The Dutchess County segment of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail stretches from trailheads at the Metro North Railway Station in Wassaic to the trailhead in the heart of Millerton's downtown area. Additional trailheads are at the Amenia Station about 3 miles from Wassaic, and the Coleman Station about 4.5 miles further on. The last leg of just under 3 miles is from Coleman to Millerton. Along the way, you'll walk beside pastoral farmland, through deep forest with trees hugging the trail on both sides, and along the Webatuck Creek floodplain where you'll share the landscape with maples, cottonwoods and sycamores that are several hundred years old.
This multi-use trail accommodates horses, inline skaters, runners, bicyclists and wheeled, non-motorized vehicles like strollers and wheelchairs, so be sure to remain aware of your surroundings and keep your pup firmly in hand to avoid mishaps. Between Coleman and Millerton Stations, you'll encounter 6 old bridges, all lovingly restored, and you'll walk through 3 picturesque and deep tunnels through the rock that will feel degrees cooler than the outside air. This section hosts the Webatuck Creek and Ten-Mile River. Distant views of Indian Mountain punctuate the bucolic grassland with its horses and other animals happily munching on reeds and sedge. A beaver pond near Amenia can, if you and Fido are lucky, provide sightings of these fascinating and sometimes comical water-loving mammals. Birds are everywhere in all seasons but especially in the spring and fall during migrations.
Along this trail, you'll be treated to lovingly reconstructed railroad stations that now house businesses, restaurants and shops, as well as the remnants of ice houses, milk bottling plants and other signs of the river's past. In Amenia, the free parking lot is on the site of a former large hotel popular with travelers and businessmen from New York City and Philadelphia.
With a few doable hills and some lovely views of lakes and streams, this trail is pawrfect for an outing with your furry bestie, and the Wassaic station makes it possible to get to the southern trailhead in less than 2 hours from NYC! Furtastic!
Some areas of this rail-to-trail travel along elevated sections of track called "pyramids" that alleviate the ups and downs of the natural terrain. Some of them can be up to 50 feet in height, and they drop off steeply on both sides. Take care when walking on these sections. There are no fences to prevent falling.