The Kingston Convergence: Restoring Connectivity on Historic Pathways

  |  November 18, 2014
Kingston Point Park's view of the lighthouse on the Hudson. Photo by Kevin Godbey Photography

Kingston Point Park’s view of the lighthouse on the Hudson. Photo by Kevin Godbey Photography

The waters of the Wallkill and Rondout flow in from the south and west to meet the Hudson River on Kingston’s historic waterfront. On the other flank the city fronts on the Esopus Creek, after it leaves the Ashokan Reservoir, one of New York City’s water sources in the Catskills, on its way toward Saugerties.

Kingston is where railroad corridors historically converged. The Wallkill Valley Railroad came in from New Paltz via the Rosendale trestle; the New York, Ontario & Western Railroad came in to Uptown Kingston from Stone Ridge, Hurley, and points southwest; and the Ulster & Delaware Railroad ran up into the Catskill Mountains to move New Yorkers to their summer resorts by the hundreds of thousands annually at the turn of the century.

A transformation is underway in the city as we restore connectivity on these historic pathways. Kingston will be a hub for water trails and rail trails and a great place to live and work. As a first in a series of projects to this end, the Kingston Point Rail Trail is under construction now to link Midtown to the Rondout and Hudson River waterfronts.

By improving the connection between the human and natural environments, Kingston will create a ‘green infrastructure’ that reduces fossil fuel consumption, enables freedom of mobility, encourages more physical activity, allows children to walk or bike to school, reduces traffic congestion, and makes it possible to create economic growth at the same time. For more information check out the Kingston Greenline. As we say in Kingston, “historic is just our beginning.”

About Gregg Swanzey

Gregg Swanzey, a longtime advocate for the Hudson River and the Mid-Hudson Region, first moved to the Rondout neighborhood in Kingston with his family in 1986 fresh off several years as Captain of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Since then, he has crossed the Atlantic three times, served as Executive Director for a gubernatorially appointed Commission in Massachusetts, and traveled to far-flung places such as St. Petersburg, Russia; Reykjavik, Iceland; and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. After four years in City Hall as Director of Economic Development and Strategic Partnerships for the City of Kingston, he has recently come aboard as Executive Director for the Winnakee Land Trust based in Rhinebeck in Northern Dutchess County. On any given day you might see him out jogging on one of several rail trails that converge in Kingston, kayaking the Hudson over to Rhinecliff, biking Uptown to the Farmer’s Market, climbing to the top of Burger Hill in Winnakee's Drayton Grant Park, or hanging out at home in a classic 1920's Dutch Colonial overlooking the Hudson with his wife, Emma. His two daughters live and work in New York City but are regularly up the River for the weekend.

Read more from Gregg Swanzey

Read On, Reader...