State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) was in Ulster County recently to celebrate the official designation of the Shawangunk Scenic Byway.
Senator Bonacic was the lead Senate sponsor of the Scenic Byway legislation and also a member of the budget committee which put together the funding to save the Awosting Reserve from development. "This year has been a great year for the Shawangunk region. First we saved the Awosting Reserve, and now the Scenic Byway has been designated. The regional effort in the Gunks to market this area is truly impressive."
In addition, Senator Bonacic today announced that as part of the State budget, he secured an additional $40,000 in funding to help promote the Shawangunk Mountain Scenic Byway. "The views along the Shawangunk Ridge and of the Ridge are spectacular. We have all this natural beauty in our backyard. Encouraging others to come visit our area is good for tourism and I know the Scenic Byway can play a role in that," Senator Bonacic said.
Senator Bonacic said that the 82 mile corridor of the Shawangunk Scenic Byway connects the Villages of New Paltz and Ellenville, Towns of Shawangunk, Rochester, New Paltz, Crawford, Gardiner, Marbletown, Montgomery, Rosendale, and Wawarsing, in Ulster and Orange Counties. Portions of US Route 44, 209; New York State Routes 52, 55, 208, 213, 299, 302; Ulster County Routes 1, 7, 9, 18; Orange County Route 14 will be added to the New York State Scenic Byways System.
The Legislature established the Scenic Byways Program in the Department of Transportation in 1992. There are currently over 2,600 miles of road included in the New York State Scenic Byways Program.
"The Shawangunk Mountains Byway is renowned for providing some of the most awe-inspiring views in all of New York State. With this designation, residents and tourists alike will be able to experience the valuable recreational, historic, and environmental resources of the area," concluded Senator Bonacic.