I am writing in support of the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail and firmly against a “no-build” option (Fjord Trail Route May Change, Nov. 19). My professional background is in the field of landscape architecture and I have worked on many projects where our goal was to connect points of access with continuous waterfront access.
Some residents complain that the trail will increase the flow of visitors to Cold Spring without sufficient benefit to the village. The need for safer connections to the trails are clear. There is no way to slow the flow of visitors from the extremely efficient transit link of Metro-North (which is a huge asset to our town’s residents). To ignore the safety risks would be a dereliction of the role of local and state government. Further, a more formalized trail system can address concerns of overuse through signage and ongoing management strategies.
A continuous trail from Cold Spring to Beacon would also have enormous benefit for residents. While we have a lot of visual access to the river and some points where we can explore, there is little to no connectivity between these points. A boat is required to get a sense of longer stretches of the river’s edge.
Creating the Fjord Trail would increase our interactions with the sheer beauty of the river, as well as the ability to see its ecological systems up close. The bike path would improve fitness opportunities; because of winding and narrow roads throughout the area, biking is extremely dangerous and mostly a no-go for young families. An off-road or dedicated path will allow inclusive access to young and old.
The more we are able to interact with the river and are exposed to and understand its science and art, the more benefits we all receive and the greater sense of stewardship we feel.
Liz Campbell Kelly, Cold Spring