The Dutchess Rail Trail is a 13-mile (21 km) rail trail that stretches from the former Hopewell Junction train depot, north to the Poughkeepsie entrance of the Walkway over the Hudson. It's a shared use rail trail open for pedestrians and bicyclers. The Dutchess Rail Trail forms part of the proposed Empire State Trail.
Construction was initially set to begin in July 2007. It was built in five phases. The final stage from Morgan lake in the Town of Poughkeepsie to the Walkway over the Hudson was completed in July 2013.
Conrail's Maybrook Line was double tracked, allowing for a simultaneous paved and packed dirt trail.
In January 2012, a 1-mile stretch of property was purchased from CSX Transportation. An effort was made to develop this stretch of property in 2013, resulting in connections with Walkway Over the Hudson and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.
The railroad line was built in 1892 by the Central New England Railway; it was severed by a fire on the Poughkeepsie Bridge in 1974. Dutchess County originally purchased the Maybrook Line to build a limited access highway to Interstate 84 but did not want to pay the monetary and environmental costs of connecting from Hopewell Junction to I-84.
- "Routes on the Empire State Trail". Welcome to the State of New York. 2017-11-17. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
- Steinhaus, William R. "Dutchess Rail Trail". Dutchess County, New York. Retrieved 2011-01-13.
- Poughkeepsie Journal, January 18, 2012 Archived September 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Walkway Over the Hudson to be connected to Dutchess Rail Trail.
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