Consortium's First ADA-Compliant Trail
On Friday, October 21, 2016, Black Rock Forest Consortium was honored to celebrate the opening of the ADA-accessible Visitor Access Pathway with New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, Doug Hovey of Independent Living, elected officials, and a number of partner organizations and Friends of the Forest. For the past few years, the Consortium had worked to secure a total of $570,000 for this project, including two grants from New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund for two phases of construction.
With the opening of Phase I of the trail, the Consortium celebrates the trail's construction and the succesful fulfillment of state requirements, including a 1-to-1 match of cash, staff and volunteer labor, and in-kind materials. The pedestrian-only trail of crushed stone, similar to a carriage road, extends from the Consortium's public parking lot on Reservoir Road for 1,500 feet through the woods to a scenic area with gorgeous views north to the Shawangunks and Catskills. This approximately 1/3 mile trail is completely accessible to those with mobility impairments. Benches will be installed in two locations on the trail. Families with strollers will also enjoy this new path.
The Phase II pathway will be constructed in late 2017, and will extend from the scenic viewing platform for another 1,400 feet over extremely rugged and steep terrain, ending at Mailey’s Mill Bridge near the Consortium's upper parking lot.
The Visitor Access Pathway will provide a much needed connection to the region’s trail network, allowing visitors to enjoy the Forest’s 23-mile trail network without having to compete with vehicle traffic on the main entrance road. Phase II of this project is awaiting execution of a Grant contract. Construction is estimated to begin in the fall of 2017. We anticipate the completed pathway will be open for public use in the late spring of 2018.