Orange Heritage Trailway

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Orange Heritage Trailway
Heritage Trail mile 4.5.jpg
Orange Heritage Trailway near Chester, New York
Length 12.2 mi (19.6 km)
Location Orange County, New York
Trailheads
  • St James Place, Goshen
  • Chester Train Station, Chester
  • Park-N-Ride, Monroe
  • Millpond Parkway, Monroe

The Orange Heritage Trailway is a 12.2-mile (19.6 km)[1] rail trail in Orange County, New York, that runs along the roadbed of the Erie Railroad Main Line from Monroe to a point halfway between Goshen and Middletown, New York.

History[edit]

Norfolk Southern freight train with parallel Orange Heritage Trailway.

The former Erie Railroad main line turns northwest at a junction and tracks terminate at the defunct Nepera Chemical plant in the village of Harriman. The undeveloped roadbed continues approximately two miles through Harriman and Monroe. The paved begins in Airplane Park in Monroe.

The Erie built a freight bypass that continues north at the junction in Harriman, used by Metro-North's Port Jervis line and freight operator Norfolk Southern Railway. This longer route was the preferred route when local opposition to Metro-North caused the historically important Erie Main Line to be abandoned from Harriman to Middletown.

The rail trail also passes an abandoned Erie branch line in Greycourt that passes through Washingtonville and rejoins the Erie Newburgh Shortcut at Vails Gate Junction in Vails Gate.

The trail earned the designation of "National Recreation Trail" in June 2007.[2]

Trail death[edit]

In 1999, Paul Harnisch, an assistant district attorney for Orange County, was charged with murder for striking two skaters, killing one of them, while driving illegally on the trail in the Chester area. Harnish drove for a half-mile with the dead skater on the hood of his vehicle.[3] He was found not guilty for reason of insanity and remanded to the custody of a psychiatric hospital for a period of years.[4][5][6][7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]