Community Meets Luxury
Sleight Farm’s blog about building a custom home and living in Dutchess County, NY.
Spotlight on Our Neighbor: The Dutchess Rail Trail and Empire State Trail
March 23, 2023
The Dutchess Rail Trail
Minutes from the Sleight Farm community, you’ll find a trailhead for one of our area’s outdoor recreation gems: the Dutchess Rail Trail. We are so lucky to have this right around the corner!
The paved trail – perfect for walking, running, and biking — runs continuously for 13.4 miles along what was once the Maybrook Rail line. Starting in the hamlet of Hopewell, the Dutchess Rail Trail travels through East Fishkill, Wappinger Falls, LaGrange, and Poughkeepsie before linking up with the Walkway Over the Hudson. You also find, at this end point, the Metro North/Amtrak train station, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, a riverfront playground, and great restaurants.
The trailhead at each town offers easy access and free parking. The trail itself is wide and appropriate for all skill levels, lined with lovely scenery, including woods and creeks. Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to stop at local businesses for a snack or meal. It’s simply a fantastic way to spend time with family, friends, and your (leashed) dog.
Visit Dutchess County’s Dutchess Rail Trail website for a detailed trail map and more information.
The Empire State Trail
Here’s an exciting new aspect of the Dutchess Rail Trail: it’s now officially part of the Empire State Trail, which was created in 2017 by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Empire State Trail’s goal is to enhance outdoor recreation, community vitality, and tourism throughout New York.
The Empire State Trail takes approximately 400 miles of existing disconnected trails like the Dutchess Rail Trail and constructs links between them, creating a continuous 750-mile route spanning the entire state. Traveling from New York City north to Canada, with a branch heading west from Albany to Buffalo, this will be the longest multi-use state trail in the U.S. It’s designed with a wide, paved surface with moderate grades to welcome walkers, hikers, runners, strollers, and bicyclists of all abilities, from experienced long-distance cyclists to families with young kids. In winter, the trail will be open for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. It also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, providing accessibility to users with mobility challenges and older visitors.
Those 750 miles are divided into three main segments: the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail, the Erie Canalway Trail, and the Champlain Valley Trail. Dutchess County is part of the Hudson River Greenway Trail, connecting the Dutchess Rail Trail to the Beacon Rail Trail, and the north end to the Walkway Over the Hudson, which takes you across the river onto trails through Ulster County toward Albany. Visit the official Empire State Trail website for more information and map downloads.
We hope you get a chance to explore the Dutchess Rail Trail and the Empire State Trail as a way to get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, connect with friends and family, and experience the natural beauty of our region.