PUTNAM COUNTY TRAILWAY LETTERBOX:
PUTNAM COUNTY, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Letterbox Planted: May 27, 2007
Last Updated: August 2018
Length: Putnam County Trailway; 10.9 miles
Difficulty: Moderate. Paved surface along an old rail trail, however, some grades may be tough for kids on bikes.
To start from Carmel or Brewster [Northern End]; Take exit 65 off of I-84 to Route 312 west. Follow to Route 6.
Brewster-Route 6 parking lot; Turn left on Route 6 and travel a short distance to the parking lot on your right.
Carmel-Route 6 parking lots; Turn right when you reach Route 6. Follow Route 6 west and after you merge with Stoneleigh Ave you'll find the Route 6 parking lot 1 on the right. Continuing along Route 6, at the junction of Routes 6 & 52, turn left onto Route 6 as it travels alongside Lake Gleneida. Near the end of the lake you'll find the Route 6 parking lot 2 on your left.
To start from Baldwin Place [Southern End]; Take exit 65 off of I-84 to Route 312 west. Turn right when you reach Route 6. Take Route 6 west into Carmel. At the junction of Routes 6 & 52, turn left onto Route 6 as it travels alongside Lake Gleneida. Follow Route 6 southwest until you come to Route 118 in Baldwin Place. Turn left onto Route 118 and you'll see where the trail crosses the road and becomes the North County Trailway as it travels south. Parking is available at the Baldwin Place Shopping Center between Routes 6 and 118.
The Metro-North Railroad's Harlem Line has a stop in Southeast, which is 4 1/2 miles east of Carmel and a stop in Pleasantville, which is 1.4 miles from the Route 117 parking lot along the North County Trailway. This gives the hearty biker the option of doing a roughly 30 mile bike trip and then returning to your vehicle via the Metro North Railroad . This is how we were able to bike so much of the trail without having to backtrack. The route to the stations are on-road and include a couple of tough hills and thus are recommended for experienced bikers only. If you click on the individual stations, they have available both directions and maps.
The Putnam County Trailway is one of four interconnected rail-trails on the former New York Central Railroad's Putnam Division line. This former railroad provided freight and passenger service from 1881 to 1958 between the Bronx and Putnam County. Starting from Van Cortlandt Park in the northwest Bronx, the Old Putnam Rail Trail travels north to the South County Trailway in Westchester County. When you cross Old Saw Mill River Rd the trail turns into the North County Trailway and continues north to Putnam County where it becomes the Putnam County Trailway. The Putnam County Trailway will soon connect (Bridge to be constructed over Brewster rail yards. Not under construction as of May 2021) to the Maybrook Trailway in Brewster. The Tarrytown Lakes Spur Trail travels west from the junction of the North & South County Trailways.
The Putnam County Trailway is part of the Empire State Trail , which is 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. To the south it connects to the North County Trailway and to the north you continue along the Maybrook Trailway .
Starting from Brewster-Route 6 parking lot; The Putnam County Trailway is paved and includes green Mileage Markers all along the route. The top number is the distance from the start of the old Railroad Line in New York City, while the bottom number is used as a Mile Marker.
Heading South (left) the trail travels over Route 6 on an old RR trestle bridge before starting a slight climb through the woods. Levels off after about 3/4 miles. The trail currently ends at Putnam Ave after a mile.
Note; The next phase, under construction in 2021, will take it east over the RR tracks to N Main St where it will connect to the Maybrook Trailway in Brewster.
Heading West (right) the trail crosses Old Mine Rd before traveling along a causeway between the Middle Branch Reservoir and over an old RR bridge. You head into the woods and travel through a tunnel underneath Hughson Rd at 0.9 miles followed by another tunnel underneath Route 6. You start up a long gradual hill at 1.4 miles, then after heading downhill briefly, you continue the climb up. A spur trail on your left leads to the 1st parking lot along Route 6 at 2 miles. A bridge takes you over Route 6 where you continue uphill and finally top out at 2.3 miles. After traveling through another tunnel under Seminary Hill Rd a spur trail right leads up to this road. The trail then leads down alongside Route 6 and across from Lake Gleneida. After 2.9 miles you come to the Route 6 parking lot 2. The trail now veers away from the road and passes through a small rock cut. Looking to your right, spot green mileage marker 49/0. To your left is a high rock wall with two small double-trunked maple trees in front. Look to the right of the second maple tree, around chest high and spot a small white quartz rock in the wall. Please do not remove this rock. Instead, remove the long, flat rock to the right of it. Underneath another flat rock is the Putnam County Trailway Letterbox. Continuing along the trail, you head into the woods and next come to an iron arched bridge high over a stream at 3.5 miles. Very scenic. You cross another iron arched bridge at 4.6 miles over a road. A tunnel at 5 3/4 miles takes you through some wetlands where you can still spot some of the old railroad telegraph poles. After passing through another tunnel you'll spot Lake Casse to your right. You come to the Croton Falls Road parking lot at 6.8 miles. This lot is located just east of Route 6 in the Town of Carmel. The trail travels through town and into the Mahopac section where you get a great overlook of Lake Mahopac. Good spot to grab refreshments. The trail travels along a ridgeline at 8 1/4 miles, then leaves the town behind at 9 1/4 miles and finally comes to Route 118 and the end of the Putnam County Trailway after 9.9 miles. The trail continues south as the North County Trailway.
CLICK HERE FOR PUTNAM COUNTY TRAILWAY MAP
CLICK HERE FOR HUDSON VALLEY GREENWAY MAP
CLICK HERE FOR EMPIRE STATE TRAIL MAP
LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED ON
JULY 4, 2015
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