Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

New York

63 Reviews

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Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Facts

States: New York
Counties: Ulster
Length: 21.3 miles
Trail end points: Denniston Rd. (south of Gardiner) and Route 32 and Rockwell Lane (Town of Ulster)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Cinder, Dirt, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6032011

Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Description

While the Wallkill Valley Railroad no longer carries fruits and vegetables from Ulster County to New York City, trail users can still discover small, family-owned farms and farmers markets serving up fresh produce, meats, and locally made products and beverages along this route. Today the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is popular among locals for walking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing, and it highlights the diversity that embodies America’s rich history.

The corridor’s current incarnation as a linear park welcomes all nonmotorized trail users, and the path is well maintained and easy to navigate. The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is mostly unpaved except when entering the various towns to which it connects. Even so, the unpaved sections are easy to traverse with a hybrid bike, even after inclement weather. Parking is plentiful along the trail, which provides an excellent tree canopy and scenic views of mountains, water features, and prairies. This trail has excellent wayfinding signage and allows many opportunities to enjoy the cafés and other amenities of the several small towns it unites.

As you head south from Kingston to Rosendale, enjoy vistas of Third, Fourth, and Fifth Lakes, as well as the historical cement-mining facilities visible from the trail. Around mile 8, one of the best features of the trail is the Rosendale Trestle, about 150 feet tall and 900 feet long, offering great views of the surrounding Hudson Valley.

From Rosendale, the rail-trail travels beside orchards, organic farms, lakes, streams, and the Wallkill River and provides access to the towns of New Paltz and Gardiner. The National Park Service has designated this multiuse trail as a National Recreation Trail, and it’s no wonder. Just west of New Paltz are Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park Preserve, which provide access to more than 30,000 acres of woodlands, cliffs, trails, and lakes. Fishing opportunities are also available along the Wallkill River.

At 15 miles, the trail meets the Historic Huguenot Street District in New Paltz, which was once home to American Indians and European settlers. Today the district includes a visitor center and local history archive, archaeological sites, historical stone houses, a reconstructed 1717 Huguenot church, a replica Munsee wigwam, and a burial ground that dates to the town’s first European settlers.

From New Paltz, the trail intersects several others, including the River-to-Ridge Trail, which extends 4.9 miles west to connect the Wallkill River and Shawangunk Ridge. Looking east, the western terminus of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail is less than 3 miles away.

Continue another 7 miles south from New Paltz to finish your journey at the southern terminus in Wallkill. This spot is only 2.5 miles from the northern terminus of the 4.3-mile Walden–Wallkill Rail Trail traveling down to Walden and then Wallkill. Note that although no parking is available at the Wallkill endpoint, you may find parking 2.5 miles north in Gardiner.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach parking at the northern terminus from I-87, take Exit 18, and turn left to merge onto NY 299 W. In 1.0 mile, turn right onto New Paltz Bypass/N. Putt Corners Road. In 1.4 miles, turn left onto Shivertown Road, and go 1.1 miles; then turn right onto NY 32 N, and go 11.2 miles. Turn left off the highway onto Rockwell Terr., and go 0.1 mile to Rockwell Lane. Continue straight into a new gravel parking lot. Head to the far end of the parking lot and turn left to begin your journey south.

There is no designated parking area at the southern terminus, but trail users can find a parking lot 2.5 miles north in Gardiner. To reach this parking lot from I-87, take Exit 17 and continue straight toward NY 300. Turn left onto NY 300 N., and go 2.7 miles. Continue straight onto NY 32 N, and go 9.2 miles. Turn left onto US 44/Main St. in Gardiner. In 2.5 miles, turn right onto Second St. Parking is found immediately on the left, opposite the trail. From this trailhead, as you face the trail from the parking lot, you may either turn left and head 2.5 miles to the southern terminus or turn right to pick up the trail heading north.

Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Reviews

Great summer ride

We rented bikes in new paltz to go from there up past Rosendale trestle The rest was closed but that was ok. We past some interesting caves with cold air which was a nice surprise. It is finely crushed gravel which is an up grease from mud; however check your bike company to make sure your tires are appropriate for this type of gravel Definitely picturesque, quiet and peaceful Would highly recommend

A bit rough

A pretty nice trail with some nice views, but definitely rough in places. The RT Conservancy book describes it as roughness index of 1, but it’s at least a 2. If only doing a section, recommend avoiding the section south of New Paltz.

Great Trail. Rosendale Trestle and south.

We rode this trail for about 5 miles from the kilns, across the trestle, and south past farms and shaded trail. It was lovely. We quickly came upon a cave which was emitting cold air and stopped to take it in. No signage to inform you of this wonder. We brought a lunch and were disappointed to find no benches for the entire stretch. I just wanted to point these 2 things out as a way to improve the experience for others

great trail

Is clearly a men made trail. Is almost perfectly leveled so you aren’t really dealing with hills. I so people of all ages and types of bike riding the trail without really struggling. There are 2 very small patches around the sought area of the trail that does seem prone to getting nasty with rain. So I would say don’t go the day after rain unless you cool with getting mud on you and your bike. The rest of the trail had plenty of gravel. The south area had bigger gravel, so rougher terrain and more prone to flats if you aren’t careful, but again, on my rode bike I still had no issues at all. Once you reach the first big bridge the trail becomes much more smoother and easier to travel. All in all, I’m very happy with the trail. Very relaxing. Totally covered by trees, besides the small patches where you pass through a town where you can stop and rest and get some food if you want. Totally recommend for anyone. And unlike some other reviews I don’t feel like you need a mountain bike for it.


gorgeous foliage

We rode from New Paltz to a bit north of Rosendale trestle. Stopped for pizza at Rail Trail Cafe (delicious but really slow). View from the trestle is excellent, especially with the foliage almost peaking right now. The trail was in good condition but it hadn’t rained in a long time. Just north of the trestle there’s a cave you can explore on the right. Bring a good light.

Abominable Trail Conditions September 3, 2020

Rode this trail from Rockwell Lane to the Trestle and back Sept. 3 --- the trail was muddy with extensive puddles that were too deep and wide to ride through. As a result we had to do a lot of careful walking the bikes around the puddles in order not to fall in the mud. Riding was made even more treacherous by the heavy and numerous branches that covered the trail and frequently got caught in the spokes stopping the bike and pulling it down! This was a miserable experience. I understand that the branches were left by maintenance crews cutting brush on the sides of the trail, but one would have thought they would clear the cuttings from the trail bed for the cyclists! The part of the trail after the cement works to the trestle was much clearer and less muddy. I think its a shame that the crews did not clear trail of branches. I have never seen a rail trail in such bad condition!

wallkill rail trail

Started at Rockwell lane in Kingston. It was a mud pit. Rode 2 miles and turned around too many sticks, twigs and mud on this section of trail. Doesn’t appear as it’s maintained. Next time I’ll start closer to Rosendale.

New Paltz to Wallkill

My friends and I recently rode this trail from the Sojourner Truth parking lot in New Paltz to the end in Wallkill, which is 8 miles. The scenery is nice, but not as nice as the New Paltz to Rosendale leg. The surface is mucky so I'd suggest a hybrid or mountain bike. There are a few, not heavily trafficked street crossings.

Started in New Paltz

What a nice ride. If your not use to gravel trails your going to be bounced around a bit but overall it is a great ride. Had a nice snack and glass of wine when we got back to where we started.

First time visit. What a GREAT day!

Having not ridden this trail before we made the mistake of trying to start at the very bottom end of the trail (0.0 mi), and later in the day than normal. Even though the TrailLink map indicates that parking was 2.5mi further north, we figured we'd give it shot. Mistake. Don't do that. There truly isn't any place to park, unless you want to leave your car randomly on the side of the rode on somebody's private property. 😂
We parked up in the Gardiner lot (Main & 2nd, 2.5mi mark on the trail). We rode north from there. What a great ride. Trail is mostly shaded, covered by the tress. The leaves where changing colors. It made for a very tranquil, fall covered tunnel feeling. The was flat and well maintained. We encountered other riders, joggers, and walkers along the way. We passed through farmland, apple orchards, and small communities. The trail takes you over roads and streams.
We stopped in New Paltz for lunch. We found a bike rack near the edge of the trail and locked our bikes there. We sat outside and enjoyed a nice meal at The Parish (New Orleans fare).
We continued our ride north for another 3mi or so before we had to turn back as it was getting late and didn't want to be on the trail when the sun set. (Note - we got a very late start at the beginning of the day). The trail north of New Paltz seemed to grow less traveled, a bit more narrow. As much as we enjoyed the souther portion of our ride, it seemed to me that the norther portion was shaping up to be even prettier.
We definitely plan to ride this trail again. (I've tagged it in my Google Maps) We will plan for a longer day so that we can explore further north of New Paltz. I think I will pack lunch in a backpack so that we can stop somewhere along the trail, stream side as there where some nice pull off areas.

Beautiful Trail

We had a wonderful time riding from Gardiner on the southern endpoint to Rosendale when we turned around due to the weather changing for the worse. We rode back to New Paltz and ate at "The Station" restaurant right on the trail before heading back to our car in Gardiner. The trail was level and wooded which was a blessing since the temperature was nearing 90 degrees. There are several bridges and streams to cross and beautiful scenery.
The only drawback was since its a packed dirt trail there was quite a bit of mud to evade or in some places unable to evade. The thick black mud coated our bikes and ourselves pretty good. Our advice is to avoid riding in the rain or just after a heaving rain and pick a nice dry day to ride.
Overall we loved the trail and will go back this fall and finish the northern section and adjacent trails.

Neat Country Trail

We enjoyed the ride through the country side and found the trail fairly empty on a early October Wednesday morning. Several parts of the trail were muddy and narrow. The best stop was the Rosendale Trestle with spectacular view. Worth riding again.

Country road

Nice ride! 44 miles round trip from Denniston road, Hybrid or mountain bike recommended. Great views from bridges. Surprising cold breezes from caves welcomed on hot days. Some muddy spots but overall very ridable.

Great Trail

Totally ignore the previous comment about the trail being rough w/ large rocks. We just rode from Gardiner to Rosendale. Trail is great. My wife a sissy on rough stuff and even she thought the trail was easy. She was on a Hybred...did fine. That previous lady must walk over sidewalk cracks! I’m just glad we ignored her comment! I’d have been pissed if the wife had stayed home. (So would she)! We stopped in New Paltz and had lunch at Los Jalapeno’s! Best Guacamole Dip we’ve ever had!! Burrito was excellent also! Highly recommend (and we’re from Texas) Overall..I highly recommend this trail for ANY level of cyclists!

Rough Trail but Beautiful

My friend and I rode from New Paltz to Gardiner. Trail is very rough; dirt, large gravel (not crushed limestone), rocks and quite a bit of mud. We did it on hybrids and were not comfortable. But the scenery is spectacular, and New Paltz is a great town to shop and have lunch. But a mountain bike, preferably with suspension, would have been much better. Towns along trail need to do some maintenance.

Vibrant green ride

My friends and I rode this trail in early June from New Paltz to Kingston. The greens were striking. There are some scenic bridge crossings, caves, and remnants from cement mining that was done in the area. The Rail Trail Cafe is located along the trail, serving Brazilian food and brick oven pizza, with vegan and gluten-free options. If you're going to stop, bring your bug spray.
It is very flat with the exception of a couple of hills at road crossings. The surface is bumpy so a hybrid or mountain bike is best. The trail is very well marked and easy to follow.
If you need to rent a bike, the Bicycle Depot is right next to the trail. The staff is friendly and the bikes are good quality at a great price. We were allowed to park in their parking lot because my friend rented a bike there.


Rode this trail on 5/28/17. Started at the Binnewater Kiln parking lot, rode south to where the bridge is currently out near Springtown road, then reversed and rode to the trail end in Kingston and back. Trail is hard pack dirt, fairly well maintained, with some sections that were muddy where you have to be careful...in my opinion not a road bike trail. There are some nice sections alongside farms, one really nice bridge in Rosendale, and the trail overall is very rural, lots of deep woods sections. There's even a trailside snack bar at one point. Keep on the lookout for an extension, now in progress, that will run from New Paltz to the adjacent Shawangunk mountains. Plus hopefully they get the bridge fixed soon.

Wallkill Rail Trail

I drove to Kingston to start the trail there! It was an amazing ride! Mountain bike ride for sure, nothing is paved and there are cross roads but there scenery is awesome! The caves are excellent with the exceptional cold air needed on a ride on a very hot day! I road all the way to to the Gardiner end through New Paltz and back 42 miles to be exact! I can't say enough about this great ride. There are plenty of places to stop along the way for food and water! Just bring your own and enjoy the ride!

Good ride

We took this from new paltz north to Kingston. A little rough and a little muddy, our hybrids were necessary. The best part - and quite amazing - was the cold cold air comng out of caves and chilling us on a 95 degree day! New Paltz is a great place to tool around as well, colonial district and great little downtown with a hippie vibe.

Many crossroads so be careful

I did entire trail on 7/6/2016. Trail is very nice with many spots to stop along the way to eat and visit. I did trail from south trial head to Kingston, Ny. Trail was a little soft so I did get a little muddy, but worth it. Views where awesome. Also a bonus for mountain bikers, you can get of and ride some good trials through the Mohawk Mountain Range. You will get a COOL treat when you pass by the ice caves. Air tempeture drops like 30 degrees. Nothing like I have ever seen or felt before. Enjoy riders.

Easy, Rustic Trail. Beautiful Scenery. Great Places to Stop.

We rode the trail from Rosendale to the south tip and back in July 2016. It's a flat, shady, gravel trail that was easy to navigate. Although you can start up in Kingston, we parked at the Binnewater Kiln Parking Lot and biked south. Leave around lunchtime and you can enjoy views at the Trestle before a nice meal and music at a trailside cafe. Don't be surprised to see deer, rabbits, chipmunks, and other wildlife on your journey. About 8 more miles of gravel (as long as it hasn't rained much) and shade brings you to the college town of New Paltz where there are lots of shops and options for an early dinner. From there you can carry on to Gardiner, which is about 6 miles south. It's a small town but there are cafe and pizza options. The trail extends for about a mile or so south of Gardiner. The gravel gives way to narrow trails admist grass and horse droppings, but it's worth the sense of accomplishment you get when you do reach the end. Some tips: 1. Pack bug spray and extra water if it's a hot day; 2. pay attention at road crossings; 3. beware of mud if there was rain recently; 4. the cafe in Rosendale accepts cash only; 5. Mountain bikes and hybrids are fine, but I wouldn't recommend a road bike with thin tires due to the gravel. Download the official WVRT map to see where parking options are available: http://goo.gl/xVnBfG

Numerous road crossings, but well worth it

My 12-year-old daughter and I wanted to take a Rails to Trails bike ride together and then stay overnight in a local hotel--just a mini-getaway. We wanted something pretty long and scenic without a high physical impact or a need for any detailed navigational effort (as neither of us has much of a directional sense), and this trail REALLY fit the bill. There were a good number of road crossings, and that's the only negative--I like to just get on a trail and go, and the frequent need to stop and look both ways wasn't ideal. But there were certainly stretches without that, and it was a gorgeous, well-maintained trail with stunning bridges and views. We even got close to someone's chickens and, guess what, a fox! After the ride, we checked into our hotel in Kingston, went out for Oaxacan food and then back to the hotel to crash. Great ride!

So Beautiful, Lovely Cafe on trail a Must

I went biking on this Trail in September on a suggestion from a friend and had the most visually stunning and pleasantly surprising time. I ran into a delicious cafe (Rosendale Railtrail Cafe) about a mile from the trestle bridge that had live music that evening and delicious organic food and drinks! WHAT A TREAT! I have since returned by myself and with friends. It has now become a great destination to go grab a coffee, see some music and a motivation to get me on my bike and go for a ride. Head south on the path to see great industrial ruins and be delighted by the delicious food about a mile from the trestle on your right.

One of the best

I'm a rail trail enthusiast. They perfectly combine my love of history, trains and bicycling. This trail is one of the best. It's long (over 20 miles each way), well cared for and visually rich, especially in the fall. I recommend doing the entire trail, but a comfortable mountain bike with wide tires will make the ride more enjoyable, especially for the southern part of the trail. The surrounding area offers a ton of pleasure. I love this trail and will return again and again.

A popular trail

Bicycled it. It's a nice trail. Paved in New Paltz, dirt elsewhere. A couple of puddles on the south end. Possibly might get lengthened to include the Walden-Wallkill Rail Trail (same railroad) if the prison can be persuaded to allow the trail through their property to be developed. Needs a better trailhead on the north end. More parking, kiosk, etc. Either that, or develop the trail into Kingston itself (problematic: there is a police facility and several residence built on the railbed).

Beautifully peaceful ride

Thank you TrailLink for turning me on to this ride! I rode late Friday afternoon, between Rosendale and New Paltz. Loved it. Beautifully maintained dirt trail perfect for mountain bikes. Very few people. The views are spectacular from the Rosendale Trestle and the bridge over the Wallkill river. There is a tree canopy shading almost the entire trail. You pass by beautiful scenic farm country, with the Shawangunks to the west. Next time, I will try the full 20 mile route round trip. I highly recommend a cute cafe right off the trail just south of the Rosendale Trestle. Fantastic pizza made in a huge home made pizza oven. Lovely owners who use all farm-fresh ingredients. Open Friday night and weekends. And there is a bike rental spot there too. Here is the web site: http://www.railtrailcaferosendale.com/

Great ride, great trail

I ride this with some regularity, sometimes as part of a longer loop that covers the surrounding area, other times for shorter jaunts between Rosendale and Gardiner. Be wary however, all skill levels use this trail and not everyone is courteous or aware enough to make room for others.

binnewater kiln trailhead and south



This trail is really two trails, the first 12 miles have mile markers every half mile and at each cross road there is a sign that has the name of the road and a map showing you the other cross roads and amount of miles, this is a very nice touch. This part of the trail is well used, lots of walkers, joggers and bikers.
The upper 9 + miles are a little more primitive but the Rosedale Trestle makes it all worth the effort. I was some what taken back by the poor surface as it has deteriorated and is only a few years old. Up past the trestle there are a number of historical markers telling about the Cement and Limestone Industry. If you do this trail the make sure that you do the Trestle as it has a great view of the valley below. Oh by the way if you just want to do the trestle the address is 726 Binnewater Lane Kingston NY.
I did this on a very old Mt Bike with a town and country tire and had no problems, it did rain the night before and there was some standing water but no mud to speak of.
In closing it is to bad that one farmer at Denniston rd has keep ed the Shawangunk & Walden trail from connecting to the Wallkill trail.
Oh by the way I never give out one star or five stars but I would give this trail a four and a half.

Static on the Rosendale trestle: Cool!!!

Had to check out the 'new' bike path over the Rondout creek. And I really wanted to do it before they "fixed" the static electicity issue with the bridge.
Well, the fix is in the works....it's just going to take time to dissipate(at least that's what the signs say). But if you go now, you can still catch it. It's very subtle, at this point, less than anything you've experienced between you, your carpet, and that door knob. But it's cool notheless if you watch for it.

Rosendale to Gardiner

One of our favorite trails for the length and the beautiful ride. Pathways are a little bumpy and the Gardiner sections are a little tough where the trail is mostly grass..especially in wet weather., but this is hands down worth it. Stop in New Paltz for lunch and walk around. What a terrific town. The bridge was closed when we were there in fall 2012, but now that the northern section of trail is open I can't wait to go back and ride Gardiner to Kingston!


An incredible experience, especially on a crisp Fall day. I will dare to say it: possibly better than Walkway O-T Hudson. Only one issue: parking at Fairview Ave is a joke! It's a very narrow road, signs are tucked away from view (until after you miss them), and it's just not worth the hassle trying to navigate and park there. Better bet: Binnewater Kiln Parking Lot.

• To access the trestle, you can park at the Binnewater Kiln Parking Lot.
• Travel Route 213 west (through the Town of Rosendale if you coming from Route 32) and drive UNDER the trestle.
• Immediately after the trestle you will see Binnewater Road, make a RIGHT.
• Travel 1/4 a mile up Binnewater Road and you will see the Binnewater Kiln Parking Lot on your left.
• Park and cross the road to access the rail trail and the trestle.

Gardiner to Rosendale

It was a drizzly, wet day but a terrific ride. I rode from town of Gardiner, through New Paltz, and up to the north end of the Rosendale trestle. About 26 miles round trip. Hybrid or mountain bike is a must. Views of the Gunks were great and the trestle was very cool. If the sun was out the ride would have been spectacular. Take a break for a snack in the cool town of New Paltz.

wallkill ride

Nice ride last friday from gardiner to Breezy Hill Road and back but I had to peddle all the way. No problem though and the trail is really beautiful and fun. I'm going to do the other end tommorrow.

Awesome trail due to length

Many rail trails are 3-5 miles long. Thank you to all the dedicated people and organizations making this masterpiece possible. My goal yesterday was to ride from Denniston road (no parking here, although I did) to Rosendale, have lunch at the Rosendale cafe and return. After viewing this website I was under the impression the ride would be 11 miles one way. It was longer. I estimate 15 miles one way. I have a road bike so the trail was bumpy and I sure got the work out I desired, plus!
I recommend rock shox for this trail but if you have a road bike do part of it because it is awesome.
Next time I will park in gardinier, ride to New Paltz for lunch and return. Or, park in NP and ride further north than Rosendale. The new trestle there is amazing!

Terrific ride, and longer than advertised

This is a terrific trail: the surface of packed dirt and gravel rides really well, the grade is almost totally flat, the views are excellent and most of the trail is shaded by trees. The bridge north of New Paltz and the trestle at Rosendale are terrific. There's some parking at the bottom of the hill near the trailhead at Rosendale and other parking at various spots along the way south. In response to the question from markhoughtaling about the portion north of Rosendale, it's quite scenic and goes for at least a couple of miles, but it's a bit hillier and the surface is a little rougher than the sections south of it. There is a parking lot on Binnewater Road (route 7) just north of town that abuts the trail just south of Breezy Hill Road.

trestle @ Rosendale!

What a surprise to find the trestle at Rosendale finished and open as of July 1, 2013.
At 150 above Rondout Creek, this 118 year old trestle has been recalled to life making a great end point to cyclists starting in Gardiner. Nice ride with great ice cream store in New Paltz for hot days!

Lovely, easy ride.

I rode this trail this past weekend from the Binnewater Rd. parking area in Rosendale, south over the newly opened trestle, and on to New Paltz.

Apart from a few muddy sections, the trail was very easy riding on my hybrid bike -- and I am not a seasoned biker or very athletic.

There were some bikers and hikers, but for most of the way we had the trail to ourselves. This could have been because of the summer heat, although most of the trail is sheltered by the canopy, so was fairly cool.

The trail is mostly wooded, opening occasionally to scenic views of the ridge and open farmlands. The Rosendale trestle and Springtown(?) bridge over the Wallkill were also highlights.


PS - If anyone can comment on the trail north of Rosendale tresle, I am interested in exploring in that direction. Is there a trailhead with parking in that section?

Great views but rough surface

The views from the trail are pretty great. But I found that my hybrid could not handle all the rocks on the trails surface. I mean big rocks, Fist and dinner plate sized rocks that covered much of the trail. I would recommend only using the trail with a hybrid or mountain bike with front shocks, which my bike lacks. Otherwise a great trail.

Nice Trail

I biked this trail for the first time today, although not the entire trail. I started in Gardiner and only got as far as the Plattekill Creek and then back to Gardiner, about 8.5 miles round trip. Mostly shaddy with a few sunny open fields with nice views of the Shawangunk Ridge. Very warm day and I didn't get an early start so didn't go as far as I would like. Next time I'd like to do the whole trail or at least through New Paltz. It was 90 degrees by the time I finished and way too hot for me. The trail is packed dirt and fairly well maintained. Some parts were a little rocky for my road tires but would be fine for off-road tires. Looking foward to trying it again but earlier in the day. It's not busy on a weekday.

Beautiful and Easy Trail

We rode this trail for the first time on 4/21/12. We started in New Paltz and rode to Route 44 in Gardiner before heading back to New Paltz. It was a really nice ride. Passed a couple of small farms that you can see from trail. Also saw a couple of geese in yard along with their chicks. You can see the creek running through the woods as well. Just some nice sites to see.

The path is hard packed dirt and gravel. Very easy to ride with a hybrid bicycle. There were also some benches along the way if you want to just sit and relax.

This path is really well maintained. I didn't see any litter along the trail. We are planning on going back to this trail because it was just a great ride.

Rosendale bridge inaccessible

After not having been on this trail for several years, I decided to ride it with a friend yesterday who has recently moved to Kingston. We rode the northern section from New Paltz to Rosendale and back. Since it was a holiday, there were few riders on the trail, and being early in the Spring, bugs weren't an issue yet. The trees haven't filled in yet, so views of the Gunks to the west were good. We also saw some horses closeup, around Coffey Rd in New Paltz, I think. I was disappointed to see that the Rosendale railroad trestle has been closed since I was last on this trail. It is fenced off just before the start of the trestle. A sign nearby says that an engineering study has determined that the trestle is unsafe, and funds are needed for reconstruction.

Long and Nice

Once you get past the dog **** and the horse shit, the walkers with plugs in their ears, the talkers on cell phones, the dog walkers, some with five dogs at a time, two of whom are bigger than the walker and on 20 ft leashes, the trail is fun. It's quite long, up and back (about 30 miles), for a Mountain Bike Ride, but the grades are consistently low, so it makes for a challenging but not too challenging ride. A Cross Bike or a Fixie would work really well, too, but a front fork with a shock still is needed to handle some of the bridges along the way, unless, of course, you are good at jumping the bike. As a change of pace from road biking, it is superb, and even on the hottest days, the shade of the forest lends a break. Actually, I wish there was more like these just for variety sake, but once a week is good enough to watch the seasons progress. Warning: Don't get off your bike to pick an apple. They'll shoot you dead on the spot. Just joking, I think.

A nice trail rather than pavement

I only got to ride the southern portion today; I will return another day to do the whole thing.

I would have to disagree with the comment, "The Wallkill Valley Railroad Company Trail is directly linked to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail." I started in Walden and upon reaching the end of the paved 4 mile rail-trail, there was no direction on where to go. Eventually I found my way by going straight and found myself back on the old rail bed, but this is not the "official" rail-trail. A couple miles north, the trail ends abruptly at Birch Rd and the prison, and there is no direction on what to do from there. I tried to find my way back to the rail line and got yelled at by a prison guard. So I back-tracked to Birch, took that west for a bit, and then turned right onto Sand Hill Rd. A right onto Denniston and you'll get to the "official" start of the trail just a little way up the road.

Hope that helps someone avoid my prison encounter.

New funding updates

NEW PALTZ – The Hudson River Valley Greenway Friday announced the awarding of three grants to trail projects in Ulster County.

The funding is part of the 2009 Greenway Conservancy Small Grants Program.

The Southern Ulster Alliance and the Town of New Paltz were given $17,750 for the Southern Ulster Alliance Project. They will design a link between the Hudson Valley Rail Train and the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, creating a more regional trail system in Ulster County.

The County of Ulster will receive $7,000 for its Sojourner Truth County Park. This project will add 400 feet of Americans With Disabilities Act accessible trail to connect a parking area with an existing ADA accessible trail and other recreational trails.

The Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association, Inc. will receive $1,500 to create the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Brochure. The Hudson Valley Rail Trail will soon become a link to the newly opened Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, and provides a vital recreational resource to the residents and visitors of Ulster County.

The brochure will provide information to those seeking to utilize the trail and its amenities, and will be an important marketing tool for the trail.


Great Day

Great job on this trail. Even on the hottest days theres so much shade. Great ride in the fall i bet !!

Interesting trail

Another reviewer pointed out that this trail is as wide as a gravel road. True! This railroad was initially built by the Erie, which used a 6 foot gauge. I rode it last year. Blog entry is here: http://blog.russnelson.com/bicycling/1193406384.html Tried doing something new: keeping an audio record of what I saw along the trail. It's 3.5 hours along. Ask if you want it. :-) I enjoyed the ride; you will too.

Another Great Ride

"Rode south from New Paltz to end and returned.then rode north to Rosendale and back.
Several sections to the north are very wide and more of a gravel road, but this is a spectacular section with the high bride at Rosendale at the end. New Paltz has much to see along the way and the vista to the west of the Gunks is great. It is a total of 16 miles one way and worth the trip over from Mass. "

"Great trail, improved"

"I rode the entire length of the trail Sun 9/4/05.
Conditions were excellent. No standing water, and only a couple of slightly wet areas.
Improvements have been made between New Palts and Gardiner with crushed stone added.
Great view from the trestle at Rosendale, and from the bridge over the Wallkill just north of New Paltz.

Very easy to get to, plenty of parking at Boces on SR 32.
Plenty of food available along trail at New Paltz and at SR 55 crossing in Gardiner.
No public restrooms along the trail, but are available in the eateries (if you eat there).
Definitely a trail worth your trip, but requires mountain bike.

Have also been here in the fall, and spectacular views for foliage."

Awesome trail!

"My husband and I started at New Paltz and continued to the end of the trail. We couldn't see the bridge from the 'end' of the trail. We saw a parking lot and assumed it was a private parking area. Luckily, curiosity got the best of us and we ventured through the parking area and ended up on the Rosendale railroad trestle.

It was absolutely gorgeous! The trail is well maintained, although it is narrow. It's definitely worth the trip from wherever you are!"

Awesome ride!

"My husband and I rode this trail for the first time last weekend and we were definitely impressed! We rode from New Paltz to Rosendale and were pleasantly surprised when we reached Rosendale end at the railroad trestle.

What a beautiful view! I wish I'd brought my camera. There were a few areas where it was difficult to ride side-by-side and the path got quite narrow, but it was a beautiful ride nonetheless. I definitely recommend it!"

Great Trail

"I bike the Wallkill Valley Railroad Company Trail three to four times per week. The trail is great, it holds up to the weather very well. You can take short rides of 5-10 miles or longer rides of 15-30 miles. Also, there's another old railroad bridge that crosses the Wallkill River that is realy nice. It's just a great trail."

September ride

"We rode the trail from Gardiner toward New Paltz on the first of September on hybrid bikes. It was wet in places and single track at times, but in all cases easily passable. Great views. Lots of flowers. An interestng section passes through a bountiful orchard."

Good ride

"My wife and I did 32 miles on the trail on March 24, 2002. It was a good ride although the trail is a bit narrow on its southern end. The ride to the trestle is a real good portion of the trail; it's wider than the southern end."

Gone back for more...

I've been to this trail at least 10 times due to its great views. Going south from New Paltz there is lots to do. About 6 miles to the south is a pizza shop two feet from the trail. Two yards to the right is a bike shop in case you need some repairs. Leaving the trail a couple of blocks away is an airport if you want to watch the parachuters jump from planes. Heading north from New Paltz there is much less activity but lots of views. At the end of the northern part of the trail is a bridge where the views are most breath taking.

A Bridge Too Fair!

" This trail is an extension of the Wallkill Valley Trail on private land that is open to foot and bike traffic only. The condition of the trail surface is excellent. Parking is only available nearby in the village of Rosendale on town streets at the northern end. Otherwise parking can be found at the Cragswood Rd and Coffey Rd crossings of the Wallkill Valley Trail, just south of this trail. From the New Paltz border to Rosendale center the trail is scenic, but nothing to compare with the final walk/ride out onto tthe high bridge at Roundout Creek! This is a truly spectacular view well worth a long trip to reach! The bridge is closed about 3/4 of the way across, but the views and the structure itself are a marvel.

Rates an 8 out of 10!


"Views, views, views!"

"This is a truly amazing trail, undergoing constant improvement, in a beautiful area of the Hudson Valley. Route 299 (Main St) in New Paltz is the approximate midpoint of the trail and plentiful parking is available nearby. The section north of Main St is quite heavily used, and has frequent road crossings. It eventually crosses the Wallkill River on a reconstucted trestle and then passes through farrnland with views to the Shawangunks to the west. At the Rosendale town line, the public rail trail ends. The ROW for 4 1/2 miles beyond is privately owned, but open to hikers and bikers through the generosity of the landowner. If you use this section of trail, respect the generosity!

The farther south one goes the trail becomes more lightly utilized. This section has considerably better views of the Shawangunks and the surrounding valley. It passes though a large apple orchard, with sections in various stages of production and reclamation. Parking along the southern section is quite limited, the best being at Rte 44/55 in Gardiner. I haven't been there in the fall, but I will be back there when the leaves begin to turn this year!

Rates a 9 out of 10!



"The fact that this trail was purchased for exactly one dollar by its current owner is enough of a reason to plan a visit from almost anywhere. After all, how many people do you know that own a rail trail and live right next door to its trailhead?

But the real treat that this trail offers walkers and bikers is one of the most breathtaking views you could imagine. Just wait until you see the spectacular view of Rosendale from the old railroad trestle! Be sure to bring your camera.

In addition to the 4.1-mile long trail south of the Rosendale Bridge, there is a 0.9-mile long trail segment open for public use north of the bridge. However, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS THE ENTIRE BRIDGE to get to it. Detour via local Rosendale streets and make your way to Binnewater Road. It’s about a 10-minute bike ride. From there you’ll be able to access the stand-alone trail segment.

The stand-alone segment hasn’t been cleared as nicely as the major route and generally gets walking traffic only because there’s a short bridge that bikers must stop to walk across.

Since this trail is located rather far from most major population centers, it isn’t too heavily used. Many users are guests at the nearby Williams Lake Hotel Resort, which has a rail trail of its own.

This trail was well worth the 60-mile trip I made to it from northern NJ."


"I biked the entire length of this trail on 12/07/2001.

It's a great trail with plenty of spectacular views on the segment south of New Paltz. The best photo opportunity is on a bridge just south of the Cedar Lane road crossing in New Paltz.

Bikers should be cautioned that there is plentiful gravel in some spots; wide tires work best. The segment north of New Paltz is mostly a ballast base.

I saw no restroom facilities on the entire trail. There's a small antique village shopping center on Water Street in New Paltz that had public rest rooms though.

There was plenty of free parking in a Municipal Parking Lot on Water Street in downtown New Paltz.

A little known fact is that this trail connects directly with a privately owned trail (open for public use) that extends along the same former railroad ROW through to Kingston, NY. Reportedly, it's a 15 mile trip north to Kingston from where this trail ends.

Most worth the trip from almost anywhere to ride this one. "



Wallkill Valley-Trail

"Excellent rail trail, good views of the mountains and farms. Benches at very scenic locations, bike shop right next to trail, can`t wait till the trail is finished."

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