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Walkill Rail Trail - first timer ?s

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Walkill Rail Trail - first timer ?s

Old 09-27-22, 10:18 AM
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a_d_a_m
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Walkill Rail Trail - first timer ?s

This Ohioan is gonna be in New Paltz this weekend and I see they have a rail trail that runs N-S through the area. I'm sure with it being a rail trail it's relatively flat, but are there any closures, detours, conditions that I'm not finding online currently? Tips for a first timer?
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Old 09-27-22, 01:31 PM
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It's been months since I last biked this trail. Perhaps others with more recent experience will add comments.

The Wallkill Valley Land Trust / Rail Trail website notes work was scheduled to start 19 Sept from New Paltz south to Gardiner. I don't know its current status other than what's on the website. Proof is left to the student.

Expect flatness, but the trail's condition varies notably south-to-north. The trail's unremarkable southern end at Denniston Rd faces a state prison. The right-of-way continues and a bikeable trail actually resumes south of the prison in Wallkill but don't try to cross the land occupied by the prison. North to Gardiner, the trail is single-track and can be muddy even in fair weather. Ride this segment for bragging rights, but I typically divert to the adjacent Sand Hill Rd, rejoining the trail either where Sand Hill Rd crosses it or in Gardiner.

There's the announced construction / repairs from Gardiner to slightly north of New Paltz. I can't speak to current conditions. As with Sand Hill Rd south of Gardiner, Plains Rd south of New Paltz is a pleasant alternative. NB: NY 208 and some of the east-west roads (e.g.: Old Ford Rd and Phillies Bridge Rd) are hilly; not mountainous, but ... hilly, and 208 is busy.

The trail segment through New Paltz and what continues north on the west side of the Wallkill is typically in good condition. At what I'd guess is the boundary between New Paltz and Rosendale, there's a stub of vertical railroad track embedded in the center of the trail. What protrudes above the ground is sometimes painted day-glow orange / sometimes not, and there's sometimes a road cone over the stub. IMHO the stub should be removed entirely, but that's just my opinion. Beware.

Immediately south of Rosendale, the trail passes through some soggy spots with perpetually poor drainage. I've successfully diverted ever so slightly to higher ground immediately to the east of the trail. YMMV.

I always pause and enjoy the exposed rock of Joppenbergh Mountain immediately north of the trestle bridging Rondout Creek. I think it's worth a few minutes. Indeed, that's the spot where I usually turn around and head south.

As with Sand Hill Rd and Plains Rd, Springtown Rd (CR 7) is a pleasant alternative to the WVRT between Rosendale and where the trail crosses the Wallkill River. Adding: though the trail map on the WVRT website shows roads branching off CR 7 crossing the trail between New Paltz and Rosendale, some of these roads are private and at least one (River Rd in Rosendale) is at a different grade than the trail ... and there's no (official) connecting path....
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Old 09-27-22, 02:00 PM
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I agree with the above about south of New Paltz. I rode it in 2018 during a tour from northern Vermont home to Philly. Adventure Cycling's Atlantic Coast Route used to use the roads (e.g., Libertyville) on the other side of the river but substituted the trail and then roads into Walkill and beyond to hook up with the original route. Scenery-wise, the trail was nothing to write home about. Surface conditions ranged from so-so to bad, with some muddy spots I had to walk around. When I came down that way again in 2021 I stuck to the roads of the original routing. Much nicer. I would ride them again before taking the trail south of New Paltz.

I have read that north of New Paltz the trail is much better.

Also don't forget about the Hudson Valley Trail that goes east from New Paltz and takes you to the Walkway Over the Hudson.
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Old 09-27-22, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by arbee View Post
The trail's unremarkable southern end at Denniston Rd faces a state prison.
So THAT's why it it just ends abruptly, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Thanks.
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Old 09-27-22, 03:03 PM
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Steve B.
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There was a wash and detour about 8-1/2 miles north of NP in late May when I rode it. That is just north of the trestle. You can still get in a 17 miler from NP on an out and back. The website does not indicate a detour, so possibly it was repaired.
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Old 09-27-22, 07:44 PM
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Thanks for the intel, yall. Itll help me piece together a decent route for me n my Sutra. A 17 mile out and back wouldnt be terrible, though Id like a flat 30-40.
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Old 09-27-22, 08:21 PM
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Also consider heading east on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail. Its 9 miles to the Walkway over the Hudson bridge (you can bike over it). Its paved. You have about a mile on street before the path starts east of the Thruway. If you want, the Duchess Rail Trail continues SE 14 miles to Hopewell Junction, and another 22 miles on the Maybrook Trail to Brewster, makes a 90 mile RT. All paved.
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Old 09-27-22, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by a_d_a_m View Post
though I’d like a flat 30-40.
Suggested in indyfabz's (and Steve B's) replies: consider outbound east from New Paltz to the Walkway Over the Hudson, return west by the same route as far as Lloyd, then north-northwest (eventually) to Rosendale, north on the WVRT as far as you please (but at least as far as Joppenbergh Mountain immediately north of the trestle bridging Rondout Creek), then back to New Paltz on whatever combination of the WVRT and CR 7 (Springtown Rd) pleases you.

Details and completely subjective suggestions: east from New Paltz, the new-ish segment of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail adjacent to NY 299 is ... unedifying ... until you get to Lloyd. For this segment, I suggest from Ohioville (west of I 87 / NY Thruway) use Old Route 299 / New Paltz Rd, which is north of NY 299. There's a dog-leg intersection where New Paltz Rd crosses NY 299. There's a traffic light at the eastern part of this dog-leg to help you cross NY 299.

Just a bit east of NY 299 on New Paltz Rd, there's access on the south side of the road to the Hudson Valley Rail Trail. Continue east to the Walkway Over the Hudson. In good weather on a weekend, you'll be greeted by a large crowd.

Head back the way you came. A bit east of where you joined the trail eastbound in Lloyd, there's a small park (Tony Williams Town Park). Exit the trail here, head north on S Riverside Rd (CR 15) about .3mi, make a sharp left onto Weeds Mill Rd and a quick right onto Lily Lake Rd (no signs).

Cross NY 299. Continue northwest 2.2mi on Lily Lake Rd to a "T" intersection.

Left on Hawleys Corners Rd (no sign) / N Elting Corners Rd / Black Creek Rd (same road; only the name changes) for 1.2mi.

Right on Plutarch Rd for 1.2 mi.

Left on Weston Rd (becomes Martin Sweedish Rd) for 2.2 miles to "T" intersection.

Left on Old Post Rd (CR 16) no sign. Shortly, Old Post Rd (CR 16) bears right / north. Instead, continue forward (west) on Dashville Rd downhill ... and then very steeply downhill ... to a somewhat complicated "T" intersection with NY 213. Dead ahead is the Wallkill River; also, a small hydroelectric plant.

Left on NY 213. Immediately east of NY Thruway is Perrine's Bridge which is an old wooden covered bridge. The historic sign notes it was built in 1844 by Benjamin Wood. It's ... truly ... a wooden bridge; can't make this stuff up.

West of the north side of Perrine's Bridge, there's a *VERY* unpaved northbound ... goat-track ... that connects to the stub of River Road on the east side of NY 32. Or, to get to River Road, continue west on NY 213, then right (north) on NY 32 / NY 213, and left (west) on River Road. It's about 1 miles to Springtown Rd (CR 7).

As I mentioned in my first reply, if you continue west from Springtown Rd, River Rd passes under the WVRT. Access is possible but difficult; ask me how I know. I suggest heading north on Springtown Rd / Elting Rd about 1.8 miles to a "T" with Keator Av / Mountain Rd. A left and a quick right puts you on the WVRT at the trestle over Rondout Creek. Or, head downhill and noodle your way into Rosendale for lunch or whatever.

Last edited by arbee; 09-27-22 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 09-28-22, 05:22 AM
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Thanks for the detailed post. I will probably put together a Google Maps route and drive the road parts of it first...since it's unfamiliar territory, I'd like to kind of know what I'm getting into before I get into it. I do love me a good covered bridge, though, so maybe I'll see how Perrine's stacks up to the ones back home...
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