Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

Ulster County, New York

Elevation Gain565ft
Trailhead Elevation338ft
Elevation Min/Max169/338ft
Elevation Start/End338/338ft

Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Ulster County, New York. It is 10.4 miles long and begins at 338 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 20.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 565 feet. Private Parking, Sojourner Truth Park Parking, and other parkings can be seen along the trail. There are also artworks, picnic sites, and a parking along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.

Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This beautiful, 12-mile hiking and biking trail (6 miles one way) passes through two quaint seventeenth-century villages, skirts farms, passes through woods, and crosses over rivers and streams. The elevated rail bed provides a view of the surrounding area, including woodland ponds, the Wallkill River, and the Shawangunk Mountains in the distance. Wood turtles, woodcocks, songbirds, broadwing hawks, great horned owls, fox, white-tailed deer, and raccoons are frequently sighted. The well-maintained cinder trail is essentially flat. It can be ridden as an out and back or as a loop by returning to the start via one of twenty-one paved roads that cross the trail. The trail passes through the New Paltz Historic District, which features seventeenth-century stone houses and the old railroad station that served the trains on this former Conrail route. There is also a Mexican restaurant, a bistro, a bakery, and several pizza parlors to top off a leisurely ride. The ride begins in the town of New Paltz, 15 miles south of Kingston and 1.5 miles from the New York State Thruway (I-87). Negligible Elevation change."

"A walk in the woods to an ingeniously repurposed train trestle and fabulous valley views. If you saw the words “rail trail” in the title of this hike and assumed this would be just another flat, dog-walking and jogging path for local residents, let me assure you that this section of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is something truly special.

This path leads through farmland, pastures, and unusual rock formations until it reaches the Rosendale Trestle, a 940-foot- long, 150-foot high railroad bridge that has been reimagined for foot and bicycle traffic."

"This is a special trail that combines history and natural beauty, yet is only 90 miles from New York City. This is also a very friendly trail for equestrians, who have a big presence in the valley; as you traverse the trail, you’ll see some spectacular horse farms. In fact, equestrians had a hand in the design of the bridge railings, making them more comfortable from the point of view of a skittish horse. Surface: Gravel, cinder."

Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Reviews

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4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
This is an easy walk on a well maintained former railroad. The only issue is that at one point it goes by a shooting range and the noise was unsettling and certainly prevented from fully enjoying the surroundings.
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The trail was in fair shape with lots of mud and stone and sharp edges. The views were nice but in many places the trail was in complete canopy and no views were seen. The end was a nice bridge that overlooked the valley and very nice views out in to the Catskills. The parking was a bit hard to find but when we found it, it was safe and close to the trail. New Paltz is a nice, funky town with lots to do so that made it worth the trip. The bike shop in town is also very friendly and accommodating.
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
I started this trail at New Paltz where the restaurant La Station is located and went north. The trail is in excelent shape and very senic,horse farms and mountain scenes. Went to the end, crossing a long truss bridge and ending at the High span bridge wondering why the trail has not been continued. On the way back I toured the historic village which is right next to the trail, which is very flat and a pleasure to ride. I stopped for lunch at the converted train station and had a reasonable meal with clams on the half shell for an appetizer. After lunch I went south on the trail which is not quite as good shape as north but easily passible. The river is in sight for a while but then turns off to the right, next I went thru an apple orchard , over a nice bridge with a terrific view of the shagunk mountains. There are several good view points along the way but mostly just trail and farms. Its a great ride especially with the break for lunch. There is a lot to see and do in New Paltz and can fill a whole day there with the trail,lunch and sightseeing. Paul Olsen
2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars
This trail is well shaded from the overhead trees. It was also very flat. The trail surface was rough in most places. It ranged from well packed dirt to loose gravel and limestone. In some places it was a very narrow single path. In others it was nearly obliterated by grass. Large mud puddles forced caution and even stopping at one point. It was a rough ride for my hybrid. Suggest a mountain bike for this trail.

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Trail Information

Ulster County
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Hiking, Cross Country Skiing, Biking, Horseback Riding
Additional Use
Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Association, PO Box 1048, New Paltz, NY 12561; wvrta.org
Local Contacts
NatGeo TOPO! Map (USGS): Rosendale, NY; NatGeo Trails Illustrated Map #750: Shawangunk Mountains; trail map available online at wvrta.org/enjoying-the-trail/map/
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018