NEW PALTZ, NY (Dec. 8, 2020)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) announced today that its River-to-Ridge Trail in New Paltz is on track to host more than 200,000 visitors in 2020. The visitorship is more than double the number of visitors from the previous year, underscoring the critical role of access to nature and the outdoors for public health and wellness.
“In a year marked with extraordinary challenges, OSI's River-to-Ridge Trail proved to be an irreplaceable public asset for many in New Paltz and beyond,” said Peter Karis, OSI’s Vice President for Parks and Stewardship. “We always knew that the trail would be popular, but more than a place to recreate, River-to-Ridge is proving to be a place to safely get outdoors, connect with family and friends, or simply rejuvenate during challenging times.”
“I’ve heard from many residents that being able to get out of the house and into nature is a major factor in maintaining their mental and physical well-being during this pandemic,” said Neil Bettez, Supervisor for the Town of New Paltz. “We are so lucky to have the River-to Ridge Trail in the heart of our community, and we are grateful for the OSI’s efforts to keep it open and safe."
“It's hard to imagine that just a few years ago we couldn't enjoy walking from our village to the ridge,” said Tim Rogers, Mayor of the Village of New Paltz. “Now, regardless of the season or day of the week, whenever we look out towards the ridge there are walkers, bikers, and pet owners out on the River-to-Ridge Trail. The trail has become a sanctuary, an invaluable ritual for many. Our community is incredibly lucky.”