Plans to extend the hike and bike trail at Nissequogue River State Park into downtown Kings Park are inching along, according to a park advocacy group and local officials.
Mike Rosato, chairman of the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation, said the 300-foot trail extension would “connect approximately 2,000 acres of parkland in Kings Park with our downtown district. Anyone will be able to enjoy a stroll, a run or a bike ride and head directly into downtown Kings Park to have a coffee or ice cream.”
Ronald Foley, regional director for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said the state recently granted an easement to Suffolk County allowing the project to move forward.
A county spokesman said the county would contract with the town, which would contract out the work. David Flynn, deputy director of the Smithtown planning department, said the town would likely seek bids for the project in the fall.
In 2009, Suffolk County Legis. Lynne Nowick (R-St. James) sponsored a $17,000 downtown revitalization grant for the project. The park group donated $2,500. The Kings Park Chamber of Commerce has bought fences and podiums to install along the trail, said Dee Grasso, executive director of the chamber.
Smithtown Town Board member Ed Wehrheim said he supported the idea of the trail extension provided there are buffers between the backyards of residents and the trail.