The local riding club enjoyed this former rail line, which was purchased in 1944 for a dollar from the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, as a bridle trail for many years. It changed management over the years, and currently has no official manager. While this problem is expected to be remedied soon, the trail currently reflects the lack of oversight; there are no signs to the trail nor signs guiding users through unclear road crossings. However, this pretty trail is fun to explore if you are game, whether by mountain bike, on horseback or on foot.
Starting in Montrose, the first 4 miles are rough and tumble, with sharp turns, exposed tree roots, large rocks, mud puddles, low-hanging branches and the occasional ATV user coming round the bend. The trail is narrow along much of this segmentshrinking to a two-foot path in placeswhich adds to the challenge, but also the fun.
At the second road crossing (State Route 167) the trail continuation is obscured; look for it between two houses across the road, a little to the right. At the next road crossing, the trail continuation again is not obvious, but you should be able to find it if you cross the road and go to the left slightly, and down a gravel road about 500 yards.
For the next 6 miles the trail is flanked by tall trees and widens to two tracks, making more room for passing equestrians, cyclists or ATVs. A meager waterfall spills over the high bank on the right side at mile 8, but most of the water has been diverted to another course since the last flood.
For the last 4 miles the trail courses gradually toward lower ground and eventually ends at a working railroad nearly a mile from Alford. Since you cannot cross the railroad, you will need to head back up the trail to the starting point.
Parking and Trail Access
To reach the access point in Montrose from Interstate 81, take Exit 223 west onto US 11 toward New Milford. Follow it about 2 miles through New Milford until State Route 706 West splits off to the right (north) and heads toward Montrose. Follow State Route 706 to the east side of town. Just past the golf course, turn left into the Pump & Pantry Convenience Store parking lot. The unmarked trailhead is behind the store on the left. The store staff are helpful if you have questions.