Improving Parks and Increasing Access
Through our land conservation and support for parks improvements, OSI is creating new opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
For decades, residents of downtown New Paltz, New York, who wanted to explore the nearby Shawangunks were forced to drive — or navigate a narrow and dangerous highway shoulder — to reach the beautiful ridge. That finally changed this year, when OSI opened the much-anticipated River-to-Ridge Trail connecting New Paltz directly to Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The River-to-Ridge Trail also complements OSI’s ongoing efforts to improve the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.
OSI’s ability to execute long-range access projects was also on display in the Adirondacks this year, when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced completion of the first phase of an ambitious Adirondack project, at the site of the former Frontier Town Wild West theme park in North Hudson. The new project, based on a master plan originated by OSI and now partly open, includes new campgrounds for hikers, anglers and equestrians; playgrounds, hiking and horseback trails; and even a brewery. The land is also a short journey from the Tub Mill property, whose five lakes and ponds were all protected by OSI this year.
One of America’s most iconic long-distance hiking trails also got a couple of boosts this year, thanks to OSI. Grant support from OSI led to the protection of nearly 10,000 acres of land along the Appalachian Trail in the mountains of western Maine that are important for cross-border wildlife migration along the US-Canada divide. The Appalachian Trail and a New York State long-distance hiking trail, the Long Path, also received support, when OSI protected land adjacent to Harriman State Park where the trails run.