HUDSON VALLEY RAIL TRAIL LETTERBOX:

LLOYD-HIGHLAND, NEW YORK

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Letterbox Planted:  July 17, 2006

Last Updated;           September 28, 2018

Length:                     Hudson Valley Rail Trail; 3.5 miles   

Difficulty:                 Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.                            

Directions:

To start from Tony Williams Park; From I-87 (NY State Thruway) take exit 18 to Route 299 east. After about 2 miles, turn right onto New Paltz Rd (Route 12) and travel 0.7 miles to a left hand turn onto South River Rd. Turn right into Tony Williams Park. The trail starts to the left past the basketball courts.

To start from the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Depot parking lot ; From I-87 (NY State Thruway) take exit 18 to Route 299 east. After about 2 miles, turn right onto New Paltz Rd (Route 12). The parking lot will be located next to the right side of the road. You'll see a sign and a large pavilion.

To start from the Walkway Over the Hudson;  From I-87 (NY State Thruway) take exit 18 to Route 299 east. Head south on Route 9W through Highland. Just before the turn off for the Mid-Hudson Bridge turn left down Haviland Rd. The first parking lot on your left is for the HVRT.

The Hudson Valley Rail Trail runs along the former rail bed of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. The railroad used to cross over the Hudson River via the Poughkeepsie Railroad-Highland Bridge. This bridge, at 6,768 feet long and 212 feet above the river, was hailed as the longest railroad bridge in the world when it was completed in 1888. It served as the only Hudson River train crossing south of Albany, NY until a fire put it out of commission in 1974. Currently this trail travels west from the Walkway Over the Hudson to Tony Williams Park. Future plans call for continuing the trail further west out to Route 299 and eventually connecting into the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail . From the east side of the Walkway Over the Hudson the Dutchess Rail Trail travels southeast to Hopewell Junction. All are part of the Empire State Trail , which will be a continuous 750-mile route spanning the state from New York City to Canada and Buffalo to Albany, creating the longest multi-use state trail in the nation. For more information visit; HUDSON VALLEY RAIL TRAIL .

Starting from the western end of the Walkway Over the Hudson; Restrooms, food vendors, water fountain, picnic tables, informational boards, map, Walkway West Pavilion and the Walkway West Visitor Center are located here. Head west along the paved Hudson Valley Rail Trail and you'll quickly come to the HVRT parking lot. An old 1926 red caboose and map board are located here. After traveling through a deep rock cut you travel through two tunnels underneath Mile Hill Rd and Route 9w. A spur trail at 0.6 miles leads to Route 9w. Next a bridge takes you over Routes 44 & 55 bringing you to a small parking lot along Commercial Ave at 1.1 miles. Another map board located here, as well as, an old train signal. The trail opens up along here as a fitness course follows alongside the trail. You'll come to the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Depot parking lot at 2.1 miles. A second 1915 red caboose is located here along with restrooms, a picnic pavilion and water fountain. Continuing along the trail you head back into the woods, underneath an old iron "Farmers Bridge" and through a deep rock cut. Travel through a tunnel underneath New Paltz Rd at 2.5 miles. Look for an old RR signal tower on your right at 2.8 miles. Walk up to the top of the small knoll behind the signal light and turn right. Then walk 18 paces (2 steps = 1 pace) along the knoll up a small hill. A large boulder will be to your right, but you head left 14 paces along the edge towards a stone wall. This should bring you to a double-trunked tree shaped like a V on the opposite side of the wall. A large rock with white quartz should be on top of the stone wall. Just below this rock, remove 2 small rocks blocking a cavity in the wall. Under a flat rock used to keep the box secure is the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Letterbox. Continuing along the trail you'll pass by a silver pole and rail holder (these were used by the railroad to hold extra rails) on your left. Come to a side trail at 3.1 miles for the Black Creek Water Trail. The Black Creek is a Class A protected trout stream and access is a fairly easy scramble down the embankment. Finally you travel along a high berm with steep drop-offs before coming to Tony Williams Park at 3.5 miles. Playground, picnic tables and restrooms located here. Nice views of the rolling hills and Illinois Mountain on your left. 

Currently the trail is being extended out to Route 299. A new section alongside Route 299 west to South St has been completed. I haven't checked it out yet. The final section will take the trail into New Paltz where it will connect to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail . The whole trail is slated for completion in 2019.

HH

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LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED ON

NOVEMBER 12, 2016

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