MILLERTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association has been awarded a $375,000 state grant to design a new segment of the trail that will link the village of Philmont with the village of Chatham. The grant, from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, will be combined with a $125,000 local match to pay for fully engineered and permitted construction documents for this new section. The trail’s northernmost segment currently ends in Hillsdale’s hamlet.

“We are thrilled to be the recipient of this important grant, which will further our goal of a continuous, paved trail from Wassaic to Chatham,” said Dick Hermans, chair of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association, the nonprofit group that advocates for the trail. “We are excited to be creating new partnerships in the communities that this section of trail will pass through.”

Hermans said fundraising for the required matching will begin immediately. Those wishing to donate can go to the group’s website.

Once the design and construction documents are complete, the organization will seek funding from grants and donations to undertake the construction of the new trail segment. Currently, the trail consists of two sections totaling about 26 miles that pass through rural Dutchess and Columbia County landscapes.

Since the mid-1980s, the rail trail association has been working on an eventual 46-mile trail that will link Wassaic to Chatham on the former right of way of the New York Central Railroad Harlem Division.