Q. Where is the Dutchess Rail Trail Park?
The 13.4-mile, Dutchess Rail Trail begins at the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park in the City of Poughkeepsie and heads south-east to its end at the Old Hopewell Depot, just outside Hopewell Junction in the Town of East Fishkill.
Q. Where does the Empire State Trail-Maybrook Trailway begin in Dutchess County?
The Empire State Trail-Maybrook Trailway begins just outside the Old Hopewell Depot, and travels toward Brewster, in Putnam County. This stretch of the Empire State Trail is 23 miles in length.
Q. How long is the Harlem Valley Rail Trail?
The Harlem Valley Rail Trail southernmost trail head begins at the Wassaic Metro North Station, and travels through the eastern side of Dutchess County. Currently, there is 26 + miles of rail trail which extends into Columbia County. More information on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail can be found here.
Q. What type of surface do these trails have and what types of users are allowed?
The Dutchess Rail Trail Park has a consistent paved path at least ten foot in width for the entire length, but with additional width of pavement north of Rt. 55 in the Town of Poughkeepsie, and a parallel soft surface south of Diddell Road for those walkers, joggers and cyclists that prefer a soft surface. No horses or morotrized vehicles are permitted, with the exception of electric mobility wheelchairs.
The Harlem Valley Rail Trail has a consistent paved path at least ten foot in width for the entire length. No horses or morotrized vehicles are permitted, with the exception of electric mobility wheelchairs.
The Empire State Trail-Maybrook Trailway has a consistent paved path of at least ten foot in width for the entire length with item 4 gravel on either side of path for most of trail. No horses or morotrized vehicles are permitted, with the exception of electric mobility wheelchairs.
Q. How do these trails deal with road crossings?
A variety of options are used on these rail trail systems, from simple signage and striping, to pedestrian warning lights, to grade-separated crossings (bridges). The type of crossing proposed at any particular road was determined on a case by case basis, based on the available sight distances, volume and speed of traffic, grades of the trail approaches and an analysis of available gaps in traffic, which are needed to allow users to safely cross roads at grade.
Q. Are e-bikes allowed on the Rail Trails?
Currently, e-bikes are not allowed on the Rail Trail systems.
Q. What types amenities are found on these rail trail systems?
The rail trails in Dutchess County offer benches, porta units at various trail heads (during peak seasons), and several bike repairs stations on the Dutchess Rail Trail.
Q. Do the rail trail parks close?
The rail trails can be used during sunrise to sunset hours. The rail trails are not plowed during the winter season and can be utilized for winter sporting activities such as snowshoeing, winter hiking, and x country skiing.
Q. Who maintains the rail trails?
Together, both the Dutchess County Department of Public Works and Dutchess County Parks maintain the rail trails. In addition to these departments, Friends of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail and MTA provide trail oversight and support. The county also receives help from Adopt a Trail volunteers for seasonal cleanup. I Love My Park Day clean up events also take place two times a year. Interested in volunteering on the Rail Trail? Call the Park Office at 845-298-4600.