In 2009 New York State will celebrate ExploreNY400, the four-hundredth anniversary of Henry Hudson's sail up the river that came to be named after him and Samuel Champlain's discovery of the lake that bears his name, and-to top it all off-the two hundredth anniversary of Fulton's first steamboat voyage.  The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Association has joined with other trails organizations, including the Palisades Park Conservancy and the New York/New Jersey Trails Conference, in sponsoring the Grand Walkabout.   This year-long quadricentennial event along trails in Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, and Putnam Counties, will begin and end on dates corresponding to each year's Hudson River Valley Ramble.  Whether you are a seasoned scrambler who scales the counties' peaks or a casual stroller along rail trails and urban walks, you can earn awards for the miles you cover and the trails you visit while you walk, run, ski, snowshoe or travel by wheelchair on the four counties' scenic, historic, and cultural trails.


Kickoff Celebration: Sunday, September 14, 1-5 PM, at Riverfront Park in Hyde Park.

•·        Find out how to earn awards during the upcoming year for traversing our trails on foot or by wheelchair. 

•·        Learn more about the four counties' trails at the Kickoff's "Trails Fair"

•·        Pick up a form to track trails visited and miles covered

•·        Start accumulating award credits during two guided hikes, one to the historic Vanderbilt Estate and the other to scenic Crum Elbow

•·        Enjoy free entertainment and refreshments 


 If you can't make it to the Kickoff you'll still be able to participate.   Visit our website, http://www.grandwalkabout.com/, for the information you'll need to join in the fun.  The website will feature a printable and searchable resource guide of trails throughout Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, and Ulster counties, as well as information on special events along our trails throughout the year.  Over the next year, enjoy our beautiful regions' scenic, historic, and cultural trails, and keep track of your visits. Then, during Ramble 2009, come to our Grand Celebration to receive your awards and honor your accomplishments. 


Hudson Valley Ramble 2008: You'll discover a wide variety of other events taking place in the counties all along the Hudson River during the last three weekends of September. Besides hikes and walks all across the region, the Ramble includes bike rides, historic site tours, festivals, paddles, and river explorations. For a listing of all events (including directions to our Kickoff), look for a brochure at sites around the region,  such as the New Paltz Chamber of Commerce, or visit the Ramble website at http://www.hudsonrivervalley.com/ramble/index.cfm.