Update on Matthews-Mackay Trail

Howdy folks,

    As I wrote to you last October, the plans for connecting the Matthews and Mackay Trails is in the near future, hopefully early Spring.

    The connection will be in a 3 stages. The first stage was to get a revocable-50 year stewardship permit from the DEC to improve the existing trail called "The Matthews Trail". This trail is on State property and a permit is needed to enter and use the land. Thanks to the help of Mr. Alan Mack of the New York Fish Hatchery, the permit was applied for and issued, giving us the "ok" to start phase #1. Phase #1 consisted of going in and cleaning up all litter, taking the trail to a 4ft width and mulching the trail to the railroad bed. The mulching was done with the help of Danny Whiteside(Grandson of Ed Matthews) and his fellow boy scout friends. A new resting spot was created 1/2 way through the trail and it will be called "The Matthews Meadow". A new bench has been installed so that folks can "sit awhile" and enjoy the wildlife and quite. Mr. Jake Davis built 13 bird houses and they have been installed through-out the trail.

    Phase #2 was getting permission to cross the "JCI" railroad tracks where "The Matthews Trail" ended Mr. Tim Gaffney of "JCI" (Jones Chemicals) was approached with the project and they were very interested in helping us complete the project. "JCI" has given us the "ok" verbally and an offer of financial help also. We are just awaiting the easement agreement to be drawn up by the Village attorney so that we can give it to "JCI" for approval.

    Phase #3 is to connect the railroad crossover to The Mackay Trail on Mill St. The section of trail between The Matthews Trail and The Mackay Trail will be called The Spring Creek Trail. The name, The Spring Creek Trail, was brought to us by Mrs. Ellen Alhart in honer of her late husband Neil Alhart who came up with the idea of connecting the two trails back in 2005. The piece of land from the railroad crossing (Matthews Trail) to The Mackay Trail is also on State land and a permit to use this land is also needed. Again, thanks to Mr. Alan Mack, the permit request has been filled out and sent in for approval. We hope to have approval in early spring. The permit is of a stewardship 50yr. revocable type which means that the State will give us permission to enter and use their land if the Village of Caledonia will take care of and maintain the trails. If for any reason the Trails are not taken care of, the State has the right to revoke the permit.

    As on the Mackay Trail, there will we signs of interest and direction, signs of safety at the railroad crossing, mulched trails and a picnic table to rest at.

    We will be proud to say that we will be the only Village in Livingston County that has a trail that you can enter from down town (Enter at Tennant Park), walk 3miles and return without leaving the Village.

    I need to thank Mayor Joe Calourie and the Village Board for giving us volunteers the support and permission needed to complete this wonderful idea that Mr. Neil Alhart had back in 2005.

    I will keep you posted as more developed. Until then,enjoy your winter and the great out-of-doors.

   God Bless - Barry