Millerton, Revisited & the Harlem Valley Rail Ride

You know how I said I really liked Chatham? Well, I’ve recently discovered that I like Millerton even more. Millerton is quite charming – and if the railroad still ran there I would probably consider even living there (but the commute would probably kill me). My most recent visit was only the second time I’ve been to Millerton, and of course I had my camera. This time I was able to get photos of the original train station there, built in the 1850’s, though it has been moved at least twice since then. Today the former station operates as a florist.

Millerton itself was a town created pretty much around the railroad. The New York and Harlem Railroad ran through, as well as the Central New England. In fact the name Millerton came from the civil engineer tasked with the construction of the rail, Sidney Miller. Though both of those railroads are long gone today, the town hasn’t lapsed into loneliness and disarray. The Main Street area bustles with people checking out the shops, or using the rail trail. So many towns today are filled with chain and big-box stores and are utterly devoid of character. Millerton is the complete opposite – full of family-owned shops, and old-fashioned in a charming way, yet doesn’t feel dated.

Though the rail is no longer there, the converted rail trail is an attraction that brings in locals and visitors from beyond. The other day I read an article discussing options for bikers from the city that wanted to get out, ride, and make a day of it. By Metro-North, one has two pretty good options for spots: Poughkeepsie on the Hudson Line, and Wassaic on the Harlem Line. Although the article knocks the Harlem down in terms of the view on the journey (I know, I know, the Hudson River is beautiful), it ultimately determines that the Harlem journey is probably the best choice for the biker. The Hudson option provides around 5 miles of trail on which to ride, where the Harlem extends for nearly 11 miles, terminating in the village of Millerton. If you ask me, I’d take Millerton over Poughkeepsie any day, no contest.

 
  
 
   
 
   
 
  
 
  
 
  
   
 

In other news, I figured that I would mention the Harlem Valley Rail Ride, which appropriately begins in Millerton and covers some of the original route of the Harlem Division (and of course is now part of the rail trail). The ride will be held this year on July 24th. For anyone that needs, there will be a bus that will pick up riders and their bikes from the city and take them to Millerton. Riders have a choice between 25, 50, 75, and 100 mile routes.

A portion of the fee for entry goes to the cause of supporting and maintaining the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. For more information, be sure to check out the Harlem Valley Rail Ride website.

One thought on “Millerton, Revisited & the Harlem Valley Rail Ride

  1. So, are you planning on riding the Harlem Valley rail ride?? I’ll be riding across the State on the Great Big Fany Ride that week, but eastern Dutchess has some great riding, and for those that are not well in the head, great climbing out of the Harlem River valley.

    But, the story shorted the riding around Poughkeepsie, true the Hudson Valley Rail Trail which connects the western side of the walkway to Tony Williams park, which is about 6 miles, and not very spectacular by any means, but from there a short ride across 299 will put in you in the black creek area and give you some great riding on Plutarch and north Eltings corner roads which will add another 10 miles of shaded low traffic smooth road riding. The plan is extend the HVRT to South St, which would then put you a light to cross 299 right onto North Eltings corner, that may happen next year, and the would run that trail out about 7 miles each way from the walkway.

    But the real gem for the geeky bike riding train nerd now is the Dutchess rail trail (http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/DPW-Parks/17055.htm), yes, you have to navigate 2 sections over the road, but you leave the eastern side of the walkway, ride up 9G/Parker Ave, loop around Dutchess Community college to Morgan lake. Ride that section, then hang a left at the end onto Overrocker road, right onto Ireland Drive and out to a light on Rt. 55, cross and ride up the wide sidewalk to Page Lumber, and the another 8 miles of trail await to take you to Hopewell Junction. From the Highland side of the Walkway, you have about a 38 mile ride. Not so chump.

    And for you Westchester types, make your way to Brewster, pick up the Putnam rail trail, which connects to the North County trail, which connects to the South County trail and other than some Rt. 100 riding and a blip around Elmsford, you have a 80 mile ride on the Put.

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