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The Top Hudson Valley Stops on the Empire State Trail

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Maybrook Trailway / Photo courtesy of Dutchess Tourism

Look no further for the top local spots to bike, run, or walk along the Empire State Trail, plus information to know before you go.

The Hudson Valley Greenway Trail — a 210-mile section of the 750-mile Empire State Trail — begins at the Battery in Manhattan and ends at a waterfront park in the city of Albany. Our map begins in the first section of the trail that is entirely in Westchester County.

Westchester North County Trail: Elmsford to New Castle (10 mi.)

Walking: 3–5 hours; Biking: 1 hour
Dog-friendly; pavement; several designated parking areas

This off-road, paved rail trail is adjacent to several busy parkways, but is relatively quiet and parklike. The section begins at Elmsford (at Route 119) and ends in New Castle at a trailhead parking area at the intersection of Route 100 and North State Rd.

Westchester North County Trail & Putnam Trailway: New Castle to Mahopac (16 mi.)

Walking: 5–8 hours; Biking: 1.5–2 hours
Dog-friendly; pavement; several designated parking areas

Beginning in New Castle where Route 100 and North State Road meet, this off-road section runs along the Westchester North County Trail until Baldwin Place. Here, the Putnam Trailway begins and leads to this segment’s end at Route 34 and Bridge Street in Mahopac. Local businesses are just a short distance from most parts of the trail.

Putnam Trailway: Mahopac to Brewster (9 mi.)

Walking: 3–5 hours; Biking: 1 hour
Dog-friendly; pavement; several designated parking areas

The second half of the Putnam Trailway, this section begins at Route 34 and Bridge Street in Mahopac, passing through scenic woods, lakes, and communities en route to Brewster. Before ending where Carmel and Putnam Avenue meet, the trail passes through Carmel.

Brewster On-Road Section: Village of Brewster (1 mi.)

Walking: 25 minutes ; Biking: 10 minutes
Pavement

This on-road section serves as a connection between the Putnam and Maybrook Trailways, running through the village of Brewster. It starts at the intersection of Carmel and Putnam Avenues, and ends at the Maybrook Trailway entrance off North Main Street. Recommended only for experienced cyclists, not hikers, due to ongoing vehicle traffic.

Maybrook

Photo courtesy of Dutchess Tourism

Maybrook Trailway: Brewster to Pawling (9 mi.)

Walking: 3–5 hours; Biking: 1 hour
Pavement; dog-friendly; this section has no public services

This rail trail begins at an entrance off North Main Street in Brewster, and has scenic views of woods, farm fields, ponds, and wetlands throughout. The section ends in Pawling where Route 292 and Holmes Road meet, with very few access point and crossroads until then.

Maybrook Trailway: Pawling to Hopewell Junction (15 mi.)

Walking: 5–8 hours; Biking: 1–1.5 hours
Pavement; dog-friendly; this section has no public services

A continuation of the Maybrook Trailway, this section begins at the intersection of Route 292 and Holmes Road in Pawling, and stretches for 15 scenic, yet remote, miles until a trailhead parking area west of Route 82 in Hopewell Junction. Local businesses can be accessed in Hopewell Junction.

Photo courtesy of Dutchess Tourism

Dutchess Rail Trail: Hopewell Junction to Poughkeepsie (13.5 mi.)

Walking: 5–7 hours; Biking: 1–1.5 hours;
Pavement; dog-friendly; passes through several communities

Starting at the trailhead parking area near the Hopewell Depot Museum in Hopewell Junction, this section of the trail provides easy access to plenty of local businesses. Walkers and cyclists are brought northwest to Walkway Over the Hudson State Park in Poughkeepsie. This railroad bridge made bicycle/pedestrian-friendly crosses the Hudson River to Ulster County.

Hudson Valley Rail Trail: Lloydto New Paltz (9 mi.)

Walking: 3–5 hours; Biking: 1 hour
Pavement; dog-friendly; several designatedparking areas

Beginning in the town of Lloyd at Walkway Over the Hudson State Park, this section of the trail travels west for 7 miles off-road to New Paltz, converting into an on-road trail for the final 2 miles where Route 299 bridges over the NYS Thruway to downtown. This segment concludes where Route 32 and Mulberry Street meet.

Photo by John Fischer Photography

Wallkill Valley Rail Trail: New Paltz to South Kingston (13 mi.)

Walking: 4–7 hours; Biking: 1–1.5 hours
Natural cinder surface; horses allowed; several designated parking areas

This off-road section begins in the village of New Paltz at the intersection of Route 32 and Mulberry Street. From there, the road travels to Route 32 and Rockwell Lane in Kingston, passing scenic woods, historic iron works, and the Rosendale railroad trestle along the way. Some road bikes may have trouble on the path’s cinder surface.

Kingston Section: City of Kingston (6.5 mi.)

Walking: 2–3 hours; Biking: 30 min–1 hour
Paved; dog-friendly; varied conditions

Oscillating between paved off-road and on-road trails, this section begins just south of Kingston at a parking lot at Route 32 and Rockwell Lane. This part of the trail takes users through the City of Kingston, to the Kingston Point Rail Trail, and back to the city within 6.5 miles, ending at a parking area on John Street, north of Hutton Brickyards.

Hudson Valley On-Road Section: East Kingston to Tivoli (12 mi.)

Walking: 4–6 hours; Biking: 1 hour
Paved; few designated parking areas

Recommended for experienced long-distance cyclists, this trail is the first segment of the larger 35-mile Hudson Valley On-Road section. Starting at John Street in East Kingston, the route takes users over the Hudson via the Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge, where cyclists can ride on the traffic shoulder or walk their bike on the protected sidewalk, and then travel north to the Village of Tivoli.

Hudson Valley On-Road Section: Tivoli to Hudson near Olana State Historic Site (17 mi.)

Walking: 6–9 hours; Biking: 2–2.5 hours
Paved; few designated parking areas

Beginning in the village of Tivoli in Dutchess County, this continuation of the Hudson Valley On-Road section takes local roads north to Columbia County, winding through scenic woods, farmlands, orchards, and small communities along the way. The segment concludes in Hudson where State Routes 23 and 9G meet, adjacent to Olana State Historic Site.

Hudson Valley On-Road Section: Olana to Hudson (6 mi.)

Walking: 2–3 hours; Biking: 30 min–1 hour
Paved

The final segment of the Hudson Valley On-Road Section, this trail starts at the intersection of State Routes 23 and 9G in Hudson and heads north on the shoulder of a busy roadway for 3 miles. Then, it reaches the Hudson downtown district, where users can access a variety of local businesses before reaching the trail’s end where Route 9 and Delaware Avenue meet in the Town of Greenport.

Albany-Hudson Electric Trail: Hudson to Kinderhook (11 mi.)

Walking: 4–6 hours; Biking: 1–1.5 hours
Paved; dog-friendly

The intersection of Route 9 and Delaware Avenue in Greenport marks the beginning of this section, as well as the overall Albany-Hudson Electric Trail. This first segment consists of an off-road rail trail and several short but busy on-road sections (recommended for experienced cyclists), passing woods, farms, and water features all the way to Rothermel Park in the Village of Kinderhook.

Albany-Hudson Electric Trail: Kinderhook to Nassau (11 mi.)

Walking: 4–6 hours; Biking: 1–1.5 hours
Paved; dog-friendly; several designated parking areas

The second portion of the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail begins at Rothermel Park in Kinderhook, and runs north until reaching a trailhead parking area in the village of Nassau in Rensselaer County. This trail is mainly off-road, but users will also traverse short on-road sections. Along the way, woods, water features, farms, and communities can be seen.

Albany-Hudson Electric Trail: Nassau to East Greenbush (10 mi.)

Walking: 3–5 hours; Biking: 1 hour
Paved; dog-friendly; several designated parking areas

The third and final portion of the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail starts in Nassau at a trailhead parking area. From there, the trail heads northwest towards its end at Southern Avenue in East Greenbush, passing residential areas as well as woods and water features. Visitors will encounter vehicle traffic on several short on-road sections of trail.

On-Road Section: East Greenbush to Albany (3 mi.)

Walking: 1–2 hours; Biking: 30 minutes
Paved

The final installment in the Hudson Valley Greenway portion of the Empire State Trail is recommended for experienced cyclists, as it is an on-road connection from Southern Avenue in East Greenbush to the Corning Preserve in the city of Albany. The trail brings visitors through the city of Rensselaer and over the Hudson on the Dunn Memorial Bridge. An alternate route for walkers is marked on sidewalks, but not recommended.