Highland Rail Trail, Highland


Directions: From the New York Thruway or New Paltz:  Take NY Thruway exit 18 (Poughkeepsie / New Paltz).  From traffic light at the end of the exit, turn Right onto Route 299 East and go 2.3 miles.  Turn Right onto New Paltz Road and go 0.7 miles.  Turn Left onto South River Side Rd, and after 0.1 mile turn Right into Tony Williams Park and park to the left by the start of the Rail Trail.

From the Mid-Hudson Bridge or Route 9W:  After passing by the toll booths for the Bridge, bear Right and merge onto Route 9W North and go 2.4 miles.  Turn Left onto Rt 299 West (toward New Paltz) and go 1.2 miles.  Turn Left onto South Riverside Rd and go 1 mile, then turn Left into Tony Williams Park and park to the left by the start of the Rail Trail.  

ALTERNATE START FROM MIDDLE:
From the New York Thruway or New Paltz:  Take NY Thruway exit 18 (Poughkeepsie / New Paltz).  From traffic light at the end of the exit, turn Right onto Route 299 East and go about 4.4 miles.  Turn Right onto S Chodikee Lake Road and go 0.8 miles.  At T-intersection turn Right onto (unsigned) New Paltz Rd, and in less than 0.1 mile turn Left into into a parking area alongside the Rail Trail.  (From this starting point, going right on the Rail Trail is slightly uphill, and going to the left is slightly downhill). 

From the Mid-Hudson Bridge or Route 9W:  After passing by the toll booths for the Bridge, bear Right and merge onto Route 9W North and go 2.4 miles.  Turn Left onto Rt 299 West (toward New Paltz) and go 0.7 miles.  Turn Left onto S Chodikee Lake Road and go 0.8 miles.  At T-intersection turn Right onto (unsigned) New Paltz Rd, and in less than 0.1 mile turn Left into into a parking area alongside the Rail Trail.  (From this starting point, going right on the Rail Trail is slightly uphill, and going to the left is slightly downhill).

Trail Information:   This trail used to be a railroad line that carried coal. It was paved thanks to fine political maneuvering on behalf of the Town, who asked that some fiber optic carriers who were proposing installing underground fiber cables to pave over the fiber lines they were laying to enhance the appearance of their job, while benefiting the people of Highland with a trail to exercise! An absolutely brilliant spin on handling a big corporation's request to come to our little town! :<)

 The Hudson Valley Rail Trail is paved for about the first 2.3 miles and continues unpaved for an additional quarter mile or so in each direction. You can run a full 5 miles round trip if you continue on unpaved parts.  
It crosses some driveways -- so be careful in approaching and crossing them.

When you start at the intended starting point at the West end, at Tony Williams Field, you'll be running gently downhill and Eastward to the other end. The workout begins when you reach the East end and turn around. You now run very gradually uphill as you return, a great training regimen.

  There are workout stations at the East end! You can do chin-ups, situps, pushups and a number of other exercises at the stations, which are the result of much donation gathering by the Highland Rotary Club - hats off to them! There is also an absolutely beautiful and wonderful memorial garden nearing the East end.

Miscellaneous Information: I always add where the Health Food is when visiting trails that I write about for the love of Health Food only! Stop by Highland Health Food at the Bridge Circle Plaza which is on your left at the first traffic light on 9W in Highland.

Tim Beben