South County Trailway

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South County Trailway
Old Put enters VCP 2008 jeh.jpg
Looking south as paved South County Trailway ends and enters, unpaved, Van Cortlandt Park.
Length 14.1 mi (22.7 km)
Location Westchester County, New York
Trailheads Van Cortlandt Park
Eastview, New York
Use Hiking, Cycling
Hiking details
Website Westchester County Parks

The South County Trailway is a 14.1-mile (22.7 km) long rail trail stretching from the Putnam Trail in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to the North County Trailway in East View, New York. Westchester County Parks constructed the trailway in segments beginning in 1990 and completed it on October 31, 2017.[1][2]

The South County Trailway was constructed mostly along the main line of the former New York and Putnam Railroad railbed in Westchester County, New York (also known as "Westchester").[3] In East View it connects to the North County Trailway. Much of the trail is in the Saw Mill River floodplain, although the southern portion runs along Tibbetts Brook. The Putnam Division provided freight and passenger service from 1881 to 1958 between the Bronx and Putnam County. The railroad served 23 stations in Westchester. Historic marker plaques have been placed at most of the former stations.[citation needed]

The Trailway has become a bicycle commuter route for Westchester residents traveling to jobs in business centers in Elmsford, Getty Square in Yonkers, the Bronx, and Manhattan. The Trailway is not illuminated at night or plowed in winter, making commuting along it difficult but not impossible.[4][5] Despite initial opposition to the trailway, it has become one of Westchester's most popular parks. A new development in Hastings-on-Hudson included a pedestrian bridge over the Saw Mill River connecting it to the trailway.[6] [7]. Westchester County Parks embarked on construction projects in 2015 and 2017 to close gaps in the trailway.[8] and again in August 2017.[9]

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a knitting together of multiple trails in New York State into the 750 mile long Empire State Trail, and the draft plan as of August 1, 2017 calls for inclusion of the South County Trailway in it.[10]

A controversy developed in 2013 with the announcement that Westchester County planned to put sponsorship signage along the trail. This plan was canceled shortly after the announcement, after opposition arose.[11]

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Coordinates: 41°3′48″N 73°49′9″W / 41.06333°N 73.81917°W / 41.06333; -73.81917