Biking, walking and hiking on the map in Dutchess County

File photo of people walking in a park. File photo of people walking in a park. Photo Credit: Photo by Angela Gaul

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Dutchess County is trying to get more people to bike, walk -- and leave their cars at home.

The county is urging residents to go online and offer their opinions in a 31-question survey that aims to poll residents on issues related to taking their bikes or walking to school, work and recreation spots.

The survey, available in Spanish and English, is available at www.dutchessny.gov/WalkBikeDutchess, will be up until April 15.

The questionnaire updates the county's 1996 "Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan" guidelines for creating facilities, traffic safety and educational programs to encourage automobile-free ways to get around.

"Walking and biking are ideal transportation options that offer health and environmental benefits and are a great way to enjoy the beauty of our county," Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro said.

Separately, the towns of Pawling and Dover have joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to help in an ongoing campaign since 1925 to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. The two communities will be adding signage, holding special hikes and speaker events to build awareness, Dutchess County officials said.

In 2012, volunteers in Pawling completed the construction of a new 1,600-foot, oak-decked boardwalk that crosses the trail in its area. "Building off that enthusiasm and adding new partners to the management effort will increase local stewardship and expand sustainable tourism efforts," said Julie Judkins, community program manager for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

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