September 17, 2009

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Walkway designated a National Recreation Trail

WASHINGTON, DC –The Walkway Over the Hudson is now as a National Recreation Trail.  In response to a request from Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he was approving the National Park Service's recommendation and making the scenic pedestrian overpass, which spans the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie to Highland and once served as a railroad bridge, part of the national trail system.

"This designation literally puts the Walkway Over the Hudson on the national map where it will receive the recognition it deserves for providing Hudson Valley residents and visitors with extraordinary recreational opportunities along with beautiful views of the Hudson River," Hinchey said. "With the public opening of the Walkway Over the Hudson less than three weeks away, the timing for a National Recreation Trail designation couldn't be better.  I'm grateful for Secretary Salazar's support of this project and am looking forward to the upcoming opening celebration."

The overpass, which opens to the public on October 3, will play a central role in the quadricentennial celebration of Henry Hudson's exploration of the river that now bears his name.  Once completed, the bridge will become the world's longest bicycle-pedestrian bridge. The Walkway will also be the nexus of an extensive system of trails on both sides of the Hudson River, in essence, the "knot in the bowtie" of the regional trail system. 

On the eastern shore, the Walkway will connect the 12-mile Dutchess Rail Trail that is currently being built between Poughkeepsie and Wappinger's Falls. There are also plans being developed to connect the Walkway to Marist College and Hyde Park's Roosevelt-Vanderbilt historic sites.  The Walkway will also connect to the riverfront parks and trails in the City of Poughkeepsie.

On the western shore, the Walkway will connect to the existing 4-mile Hudson Valley Rail Trail via a 1-mile link now under construction.  Finally, the New York State Department of Transportation regional transportation plan calls for the Hudson Valley trail to link with the existing 12-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. 

Taken together, these links will create one of nation's premier trail systems as a result of the Walkway Over the Hudson.

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