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Empire State Trail Now Accessible From Patterson

Dignitaries celebrate the opening of a new trailhead at Route 311 in Patterson. Photo provided by the Putnam County Executive’s Office.

The new Empire State Trailhead in Patterson officially opened May 15 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony

“This is a proud moment in Patterson,” said Legislator Ginny Nacerino. “This is a great amenity for the residents of Patterson, as well as tourism, and people accessing right it from 84 to come up to this trailhead. We’re anticipating a wonderful spring and summer with a lot of people using the trail.”

The trailhead, located at 629 Route 311 – about two miles northeast of the Interstate 84 exit and on-ramps – shares an entrance with Liberty Paintball.

The county-lead project was a collaborative effort between Putnam’s Department of Planning and Department of Public Works. County Executive Kevin Byrne helped secure grant funding for the trailhead when he was a member of the assembly. Construction was completed by Nicky Diggs Excavation of Carmel.

New parking spaces and a connection to the adjacent Maybrook Trail have finished construction, with the trailhead now accessible for persons with disabilities, and providing features such as signage and pedestrian amenities. The trailhead is a combination of pavement and gravel, with the trail connection at Route 311 being concrete.

“Trying to provide access to the Town of Patterson was a very high priority for our department,” said Commissioner of Planning Barbara Barosa. “Our trail system runs all the way through the county, from Holmes all the way down to Mahopac, but this area didn’t have proper access, so we’re very happy to provide that.”

John Pilner, who took time out of retirement from the planning department to celebrate the ribbon-cutting, was instrumental in its success.

“It’s a pleasure to see something finally concluded after so many years of engineering and planning,” he said. “Originally it was going to look like a trailway with no access to Putnam County residents, so I wanted to establish access points wherever we could. So that Putnam people could actually get onto it and use it, so we’ve accomplished that here, and it’s good to see.”

Deputy Patterson Town Supervisor Shawn Rogan, who is also director of environmental health services for the county’s Department of Health, said he is glad to see a project that promotes health and wellness.

“I think what this represents is an opportunity for people in Putnam County to get outside and to stay healthy,” he said. “We talked with the health department about the mission of making it a more healthy community, and this ties in beautifully with that mission. I think this is a project that works well for not only our residents, but visitors to Putnam County. Having adequate parking spaces and a beautiful location, it keeps people safe, and gives them an opportunity to enjoy Putnam County.”


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