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Built on the former Erie Railroad main line, the 15-mile Heritage Trail runs through the small Orange County towns of Goshen, Chester, Monroe, and Harriman. The shaded trail runs through different landscapes as it weaves through the area’s villages and towns, ideal for a quick bite or gift shopping. Orange County is working to extend the trail to the city of Middletown, roughly 4.8 miles northwest of the current Hartley Road endpoint and 7 miles northwest of Goshen.
Starting at Hartley Road in Goshen, trail users can find limited parking for two or three cars. The trail starts off narrow and has a rural feel to it, with a compacted earth and crushed-limestone surface. In 0.9 mile, the trail crosses 6½ Station Road, where alternative parking is available. At this junction, trail users can also find the first of several scenic attractions along the trail. Here, nature lovers will enjoy passing through the 62-acre 6½ Station Sanctuary, a marshland that’s home to more than 200 species of birds.
A mile after crossing 6½ Station Road, the trail passes beneath busy NY 17 as it approaches the town of Goshen. This mostly on-road section of trail is not very clearly marked, but in Goshen it changes to a paved, 10-foot-wide trail. As you travel through Goshen, you’ll pass Good Time Park, a mile-long racetrack that hosted the Hambletonian Stakes horse race 1930–1956. For parking here, follow signs for St. James Place.
About 7 miles from the northern endpoint as you approach the town of Chester is the historical Chester Depot Museum. Owned and operated by the Chester Historical Society, the museum has become a convening place for charity walks, community cookouts, yard sales, and general community gatherings. The museum has parking, restrooms, and food.
Next the trail passes over several streams and brooks, including Seely Brook and Youngs Brook. The green fields and residential areas by this section of trail make the ride more enjoyable. As the trail approaches the town of Monroe, it passes Orange-Rockland Lake to the left at 10.8 miles. Just before the southern endpoint at Mary Harriman Park, you’ll pass the playgrounds at Airplane Park and traverse a wooded stretch on your way to the village of Harriman.
To reach limited parking at the northern endpoint, take I-84 to Exit 3E for US 6/NY 17M E toward Goshen, and merge onto US 6 E. In 1.6 miles, turn left onto County Road 50, followed by a slight right in 0.6 mile onto Echo Lake Road. In 1.2 miles, turn right onto Hartley Road. In 0.2 mile, a small parking lot and the northern endpoint both come up on the left.
To reach parking near Good Time Park in Goshen, take I-84 to Exit 4E for NY 17 E toward New York City. Merge onto NY 17 E (which later joins US 6 E). In 5.0 miles, take Exit 124 for NY 207/NY 17A toward Florida/Goshen. Turn right onto NY 17A W/NY 207 E/Greenwich Ave., following signs for Goshen. In 0.8 mile, turn right onto Green St., and in 0.1 mile turn left onto St. James Pl., where there is a parking lot.
To reach parking at Airplane Park (also known as Crane Park) in Monroe from I-87, take Exit 16. Merge onto NY 17, and immediately take the first exit toward Nininger Road. Continue straight onto Nininger Road, and go 1.9 miles. Turn left onto Bakertown Road, and go 0.5 mile. Make a slight right to continue on Bakertown Road, and go 0.8 mile. Turn left onto Mapes Pl. In 0.1 mile turn right onto Carpenter Pl., and go 0.2 mile. Continue onto Lake St. Take the first right onto Millpond Pkwy., and go 0.4 mile to find parking on the right.
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