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The Catskill Scenic Trail lives up to its name as it winds through a broad farming valley and small towns in New York's Catskill Mountains. The West Branch of the Delaware River is often in sight, with opportunities for fishing and wading in the river's cool waters. The route is primarily agricultural and can at times take your breath away—especially when the farm fields have recently been fertilized.
The trail's west end is in the village of Bloomville. A short path downhill from the parking lot on Agway Road takes you across Route 10 and to the rail-trail. The Sheffield Farm Dairy plant, located in Bloomfield, contained the country's first milk pasteurization facility. The Ulster and Delaware railroad trains served the plant in the early 1900s. Some restoration work is currently underway on the dilapidated building. Continuing east, you cross a series of bridges back and forth over the river, and fishing access points are numerous.
In South Kortright, the trail passes through a farmyard. Be prepared—and use caution—when resident turkeys approach looking for a handout. After crossing Route 10 again you will pass the beautiful Belle Terre facility. Formally a private estate, the grounds now house a substance abuse rehabilitation center.
The West Branch of the Delaware River runs right along the trail for most of the 4 miles between Hobart and Stamford. There are some pretty spots to relax with a book or enjoy a picnic; consider heading in to Hobart via Maple Street to stock up on refreshments or to browse the used bookstores on Main Street.
Entering Stamford the restored train station serves as an information center and houses the Catskill Revitalization Corporation, which owns and manages the Catskill Scenic Trail as well as the nearby Delaware and Ulster scenic railroad. Stamford sits at the base of 3,241-foot Mount Utsayantha. The mountain is named for a local American Indian maiden and the tragic legend at the heart of the story.
For the last 5 miles, from Stamford to Grand Gorge, the trail remains near the river, and here you can see signs of busy beavers creating dams, building lodges and occasionally dropping a tree across the trail.
The trail continues for another 7 miles to the village of Roxbury. Most of this segment follows the banks of the East Branch of the Delaware River, passing many interesting rock formations.
As of June 2012, passage from the western edge of Grand Gorge to points east are difficult on bicycle due to the remaining (embedded) railroad ties and damage to bridges, so please use caution whether walking or riding.
To reach Bloomville from I-88 in Oneonta: Take the exit for State Route 28 toward Delhi for 20.7 miles. Turn left on State Route 10 for 7.7 miles. East of the village of Bloomville, look for Agway Road (also known as Feed Store Road) on the left.
To reach Roxbury from I-87: Take the exit for New York State Route 23 West. In Grand Gorge, turn south on New York State Route 30. The trail begins at Hard Scrabble Road. There is limited parking along the shoulder.
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