Help build the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail
The communities along the old D&H rail line running from Voorheesville to the Port of Albany have a unique opportunity to turn an unused rail bed into a multi-use trail for active transportation and recreation.
Helping lead these efforts alongside Albany County is the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and its volunteer committee Friends of the Rail Trail (FORT). Our mission is to support and promote the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail to ensure its enjoyment by residents and visitors of all ages.
In June 2011, we worked closely with the Town of Bethlehem and Albany County, to open a 1.9 mile segment for pedestian use. FORT volunteers committed hours of time to help prepare the trail for opening. In November a Trail Ambassador Program was initiated by FORT. Trail ambassadors walk the trail at least weekly to help keep it clean, to report any maintenance needs and to greet other trail users.
In June 2012, a similar arrangement with Albany County, Town of New Scotland, and the Village of Voorheesville was signed for another 2.4 mile segment of the trail. Thanks to the completion of important bridge work on the Rt155 Bridge and the Vly Creek Bridge in October 2013, this new section will be opened to the public following a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, December 7, 2013. Please refer to our news page for updates on the party. Finacial support for the bridge work was provided by a $10,000 grant from the Voorheesville Community and School Foundation.
We are now looking for new trail ambassadors for this new section on Voohreesville. Contact the MHLC office for more information or to sign up.
Work continues on developing signs, interpretive material on the trail, as well as amenities such as benches. Funding for this work was provide by a grant from the Hudson River Valley Greenway.>
Albany County is moving forward with plans to open the segment from the Albany to Delmar. Once completed this segment will allow bicycles. This is the most scenic section of the trail as well as one of the most difficult to complete. It contains an old tressel railroad bridge across the Normans Kill.
While much of this information is dated, please visit Albany County Rail Trail website for background and the history of this rail project.
Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy's Friends of the Rail Trail committee represents a synthesis of several groups that have strongly advocated for the trail's development as well as more recent trail enthusaists who have joined the effort. More importantly, we're also members of your community. We're your friends, neighbors and the folks who support our local businesses.
Much work still needs to be done to open the entire trail, but significant progress is being made. When completed by Albany County, the Rail Trail will connect the Village of Voorheesville with the City of Albany, running nine miles through the towns of New Scotland and Bethlehem. It will be a crown jewel of these communities for generations to come.
There are several ways you can get involved now. With your support WE WILL make the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail a reality!
If you would like to help, please let us know. To volunteer, please e-mail RailTrailFriends@gmail.com.
You can support our efforts with a tax-deductible donation. Note: Please be sure to specify "FORT" in the comments section when you donate on-line here, or in the memo line of your check if you mail in your donation (to FORT Committee,) MHLC, PO Box 567, Slingerlands, NY 12159.
The Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail is open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk from Veterans Memorial Park in Delmar to Slingerlands. We hope you will enjoy a leisurely stroll along the trail.
Communities across the country have found great success turning old rail lines into trails. From coast to coast rail trails are receiving rave reviews as excellent resources for healthy, vibrant communities.
- Trails promote sustainable transportation and lessen traffic and pollution
- Trails help revitalize neighborhoods, support local businesses and raise property values
- Community and family are at the heart of the American trail experience. Trails build connections and strenghten communities
- Well-designed trails transform "community" from an abstraction into a real place.
- Trails promote health and fitness by providing safe surroundings for families to enjoy active lifestyles
FORT would like to thank the following businesses and groups that are already supporting FORT and its vision for the Albany County Rail Trail:
- Voorheesville Community and School Foundation
- Parks & Trails New York
- Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce
- Bryant Asset Management
- Mad Dog Bicycles, Delmar
- New York Bicycling Coalition
- Albany Bicycle Coalition
- Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club
- New Scotlanders for Sound Economic Development (NS4SED)