or a combination of cash and donations of materials and labor.

“The rail trail will provide safe off-road pedestrian and bicyclist accessibility for residents and visitors to utilize for exercise and will showcase another beautiful portion of our county,” Neuhaus said. “It is part of a broader plan to create an extensive interconnected system of rail trails throughout county. In addition, it will preserve this property for public use. I know the Minisink community will be excited about these upgrades and the benefits this extension will offer.”

  If awarded, the grant will be used to construct a paved multi-modal, bicycle and pedestrian trail along the county-owned Middletown and New Jersey Railroad rail bed from Unionville to Westtown.

  “The rail trail will be a great way for residents to enjoy outdoor activities, while enjoying all the beautiful scenery that Minisink has to offer,” said County Legislator Paul Ruszkiewicz. 

Minisink Town Supervisor R.J. Ford said the project would “provide a great way for residents and visitors to come and enjoy our rural farmland. The Town of Minisink Museum sits right next to the rail trail and I think people will really also enjoy seeing that as well.”