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Where You Can Go by Bus or Train
Try searching in our Database of Hikes (click the Public Transportation button in the Features box at top).
Or get some ideas below.
East Hudson Trails (Putnam County)
(also provides alternate route to Bear Mountain and the Appalachian Trail)
Use Metro-North/Hudson Line. From Grand Central, making stops at 125th Street in Harlem and Marble Hill in The Bronx, the trains make five stops near trailheads:
- Peekskill: Peekskill is reasonable access for the Camp Smith Trail (south end).
- Manitou: for Anthony's Nose or Bear Mt.: walk 2 miles south on Route 9D & across bridge. The Appalachian Trail is accessible along the Hudson Line via the Manitou station (close).
- Garrison: for Sugarloaf South & connections to other trails including the Appalachian Trail.
- Cold Spring: for Washburn & Notch Trails.
- Breakneck Ridge: for Breakneck Ridge Trail, Wilkinson Trail & others. Breakneck is a special stop established for hikers by the Conference. About a half hour walk from Cold Spring if you miss the trains that stop here.
- Beacon: for Fishkill Ridge Trail (with a 2.5 mile walk in Beacon).
On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, two trains, which depart from Grand Central at 7:50 and 8:50 a.m., will stop at the Manitou and Breakneck Ridge stations. Although these are scheduled stops, only one car (usually the first car of the train) will be opened at these stations, so you should specifically inform the conductor that you want to get off there. Return trains will stop at 4:57 and 6:57 p.m. at Breakneck Ridge, and at 5:10 and 7:10 p.m. at Manitou. TRAINS RUN IN BOTH DIRECTIONS ON BOTH TRACKS, SO STAY ALERT.
Although these are scheduled stops, the train will not open a door for you to board unless the engineer or conductor sees you. If you wish to board a return train from one of these stations, make sure that you are at the small platform provided on the western side of the tracks, where you can be seen.
Appalachian Trail in Pawling, NY (Dutchess County)
See Appalachian Trail Guide NY/NJ, Dutchess County section. The Appalachian Trail station is located just north of the Appalachian Trail crossing of the Metro-North Harlem Line. Service to this station is provided only on weekends and holidays. Trains leave Grand Central Terminal at 7:48 and 9:48 a.m. Return trains to Grand Central depart from the Appalachian Trail station at 2:44 and 4:44 p.m., as well as at 6:39 p.m. (Saturdays only) and 7:16 p.m. (Sundays only). At other times, service (about every two hours) is available at the Pawling and Harlem Valley-Wingdale stations, both of which are within about two miles of the Trail.
GO GREEN and Take the Roosevelt Ride to Hyde Park, NY (Dutchess County)
From May 1st to October 31st, the National Park Service provides a free shuttle from the Poughkeepsie station on Metro-North's Hudson Line to the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt Historic Site in Hyde Park. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/hofr/planyourvisit/experience-the-roosevelt-ride.htm.
For Bear Mountain and Harriman State Park east and south
(including the Long Path)
See the Conference's Harriman-Bear Mountain and Hudson Palisades maps. Take the Short Line bus, West Point route (several morning buses - buy ticket at Short Line, 212.736.4700) from PABT (early-bird bus, 7am, NOT AVAILABLE in winter). The current return bus departs at approximately 5pm, but a 1 mile walk over the Bear Mountain Bridge to Manitou enables you to flag a Metro-North train to Grand Central (as noted at top of this page). Another option is to stay at Bear Mountain Inn or motels in Fort Montgomery.
- Suffern: for Suffern-Bear Mt. Trail
- Route 202/Viola Road: for Kakiat Trail Mt. Ivy, for Long Path (both north and south)
- Tompkins Cove: for 1777 Trail
- Jones Point (flag stop must ask driver): for Ramapo-Dunderberg and Timp-Torne trails
- Bear Mt. Inn: for AT, SBM, Major Welch & other trails.
Harriman Park, west
Use these stops on the Short Line bus (NYC-Middletown NY route) from PABT. Buses leave early in the morning, returning late in the afternoon from Southfields, (212) 736-4700.
- Suffern: for Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail.
- Sloatsburg: for Pine Meadow Trail (1 mile roadwalk) & connections to 7-Hills, Reeves Brook & Kakiat Trails, etc.
- Tuxedo: for Kakiat, Ramapo-Dunderberg & Triangle Trails; connections to Blue Disk & TMI Trails.
- Southfields: for Nurian Trail & connection to Dunning & other trails.
- Arden: for Appalachian Trail, Arden-Surebridge Trail, & other connecting trails.
You can also reach the western side of Harriman by train, via NJ Transit/Metro North's Port Jervis Line. Trains leave from NJ Transit's Hoboken Terminal, and connections from Penn Station in New York City are available at Secaucus Junction. Hourly service is available to Suffern, with less frequent service to Sloatsburg, Tuxedo and Harriman stations. For more information, click here for a NJTransit pdf or here for the relevant MTA webpage.
Long Path in NJ & NY's Rockland County
See Conference's Long Path Guide and/or Hudson Palisades maps. Bus #9 of former Red & Tan Buses (see below), 212.564.1114, makes several stops along Route 9W that serve the Long Path on the Palisades: Englewood Cliffs, Alpine (Closter Dock Road), Stateline, Piermont & Upper Nyack. Return service to PABT is hourly. You can also walk across the GW Bridge to reach Fort Lee, southern entrance to the NJ Palisades. For Long Path north into Harriman or south to High Tor & the Palisades, use Short Line (West Point Route) to Mt. Ivy: Early mornings from PABT, return late afternoons.
There is no walkway on the Tappan Zee Bridge for return to the city via the Metro-North Hudson Line.
in the NJ Palisades Interstate Park, use the Long Path information listed above.
Long Island Greenbelt Trail
See NY Walk Book. For northern section, take Long Island Railroad, 718.217.LIRR, to Smithtown. For southern section take LIRR to Great River. There is now just 1 campsite along the trail; permit required, call Suffolk Parks @ 516.854.1320.
See NY Walk Book. For northern section, take LIRR to Cold Spring Harbor. For southern section, take LIRR to Massapequa. No hiking permits needed for this trail.
West Hudson Trails
If you really want to test the limits of a 50-mile radius, catch a morning Short Line Express bus from PABT to the Mountainville stop for Schunemunk Mountain & Black Rock Forest. Return buses leave from late afternoon until approximately 7pm from Mountainville. See the Conference's West Hudson Trails maps.
Bus service to New Paltz from New York City, Nanuet, Newburgh and Kingston is available via Adirondack Trailways, www.trailwaysny.com (800) 776-7548. Limited weekday bus service to New Paltz from Kingston and Highland is available via Routes R and H of Ulster County Area Transit, www.co.ulster.ny.us/ucat (888) 827-8228. Taxi service from New Paltz to Mohonk Preserve, Mohonk Mountain House and Minnewaska State Park Preserve is available from New Paltz Taxi, www.npztaxi.com (845) 255-1550.
New Jersey Trails
Passaic County, with some trails in Bergen & Sussex Counties. See Conference's North Jersey Trails maps. Use NJ Transit, (973) 762-5100, or call PABT at (212) 564-8484. Hours may vary seasonally, especially in summer. Call ahead!
NJ Transit Bus #197 leaves PABT Saturday and Sunday mornings for:
- Pompton Lakes (Library or Acme Supermarket, mile before Station Plaza), for Cannonball Trail.
- Haskell, at Doty Road & Route 511, for Post Brook Trail.
- Wanaque, at West Brook Road & Route 511 for Stonetown Circular Trail & many trails in Norvin Green State Forest (Wyanokies). (If driver won't stop at West Brook Road, ask for 511 & Skyline Lakes Drive, Citgo station). This stop requires a road walk to trails.
- Cupsaw Lake Plaza for Skylands section of Ringwood State Park (8 & 10:30am on Saturday, 11am on Sunday). See Note Below.
- Ringwood Borough Hall, for Ringwood State Park (only on Saturday, none on Sunday). NOTE: Not all buses go to Cupsaw & Ringwood. Inquire carefully for both directions!
- Hewitt, at East Shore Road & Greenwood Lake Turnpike (Route 511) for Sterling Ridge & Hewitt-Butler Trails (must request this stop).
- Greenwood Lake NJ (near intersection of Routes 511 & 513), for access to Bearfort Ridge & Terrace Pond trails.
- Greenwood Lake NJ (State Line stop), for State Line & Appalachian Trails on ridge (must request this stop).
- Bellvale (Mt. Peter), for Appalachian Trail. You can then hike & link to return public transit. Hike south on AT to State Line Trail (6 miles) or Greenwood Lake NJ (12 miles) or north to Arden NY (12 miles).
NJ Transit Bus #194 leaves PABT on Saturday, Sunday & six holidays to:
- Pompton Lakes, for Cannonball Trail.
- Butler (Park & High Street stop), for Hewitt-Butler Trail (1 mile walk on road) towards Norvin Green State Forest. Afternoon service is every 2 hours on the hour (both ways).
Hikes in western New Jersey
Access to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Worthington State Forest, and the Appalachian Trail. See Trail Conference map set Kittatinny Trails.
Martz Trailways (800-233-8604 or www.martztrailways.com) provides frequent non-stop express bus service every day from New York PABT to Stroudsburg/Delaware Water Gap. From The Martz bus station walk down the street (Main Street / Rt 611 South) into the Village of Delaware Water Gap and proceed to crosswalk marked Appalachian Trail. This leads to the pedestrian walkway over Interstate 80 Highway Bridge crossing the Delaware River. The AT leads to the welcome center for the Del Water Gap Nat Rec Area on the NJ side of the river. From this area, in addition to the AT, there is access to the Tammany Trail with links to many other trails in Worthington SF.