Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail

New York

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Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail Facts

States: New York
Counties: Rockland
Length: 4.1 miles
Trail end points: Oak Tree Road between Lawrence St. and Rockland Park Ave. (Tappan) and Western Hwy. S between Blauvelt Road and N. Troop Road (Blauvelt)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016692
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail Description

You might expect a 4-mile rail-trail that passes through three downtowns to be excessively urban, but the quaint town centers on the Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail are compact and surrounded by woodlands, sanctuaries, and parks.

Beginning in Tappan, the trail runs through the hamlets of Sparkill, Orangeburg, and Blauvelt in Rockland County. Although it rolls inland, it joins two other rail-trails that overlook the Hudson River from The Palisades. Already popular with local residents, the trail is expecting more visitors with the 2019 opening of a multiuse path on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, formerly known as the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The trail is named for Joseph B. Clarke, the 1969–1996 superintendent for Orangetown’s parks and recreation department. He saw the possibilities of using two former railroad corridors in the area for recreation and commuting. His interest also sparked the creation of the connecting Old Erie Path and the Raymond G. Esposito Memorial Trail in nearby riverfront communities.

The three trails follow the corridors of the old New York & Erie Railroad and its affiliate, the Northern Railroad of New Jersey, which was primarily a passenger carrier. The Clarke trail traces the Northern Railroad from Tappan to Sparkill and the Erie main line from Sparkill through Orangeburg and Blauvelt. Northern’s ridership dwindled in the 1930s. It was acquired by the Erie Railroad in 1942, and passenger service ended in 1966. The Erie survived under a variety of names until it became part of Conrail in 1976.

The trail starts in Tappan, a town steeped in Revolutionary War history. The DeWint House, which was built in 1700 and served as a temporary headquarters for George Washington during the war, is located 0.4 mile east on Oak Tree Road.

Heading north through hardwood forest alongside Sparkill Creek, the trail comes to a fork at Depot Square in Sparkill. The right fork joins the Old Erie Path, which follows the old Northern Railroad corridor to the riverfront villages of Piermont and Grand View-on-Hudson and connects to the Raymond G. Esposito Memorial Trail in South Nyack. Take the left fork to stay on the Clarke trail and follow the Erie Railroad’s main line.

In 1.3 miles, the path arrives in Orangeburg at a pedestrian bridge over NY 303 and crosses Greenbush Road. The hamlet is the former home of Camp Shanks, where 1.3 million GIs stopped before being shipped out to Europe and North Africa from Piermont during World War II. A museum in a simulated barracks about 400 feet north at 20 Greenbush Road tells their story.

The newest 1.6-mile section passes beneath the Orangeburg Road bridge and crosses the CSX Railroad tracks on another pedestrian bridge before arriving in Blauvelt. On the way, the route passes Dominican College and ends across the street from the Lions Town Park and next door to the Blauvelt Free Library, located in the 18th-century home of Judge Cornelius Blauvelt.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the endpoint in Tappan from I-87/I-287, take Exit 13S to merge onto Palisades Interstate Pkwy. heading south. Go 5.4 miles, and take Exit 5S onto NY 303 S. Go 1.2 miles, and turn left onto Oak Tree Road. Go 0.2 mile, and look for trail parking on the left.

To reach the endpoint in Blauvelt from I-87/I-287, take Exit 13S to merge onto Palisades Interstate Pkwy. heading south. Go 4.2 miles, and take Exit 6E onto Orangeburg Road/County Road 20. Go 0.5 mile east, and turn left onto Western Hwy. S/CR 15. Go 1.0 mile and look for the Blauvelt Free Library on your right. Trail parking is available here.


Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail Reviews

We rode from the parking lot in Tappan on Oak Tree Rd. The RTC directions are very accurate. The parking lot is small big enough for about 6 cars. This trail within the first couple of miles branches off. You can't miss the fork. It's clearly marked so you know which way to go. The left branch remains paved and goes to the end in Blauvelt. The right branch takes you to Piermont and Nyack, leading you to the Old Erie Trail. This part of the trail is crushed stone. There are a few street crossings along the way. This trail isn't particularly scenic but would serve as a good commuting or training trail.

I road this trail for the first time this past week. It's nice but way too short! I did take a detour into Piermont which extended it nicely and stopped at the bike friendly Bunbury's.

Before we began we talked to some people at the trail head, and decided to use it to explore the town of Piermont NY which has a nice little downtown and a beautiful pier. About 1/4 mile into the trail there is a dirt path going to the right...went on that until we found a tiny hut labeled 'Piermont' (it is a small museum). Getting advice from a jogger, we went down the steep hills there into town..had coffee at a neat little shop then and eventually found the pier. We had to walk up the steep hills on our return. This was an unexpected adventure, Next time we will do the entire trail.


Never too crowded and super mellow. The main trail runs from Blauvelt to Sparkill. It intertwined with the Erie Path which runs from Piermont to Nyack. The rail trail has a couple of cool MTB pump tracks and things of that soart running off of the side. Great views (except the sewage plant). I would recommend both the rail trail and Erie path to riders, walkers, and cross country skiers alike.

Sunday, August 26, 2018, temperature 88F, mixed sun & clouds, moderate humidity.

This is a wonderful asphalt community trail that is a very gentle slope down from the northern village of Blauvelt. Nice scenery with a mix of open skies and shade. Near the southern end there is a public park with a side connection to the contiguous Raymond Esposito and Old Erie trails, that are unpaved and slope gently down to end at a park in Nyack. The trail looks down over streets and homes in Piermont and Nyack with occasional summer views of the Hudson River. You ride through a shady forest on a gravel road that becomes a dirt path for a short distance before getting bigger and gravelly again. It's fun.

On a warm Sunday afternoon at the end of the trail I decided to take the streets back through Nyack to Piermont and was not disappointed. Nyack along the Hudson River is lined with Victorian and old sea captain-like homes. It's a bike route so there other bikers not doing the trails and really not too much traffic, so I felt safe. The street leads to Piermont, a beautiful little tree-lined village right on the Hudson river offering piers, marinas, restaurants, coffee shops and specialty stores. It really is spectacular. Then the streets lead from a small park over a creek back to the other little park where you meet the trail again. Without signs or knowledge I just followed my instincts and and found my way. Worth a return visit.

Rode the trail yesterday for the first time. Nice ride for an old guy like me. I started at the Oak Tree Road entrance and took it to the end and back. It’s a perfect trail for an older biker like me to get there daily exercise.

The never-ending road project actually had an end! The underpass is now open and the trail is rideable end-to-end!

Great ride for any type of bike. The extension mentioned in the previous comment is basically completed except that there is a break due to seemingly never-ending construction on the Orangeburg Road overpass.

You can ride the new section from the Blauvelt Library to the overpass and detour on streets to meet the older part of the trail.

J.B. Clarke Rail Trail Extension: Construction is finally underway on the extension of the Town's J.B. Clarke Rail trail from it's current terminus by the Orangeburg Library on South Greenbush Road to a new end point behind the Blauvelt Library on Western Highway. This project is entirely funded by New York State, with input on design coming from the Town and residents. Though some trees have been removed along the path of the new section of trail, when complete, the rail trail will be attractively landscaped and will include new parking spots and an informational kiosk and bench at the Western Highway terminus.

The ninth annual J.B. Clarke Rail Trail 5 Mile Fun Run will be held on Sunday,
October 18, 2015 at 9:30am. The run will begin and end on the trail in downtown
Sparkill. This non-competitive event will not offer awards, but will include
accurate mile splits, water stops and post-run refreshments. Applications may be
obtained at after July 1st. Race day sign up will begin at

The 8th annual J.B. Clarke Rail Trail 5 Mile Fun Run will be held on Sunday October 19, 2014 at 9:00AM. The run will begin and end on the trail in downtown Sparkill. This non-competitive event will not offer awards, but will include accurate mile splits, water stops and post-run refreshments. Applications may be obtained at Race day sign up will begin at 8:15AM. Come and enjoy a fun morning on the latest update to our parks system.

We received no notification of the meeting back in April regarding the extension of the trail. Between 2 adjacent properties, if we missed one notification, we should have seen the other. Love the existing trail, but want to know more about the extension.

The presentation by NYDOT was excellent; construction should begin the summer of 2014 with completion by 2015. Congratulations to the town for getting these funds dedicated to the people of Orangetown. A great asset for the town is getting even better!

Rail Trail in Blauvelt to be Completed: Great news! The Town has long sought NYS support for the completion of the much-loved J.B. Clark Rail Trail, specifically the section that would run between Lowes in Orangeburg and the Blauvelt Library. We recently met with NYS DOT, which funds and builds rail trails and we are now in the planning process for improving and building this important section. I encourage adjacent property owners and other to attend a presentation and Q&A at Town Hall on Tuesday, April 23 at 6:30 PM. Adjacent property owners will receive postal notification from NYS DOT

J.B. Clarke Rail Trail 5 Fun Run The 6TH annual JBC 5 Fun Run will be held on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 9:00am. The run will begin and end on the trail in down-town sparkill. This non-competitive event will not offfer awards, but will include accurate mile splits, water stops and post run-refreshments. Applications may be obtained in our downloadable file sections on this page or at the Recreation Office. Race Day sign-up will begin at 8:15am. Come and enjoyu a fun morning on the latest update to our parks system.

I started the trail next to Lowes off route 303, then continue to sparkill, then oak tree road to the end - 5 miles round trip. When I looked at the map at the trailhead, it seems to indicate the trail goes north from the Lowes trailhead (though yellow labeled and stating it was not paved). Does a trail exist from this spot that goes north or is the sign wrong?

The fifth annual J.B. Clarke Rail Trail 5 Mile Fun Run will be held on Sunday,
October 23, 2011 at 9:00am. The run will begin and end on the trail in downtown
Sparkill. This non-competive event will not offer awards, but will include
accurate mile splits, water stops and post-run refreshments. Applications may
be obtained at after August 1, 2011. Race day sign up
will begin at 8:15am. Come and enjoy a fun morning on the latest update to
our parks system.

3rd Annual Clarke Trail Run RESCHEDULED!!
The race will now take place on Sunday October 25th at 9:00AM.
The run will begin and end on the trail in downtown
Sparkill. This non-competive event will not offer awards, but will include
accurate mile splits, water stops and post-run refreshments. Applications may be
obtained at Race day sign up will begin at 8:00am.
Come and enjoy a fun morning on the latest update to our parks system.

The third annual J.B. Clarke Rail Trail 5 Mile Fun Run will be held on Sunday,
September 20, 2009 at 9:00am. The run will begin and end on the trail in downtown
Sparkill. This non-competive event will not offer awards, but will include
accurate mile splits, water stops and post-run refreshments. Applications may be
obtained at Race day sign up will begin at 8:00am.
Come and enjoy a fun morning on the latest update to our parks system.

The second annual J.B. Clarke Rail Trail 5 Mile Fun Run will be held on Sunday,
June 8 2008 at 9:30am. The run will begin and end on the trail in downtown
Sparkill. This non-competitive event will not offer awards, but will include accurate
mile splits, water stops and post-run refreshments. Applications may be
obtained at after April 1st. Race day sign up will begin
at 8:30am. Come and see the newly paved trail and enjoy a fun morning on the
latest update to our parks system.

The Town Of Orangetown has a "Park & Ride" project and the NYS Region 8 DOT is ready to assist by funding in the "alienation of parkland" on the parking lot on park land which borders this rail trail. Numerous inquiries, petitions and letters have yielded no explanation of what or why they are proceeding, much to the angst of the local community and shop keepers near the park and rail trail. Over 200 patrons and park goers and all the shop keepers wrote the town council asking them to keep the park and the rural feeling of Sparkill, NY 10976, but they have never formally replied or responded, but keep pressing forward. YOUR CAN HELP: PLEASE CALL ELLEN JAFFEE'S OFFICE AT 845-624-4601 AND ASK HER TO ENGAGE THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT AND THE TOWN COUNCIL TO FIND A MORE SUITABLE AND APPROPRIATE PARK AND RIDE FOR ORANGETOWN.

The first annual J.B. Clarke Rail Trail 5 Mile Fun Run will
be held on Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 9:00am. The run will
begin and end on the trail in downtown Sparkill. This noncompetive
event will not offer awards, but will include accurate
mile splits, water stops and post-run refreshments.
Applications may be obtained at after April
1st. Race day sign up will begin at 8:00am. Come and see the newly paved
trail and enjoy a fun morning on the latest update to our parks system."

"J. B. Clarke Rail-Trail Opening
The pedestrian bridge over Route 303 in Orangeburg was dedicated in a ribbon cutting ceremony held on November 30, 2006. The bridge links sections one and two of the Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail. The Trail begins at Oak Tree Road in Tappan and continues westerly 2.5 miles to the pedestrian bridge. Construction of Phase 2 of the Trail, which will terminate at Western Highway in Blauvelt, will start in 2008.

Photographed are: James Olsen, Sr., Robert Hudson - trail abuttor and coach, Catherine Dodge - member of the Orangetown Parks Development Advisory Committee, Richard Rose - Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, John Murphy - County Legislator, Thom Kleiner - Town Supervisor, Watson Morgan - member of Town Open Space Committee, Connie Coker - County Legislator, Marie Manning - Orangetown Town Councilwoman, Joseph B. Clarke - former Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, Patrick Moroney - County Legislator and Mary McCloskey, member of Orangetown Parks Development Advisory Committee.


20 new parking spaces at the Washington Street lot are now available - this is the best place to park to take advantage of the great improvements to the trail and enjoy the fall foliage.

"Entire community part of planning

(Original publication: September 17, 2006)

I should like to comment on a letter to the editor which appeared in your Sept. 6 issue in which John Perrella indicated that he was unable to get information on the origin of a bridge that connects ""two sections of a hiking trail in Orangetown slightly south of Orangeburg Road"" on Route 303.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Perrella was not able to have easy access to this public information, and so I want to take this opportunity to provide some basic information about the genesis of the project.

This pedestrian bridge was part of ""The Plans for the Palisades Rail Trailway,"" and was presented to Orangetown officials and the Rockland Planning Department. The land for this project was purchased by the Town of Orangetown in 1996.

There were safety concerns. In the words of the report: ""The route requires the construction of new pedestrian bridges at Route 303 and at an active CSXT Railroad Line.""

The construction of this bridge was the result of ongoing community discussion and a consensus transportation agreement between the NYS Department of Transportation and the Palisades Interstate Parkway Commission. Additionally, officials of the Town of Orangetown and the Rockland Planning Department went on record as supporting the project, 80 percent of which is federally funded, with 20 percent coming from state sources.

Local and regional engineers, local planners and local officials, and members of the public all played a role in the overall planning of this project. A copy of the Final Design Report is available at my office.

Tom Morahan, New City "

"Route 303 bridge a vital connection

(Original publication: September 17, 2006)

I'm writing to offer support for and clarity about the bridge erected over Route 303 recently. It seems some citizens were surprised by its appearance, although it was the subject of years of discussion in the Town of Orangetown and was, in fact, covered several times in this newspaper.

To answer a few questions: The bridge was erected as part of a pedestrian/bicycling pathway that's designed to eventually run the length of the right-of-way alongside the Palisades Parkway up to Bear Mountain, providing Rockland residents a rail-to-trail-type park system similar to the amazing North County Trailway in Westchester.

The bridge is part of the first phase of that plan, and connects two sections of town park that were previously separated by Route 303, and were previously unpaved.

The bridge runs across Route 303 next to Lowes and one of the busiest sections of roadway in the state. Surely erecting a bridge so that the children and families who are out enjoying a day of biking, walking or Rollerblading are not struck by cars and killed is something that should be embraced by residents.

Next year the path on the other side of Route 303 will be extended on more existing park land, adding more miles that families can use for recreation.

The bridge was paid for with Federal funds, part of the Transportation Equity Act (TEA-21) designed to reduce vehicular use and inspire bicycle and pedestrian activities.

Contrary to some letters in the Journal News, the project is well known by all the local representatives and meetings about the bridge in were run by Orangetown Supervisor Thom Kleiner.

With all the sprawl that's gripped and shaped Rockland for the better part of two decades, it's nice to see a project designed to encourage enjoyment of the outdoors and that provides additional recreational activities for the local residents.

David Schloss, Nyack

"Trail crowned this week with bridge

(Original publication: August 10, 2006)
ORANGEBURG — For one Pearl River man, a new bridge over Route 303 is just part of a grand vision to connect the region through a series of recreation paths.
When Joseph B. Clarke became the town's superintendent of parks in 1969, the trail was actually train tracks. After years of advocacy, though, the old Erie railroad line was converted into a pedestrian path that now bears his name.
""My initial thought was that it wasn't just Orangetown, it went through the whole county,"" Clarke said of the trail. ""It's like a ribbon going through town.""
The Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail is a 5-mile path that runs from Tappan to Blauvelt. In 1997 — the same year Clarke retired — the town purchased part of the old railroad line from Conrail for $300,000.
Richard Rose, the town's current superintendent of parks, said the town named it after Clarke because he was a driving force in acquiring the land.
The trail, however, needed work and was cut off by the heavily trafficked roadway. Anyone who wanted to utilize the entire path had to navigate the traffic on Route 303 — no mere stroll in the park. For some, that challenge wasn't a risk worth taking.
That will change now that the state Department of Transportation has built a footbridge over the heavily trafficked road in Orangeburg, meaning that more people will likely use the entire trial. The bridge is not yet open.
""No. 1, it takes you off the street,"" Clarke said of the safety advantages of the bridge. ""I think what it will do is open the area for pedestrian use. It's part of the circle.""
Workers late Tuesday and early yesterday installed the pedestrian bridge. The span essentially completes the first phase of the trail improvements, a $3 million project, said Rose.
""This is obviously a key thing that needed to occur,"" Rose said. ""We're getting to the end of the process of phase 1.""
In addition to paving the current 10-foot-wide gravel path for bicyclists, in-line skaters and strollers, the project included adding two-foot-wide gravel sections on either side of the path for walkers, runners and joggers, from Oak Tree Road in Tappan to Greenbush Road in Orangeburg. The first stage also included plantings, parking spaces, drainage improvements, kiosks and benches.
Rose said that 80 percent of the cost was covered by federal funds. With the state transportation funds covering the upgrades, he said the town did not have touse local tax dollars. A second phase should begin in 2008, he said.
James Olson, the engineer in charge, said the steel truss bridge was an important safety component and would enable users to use the trail contiguously.
""You'd have to run across four lanes of traffic,"" Olson said of how the recreation path was cut off. ""This maintains an open trail.""
Bob Hudson uses the path daily. A physical education instructor at William O. Schaefer Elementary School, Hudson said he advocates family fitness and has noticed more people using the trail after the upgrades. With the new bridge, he expected that trend to continue.
""I think it's terrific I see a lot more people using the trail,"" he said. ""We'll utilize it a lot more with the bridge. I think it's real important for safety reasons. It links both halfs of South Orangetown in a safer way.""
Hudson, also coach of the girls cross country team at Tappan Zee High School, said the path is an ideal training route for his runners.
""I can't wait for them to finish so my team can go on it,"" he said. ""It's going to be terrific when they go to phase 2.""
Clarke shared that enthusiasm. The new installation is like seeing his dream become a reality.
""It's nice to see something maturing and blossoming,"" he said.


"The Journal News
A beauty of a bridge

(Original publication: August 15, 2006)

It's a magnificent structure, a piece of art across Route 303 in Orangeburg at the exact spot where the first long-distance rail line in the United States crossed in the mid-1800s. The latest connection in the Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail, this new footbridge should eventually prove pleasurable for many.

Kudos are due all involved, including Orangetown officials; James Olson, the state Department of Transportation engineer in charge, and a Palisades native and Boy Scout well used to traveling the old Erie Railroad bed; and Bob Hudson, a physical education instructor for the South Orangetown schools.

In an age where gas prices are rising exponentially, where traffic congestion is worsening and where fast foods threaten to clog the arteries, it makes extra good sense to utilize old rail beds and turn them into walking, hiking, biking trails.

Ramapo is doing that now in Monsey and the western part of the town, and the county has a very nice run on the old rail branch from Pomona to Mount Ivy. Pity that government was not farsighted enough decades ago when the lines were abandoned. In some areas, for example, developers have taken over parts of the Erie, which began at the Piermont Pier and carried goods arriving by Hudson River boat from New York City, bound for upstate, the Midwest and the West. The line really helped open up the frontier.

Now at least some of the rail bed can be used for the new frontier of stress-relief walking and exercise. Coach Hudson knows all about this as he has long been a booster of the Clarke Rail Trail, named for a former Orangetown superintendent of parks who helped inspire the project. Hudson even volunteers to maintain part of the finished run from Oak Tree Road in Tappan into Sparkill and then to Greenbush Road in Orangeburg. He is always stressing good exercise for his students and for adults, too, and the trail can help provide that.

The new bridge spans Route 303, which has become a traffic-congested route, especially since more trucks were added to it daily following the opening of the I-287 connection at Suffern/Hillburn in the early 1990s. Without it, it would be impossible for trail users to cross the state highway safely.

Up until the 1980s, the Erie track ran across Route 303, once serving both Camp Shanks and the old Orangeburg Pipe Co. With the footbridge's completion, bikers and walkers/hikers will be able to cross over, but for now the trail essentially ends there. There is a rough section from Mountainview Avenue in Orangeburg to the back of a private business off Western Highway in Blauvelt, but this, as well as a connector from the new bridge to Mountainview, awaits a planned 2008 use date.

We urge Orangetown to act now on the second phase. The beautiful new bridge should lead somewhere, and our worry is that 2008 could become 2010 or 2015. It took years, after all, to get to this wonderful bridge (in 1997 Orangetown purchased part of the old rail line from Conrail for $300,000). And we must not forget that the town has already lost part of the full trail since a previous town board, in the 1980s, dismissed using a portion of the line to Fifth Avenue in Blauvelt. Officials back then caved into a few residents' silly worries that burglars would access their homes via the trail. There is no evidence that any rail trail anywhere provides such opportunity.

Now, apparently, the farthest the trail can run is Western Highway. Beautiful job so far. Let's plan to get it finished.

"I took my dog driving on the trail today. Once you cross Western Hwy, it's still paved for quite a bit, and then abruptly goes to a stonedust surface, but it's still pretty good. I suspect there are plans to continue the trail over 303, right next to the Lowe's. I took a photo of where it leaves off at that point and uploaded to the phot section. It was roughly 4.8 from the trailhead at Oak Tree Road to 303 and back again."

The trail is now paved with asphalt from Route 303 in Orangeburg south to Oak Tree Road in Tappan.

A bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Route 303 is now under construction.

"June 2004 Draft Greenway Trail Vision Plan; Success Stories: Joseph B. Clarke Rail-Trail, Rockland County (Connector Trail)

The Orangetown Rail Trail was purchased in 1997 from Con-Rail, using federal ISTEA funds and a Town match. The trail was renamed the Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail in 1998 after the former Superintendent of Parks and Recreation who championed the idea to acquire the property. The 5 -mile trail connects the
hamlets of Tappan, Sparkill, Orangeburg and Blauvelt, while a separate spur of the trail connects to existing trails through the villages of Piermont, Grand View-on-Hudson, South Nyack and Nyack.

The trail became a designated Greenway Trail in 2004 and has proven to be a great community resource. A subdivision that was built next to the Joseph B. Clarke Rail-Trail capitalized on the close proximity and used the trail as an advertising tool to sell lots! The trail has become the Phase 1 portion of the Palisades Trailway, and work to re-surface the trail for multi-use by as bikes, in-line skates and carriages is scheduled to begin in 2005. Proximity to trail used as a marketing tool."

There were some great nature sightings this past week on the trail. I came across one LARGE turtle -- the size of my son's biking helmet -- on Thursday. Saturday morning I saw a very young deer that was no more than four-feet tall and a small turtle that was about six inches in length. All sightings were south of the Palisades Parkway overpass and directly on the trail.

"The Hudson River Valley Greenway and the town of Orangetown have designated the 4-mile Joseph B. Clarke Rail-Trail as a segment of the Hudson River Valley Greenway system. The Joseph B. Clarke Rail-Trail also links to the Piermont, South Nyack and Nyack River trails and connects to Sparkill Park.

The Hudson River Valley Greenway system runs for nearly 520 miles on both sides of the Hudson River, from Waterford in Saratoga County to Battery Park in Manhattan. Go to to learn more about the Hudson River Valley Greenway."


PALISADES TRAILWAY IN PRELIMINARY DESIGN – The New York State Department of Transportation in cooperation with the Town of Orangetown has begun preliminary design work for construction of the Palisades Trailway a paved non-motorized multi-use 3.6 mile trailway on the Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail along the former right-of-way of the Erie Railroad from Oak Tree Road to Western Highway. The proposed project is located in the Town of Orangetown, Rockland County. This project is the first phase of a cooperative effort between the NYSDOT and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission to build a 26 mile paved trailway in the Palisades Parkway Corridor from the New York -New Jersey State Line to Anthony Wayne Recreation Area in Bear Mountain State Park.

There are few places where families and individuals can safely bike, walk, rollerblade, jog, hike, free from motor vehicle traffic.

A public information meeting on this project will be held at the Town of Orangetown Town Hall in Court Room 1 located at 26 Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, New York on Wednesday, March 5th, 2003 from 4:00PM to 8:00 PM. Refreshments will be provided.

Project information will be on display and NYSDOT representatives and design consultants will be available to provide information on the project throughout the duration of the meeting. No formal presentation is planned. The purpose of the meeting is to explain the project and obtain comments on the proposed project from individuals, groups, officials and local agencies.

The NYSDOT project manager is Russell Robbins, who can be contacted by phone at 845-431–5723 or 5978 or email "

"My reviews are as a hiker.

The southern terminus of this trail (at Oak Tree Road) and Sparkill (about 1 mile north) have parking available. North of Kings Highway, the water treatment plant can emit some unpleasant odors for a short distance.

After crossing Route 303 the trail is broken by the CSX River Line. A detour along nearby streets is necessary. The north end is abrupt behind Esposito's Market in Blauvelt (on Western Highway to your left).

This trail also connects with the Nyack Rail Trail by way of an eastern spur, just north of Sparkill.

This is an easy pleasant walk of about 4 miles.

Rates a 5 out of 10!"

"The connection to the trail leading to S. Nyack and Nyack has been reopened! With increased usage and settlement of the original stones the trail has become more compact and stable. The town has added gates, signage and wood chip edging. Great fall foliage and with the leaves falling great views of the Hudson. From the southern terminus on Oak Tree Road in Tappan, you can now travel approx. 5 miles to Nyack and cross only 4 roads! Amazing considering the scarcity of open space in such a congested part of the state. Great for rides or walks w/ the kids. "

The southern part of this trail (from Oak Tree Road north to the town's Waste Water Treatment Plant) is covered with rather large gravel. Be prepared; no road bike will make it in one piece.

Have a map handy too otherwise you will get lost north of Route 303 trying to connect back up with the trail (it's broken in two by the CSX River Line).

This trail also connects with the Nyack Rail Trail but the connection is temporarily closed due to the construction of a new bridge on Route 9W.

E-mail if you're planning to take this one on and I'll answer any questions you have. I've biked the entire route numerous times. Maps are available from the Orangetown Parks & Recreation Department.


Flat from Orangeburg through Tappan. Moderate uphill on spur to S. Nyack with great views of the Hudson.

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South County Trailway

New York - 14.4 miles

The South County Trailway rolls 14.4 miles through one of the most densely populated parts of New York, but its route through pocket woodlots, parks,...

Bronx River Greenway

New York - 23.3 miles

The Bronx River travels from the mouth of the East River north to the Kensico Dam, providing views of the natural history of the area. Because the...

North County Trailway

New York - 20.7 miles

The former “Old Put” commuter rail corridor that ran from the Bronx to northern bedroom communities in Westchester and Putnam Counties is popular once...

Hook Mountain/Nyack Beach Bikeway

New York - 4.9 miles

While not a "rail-trail," the Hook Mountain/Nyack Beach Bikeway is a very scenic trail along the Hudson River in Rockland County. The southern half...

Old Putnam Trail

New York - 1.25 miles

Splayed over 1,146 acres in northwest Bronx, Van Cortlandt Park has a lot going on. The park is New York City's fourth largest and is home to the...

Saddle River County Park Bike Path

New Jersey - 7.6 miles

The Saddle River County Park Bike Path is a beautiful suburban trail that winds alongside the Saddle River. Most of the trail runs through moderately...

John Kieran Nature Trail

New York - 1 miles

The John Kieran Nature Trail is a short loop that borders Van Cortlandt Lake and its associated wetlands. It is a wonderful site for bird-watching....

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