Marbletown acquires land for High Falls creek walk - BlueStone Press
November 13, 2019
News

Marbletown acquires land for High Falls creek walk

Parcel transferred from state DOT

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The Town of Marbletown now owns the land across the street from the D&H Canal Five Locks Walk, up until the spot where it connects to land owned by Central Hudson closer to the falls. 
This project has been in the works for years and, at the end of 2018, got far enough along that the Marbletown Town Board approved the potential land transfer, as reported in the Jan. 3 issue of the BlueStone Press.
“The state gave us a right of way last year,” town supervisor Rich Parete said in December. "They want to deed the property .. .to the town. This would give us ownership.”
Now, the potential transfer is a reality.
This new town-owned section is part of a "creek walk" plan to connect the High Falls hamlet center to the bridge over the Rondout Creek and, from there, to the O&W Rail Trail.
“It's great that the town officially owns the creek walk property," Parete said. “The High Falls Conservancy started the process with the town about five years ago. They stuck with it. It's going to be a great benefit for our residents."
Back in 2014, the High Falls Conservancy identified a New York State Department of Transportation right of way – the land just transferred to Marbletown – and began talks with the DOT, according to an Aug. 5 news release from the conservancy.
The goal was to convert the land into a pathway linking the O&W Rail Trail to the center of High Falls and to the D&H Canal Museum's Five Locks Walk, the release said.
“After many site visits with DOT and Marbletown, meetings, phone calls, letters, map analysis, and review by many DOT departments, on August 1, 2019, the NYS Department of Transportation transferred title to this land to the Town of Marbletown, for use as a pathway,” the release said.
Parete said there was a real estate closing, and the town now officially has the property.
“We want to thank the High Falls Conservancy (and) Richard and Carol (Eppley)," Parete said. 
“We'll officially keep that property,” he said. “One of the stipulations is that if the town ever restricts access to that road (path), it reverts back to the state."
Parete specified the town could restrict vehicular traffic, but not folks on foot.
“We can't restrict pedestrian access,” he said.
Down the road, there are more plans for this area, according to the news release: “Today, the ‘Creek Walk’ is a beautiful pathway down by the Rondout – look for future improvements," it reads.
Perhaps to help visualize future additions, a map from the conservancy website shows other potential creek walk features. The map, submitted with a January $50,000-grant application to the Doppelt Foundation Rails to Trails to help fund proposed creek walk features, is posted in a creek walk blog on the conservancy website.
For more information, see www.thehighfallsconservancy.org

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