About Us

Hike it or bike it. Ride on horseback or roller blades. Ski it cross-country style or on snow shoes. But before you begin your trek through the beautiful 4 mile stretch of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail (HVRT), use the links below to learn more about it.

Trail Eateries and Accessories

Pick up your picnic lunch and any trail accessories you need in the hamlet of Highland. You'll find cafes, pizza shops, pubs, restaurants, antiques galleries.

At Route 9W in Highland you'll also find excellent restaurants, fast food, convenience stores and delis adjacent to the trail.

Black Creek Wetlands Complex

This is the place to enjoy your picnic lunch. Once you pass New Paltz Road, the trail enters the Black Creek Wetlands Complex. The rail bed at Black Creek crossing is approximately 20 feet above the valley, providing an extraordinary vista of Illinois Mountain.

Fishing is welcome. Black Creek is a Class A protected trout stream and accessible via the stairs to the creek.

From the trail, look across at Illinois Mountain to see original rail bed from the 19th century. If you're feeling adventurous, head back up the trail and scramble down the embankment, following the old rail bed out into the bog for an exceptional view of the trail, the creek and Illinois Mountain.

Tony Williams Park

Continue west a half mile from Black Creek to the ball fields, tennis and basket ball courts, pavilions and restrooms at Tony Williams Park. Once you reach the park, you've also reached the end of the developed portion of the trail. And this is, perhaps, where the best part of the HVRT begins.

Beyond the park, begins the future as the next trail expansion enters a mile-long arbor of dense trees and stunning scenery. Half a mile farther, when Black Creek passes back under the trail, you'll come upon a double bridge. This structure, carrying the rail bed over the creek and an old farm road underneath, is unique to the Hudson Valley. More details to come as we seek to develop this futire portion of the Trail.

Where the Trail Began

The story of the HVRT starts with a mysterious fire, and ends with a small town unfazed by corporate pressures.

In the 1970's, the bridge to Poughkeepsie burned and led to a redirection of rail traffic. The right-of-way and the old bridge fell into disrepair.

Over the years since, there were high hopes of making it a vital link in the Hudson Valley trail system - if only there were funds to do it.

In the mid-1990's, fiber optic backbones were installed up the NY State Thruway corridor to accommodate the demand for high speed internet access. To get from the Thruway across to Poughkeepsie the old railroad right-of-way was considered as a shortcut. It shaved miles off the route and hundreds of thousands of dollars off the technology corporation's costs. They approached the Town of Lloyd to acquire an easement offering a few tens of thousands of dollars in compensation. Thanks to some savvy business negotiations, the easement deal was settled for $400,000.00.

Within two years the first 2.5 miles of the HVRT officially opened.

Where the Trail is Headed

The HVRT at full development will include:

  • A 12-foot-wide strip of asphalt leading from the Walkway Over the Hudson to the intersection of New Paltz Road and Route 299.
  • A connection in Dutchess County, creating approximately thirty more miles of trails.
  • Uninterrupted pedestrian and low-impact sporting trails stretching from the eastern end of the Walkway over the Hudson connecting with the vast trail system in the Shawangunks up into the Catskills and the soon to be opened Dutchess Rail Trail.
  • An expanded 4.0 mile trail for walking, hiking and enjoying beautiful scenery.

Designated HVRT Parking & Restrooms

Trail access parking can be found in the following areas:

  • In the hamlet of Highland at Commerical Avenue Extension
  • At the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Depot located at 101 New Paltz Road
  • At 75 Haviland Road
  • At Tony Williams Park located at Riverside Road

Public restrooms are located at the HVRT Depot and Tony Williams Park.

Get maps and information and support the development of the HVRT by clicking on the "Rail Trail Brochure" under the About Us section of this site. 

Motorized vehicles, alcoholic beverages, open fires and camping are prohibited. The HVRT is a Carry In/Carry Out trail: anything you bring in, please take it out with you.

The HVRT is created, supported and maintained by the Town of Lloyd in Ulster County, and developed in part with funds from the Greenway Conservancy.