Protecting Open Space and Trails in Orange County

February 07, 2018
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Protecting Open Space and Trails in Orange County
Highlands Trail blaze in Goosepond Mountain State Park. Photo by Sona Mason.


From improvements on the Highlands Trail to land preservation, exciting things are happening in and around Goosepond Mountain State Park.

In August, the Trail Conference acquired a piece of undeveloped land in Chester, N.Y., that is key to ongoing efforts to create a greenway from Sterling Forest to Storm King state parks in Orange County. The 14.3-acre parcel is an important step in forming a corridor for the Highlands Trail between Goosepond Mountain State Park and the Appalachian Trail corridor in Sterling Forest. Preservation of this land will allow the Trail Conference to eliminate a dangerous section of road walk on the Highlands Trail.

The Highlands Trail is a 182-mile-long route that extends from Pennsylvania to Connecticut. It highlights the natural beauty of the Highlands region, linking scenic and historic attractions in New York and New Jersey along the way. The Trail is a cooperative effort of state and local governments, local businesses, the Trail Conference, and other conservation organizations.

The Trail Conference continues to focus its conservation efforts on protecting trails and trail lands, with an emphasis on long-distance trails such as the Highlands Trail. The Trail Conference will hold this parcel until it is sold to the state for permanent protection.

We are thankful for the efforts of our volunteers and partner organizations, including Open Space Institute and Orange County Land Trust, who work diligently with the Trail Conference to identify and acquire properties that are important to trail protection.