The Heritage Trail is a 11.5-mile linear park from Monroe to Goshen, NY, used by more than 140,000 runners and walkers, roller bladers, cyclists and others every year.
The trail follows the old New York & Erie Railroad line, the first to reach Middletown, NY, entering the hamlet on June 1, 1843. This railroad line spurred growth in the Orange County dairy industry as it enabled fast shipment of milk to New York City. Eventually, even commuters used the line to reach New York City. The railroad bed from Harriman, NY to Middletown was abandoned for rail service in April, 1983.
Orange County’s “Ribbon of Green” is currently under the custodianship of the Orange County Citizen’s Foundation (OCCF), which is trying to improve the existing trail and extend the paved portion of the trail from Goshen to beyond Middletown, NY. The Hambletonian Marathon will donate proceeds from the three-person Good Time Trotters Relay registration funds to the OCCF to help in its endeavor.
The Hambletonian ® Marathon & Good Times Trotters Relay course runs on two sections of the Heritage Trail, from approximately mile 8 to 10.5 of the marathon course (in the first of the figure eight loops – a well groomed, but unpaved section of the trail), and approximately mile 21.3 to 25.3 (in the second of the figure eight loops – part of the 11.5 mile paved section of the trail).