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Signals News and notes from the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association Highland, NY 12528 Volume 11 Number 1


Rail Trail Offers Four Events This Spring As A Welcome Escape From Winter Woes Tired of the long Winter we have had? So are we. What better way to forget the epic piles of snow than to come to the Hudson Valley Rail Trail this Spring. We have four events or activities planned. They make use of the trail in various ways and bring you to the great outdoors.

Our popular MoonWalk returns for a Springtime version, Friday April 11

with the walks from 8 PM to 10 PM at the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Pavilion at 101 New Paltz Road (Rain Date April 12). Registration starts at 7:30 PM.

In This Issue

Four Springtime Events..................1 . . . More Info Inside...........................7 President’s Message........................2 Did You Know?.......................................2 Policy On Trail Closures......................3 Calendar for 2014.............................3 WinterFest & Our Volunteers........4 . . . Tykes Had the Most Fun............5 Plans For Our Two Cabooses........6

As in past MoonWalks, you will be free to roam the trail after dark on your own. And there will be a roaring bonfire to take away any chill of an early Spring evening. In addition, we will have guided walks where you can learn about the creatures that come out at night. That’s why we have named this The Jeepers Peepers MoonWalk for the sounds you will hear. These guided tours will be led by Boy Scouts Troop 70 and nature experts Dan McGuirk, Laura Heady and Stephen Stanne. You may have enjoyed the daylight experts-led tour of the trail’s flora and fauna that was part of our Annual Rail Trail Association Meeting last June. Entrance fee is $5. Children 6 and under are free. Please bring a flashlight and leave pets home.

The Learn to Run Program begins its Spring Class on April 12 at 9 AM at the Pavil-

ion at 101 New Paltz Road. This is the 16th season for this highly successful program that has graduated some 150 runners to date. In 10 weeks it brings people who have never run before to being able to run 20 minutes non-stop. All a person needs is the ability to walk briskly for 20 minutes or so and a desire to learn The first week lesson has participants doing sets of (continued

on page 7)

President’s Message After a long, cold and bitter winter, I am sure everyone is looking forward eagerly to Spring and all that it has to offer. In fact, we are very anxious to have you join us at our newest event, “Jeepers Creepers”. Sure to be a crowd pleaser as you experience the sights and sounds of the evening while walking in the moon light along the rail trail. Bringing this event to our trail is HVRTA Director Chrissy Wolcott.


There’s a short-cut down from the Rail Trail to the Hamlet of Highland less than a mile from Walkway. It takes you along a roaring

stream to restaurants and shops. Look for it to your Right when you come to a compound of buildings as seen below.

Another crowd pleaser and just in time to enjoy the warmer Spring air, is the 10 week Learn to Run Program under the leadership of HVRTA Director Rafael Diaz. HVRTA Corresponding Secretary Susan Van De Bogart is once again heading up our Spring Run, “Armed Forces Weekend Run 4 Our Warriors”. A very special run to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association. And don’t forget the Annual Meeting scheduled for National Trails Day – June 7. Please check the newsletter for additional information about each of these events. And please mark your calendar to join us. WinterFest 2014 was another successful event under HVRTA Director Lauriann Marion’s chairmanship. We truly appreciate Lauriann and all she does to make our trail special. In closing, special thanks to Highway Superintendent Richie Klotz who personally managed to plow the trail during this long and snowy winter. We truly appreciate Richie and his staff for assisting with the maintenance of our trail. As always, I thank you for your continued support –

Claire Claire R. Costantino, President Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association, Inc.


Signals Hudson Valley Rail Trail Assoc. 12 Church Street Highland, NY 12528 Editor: Rafael Díaz

HVRTA BOARD MEMBERS: President Claire Costantino Vice President Eric Norberg Treasurer Marie Sidgwick Recording Secretary Loretta Miller Corresponding Secretary Susan Van De Bogart Ray Costantino Rafael Díaz Ed Hopper Lauriann Marion Wendy Rosinski Chrissy Wolcott


Policy On Trail Closures Rail Trail Events In 2014

The Hudson Valley Rail Trail continues to attract community and other organizations that wish to use it for fund-raisers. For the last several years the main thrust of this has been use of our parking lot at 75 Haviland Road as part of events on Walkway Over The Hudson. But now the requests are spreading out to use of the Rail Trail itself. This raises an issue regarding when to close the trail for such events. Last Fall, the High School Interact Club (it’s a high school level Rotary Club) asked to have a fun race to raise funds for their community service projects. As we have done with our own races, we closed the trail to other users during the times of the Interact one. This year we already have two similar events approved: April 27 for the Highland Library’s “One Sweet Run” from 75 Haviland Road to the Rotary Pavilion; and May 9 for Highland Middle School PTA’s “Who Let The Huskies Out” 5K Race & 1 Mile Fun Run from the Pavilion to Tony Williams Park.

Concerns About Closing the Trail

We started to get concerned about closing the trail and turning other people away. So many count on their outings on our Rail Trail and new users are coming all the time. After some discussion by our Rail Trail board we decided that the general norm now will be to keep the trail open whenever possible. Notice of the event will be posted a week earlier. On the day of the event, monitors, who will be provided by the organization, will be stationed at access points. They will be under our direction. People coming to the trail will be informed that an event is going on and to proceed with caution. In particular, cyclists will be reminded of rail trail rules regarding them and dog walkers will be asked to be careful with their dogs and leash lengths. There will be exceptions. On June 29 BikeNY is having an event that involves 2,000 riders. While BikeNY is known for promoting safe & courteous cycling, those numbers are overwhelming and would be uncomfortable to be around on foot. The Rail Trail will be closed for their exclusive use from around 8 AM to Noon on that day. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The Rail Trail welcomes organizations using our trail and facilities. For a special use application form, contact Claire Costantino at or phone (845) 691-2066.

Jeepers Peepers MoonWalk April 11, 7:30-10PM: Begins at 101 New Paltz Road.

Chance to walk Rail Trail at night. $5 admission includes bonfire, refreshments, guided tour (Rain date, April 12. )

Learn to Run Program starts April 12 at 9AM at the Depot. A 10 week program that

will make a runner of you, whether old or young, able to run 20 minutes nonstop. Meet at Rail Trail Depot at 101 New Paltz Road.

Armed Forces Weekend, Run 4 Our Warriors 4-Mile Race/2-Mile Walk, May 18, 8AM: Starts at 75 Haviland Road. Benefits Wounded Warriors and Rail Trail Association.

Annual Membership Breakfast Meeting June 7, 9AM. Celebrate National Trail

Day, hear about Rail Trail developments and elect directors. At depot at 101 New Paltz Road.

MoonWalk October 11, 7:00-9:00PM:

Begins at 101 New Paltz Road. Chance to walk Rail Trail at night. $5 admission includes bonfire, refreshments, storyteller & local scary history by HHS drama class.

Move Your Caboose Fun Run/Walk, October 11. Starts at 101 New Paltz Road. or

Hudson Valley Rail Trail Gala - An Evening Under the Stars! October 11, starts at 6PM. Our major fund-raising

event. On the lawn and pavilion of The Would Restaurant at 120 North Road in Highland. Expanded cocktail reception with substantial hors d’oeuvres plus wine, beer & spirits with dancing under the night sky. Cocktail-attire event, rain or star-shine. $80 per person.

HudsonFest, October 12, 10AM to 5PM. A festival on the Rail Trail to celebrate

what Valley has to offer with a focus on the arts, artisans, crafts people, farmers, wineries, local restaurants, food vendors, distilleries, breweries, agri-business, non-profits and community service organizations. Entrance at 75 Haviland Rd.

WinterFest, February, 2015, 11AM2PM. Chili cook-off by various restaurants,

chain-saw carving demonstration, roasted chestnuts and toasted marshmallows. Hay rides on the trail, kids activities. 101 New Paltz Road.



WinterFest Owed Much To Volunteers This year’s WinterFest, like all of our Rail Trail events, depended on volunteers from community groups and many individuals to make it happen. Their willing hands helped set up and later break down the event. They also staffed admissions, served food and beverages, kept a roaring fire going to toast marshmallows and keep roasted chestnuts warm, and organized a constant flow of activities to entertain adults and kids alike.

Lowe’s Staff in Wood Projects Tent . . .

. . . And Budding Carpenter At Work

Girl Scouts Set Up Sack Pitch Game

Highland Rotarians Dish Out Chili

H.S. Interact Club Help Make Snowmen

Boy Scout Leader & Roasted Chestnuts Pot 4

Businesses also lent a hand. Lowe’s sent a crew of their associates with tools and materials for kids to make several wooden projects. Dubois Farms provided a tractor and wagon for rides on the trail. Some 20 restaurants donated pots of chili for the Best of the Valley contest. People voted the new Walkway Cafe in Highland top honors in the meat chili category and the New Paltz Bagel Cafe won the best veggie chili. (Continued on page 5)

Chainsaw Bear Carves out a Creation

Scouts Organize Broom Hockey Game


Dubois Farms Wagon Ride Not Just For People Volunteers (continued from page 4) Pictured on these two pages (4&5) are just some of the groups and individuals that made the event a success with over 750 people coming to enjoy a winter’s day on the Rail Trail. Even a congressman stopped by and stayed for several hours. It was that good a day.

Volunteer Andrew Richard MC’s Activities Like in the case of other Rail Trail events, our board members lead the way. For WinterFest it was Lauriann Marion in her third turn organizing this.

(We like to thank Rick Ness who contributed all the photos in this article and in box below.)

WinterFest: A day for kids In recent years, WinterFest has moved from something mainly for adults to a festival for children, including tykes like these. This extra feature is thanks to Rail Trail board member Susan Van De Bogart and the army of volunteers she has gathered.



We Are Making Plans For Our Cabooses Our Hudson Valley Rail Trail has many reminders of the railroad that once ran through here including signal towers and RR rails set aside in the construction of the trail. The trail is also blessed with not just one, but two cabooses* located about 2 miles apart. We are now in the process of looking into their history, fixing them up and working on plans on what to do with them.

We are pretty certain that they both saw service on our rail line by their type and because

of our location. Both are N5 class of caboose that first started to be built for the Pennsylvania RR circa 1910. This class is distinguished by the style and position of the cupola structure on top. The Penn RR had thousands of miles of track of which we were just a tiny part. But we were central to the movement of goods because we connected to the only bridge crossing for almost the entire length of the Hudson. This historical significance makes the cabooses virtual gems for our rail trail to have.

The Hudson Valley Rail Trail board has set up a caboose subcommittee made up of three

board members and the husband of one board member, respectively, Rafael Diaz, Ray Costantino, Ed Hopper and Ed Miller, who is train buff. The cabooses are in different states of interior configuration. Both have seen alteration from their appearance from when they last saw RR service. So, in each some features are original and others not. What we do with them, in part, will reflect their location.

Haviland Road Caboose

The one at the Haviland Road parking lot (photo to the right) is just a few hundred feet from the west gate of Walkway Over The Hudson. A study conducted by Parks & Trails NY (Signals Spring 2013, p.2) in 2012 found that some 670,000 people pass by that caboose every year. Most of these people have stopped to take pictures of family members on the end deck of the caboose. It is probably the most photographed single spot on our Rail Trail and on Walkwalk itself.

town. The way the interior is laid out, part could feature history displays (and closed for security reasons); the other part could remain more open with tourist information. The Highland Business Association and the Town’s Economic Development Committee have shown interest in the caboose. The Town Historian has plenty of historical photos that could make for an attractive display. That display could be regularly changed. One we could start with are Train Wrecks, of which there were plenty over the last century in Highland. What kid would not want to see that! The interior was recently cleaned up and will be painted by Richie Roza. His fellow Highland Rotarian, Tim Palladino is taking care of fixing the electrics inside. (FYI, three Rail Trail board members are Highland Rotarians. And Rotarians, led by Ray Costantino, created the rail trail in the late 1990s.)

Other Caboose and A Correction

The other caboose at the New Paltz Road parking lot and trailhead generally sees less pass-by-traffic then the one at Haviland Road. It is in good shape inside. We often open it up for events or whenever one of us sees kids scampering on its steps and opens it up for their wonderment. Plans for it are likely to be purely railroad history and lore related. One correction. In an article on this caboose in an earlier Signals newsletter (Spring 2013), we said that the platforms in the cupola were meant as bunks. They were used for trainmen to sit up in for a good view of the rest of the train for fires and other problems. The crew slept on bunks in the lower part of the caboose on the top of storage lockers. *The Haviland Rd. Caboose was donated by Ray & Claire Costantino; the Caboose at 101 New Paltz Rd. was a gift from Ethan & Naomi Jackman.

Because of this high traffic flow and attention it draws, this caboose is a natural for some mix of historic exhibit and tourist information about

places to go in Highland for food & services and to promote the economic draw of our



Spring Trail Events (continued from page 1) 1 minute runs and 2 minute walks for a total of 21 minutes. The next week it goes to 2 minute runs and 2 minute walks. Gradually the running portions increase and the walking breaks get less. Participants need to do homework each week, repeat the week’s lesson three times. The only cost is join the Rail Trail Association; you can do so at the first lesson.

Sunday, May 18 is the Armed Forces Weekend Run 4 Our Warriors Race/Walk

National Trails Day. While the purpose is to elect board members, there is much more to it than that brief part of the event. You will learn of the many things that are happening on the trail in terms of exciting developments and events. We will also be filling you in on our plans for our two cabooses, one of which is right there. Cabooses have always held a fascination with the young and old alike. Here is a change to hear more about their role in history and railroad lore.

Photos this page by Rick Ness

that starts at the 75 Haviland Road parking lot close to Walkway. This is the second time we are doing this on Armed Forces Weekend to benefit Wounded Warriors and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail. The running race is a timed 4-mile event from the Haviland Road Caboose to the Caboose at New Paltz Road and back. The walk event is not timed and is 2 miles roundtrip; it gives people who are not runners a chance to honor wounded warriors in an easier way. Registration is at 8 AM. The race takes off at 9 AM and the walk kicks off at 9:15 AM. Pre-registration by 4/27/2014- 12 years of age and under-$10. 13 years of age and older-$15; Day of Race registration- 12 years of age and under-$20. 13 years of age and older-$25. You can register at our website or at

Our Rail Trail Annual Meeting is on Saturday June 7 starting at 9 AM at the Pavilion at 101 New Paltz Road. It coincides with

Last Year’s Warriors Race Start

Membership Form

The Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating, maintaining, promoting, and improving the Hudson Valley Rail Trail for the benefit of the public. Please help by becoming a member and volunteering your talents. ( You can also join at _____$15 Individual _____ $20 Family _____ $50-$99 Patron ____$100-499 Supporting _____$500 Benefactor Name____________________________________________________________________________________ Address__________________________________________________________________________________ City_______________________State____Zip_________Phone______________ Please email my copy of Signals to E-Mail_____________________

I’d like to volunteer for:

_______Trail Maintenance _______Special Events _______Ecology Projects Please send form and check payable:

______Newsletter ______Fund Raising ______Refreshments

Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association, Inc. 12 Church Street, Highland, New York 12528



Signals ...from the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association

Don’t miss!

Four Rail Trail Events Coming This Spring 2014: MoonWalk, Learn to Run, Wounded Warriors Race/Walk, Annual Trail Meeting April 11, April 12, May 18, June 7 See Page 1 Story for Venues, Times & Details

Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association, Inc. 12 Church Street Highland, New York 12528 ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED


Signals Spring 2014  

Hudson Valley Rail Trail news, events, information, and more!

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