Enjoying the Trail

Walk  •  Bike  •  Jog  •  Bird Watch  •  Picnic  •  Reflect  •  Family Outings  •  Avoid Traffic  •  Stream Watch
Whistle  •  Ride Horseback  •  Stroll  •  Enjoy Scenic Vistas  •  Sing  •  Cross Country Ski  •  Philosophize
Chat with a Friend  •  Unwind  •  Observe Wildlife  •  Exercise  •  Breathe Fresh Air
Explore Local History  •  Listen  •  Daydream  •  Harmonize  •  Meditate

Nature on the Trail

Rail trails provide a unique and close-up view of local nature. Along the Rail Trial you'll find a number of habitats which are home to local flora and fauna. In this section we will feature interesting seasonal wildlife information. This page will be updated regularly so check back often for new creature features and flora info.

Winter Birds on the Rail Trail
by Lynn Bowdery and Ruth Elwell
Click on the above link to view an article about common winter birds found on the Rail Trail. The authors have written this list as an intro to, "some of the most common species, so armed with this list you will surely see a bird that we haven't included, but don't despair. Half the fun of birdwatching is finding the birds you've seen in your field guide. Peterson First Guide to Birds and the Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Eastern Birds are convenient to carry with you and easy for novice birdwatchers to use. " Enjoy.

Tree Shapes Found on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trial

These trees are commonly found along the Rail Trial. Click on any of the images to view more information. These cards are perfect for printing out on 3x5 cards and taking with you on the trail.

Wildlife Tracks

After a fresh snowfall or rain is the perfect time to spot animal tracks along the Rail Trail. Many animals due to their fear of humans and nocturnal nature (only out at night) are difficult to see. However, proof of their existance can be seen in the numerous and diverse tracks that can be found along the trail. The list on the left are just some of the tracks that you could see along the trail. Click on any of the tracks to see details of these tracks. Print these out and take them along some morning after a fresh snowfall. You may be suprised at what you discover.

Have you had a wildlife sighting that you would like to share? If so, please contact us and we will post your observations for everyone to enjoy.

We ask anyone familiar with wildlife in our area to please come forward and submit photographs, artwork, stories, poems, descriptions, etc. to be published here. Students, amateurs, professionals - all are welcome to participate! Please, contact the Webmaster.


The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is ideal for numerous sports, including biking, hiking, walking, cross-country skiing, jogging and running. The total length is 12.2 miles. The surface of the trail is packed cinders and gravel. Individuals and families also enjoy such recreational activities as picnicking, birdwatching, stream watching and horseback riding. Others come to the trail to reflect, unwind, enjoy scenic vistas, daydream, explore local history or escape from the routines and stresses of daily life.

Bicyclists with mountain or hybrid bikes enjoy pedaling along paths without having to confront traffic lights, cars, sharp turns or steep climbs.

"The Rail Trail is a bridge to the future. Where engines used to huff and hiss, walkers stride. Where freight trains used to rattle by, birdwatchers peer through the binoculars. Where children once rode the train to school, they bicycle."

-- Carleton Mabee, Gardiner

Trail Safety & Etiquette

The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is a multiuse trail, welcoming hikers, joggers, bicyclists, horseback riders, dog-walkers, and, in the winter, snowshoers and cross-country skiers. For everyone's safety and enjoyment we ask you to observe the following rules and treat other trail users courteously.

Equestrian users: Please make sure your horse has the temperament and training for riding safely on public trails and don't exceed a moderate speed appropriate for multiuse trails. Please announce your intention to pass other users, and pass only on the left.

Cyclists: You are required to yield to all other trail users and to ride at a moderate speed. Please alert other users when you are approaching from behind, reduce your speed, and pass only on the left. Be especially careful not to spook or startle horses.

Walkers and joggers: Please move to the right of the trail to allow other users to pass. Always yield to equestrians. Dogs must be leashed at all times and on a short leash around horses, other dogs, and children.

All users: Be alert for small children and respectful of wildlife and the environment. Please clean up after your animals and carry out your litter. Use caution at road crossings. The trail passes through private property, so be polite to our neighbors and stay on the trail. The trail closes at dusk.

Except for vehicles for the handicapped, motorized vehicles, including ATVs and snowmobiles, are not allowed on the trail. Starting fires and discharging firearms on or next to the trail are strictly prohibited.

Report problems to us at gorailtrail@yahoo.com. In case of emergencies, call 911.

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