OLD PUTNAM RAIL TRAIL:
BRONX, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: April 19, 2009
Length: Old Putnam Rail Trail; 2 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Hard packed rail trail.
You can access this trail from the southern end of the South County Trailway or the western end of the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway.
The Old Putnam Rail Trail follows the abandoned rail line of the old Putnam Branch, a commuter line on the NY Central Railroad that ran from Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx north through Van Cortlandt Park to Brewster, NY. For more information visit; OLD PUTNAM RAIL TRAIL .
The Old Putnam Rail Trail 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 still under construction as of August 2018) to the Maybrook Trailway in Brewster. The Tarrytown Lakes Spur Trail travels west from the junction of the North & South County Trailways.
The Old Putnam Rail Trail 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 a 3 mile on-road route connects to the Manhattan Waterfront Trail and to the north you continue along the South County Trailway .
Starting from the end of the South County Trailway; The Old Putnam Rail Trail goes from paved to hard packed dirt. Other then an occasional tree root, the trail is pretty smooth. After a 1/4 mile you'll come alongside the Van Cortlandt Golf Course (the nations first public course). You'll spot some old railroad ties along your left, along with an old railroad mileage marker reading NY6 (6 miles to NY). A 1/2 mile takes you underneath the Mosholu Pkwy. You come to Van Cortlandt Lake at 1.1 miles. Just a bit further keep a sharp eye to your right. Here you'll spot 13 stone pillars all lined up in a row. In the 1910's, before the Grand Central Station was constructed, these pillars were used to decide which style to use in the new terminal. A path to the right of the pillars heads up to ball fields and a park. Next you travel across an old double span iron rail bridge. The golf club house will be along your left as you come to what's left of the old Van Cortlandt Train Station on your left. Finally, you'll come to a blue double span iron rail bridge at 1.6 miles. This is as far as we traveled. The trail should continue for less then a 1/2 mile to the edge of the park. Future plans call for developing the section of trail in Van Cortlandt Park as well as an inaccessible section that runs from the park to West 230th St.
Note; You can access the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway by backtracking past the old train station and exiting the trail towards the road. The paved Mosholu-Pelham Greenway passes through here. Right takes you towards its western terminus at the edge of the park at Broadway. Left takes you along the main trail that travels all the way to Pelham Bay Park along the eastern edge of the Bronx. You can also access the Bronx River Greenway from this trail.
CLICK HERE FOR NY CITY 2020 BIKE MAP
CLICK HERE FOR EMPIRE STATE TRAIL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR VAN CORTLANDT PARK MAP
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WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT