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    Spring into Spring 

    Now that what seemed like “the winter that would never end” is truly behind us, it’s time to get outdoors and take advantage of all the wonderful places we have in the Hudson Valley for biking, walking, hiking, running, and even picnicking. There are enough places close enough that you and your family could choose a new place or two to explore every week from now until the fall.

    We are so fortunate to have, right here in the school district, the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail which runs from Gardiner to Kingston. Instead of always going to the same place, pick different sections along the more than 20 miles of trail.

    Have you taken a walk or a ride across the over 100 year old trestle in Rosendale? The views up high over the creek are amazing.

    How many of the different hiking trails have you been on at the Mohonk Preserve or at Minnewaska?

    Outside of New Paltz, not too far away, are many locations where you can walk, run, or bike for free. Just south of Gardiner in Wallkill is the Walden-Wallkill Rail Trail which is partially paved. If you have little ones learning to ride their bikes, strollers to push, or even family members in wheelchairs, the trails of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail (HVRT) and the Walkway Over the Hudson are not only paved, but don’t have roads which cross the trail.

    Did you know that the Walkway now connects to 13 miles on the Dutchess County Rail Trail? You can ride from one end of the HVRT across the Walkway to the DCRT for about 18 miles. Just to the south side of the Mid-Hudson Bridge is Franny Reese State Park. North of Highland off of Rt. 9W is the Black Creek Forest Preserve in Esopus. If you don’t mind going across the river, you can walk the grounds of Locust Grove and the Samuel Morse Estate just south of the bridge or travel north to the FDR Estate and Mills Mansion.

    Even further from New Paltz but still in Ulster County are all kinds of trails that can be used for hiking, biking, and mountain biking. The Hurley Rail Trail extends from the Kingston town line down to Stone Ridge and is partially paved. To the west are the Catskill Mountains with its numerous trails and the beautiful Ashokan Reservoir.

    We couldn’t live in a more beautiful area which attracts people here just because of all of these outdoor opportunities. Challenge yourself and your family to go to one new place each weekend and you won’t be disappointed. Remember as long as you have a good pair of shoes you can walk!

    Suzanne Sliwa
    Lenape Physical Education Teacher    

    How to keep your family active in the winter

    Have the endless doldrums of winter begun to affect you and your family?  Get outside and enjoy some physical activity together.  Build a snow man or a snow fort, go sleigh riding, go for a walk in the woods and enjoy the beauty and peacefulness after a fresh snow fall. One fairly inexpensive idea is to try snow shoeing. Snow shoes can be rented locally or purchased for a small cost. All you need to snow shoe is a few inches of snow and any open field or woods. Snow shoes strap onto any boots...so just put on some layers of clothes, strap on a pair of snow shoes and start walking! It takes a few minutes to get use to taking a slightly wider stance walking but you will quickly go from a beginner to feeling comfortable. Poles are not necessary although some people prefer them for balance. Don’t let the cold stop you because you will get warm as you move. 

    Suzanne Sliwa
    Lenape Physical Education Teacher