CATSKILL SCENIC TRAIL:
BLOOMVILLE-ROXBURY, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 10, 2013
Length: Catskill Scenic Trail; 26 miles
Stamford to Bloomville; 12 miles
Stamford to Grand Gorge; 8.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Flat, Cinder rail trail from Bloomville to Grand Gorge. Mountain bike recommended.
Moderate. Flat, Grass & cinder rail trail from Stamford to Grand Gorge. Mountain bike recommended.
To start from Stamford; From the junction of Routes 10 & 23, take Route 23 east into Stamford. Look for Railroad Ave on your right and travel down it to the old Stamford Depot where the trail crosses.
To start from Hobart; From the junction of Routes 10 & 23, take Route 10 west to the town of Hobart. Just before you reach Route 18 (Maple Ave/River St), take a left down Cornell Ave. Pull into the Community Center parking lot where the trail crosses.
To start from Bloomville; From the junction of State Routes 10 & 28, take Route 10 east to Bloomville. Continue past the turnoff for CR33 (County Route) and head up the hill along Route 10. Look for Agway Rd on your left as you reach the crest. This dirt road is actually the parking lot for the trail which starts just across Route 10.
The Catskill Scenic Trail runs along the former rail bed of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad. This railroad crossed the Catskills from Kingston Point on the Hudson to Oneonta in the Susquehanna Valley. Chartered in 1866 and later reorganized in 1872 as the New York, Kingston & Syracuse, it finally became the Ulster & Delaware in 1875. In 1900, the line was extended to Oneonta. In 1932 it was merged into the New York Central, then into the Penn Central in 1968 and finally abandoned in 1976 after Conrail took it over. The trail travels 26 miles between the towns of Bloomville and Roxbury .There is only a 400 foot change in elevation over the entire trail with the town of Stamford as the peak. The best trail conditions are from Bloomville to Grand Gorge. The section towards Roxbury is rough and is incomplete in areas with detours. For more information visit; CATSKILL SCENIC TRAIL . Maps and info are available at the old Stamford Depot which is now an information center.
Starting from Stamford heading West; From the old Stamford Depot head west across Railroad Ave along the hard packed cinder trail. This trail runs through the valley with rolling hills on either side of you. It also intersects the Delaware River and its tributaries all along the trail. Its a very peaceful trail for much of the journey as you only pass through the hamlets of Hobart and South Kortright. Route 10 parallels the trail to the north and CR18 parallels and occasionally intersects the trail to the south. The trail is flat and travels through open fields, some woods and windbreaks. You'll pass by a yellow signpost at 1.4 miles that the trail committee has erected, pointing out various destinations. Two miles takes you over a bridge and then past a bench. When you enter a wooded section, look for a bench made out of railroad ties on your right at 2.8 miles. On you left the river parallels the trail here. Continuing along the trail you'll pass another bench and then a yellow sign that reads "Food-Phone-Gas" and points to a side trail. After crossing another old trestle and passing by a pond you'll cross over Cornell Ave in Hobart at 3.6 miles. The trail passes by Botanic Park which overlooks a pond and has picnic tables and benches. Further along you'll pass by a playground and ball fields. Keep a sharp eye, for at 4.1 miles, there is an old mileage marker on the right reading K78. This stands for 78 miles to Kingston Station, which was located along the Hudson River. You cross an old railroad trestle at 4.3 miles over Town Brook. You reach South Kortright and cross over CR18 at 7.6 miles. Belle Terre School ? is left, just down this road. You can see the Delaware River on your right at 7.9 miles. Some great wide open views at 8.4 miles as you pass between a hayfield on your right and a cornfield on your left. At 9 1/2 miles you'll cross an old trestle bridge where the river converges with one of its tributaries. We were able to walk down the stone bridge abutments and go wading in the shallow part of the stream. You cross 2 more bridges at 9.8 miles and 10.1 miles. At 10 1/2 miles the trail takes you above the river to your left. You come alongside Route 10 at 11.4 miles and pass a big red barn with two silos at 11 3/4 miles. After passing by a big white building to your right and an old foundation keep an eye out for another old mileage marker K86. The trail will then cross over Route 10 to the Bloomville parking lot and end at 12 miles.
Starting from Stamford heading East; From the old Stamford Depot head east along the hard packed dirt and cinder trail past the grain silo. Come to Route 23 at 0.4 miles and head right for a cross-walk. Continue past a plaza where you'll find a map board. At 0.6 you'll pass by a boardwalk that loops around a marsh (Mase Cold Spring Wetlands Preserve) and rejoins the trail just ahead. After crossing Crestline Ave you leave Stamford behind as you pass through open fields. Pass by an old railroad mileage marker reading K73 on your left at about a mile. This stands for 73 miles to Kingston Station, which was located along the Hudson River. You'll find these old markers every mile along the trail. Cross Murphy Rd and spot an old railroad "Measured Mile" pole on your left. I didn't see any markings on it but they usually had 1/4 mile-1/2 mile or 1 mile marked on them. Another pole is located about a 1/4 mile further along the trail on your right. Second, enjoy the view to your right of what I believe to be Utsayantha Mountain. The trail then travels through more of a wooded area, even when there are open fields around, the trail tends to be shaded by a ribbon of trees. Pass by Mayham Pond before crossing S Gilboa Rd at 3.1 miles. The trail surface contains more grass and becomes more of a double tracked trail. Another 1/4 miles takes you past the old South Gilboa Train Station, which appears to be in the middle of nowhere. You'll cross a few small wooden bridges as Bear Kill parallels the trail. Pass by an old cement RR Whistle marker on your right at 4.9 miles followed by a second on your left before passing by K69 and heading through a RR cut. Use Caution crossing some of the bridges as they are in rough shape. Cross Route 23 at 7 miles. Use Caution; No Crosswalk. Travel up a short incline to rejoin the rail trail which now follows a berm past K67. Just before crossing Jump Brook Rd at 7.3 miles look right to spot an old RR bridge frame.
Note; This next section has a short section that still has RR ties in place making for rough travel and a rock cut with poor drainage that can be mucky. Mt bike recommended.
The hard packed cinder & grass surface is rough with some RR ties still embedded in the trail. Cross over Jump Brook at 7.5 miles. You may need to walk your bike the next 0.1 miles as the RR ties are numerous and the trail can be mucky as it is a slight incline. The cinder surface improves at 7.8 miles as you travel alongside a ridge. Travel through a rock cut passing by K66 at 8.2 miles. Poor Drainage. From here the trail levels out before crossing Route 30 (Use Caution; No Crosswalk) and bringing you to the Grand Gorge parking lot at 8.7 miles where you'll find a sign board.
The trail continues on towards Roxbury but I haven't checked out this section yet.
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