Enjoying the scenery by rail has been a Hudson Valley tradition for more than 200 years. Now there’s a whole new way to take it in: Rail Explorers, pedal-powered recumbent bikes/carts, which arrived in the Catskills this summer.
The snazzy-looking Explorers (tandem, with two seats, or quads, with four) are comfortable, with bucket-style seats and a handy basket to keep incidentals like sunscreen, water, and snacks. Sign a waiver, listen to a short instruction/safety lesson, appoint one person to be your “brakeman,” buckle your seat belt, then wait for the signal to start pedaling. The carts are spaced up to 500 feet apart to allow a semi-private ride, with a guide in the front cart and another guide bringing up the rear.
You’ll pedal on old railroad tracks for four miles before coming to a shady glen next to the Esopus Creek, where your cart will be turned around, and it won’t be long ’til you’re re-buckled and back on your merry way for the four-mile return trip.
Rail Explorers are fun for all ages. The “River Run” home base is at the Empire Railway Museum, so there are plenty of old railcars to view onsite.
Rail Explorers, 70 Lower High St, Phoenicia, 877.833.8588, www.railexplorers.net