Thursday, August 02, 2007

Weekend Escape 5 - Harlem Valley Rail Trail

Here is a real escape, and if you are trying to get there by train it could be called an adventure. Your reward is the scenic paved Harlem Valley Rail Trail surrounded by the Taconic Hills that straddle the New York and Connecticut Border.

Less than 2 miles north end of the rail trail from Bash Bish Falls in the southwest corner of Massachussetts.

Getting There - Here is the adventure part, find the best way to get to New York City by bus or train then taking the Metro North's Harlem Valley Line at Grand Central Station to Wassaic, the last stop on the line. Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT trains stop at Penn Station, on weekends mornings it's a 12 minute leg stretching bike ride via 32nd St and Park Ave to Grand Central.

You also need a bike permit for Metro North train which you can buy at Grand Central Station customer service window (Yes they still have bike permits) and beware of some funky bike rules especially during the week.

Driving Directions

Since New York City is the halfway point to the start, you may want to spend the first night there and take an AM Metro North Train. If you are driving the nearest chain hotels to the trail are in Poughkeepsie and Fishkill NY. A search on Google yielded a few motels and inns close to the trail in Millerton, Amenia and Copake

The Villages of Millerton and Amenia are quite attractive and both communities have bed and breakfast accommodations.

Taconic State Park offers camping at the north end of the trail in the Copake Falls section and just north of Millerton near Undermountain Road in the Rudd Pond Section.