Philip A. Rayhill Memorial Trail

New Hartford and Whitestown, New York

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC)


The towns of New Hartford and Whitestown, New York are only four miles apart, but citizens could not safely travel between them without an automobile.


In March 2000, a Statewide Transportation Attitude and Preference Survey conducted in New York stated that 75 percent of persons surveyed supported bicycle trails, sidewalks, and access to outdoor recreation. The towns of New Hartford and Whitestown wanted to address people's desires to live and work in communities that support quality of life measures. New Hartford and Whitestown joined together to create a multipurpose trail to connect their two communities.


The Philip A. Rayhill Memorial Trail was built as part of the Route 840 connector between New Hartford and Whitestown. Construction began in June 2003, and in April 2006 the trail was opened for use. The trail connects the two suburban communities to an educational facility, several shopping centers, fitness centers, entertainment venues, business parks, and a federal wetland area. Amenities along the trail such as accessible fishing docks, interpretive kiosks, pedestrian countdown traffic control devices, and a 4-mile asphalt surface make this multiuse trail very innovative and inviting for a multitude of users. The completion of the trail was possible with the cooperation of several different agencies, including the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the US Army Corp of Engineers, the towns of New Hartford and Whitestown, Oneida County Department of Public Works, the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee.


The Completion of the Philip A. Rayhill Memorial Trail has proven to be an inspiration for other local communities and government agencies to include the planning and development of interconnected multiuse trails in their communities. The trail has also received a large amount of publicity and has been the topic for several local newspaper articles. A survey conducted after the trail was complete showed that more than 50 percent of trail users utilize the facility at least four days a week.


This project cost $600,000 to complete with 80 percent of the funds coming from Federal Transportation Funds.


Sharon Heyboer
Phone: (315) 793-2450

Filed in: Engineering, Case Studies

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