Hudson Valley Rail Trail

The Hudson Valley Rail Trail is 3.6 miles in length traveling from its connection with Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park on the east bank of the Hudson River westward to Riverside Road. It current terminus is Tony Williams Park with anticipated 2014 construction of an additional .8 miles of trail westward to the intersection of Route 299 and New Paltz Road. The trail is a 12 foot wide paved multi-use that travels through the Town of Lloyd on an abandoned rail bed through the Black Creek Complex with the Illinois Mountains as a backdrop.

photo: Type: Rail Trail
Length: 3.60 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Bicycling (on pavement)
Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Roller/Inline Skating
Skateboarding
Snow - Cross-country Skiing
Snow - Snowshoeing
Wildlife Observation
Agency:
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Directions

Location: Connects to Walkway Over the Hudson on the west bank of the Hudson River in Highland New York
States: New York
Counties: Ulster
Latitude: 41.736523   Longitude: -74.001272

many access points along the trail from 75 Haviland Road to Riverside Road

Description

The trail begins on the west bank of the Hudson River where it connects to Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.
Traveling westward, the trail features a red caboose at 75 Haviland Road, outstanding rock outcroppings, cool shaded passes, a fitness course, Rotary Centennial Garden, Hudson Valley Rail Trail Depot with the Highland Rotary Pavilion, picnic tables, restrooms, water foundation and a second red caboose. The trail passes through the Black Creek Wetlands Complex with vistas of the Illinois Mountain range. Corinthian granite benches line the trail. The trail currently terminates at Tony Williams Park featuring tennis courts, basketball court, baseball fields, pavilion and restrooms. The trail is a major route for all to travel between the Hamlet of Highland and the park.
Our trail is of national significance and different from any other trail by its connection with a Historic National Treasure – the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.
In 2014, construction will begin on an additional .8 mile of trail. A county-wide trail system will connect the Hudson Valley Rail Trail to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in New Paltz which will eventually connect all Ulster County trails from Walkway Over the Hudson to the Ashokan Reservoir.
In 2012, the Association participated in the Parks & Trails NY, NYS Trails Council and NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation trail user count. The count revealed that of the fourteen trails participating, “The Hudson Valley Rail Trail (HVRT) had the highest estimate of annual trail traffic volume, nearly 670,000 annual trail users.”
The Highland High School Theater Club presented A Walk through Lloyd’s History on the trail during our Annual MoonWalk event. The Highland High School Interact Club is hosting a 5K Turkey Trot Race to raise funds for their projects.
All segments of the communities along the 18.2 miles experience the rural and urban settings of the trail that connects Ulster and Dutchess Counties. People access the trail to walk, run or cycle for health and fitness. To increase health and fitness awareness, each spring and fall we host a Learn to Run Program. During this ten week program, the participants accomplish the ability to run for twenty minutes. Some people access the trail just to enjoy the tranquility and scenery or to observe wildlife. Whatever the reason, everyone seems to enjoy all that the trail has to offer.
The Highland Rotary Club, an avid supporter, provided funding to construct paved handicap spaces at 101 New Paltz Road. BSA Troop 70 supports our events and projects. The Town of Lloyd provides funding for the mowing of the grass, snowplowing, electric, water, sewer and supplies to the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Depot. The cabooses were donated by trail supporters.
In 1974, a fire consumed part of the railroad bridge over the Hudson River making rail traffic impossible. Ulster County became the owners of part of the abandoned rail bed and gifted a portion to the Town of Lloyd. Ray Costantino, Community Service Chair brought the idea of converting the abandoned rail corridor into a rail trail to the Highland Rotary Club. With fellow Rotarians Everton Henriques and John Canino he approached the Town of Lloyd to allow the conversion of the rail bed. After some controversy it was approved and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association, Inc. was named managers of the trail. The Highland Rotary Club provided seed money to create the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association, Inc. and labor to clear part of the rail bed.
With the trail being very rural in nature from 1997 to 2010, most of the trail users were walkers or runners. When the trail was extended 1.1 miles and connected to Walkway Over the Hudson in 2010 use by cyclists became more prevalent. To improve safety among the various users, the Association created the Trail Safety and Courtesy Program to educate all users about trail safety and courtesy.
Rules and regulations were instituted at the trail’s opening. A bicycle bell requirements was recently added. Signage concerning trail safety are posted along the trail.
Users of the trail include health enthusiasts, walkers, runners, cyclists, skateboarders, inline skaters, cross-country skiers, birders and individuals just wanting a quiet moment to collect their thoughts.
The Association hosts events including WinterFest, an outdoor Fire & Ice Event featuring the “Best of Fest” chili contest, MoonWalk, when the trail is open after dark with bonfire and storyteller, HudsonFest featuring a festival along the trail with local eateries, wineries, crafters and local non-profit organizations, STRIDE Wounded Warriors Race in support of our Wounded Warriors, the Move Your Caboose Fun Run/Walk just for the fun of it and most importantly the Annual Meeting of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association, Inc. held each year on the trail on National Trails Day.


Additional Details

Width: 127 inches.
Primary Surface: Asphalt
Secondary Surface: Asphalt

Average Grade: 1%
Elevation Low Point: 225
Elevation High Point: 360
Year Designated: 2014

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Brochure: Brochure

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Public Contact:
Claire Costantino
President
Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association Inc.
12 Church Street
Highland , NY 12528
(845) 691 2066
rebena1@aol.com

 

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