Welcome to the Friends of Kinderhook Trails website. We will keep this updated as progress on the trails proceeds and we welcome your comments and participation. Visit our Contact page to send us a message or ask questions.
Hiking Trail Joins Historic Sites in Kinderhook
The opening of a new 1.5 mile hiking trail — called the Kinderhook Dutch Farming Heritage Trail, connecting the National Historic Landmark Luykas Van Alen House property with the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site — will be celebrated on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 2:30 PM at the Luykas Van Alen House property on Route 9H in Kinderhook. Light refreshments will be provided and a guided trail walk (optional) will follow the opening ceremony.
The trail represents a tremendous collaborative effort among the Town of Kinderhook, Friends of Kinderhook Trails, Columbia County Historical Society, National Park Service Rivers & Trails Program, Friends of Lindenwald, Roxbury Farm, Boy Scout Troop 114, Columbia Land Conservancy, Hudson River Valley Greenway, Open Space Institute, Equity Trust, OK-5k Race Committee, Kinderhook Tri-Village Rotary Club, the Fund for Columbia County, a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association, Herrington’s, Mario’s Home Center, and Congressman Chris Gibson’s office.
The trail runs from the back of the Van Alen House property, through areas of Roxbury Farm (by way of easements through the Open Space Institute and Equity Trust) down a historic portion of Old Post Road, to the entrance of the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site. Hikers will enjoy forest, farm, and stream views, while hiking along rolling hills. It not only connects the two Historic Sites, but also provides the opportunity to tie together the story of Dutch farming across four centuries, beginning with the Van Alen family farming in the 1700’s through the Martin Van Buren years in the 1800’s and continuing to the modern organic farming of Roxbury Farm today.
In addition to the many collaborators and volunteers, a special mention goes to Boy Scout Kyle Meredith of Troop 114. For his Eagle Scout project, Kyle secured donations of supplies and rounded up numerous volunteers to cut part of the trail, build a bridge over a small stream, and build information kiosks at each entrance.
The new trail connecting the Luykas Van Alen House and Martin Van Buren National Historic Site is envisioned as the first link in a system of trails throughout Kinderhook, Stuyvesant, Stockport, and eventually beyond Columbia County to neighboring counties north and south.
Download the “Kinderhook Community Trails” flyer from the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site.
This project has been supported by a grant from the Fund for Columbia County, a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
What We Are and What We Do
The Friends of Town of Kinderhook Trails was incorporated on July 27, 2010. Its purpose is to:
- Preserve and maintain designated trails in the Town of Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York for the public’s use and enjoyment
- Promote and encourage the safe and responsible use of these trails and provide advice and consultation on sharing trails
- Develop and promote a trail use ethic for a safe and positive user experience and to ensure a respect for natural resources
- Organize social and athletic events for the public’s use and enjoyment of the trails.
- Coordinate with other community groups activities related to the promotion and maintenance of the trails.
These goals align with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan that recommends the development of a “continuous, bicycle/pedestrian trail on the Niagara/Mohawk right-of-way from Niverville through Valatie to the Village of Kinderhook.”
The Friends grew out of a Town of Kinderhook Trails Committee, comprised of volunteers, that was formed in 2008 to develop and implement plans for non-motorized, diverse use, recreational trails within the Town. This committee built upon work done within the town over the past several years that produced a Recreational Trail Design & Feasibility study (2003) along with community surveys and initial engineering plans in support of the trail system. The creation of the Friends as a non-profit corporation (currently applying for Section 501(c)(3) status) was seen as the best way to continue the work of establishing this trail system. The model of a non-profit corporation for trails is well-established nationally and locally in organizations such as the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association.