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The Ashokan Rail Trail is an 11.5-mile multi-use trail that traces the northern edge of the Ashokan Reservoir, which provides a large proportion of New York City's drinking water. The trail sits on the the historical right-of-way of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad, which ceased operations in 1978 and was purchased by Ulster County the following year.
Travelers on the trail will enjoy spectacular views of the Catskill Mountains and the nearly 123 billion-gallon reservoir. The area abounds with red maples, birch and eastern white pine trees, and the pathway features protected wetlands and a 525-foot boardwalk. The route also crosses the 2,850-foot long, 60-foot tall Glenford Dike, an engineering marvel completed in 1912 to allow passage of trains bringing supplies to and tourists from New York City via the railroad.
The trail’s crushed-stone trail surface, measuring 10 to 12 feet in width at various points, is so compacted that thin-tired bikes can safely travel on it. The pathway is also ADA compliant and features no crossing streets. In winter, the unplowed trail can be enjoyed for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat-tire bike riding.
The Ashokan Rail Trail offers three trailheads with parking:
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