Hudson Valley Rail Trail
Highland, Town of Lloyd, Ulster County, NY
Take NY Thruway (US 87) exit 18 (Poughkeepsie/New Paltz). From traffic light at the end of the exit, turn right onto Route 299 East and go 2.3 miles. Turn right onto New Paltz Road and go 0.7 miles. Turn left onto South River Side Rd, and after 0.1 mile turn right into Tony Williams Park and park to the left by the start of the Rail Trail. This is the west end of the trail.
The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (the New Haven Railroad for short) had a facility at the town of Maybrook (not far from the trailhead). This facility was the largest railroad yard east of the Mississippi River and much of the freight to New England went through it.
1969 -- the New Haven Railroad goes bankrupt and merges with Penn Central.
1974 -- the Hudson River bridge at Poughkeepsie declared unsafe after a fire and New Haven Railroad abandoned.
The right-of-way was taken over by Ulster County. The trail was developed in part with funds from the Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson Valley. Other money came in the mid-90's with the installation of a fiber optic line for $400,000 dollars compensation.
1997 -- the trail opens.
(Sources: Della Penna & Sexton, 2002:chapter 31 and http://www.hvnet.com/FEATURES/HighlandRailTrail.htm).
The developed part of the trail heads out 2.74 miles (5.48 miles round-trip), but including the undeveloped part, goes 5 miles. The trail goes from the old railroad bridge over the Hudson between Poughkeepsie and Highland, through the village of Highland, and then heads west to Route 299.
In Lloyd the rail trail covers more than three miles running from Commercial Avenue out to Tony Williams Field.
North to South:
New Paltz Road meets up with Route 299 heading west to New Paltz
cross over Black Creek (Black Creek Wetlands Complex)
Tony Williams Town Park
crossing over Black Creek (Black Creek Wetlands Complex)
under New Paltz Road
town of Highland
under Route 9W
8/28/04. We made a brief stop just to take a look at one of the starting places for the trail. We noticed that near New Paltz the trail was paved and was located in a wide open grassy area with woods edge on both sides of the open area. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.