Walking on Sunshine: A Walkable Neighborhood

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you enjoy living where you do? Is it because of the nearby amenities and conveniences? Perhaps you prefer to be out in the country because you love the outdoors and live an active lifestyle. The reasons can be as unique the individual but the fact is real estate values increase when there are trails nearby. Trails add so much to the community if you think about it. They are important on many levels which include recreation, transportation routes, and scenic beauty, not to mention the healthy lifestyle benefits. One of the best examples of how a trail can impact the transition of a neighborhood is New York City’s High Line on the far west side of Manhattan. The conversion of an old abandoned railroad bed turned into a pedestrian path transformed an entire neighborhood from a desolate and far removed area into a thriving enclave with new apartment buildings, restaurants, and pocket parks with trees, green space, and a connection to the Hudson River. Real estate prices have skyrocketed since the High Line’s completion and the reason for that is simple. People want convenience and an active lifestyle is a common thread from Baby-Boomers to Millennials. Having this amenity nearby is something that adds value.

The High Line, an aerial greenway, at 20th Street looking downtown; the vegetation was chosen to pay homage to the wild plants that had colonized the abandoned railway before it was repurposed

Right here in our own backyard we are seeing momentum grow as we build the Kingston Greenline. Re-purposing old industrial railroad lines that have been defunct for 40 years or more into bike and pedestrian friendly paths that will connect our neighborhoods, schools, parks, and waterfront will be a very good reason that new families and businesses will want to come here. What will follow will most certainly have an effect on real estate values. The National Association of Realtors recognizes the importance of “Walkable Communities” and how they play a vital role in economic development overall. Their most recent issue of On Common Ground is devoted to urban trails and the impacts they have. This magazine is all about “Smart Growth” and overall community planning. Of course realtors are on the front line and they recognize the impact these trails have.

The Kingston Greenline rail trail at Kingston Point / Hudson River

People travel from around the globe for the opportunity to stand over the Hudson River for world class views from the Walkway Over The Hudson, or to ride through stunning scenery along the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. Soon, for the first time in over 100 years, private lands will be available to the public on the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail that will run through the Ashokan Reservoir lands with views that have inspired many artists over the centuries.  Wouldn’t you like to have all this right out your back door?

Make sure to check out the amazing Kingston Greenline Project Status Map.

Click here to read our recent interview with Andi Turco-Levin.

Interview with Rail Trail Café owners: Tara Johannessen & Brian Farmer

Rail Trail Cafe

Perhaps the last thing you’d expect to find while hiking or biking on a wilderness trail is an adorable organic microgreens-growing cafe. But take a trip down the Wallkill Valley rail trail and that’s exactly what you’ll find. We’re thrilled to talk with Tara Johannessen & Brian Farmer, the owners of the renowned Rail Trail Café, to hear all about this hidden gem. And don’t forget to join us on September 24th when our monthly Weekend Wander series takes to the wheels with a group ride from Kingston to the Rail Trail Café and back (We’re gonna earn that slice)!!!

What made you decide to open the Rail Trail Café?
We wanted to be able to work from home. There seemed to be a need when foot and bike traffic increased with the new extended trail via the trestle bridge. We wanted to create a greater sense of community by creating a local economy. And last, but not least we wanted to sell our organic food and produce.

What was your initial vision when you designed the menu?
Simple nutritious, organic, vegetarian. Something for everyone. A place where kids could come from around the neighborhood and be able to buy a goodie for cheap.

Do you grow much of the food yourselves?
We grow maybe 30 or 40% of the produce. All the kale, tomatoes, herbs, microgreens. And we have sourced some of the micro-greens from Big Little Farm as well.

What are your best sellers at the café?
Rosewater lemonade, salads, and pizza.

What are some of the challenges of serving food in the great outdoors?
The greatest challenges are the rain and severe heat.

Do you do special events?
We’ve had weddings, fundraisers and there’s music every weekend.

What’s your favorite trail in Ulster County?
We really love the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail because its flat, shady and crosses both the Rondout and the Wallkill rivers.

What part of the Kingston Greenline are you most excited about?
All of it.

SPEED ROUND:
Fave Color: The whole spectrum of colors is magnificent!!
Fave Movie: Magnolia
Fave Song: Chenrezig Mantra Song
Fave Food: Micro-greens
Fave Book: “The Red Book” by Carl Jung

For more info on the Rail Trail Cafe, visit their site and like them on Facebook.

Tara and Brian serving up deliciousness

Tara and Brian serving up deliciousness

Live music plays every weekend.

Live music plays every weekend.

The pizzas... ARE NOT TO BE MISSED!

The pizzas… ARE NOT TO BE MISSED!

The Rail Trail Cafe in it's element.

The Rail Trail Café in it’s element.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekend Wander: Sept (BIKE) Edition

Join us for the 5th edition of this season’s Weekend Wander series… WITH YOUR BIKE! In this Wander, we’ll be riding bikes along the northern end of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail to the Rosendale Rail Trail Café and back. #KLTWander #WeekendWander

WHO: Kingston Land Trust
WHAT: Weekend Wander – August (BIKE) Edition
WHEN: Saturday, September 24, 9:30AM – 12:30PM
WHERE:
WHY: Easy Ride with epic views, lakes and caves.

A leisurely, 16 mile bike ride along the northern section of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. We’ll take a break at Williams Lake then off to the Rail Trail Café and back. Keep checking our site for more details on future hikes. #KLTWander #WeekendWander

Weekend Wander: Sept Bike Edition Route (Wallkill Valley Rail Trail)