Trip Reports on Amenia - Millerton :
|June 2005, KenR:
Skated the whole route both rail trail and roads, and also the connection between Amenia and Wassaic. Rail Trail is almost all in good condition with the re-paving, except that there's often some coarser pavement down the center of the trail. The difference between that and the smoother pavement on each side can be disconcerting sometimes to skate over, but shouldn't be much problem for bicycling. New section between Wassaic and Amenia is now fully paved.
Some of the road sections on this route had rough pavement and coarser-stone pavement, though Sharon Station Rd in the south was mostly pretty nice.
I skated the Rail Trail connection between the Amenia parking lot at Mechanic St and the Wassaic train station. It was all smoothly paved, except that one road or driveway that it crossed was dirt.
Six of us rode it on a Friday morning: Three girls (two 6-year-olds and one 10-years) Michelle, Ani, Mae -- each riding "attached" to one of three adults, Tracey, Lisa, and Ken -- by means of a "trailer-cycle" or tandem -- see photos.
We arrived in Millerton only to discover that the ice cream shop at the old station was out of business, so we settled for a snack at the picnic table on the green. Then we headed back south onto some quiet roads and enjoyed some pretty views and downhills along the way.
When we reached Amenia, we searched for a place to eat, and shared a whole pizza sitting around an outdoor table.
Everybody made it through the whole route, though we took Variation C which avoids a hill and some higher-traffic road near Amenia. Some rider teams walked up some of the hills -- but thought the views and downhill cruises were worth it. Both roads and rail trail were in good condition.
Important events along the way included: stopping to see sheep and chickens, riders shaking hands between bikes, gifts of flowers, and taking a caterpillar for a bike ride. The caterpillar reciprocated by depositing some green poop on the side of Mae's water bottle.
Afterward four of us went swimming just north of Millerton at Rudd Pond.
May 2003, Len:
Rode the Amenia-Millerton route the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend with my wife Kathy and our children Rebecca(9) and Ethan(6) on two tandems. The pavement on the trail was in excellent condition and traffic was light. Similar conditions on the roads we returned on although some areas of rough pavement. 12 cars passed us in the 12 miles on the road (9 in the last 3 miles). Clean portapotties were available at each end of the trail and in the middle. An excellent ride for the occasional/novice cyclist or those with children. We parked at the Amenia trailhead and lunched in Millerton. The llamas were out along with sheep, a horse and a donkey a couple of miles south of Millerton.
May 2003, Jeff:
Just did the rail trail portion (Amenia to Millerton & back)with my wife this past weekend. I don't often care for rail trails due to lack of scenery. I will say that this one is in the top ten percent from that perspective. From what I think was a small Llama farm, to pedaling through the "cutout" there is plenty to take in. Although it is mostly uphill all the way there it was gentle enough that my wife, strictly a weekend recreationalist, found it no problem.
Millerton is a quaint little town with a choice of several moderatly priced eaterys, including one with some outdoor tables setup. My wife even managed to get some shopping in at the Gilmore Glass works. If you time it right they have glass blowing demonstrations on Saturday. The pavment was in top notch condition. Both there and back I noticed it was more crowded on the Northern half above the Coleman Station trailhead. It was probably just good luck, but we encountered no cars at any of the crossings.
Even if you're not a fan of rail trail I would suggest giving this one a try. It's a great way to spend an afternoon.
August 2002, Ken Roberts:
Haim, Mae, Ani, Kerry, and I did the northern half of this route -- between Coleman Station Rd and Millerton. We rode on the Rail Trail north to Millerton. When we arrived, we were glad to discover that there is again an ice cream parlor open in the old train station across the street from the end of the rail trail, so we had a rather pleasant snack time there.
On our return south from Millerton, instead of taking South Center St, we started on the Rail Trail, but then turned Right onto the first road we encountered -- which enabled us to rejoin the main south-bound route. After that we rode on the roads. 8-year-old Mae had only a single-gear bike, so she got off and walked on two of the uphills -- but she seemed to enjoy the downhills.
Both she and Kerry made it all the way back to Coleman Station Rd without assistance, for a total of 8 miles round trip. 5-year-old Ani did the whole ride on a Burley Piccolo trailer-cycle -- on a "third wheel" attached to one of our adult bicycles -- which worked great. Afterward we drove up to Rudd Pond (just north of Millerton) and went swimming.
The pavement on the Rail Trail path was in rather good condition. The road surfaces were very ridable, and I don't think we saw more than five cars on the roads.
July 2002, Ken Roberts:
8-year-old Mae and I rode both the trail and roads for the section of the route between Sharon Station Rd and Millerton -- for a total of about 12 miles.
Mae was on the Burley Piccolo trailer-cycle, and she especially enjoyed seeing all the trees in the big views down the valley from the top of the first hill on Mill Rd coming back south from Millerton.
Late Spring 2001, Ken Roberts:
Paul, Gary, John, Debbie, Eric, Tom, Ken all got together at the Amenia trailhead with our rollerskis. Rollerskis are something like inline skates or roller skates, except that they're longer and designed to simulate cross-country snow skiing. We went on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail on our rollerskis north all the way to Millerton. The quality of the pavement was excellent, so it was easy to practice our skating technique skills. It was a blue sky day and not too hot, and we saw lots of bicyclists and some inline skaters on the trail. When we got to Millerton, I thought the trail was so nice that I went all the back south to Route 343 (almost to Amenia) -- and everybody else went all the way to Amenia. At least Gary and John headed back north to Millerton again.
But I decided to try out going on the roads, so he went north on the trail as far as the first crossing of Sharon Station Rd, and then did the on-road section of the route in reverse on rollerskis. I was using classic diagonal-stride technique on a special model of rollerskis (Jenex Nordixc Classic) that have an actively-controllable brake and also adjustable resistance -- which provided good control of speed for handling the downhills and other things that can arise out on the roads (on this day, the worst "other thing" was stop signs). Saw lots of some nice farms, some cows, and very pretty views from up on top of the hills -- but very few cars. Met two folks hiking on the road and stopped and talked for awhile. I was out of drink when he reached Millerton, so I bought some more at the Chinese restaurant and poured it into his Camelbak. And went back south on the roads most of the way, but then took "Variation C" and finished on the Rail Trail to Amenia. The views seemed even more beautiful in the south-to-north direction, and the downhills were gentler.
Afterward, I drove my car on the parts of Sharon Station Rd and Rt 343 which I had omitted by taking Variation C, and they seemed in good condition. I also drove down to the Metro North railroad station at Wassaic and checked out the roads between Wassaic station and the Amenia trailhead, and they seemed in good condition.