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Dutchess Trail Network Nominated For Conservancy's Hall Of Fame

The William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail, a popular spot for bicyclists and walkers, is part of a network nominated for inclusion in the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's 2016 Hall of Fame. Also part of the network is the Walkway over the Hudson.
The William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail, a popular spot for bicyclists and walkers, is part of a network nominated for inclusion in the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's 2016 Hall of Fame. Also part of the network is the Walkway over the Hudson. Photo Credit: Dutchess County
The Walkway over the Hudson, a sky-high public park converted from an old railroad bridge, is part of a network nominated for inclusion in the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's hall of fame.
The Walkway over the Hudson, a sky-high public park converted from an old railroad bridge, is part of a network nominated for inclusion in the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's hall of fame. Photo Credit: File

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- A nonprofit dedicated to turning old rail lines into places for folks to bike and stroll has selected the Hudson Valley Trail Network as one of five hall of fame nominees, according to Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has put it up for a public vote on its website .

Molinaro’s office said residents also can promote the network on social media by using the hashtag #RailTrailHOF.

According to Molinaro, the Dutchess Rail Trail is one of the most highly visited parks in Dutchess.

The county is also proud, he said, to help “provide residents and visitors a safe, healthy and accessible way to explore and experience the Hudson River Valley region."

The network includes the Walkway over the Hudson, the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.

According to the conservancy, the walkway, which was transformed from a derelict railroad bridge into a sky-high public park, connects the town of Poughkeepsie and the hamlet of Highland on the other side of the Hudson River.

The 13-mile-long Dutchess Rail Trail is along the former Maybrook Rail corridor through the towns of Poughkeepsie, LaGrange, Wappinger, and East Fishkill.

In 2015, readers of “Hudson Valley” magazine picked it as the best bike and rail trail in the region.

The other four national nominees are Banks-Veronia State Trail (Oregon), Swamp Rabbit Trail (South Carolina), Shelby Farms Greenline (Tennessee) and the Rio Grande Trail (Colorado).

The nominees for inclusion in its hall of fame are chosen on merits such as scenic value, high use, trail and trailside amenities and historical significance.

Voting in the friendly contest for bragging rights started Monday, June 6, and wraps up on just before midnight Wednesday, June 15.

The winners will be announced Thursday, June 16, said the conservancy, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The conservancy, the largest trails organization in America, has more than 160,000 members and supporters -- including 33,000 in New York -- and more than 850,000 trail users.

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