Margaret Polaneczky, MD

Margaret Polaneczky, MD
New York City, New York, USA
December 17
I practice medicine, cook and wax prolific in NYC. You can also read me at, where I've been blogging since 2006.


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SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 12:08AM

BIking the Harlem Valley Rail Trail

Rate: 9 Flag

Where the Metro North Railroad line ends in Wassaic, New York

is where the Harlem Valley Rail Trail begins.

From there, its 10.7 miles of paved riding past farms


and wetlands,

through forests,

and along stretches of Rte 20 and then narrow country lanes

to Middleton, NY.

There you can stop for a tea tasting or a bite at the Harvey & Sons Tea Factory Shop,

visit Gilmor Glass Works,

or shop for books, antiques or bicycle gear,

before heading back the way you came, to the train station at Wassaic and then home.

Of course, if you wanted to bring along a picnic lunch, you could have picked up provisions at Cousins Market just down the road from the train station in Wassaic,

where they make great sandwiches using homemade roasted peppers.

Which is what we did.


The entire Harlem Valley Rail Trail, when it is finished, will run 46 miles from Wassiac to Chatham, NY. Much of the trail north of Millerton is still under development, though the stretch from Under Mountain Road to Copake Falls Station is complete. One can put together a longer ride than ours (We did a total of about 22 miles round trip) if you are willing to head off the trail onto nearby (hilly) roads.  

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Looks like a fun ride. I ride a lot through the Wine Country of Northern California where I live. Someday I'm going to come to the New York and New England with my bike and do some riding, the scenery is certainly different.
*Rated* for two wheel activity.
What an enticing trail and so well described.
I know this area very well as close friends of ours have a farm just north of Millerton and not far from the rail to trail path featured here in your post. The New York Times recently featured some photos of Millerton which you may have seen. For anyone living in the city this offers a way to take the train to the Wassaic station and bicycle north from there. Thanks for a great looking post on a beautiful part of Dutchess County.
This sounds great! Is it possible to take a bike on a train? Is there a rental shop nearby? I live in the Netherlands (where I bike everywhere) but grew up on Long Island, NY. It reminds me of a 3 day trip I took with my husband along the C&O canal in Maryland/Washington D.C. Are there places to camp overnight? (No need to answer...just wondering.)
Thank you for sharing. I like the use of B&W photography. It makes the images more impactful. R
What a great addition to a beautiful area! Thanks for sharing the ride with us.
Thanks all for your comments!

Larry - here's an article the times did on Millerton in 2004

and one on the rail trail in 2007

Izzie - no need for a car - take your bike on the train from Grand Central, the trail is right there at the train station. I don't know that there is a place to rent bikes in Wassaic, - there is a place in millerton, but how would you get there?

Trudge - thanks! Read your blog - great writing, interesting. Did you know I was in Cuba last year? Wonderful people there...

Thanks for this look into another part of New York than we usually see. Nice technique using the red only for the peppers.