D&H CANAL TRAIL-O&W RAIL TRAIL CORRIDOR:

SULLIVAN & ULSTER COUNTIES, NEW YORK

O & W RAIL TRAIL NORTH LETTERBOX:

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

 

Letterbox Planted: July 14, 2008

Last Updated:          August 19, 2018

Length:                    Kingston Rail Trail; 1.8 miles

                                  Hurley Rail Trail; 2.2 miles.

                    Marbletown O&W Rail Trail; 11.3 miles.

                                  D&H Canal Trail: High Falls; ス mile

                                  O&W Rail Trail: Accord to Kerhonkson; 3 ス miles.  

                          O&W Rail Trail: Napanoch to Ellenville; about 3 miles

                                  D&H Canal Linear Park; 4.1 miles

                                  Mamakating O&W Rail Trail; about 3.5 miles

                                  O&W Rail Trail: Bashakill Wildlife Management Area; less than 6 miles.

Difficulty:                Kingston Link Trail; Moderate. Flat, narrow rail trail only partially developed.

                                  Hurley Rail Trail; Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.

                                   Marbletown O&W Rail Trail (Russell Rd to Route 213); Easy. Flat, stone-dust rail trail.

                                  Marbletown O&W Rail Trail (Route 213 to Rest Plaus Rd); Moderate. Flat, narrow rail trail. Hard packed cinder & grass with some root issues. 

                                  Marbletown O&W Rail Trail (Rest Plaus Rd to Kripplebush Creek); Difficult. Soft grass surface with root issues. Tough biking.

                                  O&W Rail Trail: Accord to Ellenville; Moderate. Flat, grass, hard packed dirt and cinder rail trail.

                                  D & H Canal Linear Park; Moderate. Flat, hard packed gravel and grass trail.

                                  Mamakating O&W Rail Trail; Moderate. Flat, hard packed dirt and grass trail.

                                   O & W Rail Trail: Bashakill Wildlife Management Area; Moderate. Flat, grass and hard packed dirt trail. Mt Bike recommended.                          

Directions:     

To start from Hurley (Hurley Rail Trail); From I-87 (NY State Thruway) take exit 19 to Route 28 west. Exit onto Route 209 south and follow for about a mile. Just after crossing over Esopus Creek, on your left will be a parking lot for the trail.

To start from the Marbletown parking lot (Marbletown O&W Rail Trail); From I-87 (NY State Thruway) take exit 19 to Route 28 west. Exit onto Route 209 south and follow for about 4 miles. Just after the paved trail enters the woods on your left will be a road leading to the parking area. The stone-dust section of trail starts here.

To visit High Falls (D&H Canal Trail); Follow Route 209 to the junction of Route 213. Take Route 213 into High Falls.

To start from Kerhonkson (Northern O&W Rail Trail); From the junction of Routes 55 & 209, Follow Route 209 northeast into Kerhonkson. At the traffic light turn right down Frances Lane and follow across the Rondout Creek Bridge. Take you池e first left onto Main St (does not look like a normal Main St) and you'll come to the Firehouse on your left. Parking is located on your right. To reach the Berme Road parking lot continue past Main St on Frances Lane and take a left onto Church St. At the end of Church, turn right on East St, then left onto Berme Rd. The parking lot will be on the left.

Starting from Berme Road Lower Park-next to the ball fields (Northern O&W Rail Trail); From Routes 52 & 209 in Ellenville travel east on Route 52 (Canal St not Center St) across Sandburg Creek and take your first left on Edwards Pl. A sharp right it becomes Hoar St. Take your first left which brings you to the Berme Road Lower Park parking lot on your right.

To start from Summitville/Phillipsport (Central O&W Rail Trail-D&H Canal Trail); From Route 17 take exit 113 to Route 209 north  and after 5.8 miles look for Bova Rd on your left and the entrance to D&H Canal Interpretive Center.

To start from Wurstboro (Central O&W Rail Trail-D&H Canal Trail); From Route 17 take exit 113 to Route 209 north into the village of Wurstboro. Then take a right down Sullivan St (Route 171) and you'll see a small pavilion on your left between Canal St and Burger Lane. This is where the D&H Canal Trail crosses. Continuing along Sullivan St, just as you start to leave town, on your left will be the start of the Mamakating O&W Rail Trail.

For the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area (Southern O&W Rail Trail-D&H Canal Trail); From Route 17 take exit 113 to Route 209 south. Travel 1.9 miles, ignoring the first sign you see for Bashakill on your left, until you come to Haven Rd on your left. Your first right on Towpath Rd brings you to the D&H Canal. Continuing on Haven Road across the Bashakill you'll cross the O&W Rail Trail. Take a left along the gravel road to the parking lot

The D&H Canal Trail-O&W Rail Trail Corridor follows the Delaware & Hudson Canal [See; D&H Canal Historical MAP] and New York, Ontario & Western Railroad [See; O&W Historical MAP] route from Kingston south to Spring Glen in Ulster County and Phillipsport (Hamlet of Mamakating) south to Wurtsboro in Sullivan County. Another section of the D&H Canal Trail can be found in Port Jervis, near the Pennsylvania border in Orange County. See; D&H Canal; Port JervisIn Summitville, another section of the New York, Ontario & Western Railroad crossed. Heading northwest the old rail bed is undeveloped until Mountaindale and the O&W  Rail Trail which runs (with gaps) to Hurleyville. Plans are in the works to continue the trail to Liberty and the Liberty Rail Trail. Another large gap exists up to Parksville and the Parksville Rail Trail. See; O&W Rail Trail . Heading southeast the old rail bed is undeveloped until Middletown, [where a rail trail is planned for construction in 2018] and continuing southeast to Goshen and the Orange Heritage Trail , which runs to Harriman. 

The D & H Canal Trail-O&W Rail Trail Corridor begins in Kingston in Ulster County, where the Kingston Rail Trail is partially developed, but slated for improvement. Several different trails are planned in Kingston under the umbrella KINGSTON GREENLINE . [See; Kingston Historical RR Map] Future plans call for continuing the Kingston Rail Trail east alongside the CATSKILL MOUNTAIN RR which utilizes the rail trail in Kingston. Further east a connection will be made with the Kingston Point Rail Trail. Furthermore, a future link south from Kingston will connect to the Wallkill Valley Rail TrailHeading west along the old Ulster and Delaware RR will be the planned Catskill Mt Rail Trail alongside the Catskill Mt RR. This will connect to the Ashokan/Ulster County Rail Trail which is currently under construction (as of Sept 2018). The Kingston Rail Trail connects to the Hurley Rail Trail & Marbletown O&W Rail Trail to Accord. From Accord south to Spring Glen, the Northern O&W Rail Trail contains numerous gaps in development. South of Spring Glen you enter Sullivan County with a gap to Phillipsport. Here the Central O&W Rail Trail-D&H Canal Trail, locally known as the D&H Canal Liner Park, continues south to Wurstboro. The main trail is along the D&H Canal Trail, with segments currently being developed along the O&W Rail Trail. South of Wurstboro sections of both the D & H Canal Trail and O&W Rail Trail travel through the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area

Along the Delaware & Hudson Canal remains of the original locks, dry-dock & waste weirs are visible from the towpath trail. As a result of the War of 1812 Americans were faced with an energy shortage due to the blockade of shipments of soft (bituminous) coal from England. Designed as a system of transportation between the coal fields of Pennsylvania and the ports of New York along the Hudson River, the Delaware & Hudson Canal was one of many towpath canals constructed in the early years of the nineteenth century. The coal passed over a gravity railroad to haul coal from the mines to the canal terminus at Honesdale, PA. From its opening in 1828 to its demise in 1898, the D&H Canal transported millions of tons of anthracite coal. The canal was 108 miles long (Honesdale, PA to Kingston, NY) and contained 108 locks, 22 aqueducts, 136 bridges, 22 reservoirs, 16 dams and 14 feeders. See; D & H CANAL LINEAR PARK for more information .

HURLEY RAIL TRAIL/MARBLETOWN O&W RAIL TRAIL:

[Hurley to Accord/Town of Rochester]

Starting from Hurley; The Hurley Rail Trail is paved as it follows the old rail bed of the former O&W Railroad south. A map board is located here and there are informational signs scattered along the trail. The trail parallels Route 209. However, a nice buffer of plantings helps separate you from the road. Cross over a cement culvert after a 1/4 mile (next to an informational sign about "farming in the Esopus Valley").

Note; Look left to spot a small path leading down the embankment. This connects to the Kingston Rail Trail. This section hopefully will be upgraded starting in 2018. This trail follows the former O&W Railroad into Kingston. It has been cleared, but not developed. Heading left the narrow, cinder and grass trail travels along a marsh. Come to a gravel Rd after a 1/4 mile. Take a right, then a quick left and your back on the trail following a power line corridor. The mostly grass trail parallels Esopus Creek below. Continue straight past an electrical sub-station, cross a couple of culverts and travel alongside a field before reaching an access road off of Hurley Ave at 1.3 miles. Spot a trail sign here. Cross the road and travel through a tunnel underneath I-87. Here the trail is less isolated. Come to the "Super 8 Motel" where you'll follow the grass out to Washington Ave at 1.8 miles. To your left spot some RR tracks. This is the old Ulster and Delaware RR which is currently utilized by the CATSKILL MOUNTAIN RR . Future plans call for continuing the Kingston Rail Trail east alongside the Catskill Mt RR. Heading west along the old Ulster and Delaware RR will be the planned Catskill Mt Rail Trail alongside the Catskill Mt RR. This will connect to the Ashokan/Ulster County Rail Trail which is currently under construction (as of Sept 2018).

Continuing along the trail you'll travel underneath the Main St bridge at 0.8 miles, a spur on your left will take you up to Main St.

Note; Heading right along Main St will bring you to Historic Hurley. Main St has the oldest concentration of privately owned Stone Houses in the United States, dating back to 1680. See; HURLEY HERITAGE SOCIETY .

One mile brings you to a signboard and the Russell Road parking lot. Keep an eye out to your left at 1.4 miles to spot an old RR Mileage Marker that reads E24/K3, meaning 3 miles to Kingston or 24 miles to Ellenville. These markers occur every mile along the trail. The paved trail then heads into the woods and ends after 2.2 miles at the Marbletown parking lot. This is the start of the stone-dust section of trail along the Marbletown O&W Rail Trail. A map board is located here. The trail here is wide as you cross a wooden bridge and head into the woods. After you cross a second bridge you travel keep a sharp eye out to your right for a small path at 2.6 miles. The path takes you over a 2 planked bridge along a dirt path. Spot a boulder with a tree growing out of its backside straight ahead. From this boulder head right along the base of  2 split boulders and you'll come to another large boulder jutting out. Follow the base of this boulder to a pile of rocks under its ledge. Remove the flat rock to reveal the D&H Canal Heritage Corridor North Letterbox. Continuing along the trail you値l pass by a ス mile marker on your right. These markers start from the parking lot and continue every ス mile, although they eventually disappear. The trail travels along a ridgeline with a steep drop along your right. You travel alongside a large marsh with several beaver lodges at 4.4 miles. You reach the Marcott Road parking lot after 5.6 miles. Here you値l find a map board and bench. After crossing the road, the trail gets a bit narrower. Keep an eye to your right at 6.4 miles after crossing a wooden bridge and spot an old cement railroad Whistle marker. This let the train conductor know a road crossing was approaching so he could blow the trains whistle. The trail soon veers to the left off the old rail bed and brings you around the Cottekill Firehouse parking lot and past the old Cottekill Train Station, now a private residence. You next cross over Cottekill Road and rejoin the trail. Map board. You come to an old bridge abutment at 7.1 miles and have to head downhill to a wooden bridge across a creek and then head back up the other side. Very scenic area. Must have been a long railroad bridge at one time. You cross another wooden bridge at 8.1 miles and come to the Leggett Road parking lot at 8.6 miles. Here you値l find another map board and picnic tables. The trail continues across the road and consists of a hard packed gravel & grass surface with some root issues. Mountain bike is recommended. You cross a couple of wooden bridges before the trail turns to single track as it passes by the old High Falls Train Station which is now a residential home. This brings you to Route 213 in High Falls after 9.2 miles. 

Note; A quick ス mile detour from here to visit a section of the D&H Canal  is highly recommended. If you head left on-road down Route 213 you値l first cross Lucas Turnpike (Route 1) and then Rondout Creek. Soon you値l come to High Falls. The D&H Canal passed through here and you can take a short ス mile trail along the old locks. You can also visit the D&H CANAL MUSEUM . The trail starts just off of 2nd Street, next to the old Depuy Canal House which was built in 1797 and is now a restaurant. A sign indicates the start of the stone-dust trail that takes you up to a wooden bridge and over one of the locks. The trail then takes you past 3 more locks and ends after just a ス mile. Directly across from the old Canal House is a platform overlooking an 1825 stone aqueduct. If you continue up Route 213 and take a right onto Mohonk Rd, this will bring you to the museum. 

The trail continues across Route 213. No crosswalk. Head left to access a cross-light. Travel up a short berm to rejoin the rail trail where you'll find a map board. This section has been partially developed with a narrow, hard packed cinder & grass surface. Travel through a rock cut, along a berm and across a small bridge at 9.8 miles before you follow a ridge line above a stream. You'll cross a bridge over Rest Plaus Rd at 10.9 miles where you'll find a map board. You'll come alongside Kripplebush Creek where you will spot a scenic barn with waterwheel across the creek, as well as, a small dam and waterfall. You cross a bridge after 11.5 miles above Kripplebush Creek where the trail continues south in Rochester. This section is not as well maintained and can get mucky after a rain. Has not been graded. Pass by old RR Mileage Marker E14/K13 (Kingston 13 miles to Ellenville 14 miles) This is as far as I traveled. The trail continues to Williams Lumber (Kyserike Rd) at 12.3 miles.  I believe the trail then continues another 1.2 miles to Lucas Tpk at 13.5 miles. 

Note; A 2 mile gap exists south of here to the Town of Rochester Park in Accord.

O&W RAIL TRAIL:

 [Accord to Kerhonkson]

Starting from Kerhonkson; 

Note; A gap exists between Kerhonkson and Napanoch further south.

From the Firehouse, continue northeast along Main St and you'll come to a gate after 0.2 miles. The grass-lined single track trail starts here following the old rail bed of the former O&W Railroad northeast. The D&H Canal crossed somewhere along this section, but I couldn't spot where. The trail travels through the woods and soon crosses a small bridge at 0.4 miles. The trail improves with a crushed cinder surface but you still have to contend with the occasional tree root. Down to your left is Rondout Creek. After 1.1 miles you cross a larger wooden bridge. Continuing along the trail, you'll pass by the Berme Road parking lot at 1.3 miles on your right. At about mile 2 will be a dirt path on your left leading to a picnic table overlooking the creek. After passing through a rock cut the trail ends at 3 ス miles next to the Town of Rochester Park in Accord. There is a picnic pavilion and playground here.  Out to your right is Granite Rd (Route 27).

Note; A 2 mile gap exists north of here to Lucas Tpk in Accord/Town of Rochester.

O&W RAIL TRAIL:

[Kerhonkson to Ellenville]

Starting from Berme Road Park (Lower Park next to the ball fields) in Ellenville; From the parking lot travel north along the Park road until you come to a yellow gate. Here the O&W Rail Trail follows a hard packed dirt and grass surface. I have not checked out this section. The trail travels between Berme Rd and Sandburg Creek, then Rondout Creek north to the Eastern Correctional Facility. I'm not sure how much of the trail is ridable as of October 2018. You should pass by the old NY, O&W RR Napanoch Station (1902) on your right which also has an old caboose next to it and is now a museum. Travel alongside Dump Rd and look right to spot the mammoth stone facade of the Eastern Correctional Facility. You then come to Institution Rd after about 3 miles. Left across Rondout Creek is Napanoch. A gap exists between Napanoch and Kerhonkson further north.

O&W RAIL TRAIL:

[Ellenville to Spring Glen]

A 5 mile section of the old rail bed has been acquired south from Ellenville to Spring Glen with plans to convert it to a rail trail. No know progress as of October 2018.

D&H CANAL LINEAR PARK:

[Phillipsport to Wurstboro in Mamakating]

Starting from Phillipsport; Located here off Bova Rd is the D&H Canal Interpretive Center. Lock 50 of the canal is located here (there were a total of 108 locks between Hornsdale, PA and Kingston, NY) as well as informational signs and wooden mileage posts. This is a grass lined trail that follows alongside the old canal (called Basher Kill).

Note; Heading north the D&H Canal Trail ends at Route 209. See the map below for directions to visit Locks 42-45 nearby.

Heading south the D&H Canal Trail follows the old canal along your right and a marsh along your left. After a mile you come to Summitville Rd. Turn right and cross the bridge You'll pick up a gravel trail on your left which takes you up to the old O&W RR bed. Information signs (D&H Canal/O&W RR) and picnic tables here lead to an overlook of Route 209 and the old canal across the road. A trail leads down to the D&H Canal; Summitville parking lot at 1.1 miles.

Cross over Route 209 to the canal. USE CAUTION AS THIS IS A HIGH SPEED ROAD AND THERE IS NO CROSS-WALK.  

Note; Heading left along Route 209, then right on Ferguson Rd brings you to the start of the Mamakating O&W Rail Trail. See Below.

The canal is wider and more open along this section with a marsh along your left side. The trail is double-track grass and gravel, but contains multiple wooden culverts that you must cross over. Can be annoying on a bike. There is also a picnic table and Porto-Potty here. The trail follows the canal through woodland and marsh until just past Leadmine and McDonald Roads. You then cross a bridge over the canal and head back into the woods. At about 3 miles you'll come to the gravel trail access on your right for Hornbeck's Basin parking lot which has a Porto-Potty. Continuing along the trail you enter Wurstboro and will start to see houses. You come to Ferguson Lane after 3.4 miles.

Note; You'll need to take a 0.3 mile on-road detour

Turn right up Ferguson Lane (dirt road) and then left onto First St (residential). Travel past the Town Water Authority on your left and you'll come to a sharp right turn. Look to your left and head into the woods past a chain gate. This will bring you back to the trail atop a berm. A wooden fence runs along it. I'm not sure why they haven't connected this gap yet. If you head left, you'll see that the gap is small. Heading right, you cross over an iron bridge, pass by the white fire department building and cross over Pine St. This brings you to a pavilion with benches, a picnic table and an informational sign and Sullivan St in Wurstboro at 4 miles. The D&H Canal Trail crosses over Sullivan St and goes around a sub-station. Here the trail is hard packed dirt and grass. The trail crosses Pennsylvania Ave and continues south past the Emma Chase School after 4.1 miles. This was as far as I traveled. Not sure how far south this section goes. It is supposedly planned to be developed in the future. Further south you may access the D&H Canal Trail off of Route 209 by turning onto Haven Rd, then a quick right on Towpath Rd. The trail is dirt and grass, but looks to be a hard bike ride along the western side of the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area.

MAMAKATING O&W RAIL TRAIL:

Starting from Ferguson Road in Summitville; Past a yellow gate on your right is the start of the Mamakating O&W Rail Trail. It starts out as trap rock but converts to a grass lined trail. I didn't check out this section. According to the map this trail veers off the old rail bed and at some point it appears to join the D&H Canal Trail. Both trails then come to McDonald Rd after maybe 2.4 miles. The D&H Canal Trail continues straight, but I believe you need to head left along McDonald Rd to continue along the Mamakating O&W Rail Trail. I didn't check out this section. This trail continues south through woodland, crossing a causeway through a marsh before crossing a bridge and finally coming to Sullivan St where you'll find a map board and the end of the trail. I'm guessing 1 to 1.2 miles. Across the street is the old RR Station but the old RR bed is not accessible. 

Note; To connect to the O&W Rail Trail in Bashakill Wildlife Management Area head right along Sullivan St to a pavilion with benches, a picnic table and an informational sign for the D&H Canal Trail on your right. Head left across Sullivan St and travel around a sub-station. Here the D&H Canal Trail is hard packed dirt and grass. Come to Pennsylvania Ave and head left on-road after 0.4 miles.

Note; The D&H Canal Trail continues south past the Emma Chase School.

Pennsylvania Ave becomes South Road and just across from Walker Lane on your right is the start of the O&W Rail Trail south through Bashakill Wildlife Management Area after 1.3 miles. This is a dirt and grass trail. I didn't check out this section. 

Bashakill Wildlife Management Area:

[Wurstboro in Mamakating]

The Bashakill Wildlife Management Area consists of 2,175 acres and is the largest freshwater wetland in southeastern NY. There are 15 miles of trails and several observation towers. One trail follows the D&H Canal, which borders the Bashakill on the west and another follows the old O&W Rail Trail along the east side.

From South Road the dirt and grass trail travels south along the old RR bed. I didn't check out this section. The trail is less than 6 miles passing through the Haven Road parking lot, Main Boat Launch parking lot, Nature Trail parking lot and ending near the South Road parking lot at the end of the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR KINGSTON GREENWAY MAP

CLICK HERE FOR MARBLETOWN RAIL TRAIL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR O&W RAIL TRAIL CORRIDOR MAP

CLICK HERE FOR D&H CANAL FIVE LOCK MAP

CLICK HERE FOR ELLENVILLE O&W TRAIL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR D&H CANAL LINEAR PARK MAP

CLICK HERE FOR MAMAKATING O&W RAIL TRAIL/D& H CANAL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR BASHAKILL SECTION MAP

 

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