Shawangunk, Walden, and Wallkill Rail Trail

New York

Shawangunk, Walden, and Wallkill Rail Trail Facts

States: New York
Counties: Orange, Ulster
Length: 4.5 miles
Trail end points: Shawangunk (Rt 208 near Railroad Ave) to Walden (Main St near Highland Ave): 3.5 miles and Wallkill (C. E. Penny Dr and Railroad Ave) to Wallkill (River Rd near Birch Rd): 1 mile
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Ballast, Cinder, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6032393
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Shawangunk, Walden, and Wallkill Rail Trail Description

Shawangunk, Walden, and Wallkill Rail Trail is built on a railroad right-of-way that was abandoned by Conrail in the late 1970s. Conrail and its predecessors, Penn Central, New York Central, and The Wallkill Valley Railway, provided service to farmers along the route from Montgomery to Kingston by transporting their goods to wholesale markets in New York City.

The rail-trail is currently open in two disconnected sections. The longer, southern section is paved and stretches about 3 miles from Woodruff Street in Walden to Route 208 in Wallkill.

A shorter section begins in Wallkill and heads north for just under 2 miles. It remains unpaved and favored by mountain bikers and horseback riders. From its northern end, trail users may connect to the scenic Wallkill Valley Rail-Trail by taking an on-road route to Denniston Road, where it begins.

Parking and Trail Access

Major highways convenient to trailheads are the NY State Thruway, Interstate Route 84, and NY State routes 208, 52, and 17K.

The Village of Walden provides parking for rail-trail users at Wooster Grove Park on East Main St. (State Route 52).

Shawangunk, Walden, and Wallkill Rail Trail Reviews

Dateline: Monday April 17, 2017. Weather 68' F, sunny with scattered clouds, a slight breeze.
It was a beautiful first ride of the year, with many more to follow. This short asphalt paved trail is fairly level and goes through beautiful county, including farms, forests and close-by streams. At each end there is a nice village, Walden and Wallkill, that you can visit and get a refreshment.

I did start the northern section, but did not complete it because my hybrid bike's tires are not good for such a rough path. When I get my other set of wheels back from the shop for truing, they have have off-road tires that will better handle trails such as this one. Too bad though. I have already completed the northern end of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and hoped to keep connecting the different sections. Another time.

Well maintained paved trail. Quiet surrounded by trees. Perfect

So there are 2 parts to this trail... the paved part that goes from walkill to walden and another dirt path that goes somewhere else. We took the paved path and it was beautiful! Well maintained and mostly shady-perfect for pushing a baby in a stroller. Will be back again!

Accordion

This is a beautiful, well maintained rail trail ideal for a short bike ride. To begin in Walden drivers are directed to park in an area a few blocks away in Woosters Memorial Grove Park. Once biking on the trail we passed several nicely wooded streams and wide open fields planted with crops. Many birds. Quite disappointing when the ride was over 2.8 miles later in Wallkill (a hamlet of the town of Shawangunk) Continuing straight onto Railroad Avenue we picked up the trail at the intersection with C E Penney Drive. At this point it is not paved and is a little rough in spots. Don't know how far it goes but it felt good to get deeper into an area that is more remote. All in all a fun experience.

excellent paved trail 2.8 miles connecting walden and wallkill. through forest and fields. a little uphill from wallkill to walden. best to start at wallkill and do round trip. entrance at walden is a little convoluted. hope its made longer soon.

I have been looking for trails to walk with my daughter and found this trail because it was close to her house. I read that the trail was still unpaved and was reluctant to walk it due to some physical problems. I mapped out where to park (via Google earth)and did not see any trail. I was curious so I decided to look a little closer and found it. I have to say it is a beautiful paved trail. I have a hard time walking more than a mile and I found myself walking it end to end. There is a park on Main St. where you can park and walk to the trail. There are signs if you are coming up 52 towards 208 but none if you come from Montgomery. It is a very peaceful walk and a friendly hello from passersby. I did notice that there are signs on the street crossings to yield for pedestrians in crosswalk, but you need to take much care when crossing streets along the trail. I can't wait until spring and summer to really see the beauty of this trail. 11/29/09

What a nice, nice trail. Thanks to all who got this trail looking the way it does. It's appreciated.

The trail is in the process of being paved! 10/2/08

A few months ago this trail was a mess. Now it has been cleared and graded and turned into a fine trail. It's still a work in progress but worth a visit

We live nearby the trail. From what I have been reading it has made big improvements and there has been a set date to have it paved in September of 08'. Trees have been cut down and gravel has been placed along the entire trail. I think it makes a nice experience. You feel like your in the middle of nowhere when you walk the trail. It runs through a farm, a brook and lots of trees.

"I was so digusted with the condition of the trail that I contacted the Shawangunk Deputy Supervisor in charge of recreation and this was her reply:

""The section accross from the Police station all the way to Walden has received a grant. The grant was issued to the three towns to make it also handicapped accessible. The design has been shown at a public hearing and now it appears that they are going to start working. The plan is to have it black topped so that people will be able to walk and ride. Trees will be cut back and guard rails will be installed in the areas that they are needed. We are not the lead on this project. Sorry that it seems to take so long, but we are required by law to follow certain federal guidelines and these do take time.""

I'm a little disappointed that it's going to be paved, but that's just a personal preference. I'm hoping that they will be able to start on it by spring, if not sooner!"

"My husband and I are fairly new to biking and we had to try this trail out since we live nearby. What a disappointment. We started on the section with the trailhead across from the police station. It wasn't bad for the first mile or so, but suddenly we were getting scratched by thorns, had to navigate around huge puddles and pick up our bikes to get over downed trees in the road.

We ended up turning around before reaching Walden because it was not at all what we envisioned. We decided to try the other end that runs out to the correctional facility and found that in a little better shape, although there were no signs at all indicating that it was a rail-trail or that if you went over the pile of dirt at the end and continued on, you would be on correctional facility property, which is obviously not allowed.

We found that out by asking a local police officer, who also told us that ATVs ride back there even though they're not supposed to. I would love to know what was done with the grant that the previous reviewer wrote of. It certainly wasn't used on this trail!"

"As reported recently in several local newspapers, the State of NY has just awarded towns along this trail a total of $601,000 in funds earmarked for access, surface, drainage and ADA enhancements to this trail.

Reportedly, the trail will be paved and have an adjacent crushed stone surface (for equestrian use) from end to end.

No estimated completion for the project was published."

"The south portion of this trail is O.K. for about a mile, then you come to the biggest puddle I've ever seen on a rail-trail. If you get by that the trail gets very narrow with thorny bushes on both sides. After that there's a lot of broken glass and trash for a depressing finish in Walden.

The north part is nice and mostly dry and the vegetation has been cut back wide enough for a bus to pass through. I passed one ATV on a narrow part of the south trail. I had to go in the bushes to get out of his way. Nice!

I'd use the trail if I was local but I wouldn't go out of my way to go there. Maybe I'll check next year to see if they clean it up a little."

"The northern leg of this trail (from RR Ave and CE Penny Dr to Birch Rd) is in very good condition. It passes mainly through farmland and is 1 1/4 miles long. It is depressed in sections, and may hold water after rainfall. There is parking available at the start of this section.

The southern section is due south about .3 miles along RR Ave. A sign on Rte 208 marks the beginning of this section. For .9 miles this section is similar to the northern section. At the crossing of a private road clearly signed ""Muktunanda Marg"", the trail suddenly turns into a bog! Water lies rather deeply on the trail from here on as far as the eye can see.

The dry sctions of this trail are very nice, but since I hiked in the middle of a drought, with so significant recent rain, I would imagine the rest of the trail is always wet.

Rates a 5 out of 10!

Fred"

"I expected much more than I actually encountered when I biked the main segment of this trail during a seasonable and sunny early spring day. Perhaps the nearby and very highly rated Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and the Wallkill Valley Railroad Company Trail had both spoiled me. Regardless of the underlying reasons for my disappointment, this trail is in dire need of attention.

I located ample parking near the Shawangunk Public Library and Town Park near Railroad Avenue. I began my ride at the main segment trailhead on Route 208 in Shawangunk (directly across from the Shawangunk Police Station) and headed south.

For the first mile or so, everything looked exceptionally good. The trail was a very level double-tracked ballast surface, foliage had been cut back along the route, and with the exception of one adjacent industrial neighbor (a school bus storage yard), the route was lined with nicely kept farms and beautiful homes. I saw no signs of illegal dumping during my first mile out, but I did note evidence of ATV and dirt bike use even though prominently posted signs warn that their use is prohibited. I encountered no public street crossings for my first 1.5 miles out of Shawangunk. There were two private access roads that crossed the trail though.

At about the 1.5-mile mark, trail conditions deteriorated quickly. Standing water became a huge problem as did mud, signs of illegal dumping (including loads of broken glass), and thorn-heavy foliage not cut back from the trail. The trail surface at this point changed from ballast to medium-weight gravel and dirt.

At about the 2.0-mile mark I ran into the first and only public street crossing. Instead of erecting gates to keep unauthorized vehicles off of the trail at this access point, the town has chosen instead to dump two huge piles of dirt. It’s no fun carrying a bicycle up and over a huge mud pile, but I plodded on.

From this street crossing south to the trail’s current terminus in Walden, you basically travel on an active creek bed. Downed trees blocking the trail were commonplace. I’m glad that the bike I was riding that day had disc brakes; v-brakes would have offered zero stopping power in light of all the water I had encountered. The surrounding area along this trail segment is heavily wooded. With the exception of continued evidence of illegal dumping, there are no additional signs of civilization until you reach the remnants of what once was a elevated street crossing in Walden. The trail effectively ends at this point.

There is a 1.0-mile long trail segment that extends from Railroad Avenue and C.E. Penny Drive in Wallkill north to Birch Road and River Road in Wallkill I didn’t travel along this branch route but I did note from my automobile that it was loaded with standing water as well.

I will not return to this trail until I am aware that improvements have been implemented, most notably something done about the drainage situation. Mud is fun sometimes, but it gets tedious after a while."

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