Railbed

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Photo

View from the AT on Kittatinny Ridge. Photo by Daniel Chazin.

Map


View AT Parks in a larger map

Park Overview:

A beautiful 160-mile segment of the Appalachian Trail passes through the New York-New Jersey region.


Trail Uses:Hiking, X-C skiing, Handicapped
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:160 miles
Park Acreage:
City/County/
State:
Multiple locations
/NY/NJ//US
Buy Trail Map:Appalachian Trail Guide to New York-New Jersey
Buy Book:Appalachian Trail Guide to New York-New Jersey

Park Description:

The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpath in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length.

Trails Overview:

An overview map of the trail along its entire length is available from the National Park “Appalachian National Scenic Trail” web page. 

The AT is uniformly marked with a 2" x 6" white-painted, vertical blaze.

For detailed descriptions of  hikes in the region click on Find a Hike -- scroll down the “Title” column  for hikes beginning with “Appalachian Trail …” The majority of these are loop hikes in conjunction with other trails.  For AT-only hikes look for those associated with the “Appalachian National Scenic Trail” in the “Parks” column.  The database includes a few AT hikes in nearby sections of Pennsylvania and Connecticut. 

Two of the few wheelchair accessible sections from Georgia to Maine are in this region:

 

Directions:

Driving:

For specific traveling directions and parking areas use the “Find a Hike” and “Find a Park” links provided above, then scroll to the particular park or hike you plan to visit.  

Public Transportation:

Hike descriptions will indicate if public transportation (train or bus) is available to a particular trailhead. 

The AT crosses the Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem Line at the Appalachian Trail station (just off N.Y. Route 22, between Pawling and Wingdale) -- the only train station located directly at an AT crossing anywhere along the 2,180-mile-long trail!  Limited service is provided at the Appalachian Trail station, with trains stopping there only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (the station, which is little more than a low-level platform, is not wheelchair accessible).  At other times, hikers may board trains at Pawling (to the south) or Harlem Valley-Wingdale (to the north).  Trains run north to Wassaic and south to Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
 

 

 

Contact Information:Appalachian Trail Conservancy
304-535-6331
Region:Appalachian Trail
Fees:Some times and places; check with park

Atsion to Carranza Monument

Overview
Details
Time:
3 hours
Difficulty:
Easy
Length:
6.1 miles
Route Type:
Shuttle/Two car or Public Transportation
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Historic feature, Birding
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Atlantic
State:
NJ
Maps/Books
Publication
First Published:
04/29/2011
Submitter:
Jeffrey Jotz

Photo

"Railbed" photo by Jeffrey Jotz

Parking


View Atsion to Carranza Monument hike in a larger map

See also
Trailhead GPS Coordinates

Driving Directions

Directions using two cars for a shuttle hike

  • To Carranza Monument, from the North: NJ Turnpike South to Exit 7. Follow signs for 206 south. Drive approximately 14 miles south on 206 to the Red Lion Circle (70/206). Continue on 206 south through the circle approximately 1 mile. Bear left off 206 onto Carranza Road (Rt. 648). Drive approximately 1.5 miles to first stop sign. Continue through the Route 532 stop sign (Nixon's General Store on the left and Russo's farm store on the right) on Carranza Road in Tabernacle. After a couple miles of sparsely settled farm land and small affluent developments you will enter Wharton State Forest. Go past the turnoff for the old NJ Correctional System Boot Camp and continue another 1.8 miles. The Carranza Memorial site will be in a clearing on your right.  [Drop off a car]
  • From Carranza Monument to Atsion office:  From the Memorial retrace your route along Carranza Road; in about four miles turn left onto Forked Neck Road.  Travel 3.1 miles to the intersection with Route 206 at the Valenzano Winery.  Turn left, travel another 3.4 miles; the sign for the Atsion office is ahead on your left, just before Atsion Lake on your right.

Directions using one car to hike out from and back to Atsion office, from the North: NJ Turnpike South to Exit 7. Follow signs for 206 south. Drive approximately 14 miles south on 206 to the Red Lion Circle (70/206). Continue on 206 south through the circle approximately 1 mile. From the intersection of Route 206 and Route 648, proceed South on Rt. 206 for another 9 miles until you enter Wharton State Forest.  The sign for the Atsion office is ahead on your left, just before Atsion Lake on your right.

Description

Starting at the parking lot of the historic Atsion office, head southeast on Quaker Bridge Road past a hunting club and boarded-up schoolhouse on your right and look for the Mullica (yellow) Trail

North County Trailway

Photo

Park Overview:

As you travel the North County Trailway, you will see a cross section of Westchester as the Trailway passes back yards, parks, and businesses. Most of the time, the Trailway is away from roads. Between Millwood and Briarcliff Manor, the trailway is just a barrier away from high speed Route 100. Along its route, it wends its ways through a variety of habitats; wetlands, rock cuts, woodlands and edge environment.

Trail Uses:Hiking, Mountain biking, Handicapped
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:21 miles
Park Acreage:88 acres
City/County/
State:
Tarrytown, Briarcliff
Manor, Millwood, Yorktown
Heights, Somers, Baldwin
Place/Westchester/NY
Buy Book:Walkable Westchester - A Walking Guide to Westchester County, NY

Park Description:

The Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad ran for 54 miles from the Bronx to Brewster between 1881 and 1958, when it ceased passenger operations. It carried occasional freight until

Trails Overview:

A two-page brochure, "North County Trailway," developed by Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department with an overview and maps is available online.

The Trailway is primarily a bicycle route, so hikers should be alert for passing cyclists.

 

Directions:

There are many access points to the trailway, including some from neighbor's backyards. Use a map of Westchester County to reach parking areas at Baldwin Place, Route 202/35, Underhill Avenue in Yorktown, Route 118, Route 134, Millwood, Chappaqua Road, Law Park in Briarcliff Manor and Eastview.

Contact Information:Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation
914-864-7173
Region:Westchester County
Fees:None
in

High Line

Map


View High Line in a larger map

Park Overview:

A most unique rail-to-trail conversion. Many regional trails have views of the Manhattan skyline from afar; this one travels through that skyline 30 feet above the streets of Manhattan’s lower west side [Meatpacking District/Chelsea/Hell's Kitchen].

Trail Uses:Hiking, Handicapped
Dogs:No dogs
Trail Miles:1 miles
Park Acreage:
City/County/
State:
New York City/New York/NY
Web Map:Friends of the High Line Walking Map
Park Description:

From 1934 to 1980 an elevated rail line connected the rail yards of mid-town Manhattan to an industrial district along the lower West Side of Manhattan.  Constructed 30 feet above the ground,

Trails Overview:

The view of the High Line looking upward at its southern terminus from the street at Gansevoort and Washington appears like a cut of meat chopped with a cleaver.  A sheer glass wall looms thirty feet overhead; the design seems intended to remind the viewer this is the historic Meatpacking District.  Fittingly, according to park docents the very last train to travel the High Line delivered a shipment of frozen turkeys.  Much has changed, in 2014 the Whitney Museum of American Art will open a massive new extension snuggled up next to the High Line at this location.

There is much to see along this one mile walkway – from striking views of the distant Hudson   River and iconic Manhattan buildings poking skyward, to gorgeous landscapes at your feet.  Before heading north from the Gansevoort Street entrance it is worth turning back towards the “meat chop” terminus to experience the view.   The High Line passes north through a series of beautiful gardens and unique features, including Gansevoort Woodland, the Sundeck and Water Feature (a shallow linear wading pool), Chelsea Market Passage, Chelsea Grasslands, Seating Steps, Wildflower Field and, near its current northern terminus, the Radical Bench.

  • 10th Avenue Square (between West 17th and West 18th streets) features bleachers that descend through original girders ending with a framed view looking up 10th Avenue.  The installation is wheelchair accessible by zigzagging down the rows of bleachers. 
    • This place in particular reveals original art-deco steel side railings; but they are present throughout the park especially when a section is viewable from the street level.  Commonplace round railing were used where the public could not see the original viaduct from the street. 
  • At 26th Street a viewing spur includes seating facing the street with a large frame that recalls the billboards that blocked the views to the west before the elevated rail viaduct was transformed into a park. The frame is empty, allowing park visitors to view people on the street, and allowing park goers to be seen from the street.   
  • The park currently ends at West 30th Street at the CSX Transportation Rail Yards Gate with views of the Hudson Yards and construction of the final section.

The landscape design itself includes much of the original wild self-seeded plant life and flora that used to naturally inhabit the abandoned corridor – some 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees.  The Friends of the Highline web site contains a Bloom List updated by the season.  For a printable walkway map use the Web Map link above (or the Friends web site).   

  • The deck along the High Line corridor was created from a series of smooth, tapered concrete planks laid in a linear fashion, suggestive of railroad tracks.   The walkway flows variously from side to side or into the center or can cover the full deck; it can be narrow, or divided into parallel paths, or become as wide as 60 feet (at 10th Avenue Square).  At the Falcone Flyover (between West 25th and West 26th streets) the narrow walkway is elevated above the rail bed which carries visitors through a canopy of sumac and magnolia trees.
  • Throughout the park original rail tracks can be seen; more than a third of them have been re-installed.  In some places the tracks are embedded in the pathway, in others hidden among various plantings and vegetation.  
  • After sunset sections of the pathway glow from LED light bars installed low to the ground (and under benches), making possible stellar views of the Manhattan skyline from 30 feet above ground with no overhead lights.  Perhaps it needs to be said, the crime rate on the High Line is very low.

Listen to a walking tour of the High Line by Joshua David and Robert Hammond, the Co-Founders of Friends of the High Line.  They were interviewed on NPR's "All Things Considered," September 3, 2011.  The tour begins at the corner of Gansevoort and Washington streets. (This version is 80 minutes; at the NPR site is also a 12 minute interview.)

  • For a peek at Section 2 during construction here is a video made in December 2010.  It can serve as a helpful guided tour pointing out special features.
  • The Friends of the High Line also offers tours with a docent: Public tours are free, group tours require a fee.  

 

Directions:

Driving not recommended.

Access points are at:  Gansevoort Street, West 14th Street (elevator access), West 16th Street (elevator access), West 18th Street, West 20th Street, West 23rd Street (elevator -- out of service due to damage by Hurricane Sandy ), West 26th Street, West 28th Street, and West 30th Street (elevator access).

For public transportation information (NYC subway and bus lines) follow the "Park Information" link under Contact Information.  If coming across the Hudson River from New Jersey, the nearest PATH stations are at Christopher Street or 14th Street (Click on Map Tab above and enlarge it to see PATH station icons). 

Contact Information:Friends of the High Line
212-500-6035
Region:New York City
Fees:None
in

Walkway Over the Hudson Historic State Park

Photo

View South from Walkway Over the Hudson.

Map


View Walkway Over Hudson in a larger map

Park Overview:

This is a 1.28-mile linear park over the Hudson River connecting Ulster and Dutchess Counties in the Mid-Hudson region. It links to rail trails on both sides of the river.

Trail Uses:Hiking, Mountain biking, Handicapped
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:1.28 miles
Park Acreage:
City/County/
State:
Highland [Ulster County],
Poughkeepsie/Dutchess/NY
Park Description:

This renovated 19th-century railroad bridge is now a pedestrian and bike path over the Hudson River.

Trails Overview:

Besides breathtaking views of the Hudson River and its landscape, the bridge connects to 27 miles of rail trails and riverfront parks already built or planned in Ulster and Dutchess Counties. A nearly 4-mile loop hike that includes the Mid-Hudson Bridge is possible. A connector trail also leads to Franny Reese State Park on the west side of the river. Click to view hike descriptions that start from either the east shore or west shore of the Hudson River.

  • The park is open from 7:00a.m. to sunset with no access 30 minutes prior to sunset. Visit http://www.sunrisesunset.com or consult a local newspaper to plan your trip.
Directions:

By train: Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is located just 4 blocks north of the Metro North and Amtrak station in Poughkeepsie.

Driving Directions:

From the South/East: Take the Taconic State Parkway north to the Route 55/Poughkeepsie exit. Take Route 55 west towards Poughkeepsie. Stay on Route 55/44 through the City of Poughkeepsie, and take a right onto Columbus Drive (just past Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and City Hall). Columbus Drive becomes Washington Street. Continue on Washington Street to right on Parker Avenue. Park entrance is on the left. Free parking is available in a large dirt field; a fee is charged at the paved parking area.  

From the South/West: Take Route 9W North. Just past the exit for the Mid-Hudson Bridge, take a right onto Haviland Road. Park entrance is on the left just beyond the Hudson Valley Rail Trail parking area.  A small paid parking area is at the trail head (for about a dozen cars); parking on the north side of Haviland Road is free.  There is also a large, free parking area at the Hudson Valley Rail Trail entrance.

From the North: Take the New York State Thruway (I-87) south to Exit 18, Poughkeepsie/New Paltz. Take right onto Route 299. Follow Route 299 east to Route 9W south. Make a left onto Haviland Road. Park entrance is on the left.

Contact Information:OPRHP-NYS Parks
845-454-9649
Region:Hudson River Greenway Trail
Fees:None
in

Timp-Torne/Dunderberg Spiral Railway/R-D Trail Short Loop from Route 9W

Overview

This loop hike follows portions of the never-completed Dunderberg Spiral Railway and passes several expansive viewpoints over the Hudson River.

Details
Time:
3 hours
Difficulty:
Moderate to Strenuous
Length:
3.9 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Historic feature
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Rockland
State:
NY
Publication
First Published:
08/28/2008

Updated/Verified:
10/04/2010
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Lower Tunnel of the Dunderberg Spiral Railway - Photo by Daniel Chazin

Parking


View Dunderberg Spiral Railway in a larger map

See also
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.281193,-73.962922

Driving Directions

Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its northern terminus at the Bear Mountain Circle and proceed south on U.S. Route 9W for about four miles. Park in a large parking area on the right, at the base of a downhill section of the road, as the road reaches the river level. (A side road, Old Route 9W, leaves sharply to the left here.)

Description

From the parking area, walk south on Route 9W for a few hundred feet.

Mount Beacon Park

Park Overview:

Spectacular views reward a steep climb to the historic summit of Mount Beacon.

Trail Uses:Hiking, Mountain biking
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:
Park Acreage:234 acres
City/County/
State:
Beacon/Dutchess/NY
Buy Trail Map:East Hudson Trails Map
Park Description:

Mount Beacon can be seen from miles around and is the northern gateway to the Hudson Highlands.

Trails Overview:

The Casino Trail (Red blaze, 2.0 miles) begins at the parking area Kiosk and gains 2,000 feet in elevation, passing several viewpoints in its climb to the summit.

A Yellow-blazed trail turns north from its junction with Casino Trail and climbs to the Fishkill Ridge.

By linking with White and Blue blazed trails to the Scofield Ridge and the Wilkinson Memorial Trail, the hiker can do a strenuous 8.0-mile circular walk.

Directions:

From NY Route 9D, look for Bob's Corner Store in Beacon. Turn east onto Howland Avenue. then immediately turn right into the parking area for Scenic Hudson's Mount Beacon Park.

Public Transportation: Metro-North Hudson Line to Beacon station -- walk uphill to trailhead

Contact Information:Mount Beacon Park
845-473-4440
Region:East Hudson Highlands
Fees:None
in

Harlem Valley Rail Trail

Map


View Harlem Valley Rail Trail in a larger map

Park Overview:

This paved rail trail goes through the eastern edge of Dutchess County and into Columbia County.

Trail Uses:Hiking, Mountain biking, Handicapped
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:14.4 miles
Park Acreage:
City/County/
State:
Wassaic,
Millerton/Dutchess/NY
Web Map:Trail map
Park Description:

The portion of the Harlem Line that forms the rail-trail was completed in 1852 and later became part of the New York Central Railroad system (which became Penn Central in 1968).

Trails Overview:

The trail is planned to be 46.1 miles long. In 2009 two sections were completed, a 10.8 mile section in Dutchess County from Wassaic to Millerton, and a 3.7 mile segment in Columbia County from Under Mountain Rd. to Copake Falls Station.

The trail map link above describes six sections of the trail and the extent of their completion (the map/brochure has no publication date).

Directions:

The south trailhead is the Wassaic Metro-North station on NY 22. The north trailhead for the contiguous 10.8 mile section is in Millerton on US 44 near the intersection with NY 22. There are several alternative access points with parking along the trail.

 

Contact Information:Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association
518-789-9591
Region:Dutchess County
Fees:None
in

Dunderberg Spiral Railway/Bald Mountain Loop

Overview

This loop hike follows portions of the never-completed Dunderberg Spiral Railway, climbs to the summit of Bald Mountain, and passes several expansive viewpoints over the Hudson River.

Details
Time:
5.5 hours
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Length:
7 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Historic feature
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Rockland
State:
NY
Publication
First Published:
12/12/2002

Updated/Verified:
10/04/2010
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Bear Mountain Bridge from Dunderberg Mountain

Parking


View Dunderberg Parking in a larger map

See also
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.281193,-73.962922

Driving Directions

Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its northern terminus at the Bear Mountain Circle and proceed south on U.S. Route 9W for about four miles. At the base of a downhill section of the road, as the road reaches the river level, you’ll notice a large parking area on the right side of the road. (A side road, Old Ayers Road to Jones Point, leaves sharply to the left here.) Park in this gravel parking area.

Description

From the parking area, walk south on Route 9W for a few hundred feet.

South Beacon Mountain Firetower and Scofield Ridge

Overview

This hike climbs to the firetower atop the summit of South Beacon Mountain and follows the Scofield Ridge, passing many panoramic viewpoints over the Hudson River and the surrounding mountains.

Details
Time:
6.5 hours
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Length:
8 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Public Transportation, Historic feature
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Dutchess
State:
NY
Maps/Books
Buy Trail Map:

Buy Book:
Publication
First Published:
06/02/2006
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin
See also
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.493547,-73.959854 (or N41°29.61282, W073°57.59124)

Driving Directions

Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its northern terminus at the Bear Mountain Bridge. Cross the bridge, bear left onto N.Y. 9D, and proceed north on N.Y. 9D for 14.5 miles. As NY 9D (Wolcott Avenue) curves sharply to the left at Bob’s Corner Store in Beacon, turn right onto Howland Avenue. Immediately, turn right into the parking area for Scenic Hudson’s Mount Beacon Park.

Train

Take the Metro-North Hudson Line to the Beacon station. The trailhead is approximately 1.5 miles from the train station.  To reach the trailhead from the station turn right (south) onto Beekman Street (towards Dia Beacon).  In 0.4 mile, Beekman Street ends, and you should continue along Wolcott Avenue (Route 9D).  In about another mile, Wolcott Avenue makes a sharp right turn.  At this bend, turn left onto Howland Avenue.  The trailhead is on your right.

Description

This hike begins with a steady, steep climb of 1,000 feet of elevation in the first mile, and the overall elevation gain exceeds 2,000 feet.

Syndicate content