Hit the Trail This Winter

For Parks & Trails New York as featured on ptny.org

Winter is the perfect time to get outdoors and go for a walk, jog, or ride on one of the many trails in New York State. We’ve shared some of our favorites with you below. These trails are a great place to strap on a pair of boots, snowshoes, or cross-country skis and make good on your New Year’s resolution.

D&H Rail Trail (Washington County) – The D&H Rail Trail offers access to 10 miles of trail in the village and town of Granville in Washington County as well as 10 additional miles of trail within Vermont. The trail begins at Depot Street in Granville and continues through the colored slate capital of the world before crossing the Vermont border, where it runs between West Pawlett and West Rupert. Expect both New York and Vermont sections to fill up with snow this winter.

Boonville Black River Canal Trail (Oneida County) – A premier destination for cross-country skiers, the Boonville Black River Canal Trail is located north of Rome and close to the Adirondacks. The 6.25-mile trail runs along the Black River Canal, which once connected the Erie Canal to the Black River, opening up the North Country to eastern and mid-western commerce. During the winter months, the warming hut located at the northern trailhead rents cross-country skis for a small donation. The trail is maintained by the Black River Environmental Improvement Association (BREIA). BREIA also maintains the nearby Egypt Road and Jackson Hill trail systems, which, together with the Boonville Black River Canal Trail, total over 30 miles of trail.


Chenango Canal Towpath (Madison County) – The Chenango Canal Towpath is a 6.4-mile trail following the historic Chenango Canal that connects the Village of Hamilton with Bouckville, the geographic center of the State. The northern trail head is the Chenango Canal Museum, which gives visitors the opportunity to learn more about the Canal’s previous role as an important transportation route. The historic and scenic location of this trail makes it a great venue for cross-country skiing and hiking.

Wallkill Valley Rail Trail (Ulster County) – The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail spans more than 22 miles from the southern border of Gardiner to the northern border of New Paltz, a popular college town with many pleasant shops and restaurants. Formerly the corridor for the Wallkill Valley Railroad, the trail runs along the Wallkill River at the base of the Shawangunk Mountain Range. The Wallkill Bridge near Springtown Road offers impressive views up and down the river, as does the recently completed Rosendale Trestle, which is the anchor of the recently-opened 11.5-mile northern section of trail.

Pat McGee Rail Trail (Cattaraugus County) – The 12.2 mile Pat McGee Rail Trail is a great place to enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in Western New York. The northern trailhead is located in the Village of Cattaraugus, and as the trail winds its way down to the City of Salamanca it features six bridges and countless areas to spot 150 species of birds and 174 species of plants and trees. The Pat McGee Rail Trail’s unique geology traverses the eastern continental divide, with rainfall on one end of the trail diverted to the Atlantic Ocean and on the other end to the Gulf of Mexico.

O&W Rail Trail (Sullivan County) – The O&W Rail Trail is an 8 mile rail trail connecting the hamlets of Mountaindale and Hurleyville in the Catskill Mountains. The beautiful scenery and level grade make this an ideal trail for winter activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Recent enhancements to the trail have included interpretative signage highlighting the rich history of the region and a gazebo and picnic area in the Village of Woodridge.


Moshulu-Pelham Greenway (New York City) – The 10.5 mile Moshulu-Pelham Greenway is part of the larger Bronx River Greenway system. This primarily east-west trail passes through the heart of the Bronx and weaves in and out of parks such as the New York Botanical Garden, Pelham Bay Park, and a historic site that includes a mansion that now operates as a museum. The mostly flat, paved trail surface makes it handicapped accessible. While much of the trail can be reached by transit, parking is available at Pelham Bay Park and Bronx Park.

Visit PTNY’s Trailfinder page to find even more trails to enjoy across New York State.

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