We are some of the luckiest people in the America. Living in the Hudson Valley gives us the privilege of be surrounded by some amazing outdoor areas with an unbelievable amount of beautiful outdoor space to enjoy. More and more of us are discovering the trails and parks in our community now that we can't travel to far from home. That being said it is important we don't take all this beautiful country for granted.

One of the most interesting trails that just recently open to the public is called the River to Ridge also known as the R2R. The Open Space Institute refers to it as "a striking trail that showcases decades of conservation". The trail head starts at 41 Springtown Road at the Wallkill River just west of the Village of New Paltz. It's 6 mile loop offers a well groomed trail that links the flat 22 mile Wallkill Rail Trail with the 90 miles of trails that traverse the top of the Shawangunk Ridge.

It is truly a gift that we have this kind of trail available to us for recreation but it is also important for us to realize that very often trails like this cut through or run adjacent to private property. Today the R2R shared a post on their Facebook page that serves as a reminder to all of us using any of the Hudson Valley green ways that we need to be mindful of others and pick up after ourselves.

For the most part I find that people are respectful of our beautiful sights in the Hudson Valley but it is important that we keep in mind something some one once said to me about using the outdoors. He said "make sure you leave it better than you found it".  That doesn't mean we need to be everyone's trash collector but it is important we don't leave our trash behind.

This idea also goes for using the trails. Staying on designated trails is important for many reasons. The two that are top of mind for me are, one, off the trail maybe private property and trespassing is never a great idea. The second reason to stray on the trail is to prevent destroying the natural environment around the path. If everyone wandered off the trail it would eventually lead to damage that could result in altering some the ecosystems and views we have come to enjoy while using the trails.

Happy wandering and remember to pack out what you pack in and to quote one of my favorite horror films "stick to the roads and stay off the moors"

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