"As the accompanying trail description indicates, this section of the former D&H Canal towpath in Port Jervis, NY, has been recently cleared and opened to the public as a greenway. On the day I visited this publicly owned and operated facility, there were many clues that work here is still in progress. Weekday trail users might expect to encounter construction workers clearing trees, removing rubbish, and/or grooming the trail surface at anytime within the next few months.
As of this writing the trail surface is completely flat and free of standing water. However, it appears as though the City brought in fill from other locations to insure such a dry and level surface. I encountered several stretches of large gravel, broken-up asphalt, and crushed glass. This might make travel for bicycle riders somewhat difficult, but those moving via foot will have no problems whatsoever.
This is an “out and back” trail; that is, the trailhead at West Main Street and Grandview Avenue provides the only access point at this time. There is ample parking at this location and evidence that the City will soon be erecting an informational display board immediately adjacent to the parking lot.
Unlike most canal towpath trails I’ve visited recently, which are located somewhat off the beaten path, this trail is located smack dab in the middle of a very built up commercial and residential neighborhood. The trail right-of-way is bordered on one side by the former D&H Canal (very shallow standing water there may mean biting bugs in the summer) and on its other side by an active railroad line. The canal was cut into the side of a mountain, which sets the trail at about 100 feet higher than the rail line.
The trail abruptly ends just prior to a heavy industrial park one mile after it begins on a busy residential street. Certainly not what one would expect of a canal towpath trail. Views from the trail consist mainly of the tops of nearby homes and industrial buildings, water in the former canal, and the side of a mountain.
If you happen to be in or near Port Jervis, NY and want to see some of the D&H Canal, by all means you should visit this trail. Don’t make a special trip there just to see it though. One interesting note is that the trailhead here is within an easy walk of Metro-North’s Port Jervis, NY, train station. Perhaps this makes it the only towpath trail of its kind?"