“William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail” is maybe one of the best maintained bike trail we recently rode. It connects a number of communities whose houses can sometimes be seen sometimes just a little bit off the trail, behind the tree line.
Completely paved from Hopewell Junction all the way to the Hudson River, the trail continues over the spectacular “Walk over the Hudson” bridge.
On the other side of the Hudson river the trail is linked directly with Hudson Rail Trail another about 3.5 miles that ends in a local park. This part of the trail is not as well maintained, thou is still paved all the way only that the pavement may need a little bit of extra work to take out the numerous bumps.
If biked all the way over the Hudson and to the end park, the entire round trip goes for a little more than 37 miles. However the good pavement makes the ride like a breeze and you barely feel the effort.
At 1.28 miles, the “Walk over the Hudson” bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. It is also the oldest bridge over the Hudson built between New York and Albany. It was opened in 1889 for trains to move coal from Pennsylvania towards the North-East and it was in operation till 1974 when a fire destroyed its infrastructure. It was renovated and opened in October 2009 as a pedestrian and bikes bridge.
From its top it confers spectacular views over the Hudson Valley with the train tracks on both sides of the river, one for freight and the other for passengers on Metro North line.
Right after crossing the bridge is the hamlet of Highland, one of the few places close to the trails we found where you can stop for a bite or a beer.
In the rest, for sure there must be places close by but they are not seen from the trail and may require to descend in towns and start biking the streets looking for them. The most convenient place is a Java truck selling great cappuccinos right at the entrance of the “Walk over the Hudson” bridge.