River-to-Ridge Trail

New York

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River-to-Ridge Trail Facts

States: New York
Counties: Ulster
Length: 4.9 miles
Trail end points: Carmine Liberta Bridge over the Wallkill River and Pine Road at the Mohonk Preserve
Trail surfaces: Gravel
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 10235555
Trail activities: Bike, Walking

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River-to-Ridge Trail Description

Connecting the Walkill River and Shawangunk Ridge, the aptly named River-to-Ridge Trail, which opened in September 2018, runs from New Paltz to the Mohonk Preserve. Begin at the Carmine Liberta Bridge over the Walkill River; from the west side of the bridge, follow the gravel pathway north along the waterfront. (From the east side of the bridge, you can connect to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, which offers a scenic, 21-mile route between Gardiner and Kingston.)

After about a half mile, you'll reach the trailhead on Springtown Road, where travelers will find a number of amenities, including parking, a station for filling water bottles, and a bicycle rental concession stand. A self-service bicycle repair stand, donated by the Red Devil Bike Club, is also available which includes a tire pump, hand tools, and a scannable QR barcode that links to an app with instructions for bike repair.

From the Springtown Road trailhead, the trail heads west, paralleling State Route 299 and providing bicyclists and walkers with a safe alternative to the busy roadway. But the route is not just utilitarian, it's also a beauty with rolling foothills and picturesque farmland.

The trail currently ends at the border of the Mohonk Preserve, though a connecting 2.3-mile loop within the park is planned for completion in summer 2019. The Mohonk Preserve offers numerous outdoor activities, including rock climbing, camping, and hiking, biking, and horseback riding along 19th-century carriage roads.

Parking and Trail Access

On the east end of the trail, parking is available at 41 Springtown Road in New Paltz. On the west end of the trail, parking is available on Pine Road near the border of the Mohonk Preserve.

River-to-Ridge Trail Reviews

I rode this trail a week after it opened in September 2018 because I live here. In the village of New Paltz, the east end is at the bridge over the Wallkill River with a small parklet and benches. This is very close, maybe 100 feet, to get onto the 22 mile, unpaved Wallkill Valley Rail Trail which runs from Gardiner, through New Paltz and Rosendale, to Kingston, NY. Soon to be completed is a bike lane on nearby Henry Dubois Road which will lead to a 20-something-mile fully paved trail of various names New Paltz, Highland, Poughkeepsie, Hopewell Junction. Hudson Valley Rail Trail, Walkway Over the Hudson, and Dutchess County Rail Trail. Having ridden trails all across the Northeastern states, this combined trail is in my top 3 anywhere for quality, beauty and amenities.

The River-to-Ridge is not a rail trail, it is a newly constructed gravel and dirt trail to get bikers off the main roads. There is a nice parking lot, and after you cross the road going west there is a hill and beautiful views of the Shawangunk ridge. At the west end there is access to the private lands of Mohonk Resort. Maybe (maybe not) there will be someone collect fees to ride Mohonk property. The roads also lead to Minnewaska State Park where there are many carriage roads for biking.

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