This morning we set off on our bicycles down the Orange County Heritage Trail which runs from Monroe NY, through Chester NY and ends in Goshen NY.
In the early 1990s, construction of a paved trail was started in Goshen, NY and it was built along the old Erie railroad tracks. Work on the trail was completed in 2003 in Monroe. The current trail is about 11 miles from end to end, although additional trail may be added in the future. The trail is used by walkers, runners, skateboarders and bicycllists. Today we fell into the last category.
The weather was in the 60s with bright sun – a perfect morning for biking.
We started in Monroe, NY – the entrance to the trail can be found off Goosepond Turnpike, near the Monroe Airport Park. This is off exit 130 of Route 17.
The trail is fairly level, with very little in the way of hills, so it’s easy to find a nice pace and keep at it.
Most of the trail is surrounded by forest and farm lands, with only a few houses and industrial buildings evident. In general, it’s a very pretty ride with lots of shade. The trail is in good shape, with any bumps outlined with paint, so it’s easy to keep the bikes upright! The ride takes you past corn fields and onion fields, with a few streams thrown in as well.
We pedaled and pedaled, and by the time we got to Chester, I was already feeling a bit tired (but certainly was NOT going to admit it!). We passed the end of the still active portion of the rail line where a train was parked, probably getting maintenance of some sort. We passed the Chester Depot, and continued on.
After 3 or more miles, we came to a sign that the trail was closed. I thought we might turn around at that point, but ohhhh, my helpful biking companion knew the way around on the main streets so we could get back to the trail where it was still open… Lucky Me!!! As we pedaled our way through the detour I noticed we were going downhill and thought coming back might be a bit tough, but of course I was game. I’m not a quitter.
So we pedaled and pedaled, and got back on the trail and eventually made it to the end of the line for us, which was in Goshen, NY, near exit 125 off Route 17. We stopped for a brief moment, got back on our bikes and turned around.
It was a nine mile trip there, so…. you guessed it…. it was another 9 miles back.
The return trip (except for the one obvious hill on the detour) seemed to be on a slight incline, although it looked flat. Maybe it just felt a bit harder to pedal since my thighs were already a bit tired.
So we pedaled and enjoyed the gorgeous end of summer air and less than 2 hours after leaving, we arrived safely back at the Monroe Airport Park.
I would definitely suggest taking advantage of the Fall weather that is on its way. If you haven’t enjoyed the Heritage Trail lately, get on your feet or skateboard or bike, and have fun!
Now I think I need a nap.