Harlem Valley Rail Trail (southern part)
Amenia, Dutchess County, NY
From downtown Amenia at the junctions of NY Route 22, Route 44; and Route 343, drive east on Route 343 one block; turn right onto Mechanic Street; drive a short distance past the fire station to the parking area on the left.
The Millerton end of the trail is found in downtown Millerton.
1831 -- the New York & Harlem Railroad chartered.
1832 -- the NY&H Railroad opens in Manhattan.
1852 -- the NY&H extended to Chatham (131 miles) where it hooked up with the Boston & Albany Division of the New York Central Railroad (NYC), the Rutland Railroad out of Vermont; a branch of NYC that went to Hudson Falls.
1873 -- the NY&H acquired by NYC (becoming the Harlem Division).
1968 -- takeover of NYC by Penn Central.
1972 -- Penn Central abandons passenger service to areas north of Brewster (Putnam County).
1976 -- Conrail takes over.
1980 -- Conrail abandons freight traffic from Wassaic and Millerton.
1980s -- Elinor Mettler, editor and publisher of the Columbia County Roe Jam Independent, proposes a rail-trail and then helps found the Harlem Valley Rail-Trail Association.
The Harlem Valley Rail-Trail is a paved multi-use path built on the old railroad bed that connected New York City, the Harlem Valley, and Chatham, N.Y.
1989 -- New York State purchased about 20 miles of the right-of-way from Wassaic to Copake Falls.
1996 -- the section of the trail from Amenia north to Coleman Station opens.
2000 -- segments in Millerton open.
2001 -- Columbia County section opens from Boston Corners to Copake Falls.
2001 -- $2 million dollars acquired to build the trail section from Millerton north to the Columbia County line and $846,000 dollars to build between Wassaic Railroad Station to Amenia.
(Source: Della Penna & Sextion, 2002:chapter 11)
The Rail-Trail goes a short distance into Columbia County, where it links with Taconic State Park. Eventually, it is hoped the trail will continue on to Chatham for a total of 45 miles.
Millerton -- northern end
Amenia -- southern end