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Welcome to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, two sections totaling 15 paved miles through stunning rural Dutchess and Columbia County landscapes. Since the mid-1980's, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association has dreamed of a 46-mile rail trail in the Harlem Valley and Taconic Hills of eastern New York. The first segment of the trail opened in 1996.

Since then, the trail has grown in 1997, 2000, and 2005. Another 13 miles of abandoned rail bed are in different development stages, and most of another 18 miles have been acquired to take the Trail north into the Village of Chatham.
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Chatham to Philmont Draft Design Presentation

On Monday October 20 at 7:00 pm Mark Morrison Associates will present the preliminary plans for the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Northwest 11 at the Ghent Fire Company #1, 2230 Route 66, Ghent, NY.

The Northwest 11 is the eleven-mile section of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail that follows most of the abandoned New York and Harlem rail bed from the center of Chatham village to Philmont. When the entire project is completed the Harlem Valley Rail Trail will be a 46-mile multi-use pathway from the Metro-North train station in Wassaic, Dutchess County to Chatham.

On hand to provide information and answer questions will be representatives from the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association, New York State Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department.

At present 15 miles of the rail trail in Dutchess County and southern Columbia County are developed and open with three more miles of trail to be open soon in Copake and Hillsdale.

The public is invited to learn about the project and ask questions. For more information call 518-789-9591.

 

Harlem Valley Rail Trail Scheduled Maintenance

In an effort to maintain the beauty and the safety of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail (HVRT), Dutchess County Department of Public Works (DC DPW) will be making repairs to the pavement and doing some clearing of the overgrowth along the entire HVRT. This work will commence the week of October 6 in the north at Millerton and will continue moving south until necessary safety and maintenance work is completed down the entire HVRT. The work is anticipated to take several weeks.

While the safety and maintenance work is ongoing, people will still be able to enjoy the HVRT; there will be areas where work is occurring where people may need to dismount and walk along the edge of the trail. Work zone signage will be posted.

When this effort is completed, the HVRT will be safer to use and enjoy for years to come.

Thank you,
Noel H.S. Knille, AIA, ASLA
Commissioner
Dutchess County Department of Public Works

 

Harlem Valley Rail Trail named National Recreation Trail.
June 6, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. - To promote outdoor recreation and reconnect Americans to nature, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced the recognition of 19 hiking and biking trails and two water trails as national recreation trails, adding 452 miles in 11 states to the National Trails System.

“I can think of no better way to celebrate National Trails Day than to support the efforts of local communities by formally recognizing these exceptional trails as national recreation trails,” Jewell said. “They provide easily accessible places to get exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas, and promote our goal of encouraging all Americans, especially youth, to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors.”

National recreation trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation.

The national recreation trails program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the national recreation trails website.

Harlem Valley Rail Trail – Columbia County
This paved bicycle/pedestrian path is built on the railbed of the old Harlem Line of the New York Central Railroad. It is ideal for runners, bicyclists, walkers, rollerbladers, cross-county skiers, wheelchair users, hikers and dog walkers who enjoy combining the quiet beauty of rural landscapes with healthy exercise. The trail in Columbia County, from Undermountain Road to Hillsdale, feeds into the Taconic State Park.

Harlem Valley Rail Trail – Dutchess County
The trail extends 10.7 miles north from the terminus of Metro North’s Harlem Valley commuter line at Wassaic to the heart of the historic Village of Millerton. Along the way, it passes through the Village of Amenia, forests, wetlands, fields and meadows. The trail is revitalizing the communities it passes through and gives people for miles around a secure, beautiful place to get outdoors.

National Park Service Press Release

 
 
 
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map
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  STATE: New York
COUNTIES: Columbia, Dutchess
LENGTH: 10.7 miles Wassaic Metro North Train Station to Millerton.
4 Miles Under Mountain Rd to Taconic State Park, Copake Falls.
TRAIL SURFACES: Asphalt
TYPICAL GRADE: 0.8 percent
TYPICAL CROSS SLOPE: 1.0 percent
TYPICAL PAVED WIDTH: 10 feet
TRAIL CATEGORY: Rail-Trail
TRAIL ACTIVITIES: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing