Promoting Wise Management of Natural Resources in Greene County, New York Since 1961

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Watershed Assistance Program

Kaaterskill Rail Trail

 Logo KRT 3-21-2013

 Enhancing Resource & Recreational                                                                      Opportunities in the Great Northern Catskills

 

 

Grand Opening June 1, 2013! (rain or shine) 

 

KRT Opening Day Schedule of Events:

10:30AM - 11:00AM 

   Opening remarks from partner organizations - NYSDEC, NY-NJ Trail Conference, Town    of Hunter Officials

11:00AM -1:30PM

                                          

   Guided hikes (1.5 Miles one-way or 3 Miles round trip.)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Limit 10 - 20 people per group
  • One way hikes available with transportation
  • Sign up ahead of time by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or the morning of the event
  • Guided Hike Start Times: 11:00AM, 11:30AM, and 12:00PM
12:30PM - 3:30PM    BBQ at historic Railroad Station, Visitor Center will be open

 

Kaaterskill Rail Trail Map 

(Click Map for Large PDF)

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Step Back in Time on the KRT

The NoPicture1rthern Catskills area is one of the earliest vacation destinations in America.     In the early 1800s “going to the Catskills” meant going to the Kaaterskill Region.  Haines Falls and the nearby Catskill Mountain House were at the region's heart.

You are about to step into history on the Kaaterskill Rail Trail (KRT). The trail was first a footpath connecting the Catskill Mountain House and other hotels to Haines Falls. By the 1880s additional boarding houses and the Picture2grand Hotel Kaaterskill attracted many travelers. The old footpath had made way for a rail corridor which, at its peak, saw two competing passenger rail lines following parallel tracks toward the Catskill escarpment. Thousands of vacationers arrived each summer via the newly-constructed rail lines to see the picturesque scenery and stay at the many boarding houses, hotels and resorts, such as the Laurel House.

Historic Railroad Station

At the end of the KRT trail (1.5 miles) you will find the Haines Falls Picture3Station of the Ulster and Delaware (U&D)Railroad. Built in 1913 to replace an earlier station located at then Haines Corners, it went out of service in 1940 when rail service in the area ended. For several years it was a private home. It is now the beautifully-restored home of the Mountain Top Historical Society.

 

 

The KRT Today

Picture 6As you walk the trail, look for signs of the railroad—stone culverts Picture 7from the 1880s, railroad bridge abutments, logging roads, cinders from the steam engines, remnants of the hotels, and glimpses of Kaaterskill Falls which were once clearly visible from the trains. Observe, too, how nature is returning the region to a more natural state—the very state that brought the original tourists to the Kaaterskill Region.

 

 Experience the KRT in all seasons!

Whether winter, spring, summer or fall, the KRT provides a unique outdoor experience for the entire family.

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New York State Forest Preserve

The KRT connects the community of Haines Falls with the 8,550 acre Kaaterskill Wild Forest, part of the Forest Preserve in the Catskill Park. This Wild Forest borders the North/South Lake Campground and Day Use Area to the north and the Indian Head Wilderness to the south in Platte Clove. Article 14 of the New York State Constitution states in part, “The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be kept as wild forest lands.”

Mountain Cloves Scenic Byway

In 2013, 41 miles of state and county roadway were designated NYS Scenic Byways in the Town of Hunter. Following earlier initiatives that promote the scenic, cultural and historic resources of the area, such as Preserve America and Hudson River School Art Trail, the Mountain Cloves Scenic Byway embraces the richness of intrinsic qualities that inspired past generations and recognizes that, through a profound travel experience, these resources support sustainable economic development that is based in the celebration of this unique landscape.

 

Help Us Protect These Wonderful Resources

 

* Leave no trace of your visit. Take only pictures; leave only footprints.

 

* Stay on the marked KRT trail (private landowners have allowed access, please respect that)

 

* Carry it in, carry it out. Pick up any litter you see.

 

* Do not disturb or harm plants, wildlife or natural features.

 

* Respect other users (note: the KRT is a non-motorized trail)

 

* Keep pets under control.

 

Kaaterskill Rail Trail Partners:

(Click Symbol for websites)

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Rail Trail Project

A local trail committee, organized through the Mountaintop Community Resource Strategy, is working with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, three property owners, the Town of Hunter, NYSDEC, and the Mountain Top Historical Society to open a pristine, undisturbed stretch of the Ulster—Delaware Railroad line as a public hiking trail.  The 1.5 mile section is nestled between the Mountain Top Historical Society and the NYSDEC North/South Lake Campground in Haines Falls, and provides amazing views of the famous Kaaterskill Falls.

KaaterskillFallsRailTrail1The old Railroad ties are still embedded in the ground in the project area. KaaterskillFallsRailTrail2Amazing views of Kaaterskill Falls can be seen along the rail trail. KaaterskillRallsRailTrail4View of the gorge along the rail trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KaaterskillFallsRailTrail3Winter view of the rail trial.KaaterskillFallsRailTrail5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes from KRT meeting, June 2011                                                   

Notes from KRT meeting, March 2012                                                                                                                

KRT Assessment Map

 

Web Links:

Mountain Top Historical Society