HARLEM VALLEY RAIL TRAIL NORTH LETTERBOX:

COPAKE-COPAKE FALLS, NEW YORK

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Planted:                June 28, 2004

Last Updated:       July 17, 2015 

Length:                 Under Mountain Road to Orphan Farm Road; 5.2 miles

                               Under Mountain Road to Letterbox; 0.4 miles

Difficulty:            Easy. Paved, flat rail trail.

Directions:

To start from Copake Falls; From the Taconic State Pkwy take the Route 23 exit and travel east to Hillsdale. Turn right on Route 22 and travel 4 miles south. Turn left on Route 344 east and follow to Copake Falls (Taconic State Park is located here as well). The parking lot is located to the left of the Taconic State Park entrance. Additional parking is located at the Copake Iron Works Historic Site, just 0.3 miles further along Route 344/Valley View Rd. Follow signs.

Note; It's worth the 1.7 mile trip to visit Bash Bish Falls just up Route 344 and over the state line in MA.

To start from Under Mountain Road; From the Taconic State Pkwy take the Route 23 exit and travel east to Hillsdale. Turn right on Route 22 and travel 8.4 miles south. Just past Route 3, look for Under Mountain Rd on your left. The parking lot will be 0.5 miles up along your left.

The Harlem Valley Rail Trail follows the rail bed of the former New York & Harlem Railroad, which was built in 1851 and became the Harlem Division of the New York Central Railroad in the 1870's. When complete it will run 46 miles from Wassaic to Chatham, NY. The trail starts from the Wassaic Metro-North RR Station and travels north to the old Millerton RR Station. Currently, there is an undeveloped gap from the old Millerton RR Station to Under Mountain Rd in Copake. From Under Mountain Rd the trail continues north, passing by the old Copake Falls Station (where you can access TACONIC STATE PARK ) and currently ending at Orphan Farm Rd in Copake Falls. The last section up to Chatham is currently undeveloped. For more information visit;  HARLEM VALLEY RAIL TRAIL . See; Harlem Valley Rail Trail South for the southern section.

Starting from the Under Mountain Road parking lot; The paved trail heads into the woods. After traveling along a berm and through a rock cut you come to a bench on your right and a brown gate to your left at 0.4 miles. Walk 5 paces (1 pace = 2 steps) past the bench and you'll spot a large Oak tree up the hill to your left. Walk another 5 paces to a deer trail that will take you easily up to the tree, which is located next to a stone wall. At the backside of this tree, under a flat rock is the Harlem Valley Rail Trail North Letterbox. Continuing along the trail at 2.1 miles, you'll spot an old stone railroad mile marker on your right with the markings NY 103, thus New York 103 miles. These RR mile markers were spaced 1 mile apart along the rail bed. After 3 miles you'll encounter a  short on-road detour along a quiet dirt road (Valley View Rd). 

Note; If you head left along Valley View Rd you'll be rewarded with a nice view of the valley.

Heading right along Valley View Rd you'll pick up the rail trail again on your left after 0.4 miles where the road takes a sharp right. You cross a large bridge that spans Bash Bish Brook before coming to the old Copake Falls RR Station at 4 miles. The old station is now a camp store. Map board located here.

Note; A quick on-road side trip will bring you to the remains of the old Copake Iron Works Historic Site. Head right along Valley View Rd bearing right at the intersection where you'll cross an iron bridge over Bash Bish Brook. Keep straight and you'll enter the Copake Iron Works Historic Site after only 0.3 miles. Informational signs along the route.

Cross Route 344 and pass by the Copake Falls parking lot on your left and the entrance to Taconic SP on your right. The trail continues through a wooded corridor along a berm before emerging along open fields at 4.7 miles. The trail then winds through the fields, passing by RR mile marker NY 106, before ending at the Orphan Farm Road parking lot after 5.2 miles. Map board located here.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR MAP

 

LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED ON

OCTOBER 08, 2013

TO EMAIL A VERIFICATION

letterbox@snet.net 

 

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