What exactly are Greenways?

A greenway is a corridor of protected open space constructed for conservation and recreational purposes. Greenways are sometimes called greenbelts or just trails and provide a safe, natural environment for a variety of activities, such as walking, hiking, and biking. In some communities, greenways are used as alternative paths for commuting to school, work or just getting around.

 Who can use the Greenway?

The Greenway is open to hikers, joggers, bikers, roller bladders and walkers. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.

Who are the Friends of the Greenway?

The Friends of the Greenway was formed several years ago as a Partners in Stewardship program of the Three Village Community Trust. Open to all, the Friends of the Greenway is a volunteer program working to maintain, protect, and enhance the trail. Currently, members include representatives of service groups, bike clubs, civic organizations, government officials, neighbors, and area residents. In 2015, the Trust established an adopt-a-section program for members of the Friends to be Trail Stewards who monitor and take care of a specific portion of the Greenway. Everyone is encouraged to join the Friends with a tax-deductible donation to the Three Village Community Trust.

What are the rules of the Greenway?

·        The trail is open during daylight hours only. Trail use is not permitted at night.

·        Always walk, jog, ride, or roller blade on the right.

·        Give an audible signal, such as "Passing on the left," when passing other users.

·        Use caution, especially crossing roadways, be alert, obey signs, and come to a complete halt at            intersections.

·        Cyclists must obey all traffic laws. Move in a predictable, normal manner, and be aware of                  other trail users.

·        Stay on the trail. Respect private property on both sides of the trail.

·        Young bicyclists must wear protective helmets. All riders are encouraged to use protective gear.

·        Pets must be kept on a non-retractable leash. Pick up after your pet.

·        Sorry, no horses.

·        Pack it in/Pack it out. Do not litter.

·        No motorized vehicles (except wheelchairs) are allowed. Be respectful of our neighbors by                  being quiet during your time on the trail.

Report immediately any unsafe conditions or problems to the Suffolk County Police 631-852-2677. For all other issues, email info@threevillagecommunitytrust.org or call 631-689-0225 to leave a message for situations that need attention but not urgently.

For emergencies call 911. 

What is the history of the Greenway?

During the 1960's, the New York State Department of Transportation acquired a 3.3-mile stretch of property running from East Setauket to Port Jefferson Station to construct a Bypass to Route 25A.

In the 1990's, members of the Three Village community, and government officials began working on an alternative plan for this undeveloped corridor, which borders on three county parklands and is close to several residential neighborhoods. Community activists, state and local officials, and the New York State Department of Transportation eventually envisioned a greenbelt for this area.

Due to the efforts of Assemblyman Steve Englebright, state funding was made available to initiate the project, and supplemental federal funds were secured through the office of Congressional Representative Tim Bishop. Town of Brookhaven Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld provided local support for each phase of the project. Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn has been an important and active voice in helping to maintain and enhance the Greenway.

In 2009, the first portion of the Greenway was completed: a one-mile span between Gnarled Hollow Road and Lower Sheep Pasture Road. In 2012-13 construction on the final phase of the Greenway was completed, expanding the trail to the east and west for a total length of approximately four miles.

Today, the Friends of the Greenway are working with the North Shore Rails to Trails Alliance (The Tesla Trail) that will in effect extend the bicycle path from Port Jefferson Station to Wading River. When complete, this project would create a fifteen-mile ribbon of bike paths on the North Shore and join dozens of neighborhoods, schools, parks and businesses. The planning process for this trail is progressing but it will be several years before it will be completed. 

What makes the Greenway unique?

Visitors to the trail can enjoy the beauty of old growth forest, woodlands dominated by rhododendrons, meadows, reclaimed industrial area, county parklands, residential neighborhoods, and old farmland.

The trail has an enhanced system of safety crossings to warn trail users of traffic intersections, and alert drivers of vehicles to crosswalks.

The trail is the first of its kind on the North Shore, and will serve as a model for alternative transportation systems as opposed to new road construction.

The trail demonstrates the tremendous cooperation between Town, State and Federal funding in designing and construction a community project. The trail is an example of redesigning our transportation system to be non- motorized, non-polluting, and environmentally friendly.

The Greenway has an active and ongoing stewardship program through the Friends of the Greenway, a committee of the Three Village Community Trust.  This program is an evolution of the community leaders who worked with public officials and the NYS DOT to plan the Greenway from just an idea to a reality.

Are Greenways safe?

Study after study finds greenways are safe, user-friendly corridors that foster and enhance a sense of community. Importantly, greenways are an effective and efficient way of converting neglected areas into vibrant, active and safe centers of a community. 

Are there economic benefits of Greenways?

All research has shown greenways help boost the local economy. Trail users are likely to visit nearby eateries and stores.

Are there other bike trails in the area?

There are about six miles of bike paths at Stony Brook University. Extensive bike paths, managed by Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists (CLIMB), have recently opened on Town and County owned land on Belle Meade Road in East Setauket. Trustees Road at West Meadow Beach is a popular destination for bicyclists. And, an eleven-mile Rails to Trails project is being discussed that will connect The Setauket to Port Jefferson Station Greenway to Wading River. It’s not a surprise many people are calling the Three Villages Long Island’s Bicycling Capital!

Do we need more bike paths?

Now, more than ever, there is a need to expand bike paths.  It is well know that states with the highest levels of cycling and walking have the lowest levels of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes and have the greatest percentage of adults who meet with recommended 30 plus minutes per day of physical activity.  Building greenways in our communities helps to improve, and save, lives!

Who are the Friends of the Greenway?

The Friends of the Greenway is a committee of the Three Village Community Trust, a local not-for-profit organization. 

Members of The Friends of the Greenway work as volunteers to maintain and enhance the bike path.  You may volunteer for any or all the periodic clean-up days or become a Trail Steward.  We need you to help mow, trim, clean, and plant along out linear park!  To get on the Friends of the Greenway’s e-mail list, simply visit the Three Village Community Trust’s web site and fill out the form after clicking the ‘Contact’ menu bar.

For Additional Information:

Three Village Community Trust’s Friends of the Greenway: Charlie McAteer, Chair, Friends of the Greenway;  Cynthia Barnes, President, Board of Trustees; or Herb Mones, Trustee, Three Village Community Trust, P. O. Box 2596, Setauket, New York, 11733.