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

Coleman Station

Amenia  -- southern end