I shared the below information regarding things to do on the Orange Heritage Trail, also known as the "Rail Trail" previously. The trail is a 15 mile route that stretches from Monroe, NY to Goshen and is mostly paved and flat, passing through Monroe, Chester and Goshen.
Currently, the northern end of the trail is in Goshen, NY, but talk has existed for years about the potential for the trail to be extended even further north to Middletown, NY. Yesterday, on December 10th, 2015, the Orange County Industrial Development Agency board approved a $1 million grant to help pay for the construction to expand the trail. In addition, on the same date, the state approved a $500K grant for the same purpose. The project does not appear to be fully funded yet, but progress is moving forward with this ten mile expansion of a wonderful Orange County resource.
The below information has been shortened from the original blog (click here to review original post in its entirety).
Walking and Running: One of the most obvious uses is to take an afternoon stroll or a healthy run.
Bicycling: Bicyclists use this trail often. Going from end to end would provide a nearly 30 mile round trip ride.
Dog walking: The rail trail is a great place to take your dogs for a walk (just remember the doggie poo bags!).
Historical aspect: Along the full length of the trail are not only corn and wheat fields, but a few historical stops: There is a saber fighter jet in the Monroe Airplane Park, a restored stone train station and museum in Chester, as well as a cemetery from the 1800s along the way.
Marathons and other races: There are often races and charitable walks that start at the Park & Ride in Monroe. 5K runs happen throughout the year.
Flora and Fauna: If checking out plants and animals is more your style, there are various trees, flowers, berries, birds and butterflies for investigation.
Picnics: Another fun idea would be to start on the north end, and bike down to the Monroe gooseponds area for a picnic.
Cross Country Skiing: In the winter, the trail is not cleared of snow. Usage declines dramatically although there are still some people who continue to walk through the winter. However, because it's basically snow covered, the trail becomes a great place for cross country skis.
The bottom line, there is plenty to do year-round on the Monroe NY to Goshen NY (and eventually Middletown NY) Heritage Trail. Take advantage of the gorgeous weather we've been having and get out there and check it out!