The First Highway: Huguenot Homesteads from
This year's focus on the Town of New Paltz coincides with the year-long celebration our 30th Anniversary. The closing reception will be held at a private farm on the Land Trust’s first easement. The tour will explore the fascinating legacy of New Paltz’s Huguenots and their expansion northward along the eastern banks of the Wallkill River to Bontecoe on the Esopus border. The “Patentees” - as the first dozen settlers were called – built their houses on the terrace above the Wallkill River where vistas sweep west to the Shawangunk Mountains. Their descendants moved beyond New Paltz to cultivate the rich alluvial soil of the floodplain.
The tour begins with a special program at Historic Huguenot Street. Also featured are seven of the town's important houses and farms from the early 18th century and the mid-20th. All were either built by Huguenot descendants or upon Huguenot lands. Included are early stone houses, a 1930s Federal-style stone dwelling, a stunning brick Greek revival beauty, a fanciful late 19th century manor house, and a soaring labrynthine barn converted for modern living.
**Although each house will have guides and docents, it is recommended that you drive (carpool, if possible) or bike from location to location.**
Help support the ongoing maintenance of the Rosendale Trestle by donating to this campaign of the Wallkill Valley Land Trust. Celebrate a loved one, a memory, or show your business support through your design.
For a donation of $1,500 or more, you decide what you want on your plaque, and work with our designer to ensure the text and/ or image meets your expectations.
The one of a kind Trestle plaques are a bronzed 4 ¾” x 4 ¾ “ and 3/16” thick. The recessed surface is patinaed, and the entire plaque lacquer sealed. Each plaque is riveted to the Corten-steel railings, spaced apart (approximately 8 feet).
In 2009, the Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) in partnership with the Open Space Institute (OSI), acquired 11.5 miles of rail trail between the towns of New Paltz and Kingston, NY. This acquisition almost doubled the length of the original Wallkill Valley Rail Trail which WVLT holds conservation easements on. The highlight of the 2009 purchase was the iconic 940-foot-long Rosendale Railroad Trestle.
After a $1.5 million renovation, the Rosendale Trestle opened to in 2013 providing the most spectacular vista on the scenic Rail Trail. While the Trestle is only a short walk from the Town of Rosendale, and is clearly visible from many Main Street businesses, it spans 150 feet above Route 213 and Rondout Creek. Access into the Town from the Trestle and extension of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail exists via a busy County Road with limited sidewalks, and small shoulders - making pedestrian access a challenge!
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