PRESENT STATUS: 1.3 miles Anthony Street to Black Grocery Road unpaved and open. 3.7 miles CLOSED to the public.
STATUS DETAILS: The design documents for this 5-mile stretch of Trail are complete and are awaiting approval from NYS Office of Parks and Recreation and HistoricPreservation. While waiting for funding to pave, two sections will be opened in an Early Action plan later this spring. These sections are from the Taconic State Park to the Orphan Farm Meadow and from Anthony St. to Black Grocery Rd. The Trail will be unpaved and in it’s natural state. The surface will be appropriate for walking and mountain biking. Funds for this Early Action Opening were made available in part from a Hudson River Valley Greenway Grant.
NATURAL FEATURES, FLORA & FAUNA:
To be developed as trail is constructed.
Hillsdale: The poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, who lived in Austerlitz, used the Hillsdale Station frequently. Hillsdalewas the site of a 19th century iron works, and after 1900, the town had a Sheffield Farms milk plant. After the milk plant closed, it was used by a wholesale produce distributor. Hillsdale had a cattle pen for shipping cattle by rail. Herrington’s Lumber received building supply products by rail until service ended in 1976. Hillsdale was an important station for vacationers and weekenders from Columbia County and nearby Massachusetts. Children traveling to summer camps in the Berkshires took special camp trains and got off at Hillsdale. Copake Falls Station served the many camps in West Copake.
Parking and access yet to be determined once trails have been developed.
*Note: Many thanks to local railroad historians Heyward Cohen, Jack Shufelt, and Lou Grogan (The Coming of the New York and Harlem Railroad, Pawling, NY: Louis V. Grogan, 1989) for much of the railroad history that appears above.