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    TAICHIDANCER   91,682
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Rail Trail Walk

Sunday, November 03, 2013

My wife and I went to visit my brother the other day and on the way home we stopped to take a hike along the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. The HVRT uses the abandoned rail bed of the Harlem Valley line of the New York Central Railroad. The stretch we hiked runs through Columbia County along the base of the Taconic Mountains.

The trains that ran this route carried passengers and freight from the 1850s to 1976. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a coalition of volunteer and government organizations purchased the right away and began forming a 22 mile long linear park.

The finished portions of the trail are paved with asphalt to a width of 10 feet. The relatively smooth surface and gentle grades make a wonderful place to jog, bicycle, roller blade, or in our case, stroll. When we were there there were other walkers, bicyclists, and this woolly bear:

There was also this garter snake trying to get warm in the autumn sunshine:

It was a sunny day and there bittersweet vines aplenty ...

... as well as some berries that we couldn't identify. Can you?

In fact, along one stretch of the trail, vines had pretty much grown over every bush and tree. It made me afraid to take a break in case they started growing over me too!

You always know where you are on the trail as there are the old distance markers left over from the railroad days. We turned around 103 miles north of New York City's Grand Central Station and returned to our car for a total amble of four miles.

That's Mrs. TaiChiDancer in the photo.

We think the Harlem Valley Rail Trail is a tremendous resource for outdoor fitness. If you want to see maps and more info, visit

Spark on, friends!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
GARDENQE2 11/6/2013 3:37PM

    This trail looks absolutely beautiful!
I love the wildlife!!!

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PHOENIX1949 11/6/2013 12:31AM

    How lovely. Enjoyed learning of linear parks and seeing the photos. Thank you for sharing.

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MSGRANNYMAE 11/5/2013 11:58PM


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FRANCESCANAZ 11/5/2013 5:06PM

    Beautiful trail and beautiful wife. Man would I love to ride my gelding down that trail!

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SUEPERWOMAN 11/5/2013 7:33AM

Such beautiful scenery- including your wife!!

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KAYOTIC 11/4/2013 10:15AM

    What a great resource! That looks lovely, as does your wife! Happy trails...

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PDQ1203 11/4/2013 8:43AM


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SQUIRRELMOMMA1 11/4/2013 6:31AM

    I just love linear parks. That one is particularly lovely and it looks like you had a wonderful day.

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KELPIE57 11/4/2013 4:05AM


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PINKNFITCARLA 11/3/2013 11:27PM

    Thanks for sharing! Looks like an awesome place!

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HONOURIA 11/3/2013 5:17PM

    Many thanks for this lovely blog!

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HKARLSSON 11/3/2013 5:13PM

    Cool! That looks like a great place to bike, too! We don't get many woolly bears down here in Texas, which is probably why our winters are so mild. ;)

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MJ7DM33 11/3/2013 4:09PM

  Beautiful! Thx for taking us along! I've never seen that type of berry before.

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VKKESU 11/3/2013 2:46PM

    What a beautiful place to walk !! Looks like the beginning and end of winter is going to be bad ! ;) They say it will be a bitter winter and they are probably right. I need to look for some woolies around here (and check to see how thick the coats are on the horses). That's a sure sign how cold weather will be here.

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