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News Release

October 5, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

And the winners are…. Dutchess County Parks voted “Best of Hudson Valley”
Dutchess Rail Trail wins Best Bike Trail & Bowdoin Park wins Best Park


Poughkeepsie… Need some ideas for fun this fall?  Look no further than Dutchess County Parks!    The readers of Hudson Valley magazine have picked two Dutchess County parks, Bowdoin Park and the Dutchess Rail Trail as “Best of Hudson Valley” in the fun category!  The Dutchess Rail Trail won honors as the “Best Bike Trail” in the Hudson Valley and Bowdoin Park was once again voted “Best Park” in the Hudson Valley – for the 5th year in a row!

Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus said, “One of our top priorities has been providing recreational park assets that enhance the quality of life in our community.   We are thrilled to once again have our county parks recognized as the “Best of Hudson Valley”!  With the splendor of fall foliage upon us, now is the perfect time to enjoy some quality time with family and friends at the “Best” parks in the Hudson Valley.”

Dutchess Rail TrailBest Bike Trail

Popularity of the Dutchess Rail Trail (DRT) has soared since the connection of more than 8 miles of trail from LaGrange, through Wappinger to East Fishkill this past spring, making the Dutchess Rail Trail an easy pick as the “Best Bike Trail” in the Hudson Valley. Thousands of families have enjoyed the trail and continue to share positive feedback about their DRT experience.   Some of the comments from DRT users include:

It's such a wonderful addition to our beautiful region, and it's drawing so many new people to the area. Bravo!
     - Paul, Hopewell Junction

Yesterday my husband and I biked the Dutchess Rail Trail for the first time. We were quite impressed with the well planned and designed trail. It was great to see so many people using this wonderful trail and being respectful of the environment and each other. Thank you for this wonderful addition to our County Park system. It is much appreciated!
     - Kathleen, Fishkill

I am on the rail trail almost every day - either on my bike or walking my dog. It's very relaxing to be there and people on the trail always seem to be very nice and friendly.
     - Lynn, Hopewell Junction

The Dutchess Rail Trail is a 12 mile multi-use linear county “park” that runs through the middle of the County along the former Maybrook Rail corridor including the towns of Poughkeepsie, LaGrange, Wappinger and East Fishkill.  The Dutchess Rail Trail has been constructed in multiple phases, with three phases complete. There are more than 8 miles of continuous trail stretching from Old Manchester Road in LaGrange (behind Page Home & Hardware Center) and the Hopewell Depot in East Fishkill.  Additionally, there is a 2.4 mile trail section from Morgan Lake in the City of Poughkeepsie to Overocker Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie. The final Phase IV will connect these two sections of trail with a massive bridge over Route 55, the Wappinger Creek and Old Manchester Road.  Construction on Phase IV is expected to begin in 2012.

Bowdoin ParkBest Park

Bowdoin Park is a 301 acre park located in the southern part of the Town of Poughkeepsie on Sheafe Road. Bowdoin Park features numerous amenities including two softball fields, three soccer fields, a community center, nature & history center and over 3 miles of nature trails. It is also home to one of the top rated Cross-Country courses in the region.  Educational programs are held throughout the year to familiarize people with the natural history and cultural heritage the park has to offer.  Bowdoin Park has open areas for picnicking as well as playgrounds for children, including the award winning water spraying turtles which operate during summer months. The park also features several great facilities available for events and gathering rentals including Mapleknoll Lodge, Ellessdie Chapel and the Community Center auditorium as well as five pavilions.  Reservations can be made online at:

The fall season is the perfect chance to enjoy Bowdoin Park with family and friends. See the park decked out in fall foliage finery and enjoy a day of “leaf peeping” on a nature hike or hillside picnic overlooking the Hudson River. There are also numerous events happening this fall at Bowdoin Park including:

  • Kevin McCurdy’s 34th Annual Haunted Mansion – open now through October 31st.
  • 2011 Poughkeepsie, NY Puppy Up!  Walk to raise awareness about canine cancer on Sunday, November 6, 2011 from 10am to 3pm.
  • New York State Federation Cup Track Meet on November 19th from 9am to 3pm.
  • Nike Regional Team Cross-Country Meet on November 26th from 9am to 2pm, one of only nine qualifying meets in the entire country for the Nike National Championship.

Bowdoin Park and the Dutchess Rail Trail are two of six great parks in Dutchess County’s Park System. Other Dutchess County parks include Wilcox Park, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, Dutchess Stadium and Quiet Cove Riverfront Park.

To learn more about Dutchess County Parks, visit


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County Executive

County Executive