New Signage Reinforces Parking and Public Health Guidelines at River-to-Ridge Trail

Image Credit: Steve Aaron

NEW PALTZ, NY (May 20, 2020)—The Open Space Institute, in coordination with Wallkill Valley Farms and the Town of New Paltz, posted additional signage along Route 299 and at the River-to-Ridge Trail in New Paltz. The signage was posted to clarify the designated parking areas for River-to-Ridge Trail users and reinforce guidelines for responsible recreation during this public health crisis.

OSI reinforced to users that the Wallkill Valley Farm’s parking lot is not a River-to-Ridge Trail parking area and should not be used by visitors looking to access the trail. The River-to-Ridge Trail’s designated trailhead and parking area is located at 41 Springtown Road and has a 45-vehicle capacity. If the parking area is full, visitors should return at another time or day.

“To mitigate the unintended, negative impacts on surrounding local businesses, OSI is reminding trail users to park in the River-to-Ridge Trail’s designated parking area in order to access the trail,” said OSI’s Peter Karis. “In recent weeks, the need for people to find places of refuge has become increasingly evident, and the River-to-Ridge Trail is proving to be a welcome, local option. We are asking trail users to follow the posted guidelines and, as always, be respectful and considerate of others.”

As a reminder of public safety guidelines, OSI is working with the City of New Paltz to post additional signage along the trail and on social media. For the health and safety of all visitors to River-to-Ridge, OSI and the Town of New Paltz is urging everyone to adhere to the posted guidelines and the established recommendations from public health officials.

Karis added, “Together, each of us can work to make the River-to-Ridge Trail a welcoming recreational option. In order to keep the trail open, well maintained, and welcoming, we need all users to follow the posted guidelines—including those about appropriate parking locations, keeping dogs on leash, wearing masks, social distancing, and being respectful and courteous to fellow trail visitors and neighbors.”

The newly posted signage emphasizes the following guidelines:

  • When on the trail, wear masks, observe the recommended 6-foot social distance from others, avoid contact with any high-touch surfaces, and don’t gather at trail kiosks, gates, or parking areas.
  • Park in the River-to-Ridge Trail’s designated parking area located at 41 Springtown Road. If the trail is busy or the parking area on Springtown Road is full, please come back at a different day or time.
  • All users must stay on the River-to-Ridge Trail at all times and respect trail neighbors and their property.

Additionally, in keeping with permanent posted signage, all dogs must be leashed, and owners should arrive prepared to pick up after their pets.

The River-to-Ridge Trail provides access to a shared, public space that is open to diverse user groups. Created in partnership with Mohonk Preserve, and with funding from the Butler Conservation Fund, the River to Ridge Trail traverses 400 acres of the River-to- Ridge Preserve and connects people to one of OSI’s most successful conservation landscapes — the Shawangunk Ridge.

Over the past 40 years, OSI has protected nearly 33,000 acres on and along the Ridge, and now sets its sights on further connecting people to land it has protected and improved — from restoring over 12 miles of Victorian carriage roads, to the creation of a new Visitor Center at Minnewaska State Park Preserve. In downtown New Paltz and on the River-to-Ridge Trail, OSI’s commitment is already having an impact.

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