The state provided a holiday boost to plans for a new welcome center at Walkway Over the Hudson, the nearly 7,000-foot long public trail that spans the Hudson River on a former rail bridge between Dutchess and Ulster counties.
Walkway Over the Hudson, the nonprofit that supports the state park, announced it will receive a $500,000 state grant through the annual Consolidated Funding Application process. The money will help pay for a welcome center at the east entrance to the trail in Poughkeepsie.
The project is expected to cost $3 million and open by spring 2019. The welcome center will feature permanent rest rooms, a covered gathering area for up to 40 people, water fountains, benches, lighting and landscaping among its amenities.
The welcome center will be next to the walkway’s east side parking lot and at the juncture between the walkway and the Dutchess County Rail Trail, a 12.5-mile public rail trail that brings thousands of additional hikers, cyclists and tourists to the park. Walkway Over the Hudson draws about 500,000 visitors annually, according to the nonprofit.
In August, New York State Parks broke ground on a $4.5 million welcome center on the Ulster County side of the walkway across the river, which is expected to be completed this spring.