Tuesday Tour of the Harlem Line: Appalachian Trail

Ensconced in the woods of Pawling, NY along Route 22 lies a small wooden train platform. It is one of the two smallest stations on the Harlem Line, and unlike most other Metro-North stations, it is not meant for commuters. Appalachian Trail is a train station for hikers. Like Mount Pleasant, it is not much of a station. There are no ticket machines, and few trains stop only on weekends and holidays. The station was constructed by Metro-North in 1991, for a cost of about 10,000 dollars. As one would expect, the station is located along the approximately 2,178-mile Appalachian Trail, which extends from Georgia to Maine. For the city-dweller looking for a break, it provides a great getaway. Across Route 22 the Appalachian Trail cuts through the Pawling Nature Reserve. The Reserve boasts over 10 miles of trails for hikers of varying skill levels, and is the home for at least 77 different species of birds. Although most of the Upper Harlem stations are rather rural, if you really feel you need to get back to nature and away from city life, this is the place to do it.








10 thoughts on “Tuesday Tour of the Harlem Line: Appalachian Trail

  1. It’s hard to believe that it actually cost 10k to build! Looks like something I could have built in my backyard for $500! Since I haven’t ridden north of Pawling I’ve never seen the station myself, but it certainly looks like it could use a coat of paint.

    Although, that the MTA actually built a bench here is a vast improvement over the set of stairs that they built at Breakneck Ridge on the Hudson Line…

    1. I used a handy online calculator to find that, in 2009 dollars, $10,000 from 1991 is worth:

      $15,800 using the Consumer Price Index
      $14,700 using the GDP deflator
      $16,700 using the unskilled wage
      $17,500 using the Production Worker Compensation
      $19,600 using the nominal GDP per capita
      $23,800 using the relative share of GDP

    2. Whoever they got to construct the station probably took their sweet time to milk the project for all it was worth. I’m sure they skip the paint job since not too many people use the station. They day they give it a paint job will probably be the day they finally wash the windows at Goldens Bridge. The windows that have had profanities/slurs/homophobic messages written in the dust for as long as I’ve been commuting.

    1. Thanks. In going south it is obvious where the trail leads, though north is a little less obvious because you need to cross the street and walk up. There are supposed to be white markers further up on the north side, but I didn’t go that far.

  2. Love this station! It cracks me up every time I see it. Worth mentioning the train only stops here once a day — and you have to be in the front car. Have never seen a backpacker get on or off, but really want to see it before I die.

    Oh, and Pawling is a great little community.

  3. should have enabled myself to cancel all expenses and walked this path before my leg went bad as there are some beautiful views….

  4. I live in Mt. Kisco right now, but I lived in the city for about ten years. This station was my life-saver when I needed a break from the city. Memorial Day through Labor Day the train made three northbound stops in the morning and three southbound stops in the late-afternoon/evening on Saturday and Sunday. When you transfer to the deisel train at the Southeast station you have to tell the conductor that you’re getting off on the AT or the train doesn’t stop. Likewise, when you’re heading back south you actually have to flag the train down or it won’t stop. There are two shelters to the north and two shelters to the south within a days hike (depending on how ambitious you are.) Taking a train up Saturday morning, putting in a proper day’s miles, camping out, then heading back to a Sunday evening train was just GREAT. A station that offers more than just a way to get to work in the morning.

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