Trail Improvements, Past and Future

Scouts work to repair catwalk, April 2008

(Originally posted April 2011, this page is constantly updated to reflect trail improvements — last update is 8/30/19)

If we’re going to raise money to improve the trails you probably want to know what kind of projects are involved. So this is a rundown of completed trail improvements and those we hope to assist with in the future.

Since the efforts to unify and improve the trails in six local parks began around 2002, there have been enormous changes. We hope to continue assisting local municipalities with respect to more, and hope we can raise funds to finance some of the future projects.

Since 2002 the following improvements have been made:

2005 – Volunteers cut a new trail into Saxon Woods from Old White Plains Road, thereby bringing an access point closer to the Leatherstocking Trail.

2006-7 -A new shoulder was built by the Town of Mamaroneck on Old White Plains Road to protect runners from cars as they traverse a short street stretch between Leatherstocking and the new trail cut into Saxon Woods.

2007 – 2008 – Two long catwalks/bridges that were destroyed in a 2007 April Nor’easter were re-built in 2008, better than before, by the Town of Mamaroneck.

Scouts blazing the Leatherstocking. Plastic markers and aluminum nails.

2007-2008 – New signs went up around the system linking seven different parks (Leatherstocking, Saxon Woods, Weinberg Nature Center, Hutch Trail, Ward Acres, Twin Lakes and Nature Study Woods), and trails were blazed by scouts into a massive figure-8.

2009 – A new boardwalk was built near West Drive on the Leatherstocking over a mud hole in the Mamaroneck section of the trail.

2009 -A section of trail in Twin Lakes running next to California Road in Eastchester was regraded with heavy machinery by County Parks due to poor drainage.

2010 – An Eagle Scout project widened the New Rochelle section of the Leatherstocking near Pinebrook Blvd. They cleared out invasive vegetation and pulled out old stumps blocking the trail.

2010 – A section of Leatherstocking was widened by the Town of Mamaroneck near Deerfield Lane.

2011 – A second catwalk was built by the Town of Mamaroneck near West Drive, completing a catwalk started in 2009.

2012 – Paine to Pain reaches an agreement with Friends of Westchester County Parks.   Money raised by this race will fund improvements for those parts of the trail on county property (about seven miles of the race). We now have a dedicated account with FWCP for this purpose.

2012  (summer) — A large area of debris on the Hutchinson River Trail near the Lake Isle Spillway was finally cleared. Credit to super volunteer Will Fisher who cleaned and hauled.

2012 (fall) –  A long standing mud hole on the New Rochelle section of the Leatherstocking Trail was filled by scouts with mulch and chips to provide a significantly improved surface.

2013 – We pledged $10,000 toward the Town of Mamaroneck to help replace a long catwalk with a steep pitch and sharp turn. Bridge/catwalk completed 36 hours before the 2014 race!

2012, 2013 (pre-race) – Volunteers were out on the trail hauling out garbage that had been dumped or blown onto the trails. A pre-race fall clean-up is becoming an annual tradition.

2014 – Just 36 hours before the race went off, a huge, new bridge that vaults over a river and wetland area was completed on the Leatherstocking Trail, paid for in part by funds from this race. In May, 2015, the bridge will be formally dedicated as Paine Bridge.

2014 – County passes an $800,000 bond issue for trail work due to increased trail usage. Many of the projects that we have discussed with them are on the list for repair, including: Drainage improvements in Nature Study Woods, Twin Lakes and Saxon Woods, and improvements to the long-neglected Hutchinson River Trail. Work started October, 2014.

2014 (Nov.) Repaired and re-graded the deep gully on the Hutch Trail as it descends to Pinebrook Blvd.  (part of county project)

2015 (spring) – Significant improvements can now be seen to many trail sections in Nature Study Woods, Twin Lakes and the Hutch Trail. Culverts have been built for poor drainage areas, and crushed rock laid down on low lying surfaces. The trail has been widened in sections where encroachment was taking place. Over the next few years we expect natural debris to come down from the trees that will cover the crushed rock surface. (part of county project)

2015 (spring) Improved drainage in numerous spots, with re-grading and culverts, in Nature Study Woods. (part of county project)

2015 (spring) Re-graded poor drainage area in Twin Lakes on trail next to the Hutch Parkway and at entrance to trail near Mill Road/Hutch intersection. (part of county project)

May 18, 2015 – Paine Bridge formally dedicated on the Leatherstocking Trail, paid for in part by funds from this race.

September 2017 – Graffiti overpainted on sound barriers along Hutchinson River Trail.

September 2017 – Twin Lakes, repaired “Second Right Trail” after crossing Mill Road, which gets badly overgrown each summer.  Before and after pics:




2018: Saxon Woods – regrade trail junction due to mud hole, near the pool parking lot.

2018: Repair drainage in Saxon Woods – after passing the caretakers house by the SW parking lot and going uphill.

Future projects:

Repair poor drainage at exit of Saxon Woods by the 18th tee box at the golf course.

Repair Hutch Trail running south from Saxon Woods golf course to the stream crossing, due to weeds, rutting and overgrowth.

Repair Hutch Trail on the long uphill (~100 yards) running south toward Weaver Street, due to serious weeds and overgrowth.

Repair Hutch Trail south of Pinebrook Blvd, for 100 yards toward the short, steep  uphill.

Place plantings along certain portions of the Hutch Trail to screen the trail from the Hutch Parkway.

Expand the Old White Plains Road shoulder that serves as a vital connection between the Leatherstocking and Saxon Woods, with utility poles being moved out of our narrow corridor.

Hutch Tunnel, between Twin Lakes and Nature Study Woods – install lighting and remove graffiti

And you can read more about the history of the trail and creation of the race at this link.

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