Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Monticello, NY – Sullivan County is, as the folk tune says, “working on the railroad” – the O&W Railroad!
The main line of the former New York, Ontario & Western Railway (O&W) runs for 50 miles through the scenic heart of Sullivan County, with an additional spur from Monticello to the Orange County border (and ultimately Port Jervis) in the Neversink River valley.
Often flat or featuring gentle grades, these former railroad beds provide the perfect opportunity to create multi-use trails for walking, biking, hiking and horseback riding. In a county like Sullivan, where there are hills everywhere, the O&W represents quite an opportunity. Rail trails also have demonstrated benefits to communities, raising resale values for houses located along or nearby, bettering the health of residents and visitors, and increasing economic opportunity in the communities the trails pass through. The longer the trail, the bigger the economic boost.
Some segments of the O&W are already in use as rail trails: in Parksville, Liberty to Ferndale, Hurleyville to South Fallsburg, Woodridge to Mountaindale, and Summitville to Wurtsboro. But imagine if you could travel from Wurtsboro all 50 miles to Livingston Manor! Sullivan County is working on just that: connecting the existing segments and exploring the alternatives to fully opening both the main line and the spur from Monticello.
The public is warmly invited not only to enjoy these paths (find them all at trailkeeper.org
) but help the County assess the alternatives, opportunities and challenges of connecting these sections. To follow and/or participate in this process – including taking a useful survey – visit this brand new County website: owtrailsullivancounty.weebly.com