Amenia - Millerton : Trail + Roads

route on Roads and on the
Harlem Valley Rail Trail

  • Where:  between Amenia and Millerton, in eastern Dutchess County.
  • 19 miles, hill index 2.1.  Half off-road on a "rail trail".  The other half on mostly quiet roads.  Gentle if take Variation A; otherwise a couple of moderate hills.

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Another option is to do it all on the rail trail, both out and return -- about 16.4 miles off-road, hill index 0.7.

24 miles if connect from Amenia trailhead to Wassaic train station on the mostly-off-road Rail Trail (about 2.5 miles each way).

For two longer routes that include this area, see 

 - - Harlem Valley Wandering (30 miles). 
 - - Harlem Valley Rail to Trail to Falls (61 miles). 

There is another 4-mile section of this Rail Trail currently open, starting from Copake Falls in Columbia County.  

See also [ other Shorter routes | Gentler Places ]

  • Highlights:  Beautiful farm country of western Dutchess county.  See the Harlem Valley Rail Trail website for many interesting details about sights along the way.
  • Characteristics:  Mostly gentle or flat.  The off-road sections are paved. 

Traffic -- Roads:  Most of the roads do not have a lot of car traffic -- except on the village streets in Amenia and Millerton, and on Rt 343 (which can be avoided by staying on the Rail Trail for those sections -- see Variation B).

Traffic -- Rail Trail:  The trail itself is off-road, but it intersects with public roads at several points, some with high-speed vehicle traffic -- so special care is required in detecting, approaching, and crossing those.  

Also, there can be lots of non-motorized users on the path:  walkers, runners, inline skaters, bicyclists, etc -- sometimes at high speeds, sometimes oblivious to other users, sometimes not following rules or the directions of signs.  Need to take seriously the risk of interactions and collisions with them. 

Hill climbs:  On the Rail Trail segments, there is about 200 vertical feet of climbing from Amenia to Millerton.  The average grade is less than 0.5%, and the maximum sustained grade is about 1%.  On the road segments, there is about 500 vertical feet of climbing from Millerton back to Amenia.  The biggest climb is about 150 vertical feet at a 5% grade.  

Downhills:  The biggest downhill is about 150 feet at an average grade of 4%.

In the reverse direction:  The Rail Trail segments taken from Millerton south to Amenia do not have more than 50 vertical feet of climbing.  The road segments in reverse from Amenia north to Millerton have about 750 vertical feet of climbing, with the biggest hill about 150 feet at a 4% grade.  

And it might have been a longer time since some of the Variations of the route were last checked by us.  Some roads and intersections might be different since then, or closed -- so be prepared to find alternatives -- a good reason to carry a detailed map. Other people may have more recent experiences with parts of the route which could help prepare: see the Reports page linked below.

Route not checked by us since 2005 -- learn more | see Reports

Map | Cue Sheet | Reports | other Shorter routes | back to Top

more . . . 

  • Directions to start:  

By Metro-North train (Wassaic station):  The Harlem Valley Rail Trail connects between the Amenia trailhead at Mechanic St to the Wassaic train station on the Harlem line of Metro-North, about 2.5 miles each way, mostly off-road, nearly flat.

To find the Harlem Valley Rail Trail after getting off the Metro North train at Wassaic, note that the paved rail trail at first runs in between the active train tracks and the roadway of Route 22. You can exit the parking lot thru the vehicle exit at its southwest corner, carefully cross the active railroad tracks, then just before reaching the highway, turn right to go north on the paved Rail Trail.

It is also possible to ride between Wassaic train station and Amenia on public roads (which might have greater motor vehicle traffic interaction risk than the route itself).  For directions and map, see the start of the route Harlem Valley Wandering

by car:  Coming from the west:  From the Taconic State Parkway, go East on Route 44 to its intersection with Route 22 at the traffic light in Amenia (along the way, can use Route 44A to bypass Millbrook).  Coming from the south, can take Rt 684 to Rt 22 to its intersection with Rt 44 in Amenia.  Then from the traffic light in Amenia, go East on Rt 343 about a quarter mile, then turn Right onto Mechanic St and go about a quarter mile to the Amenia trailhead -- at the corner of Mechanic St, Railroad Ave, and Depot Hill Rd.  See the Harlem Valley Rail Trail website for more details on directions and parking.

Alternate start in Millerton:  Rt 44 coming from the East intersects Rt 22 in the village of Millerton.  The trailhead and headquarters for the Rail Trail are a little east on Main St (Rt 44) from the intersection with Rt 22.  See the Harlem Valley Rail Trail website for more details on directions and parking.

  • Maps:  There is a basic map of the rail trail on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail website, and it also shows most of the car roads mentioned on the route description.  A county road map for Dutchess County could also be useful -- but it probably will not show the rail trail (see Road Maps).

 Map of Route Trip Reports and Road Condition Reports Tourism More Routes  

Map | Cue Sheet | Reports | other Shorter routes | back to Top

Harlem Valley Rail Trail

The Rail Trail is supported by the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association, Inc.

For lots more info about this Rail Trail, see:

and more . . .

  • Concept:  The nice thing about basing the route on a rail trail is that it allows riders with little desire (or little capability) to handle the complexities and risks of motorized traffic a way to tailor their route to the degree of traffic-handling they feel comfortable with.  You can do the route going out off-road, and then try out some roads on the way back -- which typically makes the return faster.  But it you find you're not comfortable riding on the roads, you can return to the nearest point where the rail trail crosses the road.  

 Map of Route Trip Reports and Road Condition Reports Tourism More Routes  

Map | Cue Sheet | Reports | other Shorter routes | back to Top

Road Condition Reports | Gentler Places  

concept words:  

places: Hudson river valley, New York state, NY

sites:  Wassaic Amenia Millerton Sharon -- town township village hamlet -- Dutchess county Mid-Hudson

bicycling: bicycle bicycling bike bikes bicycles bicyclist cycle cyclist cycling touring riding rider riders

routes: route routes ride rides tour tours turn cue sheet sheets map maps

other: rail trail trails trailway trailways path paths exercise exercising fitness outdoor outdoors

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