HUNTER REGIONAL TRAILS:

KAATERSKILL RAIL TRAIL:

PALENVILLE to HAINES FALLS, NEW YORK

HUCKLEBERRY TRAIL:

TANNERSVILLE, NEW YORK

HUNTER BRANCH RAIL TRAIL:

HUNTER, NEW YORK

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Letterbox Planted:    July 14, 2008    

Last Updated:             April 18, 2023                                      

Length:                       Kaaterskill Rail Trail; 2 miles

                                      Huckleberry Trail; 2.1 miles

                                      Hunter Branch Rail Trail; 1.5 miles

Difficulty:                   Huckleberry Trail; Moderate. Flat, hard packed gravel rail trail. Mountain bike recommended.                            

Directions:

From I-87 take exit 20 to Route 32 northwest. In Saxton, turn left onto Route 32A. In Palenville, take Route 23A northwest into the Catskills. Very scenic drive to Haines Falls.

To start from the Mountain Top Historical Society in Haines Falls [Kaaterskill Rail Trail; Western End]: Just after you enter Haines Falls spot the Welcome Center (Mountain Top Historical Society) on your right. Follow road to parking lot. A path north takes you to the old Haines Falls RR Station and trailhead.

To start from the Laurel House Trail parking lot in Palenville [Kaaterskill Rail Trail; Eastern End]: Continue west along Route 23A and take your first right along N Lake Rd. Turn right on Route 18 and follow for 1.7 miles. Turn right on Laurel House Rd and follow to parking lot.

To start from Rip Van Winkle Lake in Huckleberry [Huckleberry Trail; Center Section]; Continue west 1.7 miles along Route 23A from N Lake Rd in Haines Falls to Tannersville. Take a left down S Main St which will run into Railroad Ave. Park at the Lake, where the trail passes through. 

To start from Bloomer Road in Huckleberry [Huckleberry Trail; Western End]; Continue west 2 miles along Route 23A from S Main St. Turn left on Bloomer Rd. Just before Gooseberry Creek you'll see the trailhead on your left. Just past here spot a pullout on your left for a couple of cars.

To start from Stoney Clove Road in Hunter [Hunter Branch Rail Trail; Eastern End]: Continue west 0.7 miles along Route 23A and turn left on Route 214. Cross Schoharie Creek and turn right on Stoney Clove Rd. Trail crosses road, supposed to be parking.

To start from Dolan's Lake in Hunter [Hunter Branch Rail Trail; Western End]: Continue west 1.8 miles along Route 23A to Hunter and turn left on Route 83. Take your first left into the Dolan's Lake parking lot.

The Hunter Regional Trail is a network of rail trails that run along a former railroad corridor in Hunter, NY. During its peak in the late 1880s and early 1900ís, the trains would run from Kingston and bring visitors to local hotels such as the Catskill Mountain House and the Hotel Kaaterskill. Starting from the east the Kaaterskill Rail Trail begins at the historical Ulster & Delaware Train Station, built in 1913, that serves as headquarters for the Mountain Top Historical Society and offers a small museum and information center. The rail-trail continues along the former U&D RR, which once took tourists through the area, into the Kaaterskill Wild Forest to end at the top of Kaaterskill Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the state. A new footbridge built by New York State DEC crosses Spruce Creek (Lake Creek) above Kaaterskill Falls and now links the rail-trail to the Escarpment Trail. Heading west the Huckleberry Trail (also known as the Tannersville Bike Path) runs along the former Huckleberry Line Railroad bed, originally owned by the Ulster & Delaware and Canajoharie & Catskill Lines. Finally, further west the Hunter Branch Rail Trail travels from Stoney Clove Rd along a segment of the Hunter Branch of the Stony Clove and Catskill Mountain RR, which was discontinued in 1939. The trail continues on Ski Bowl Rd (Country Road 83) for about half-a-mile to Dolan's Lake in the Village of Hunter. The route includes a 90ft pedestrian truss bridge where the railroad once crossed a small Schoharie Creek tributary. A section of the original stone abutments has been left in place for visitors to appreciate the efforts of early railroad workers. For more information check out; HUNTER REGIONAL TRAILS .

Kaaterskill Rail Trail:

Starting from the Laurel House Trail parking lot in Palenville [Eastern End]; I haven't checked out this trail yet.

Huckleberry Trail:

Starting from Bloomer Road in Huckleberry [Western End]; The trail starts just up the road from the pullout near a wooden railing. The crushed gravel trail heads into the woods and brings you alongside a green fence. Down below is Gooseberry Creek. You'll cross over a wooden bridge at 0.5 miles and enter a Hemlock forest with a wooden fence along your left and the creek below to your right. You come to the end of the wooden fence, next to a stone filled culvert at 0.7 miles. Continue for 1 pace (2 steps = 1 pace) and turn to your left facing the hill. About chest high along the hill with be a good sized rock. Spot an oblong rock under its left side. Behind this rock, under another flat rock placed on top to protect it is the Huckleberry Trail Letterbox. Continuing along the trail, you'll come to another green fence overlooking Gooseberry Creek. After crossing a wooden bridge you then cross Railroad Ave to a park. A pavilion, playgrounds, restrooms and parking are located here next to Rip Van Winkle Lake at 1.4 miles. Another bridge takes you back along the rail trail as it parallels the lake. This section is a bit rougher as you head into the woods. The trail eventually veers off the old rail bed and ends at Clum Hill Rd after 2.1 miles

Hunter Branch Rail Trail:

Starting from Stoney Clove Road in Hunter [Eastern End]; I haven't checked out this trail yet.

HH

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    NOVEMBER 13, 2016

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