This blog highlights some of my adventures with the focus on railroad history. Originally intended as a blog of my rail trail rides, it now also includes hikes, railroad trips and even stop-and-go car trips if they are railroad history related...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Copake Iron Works

After my Copake Falls Bike ride on the Rail Trail, I rode my bike up into the Taconic State Park and checked out the ruins of the Copake Iron Works. It was a fascinating display of the iron making industry that was the economic backbone of this area back in the late 1800s. The IronWorks had their own narrow gauge railroad, built in 1862, to move goods to and from the furnace and bring completed cast-iron goods to Copake Station.

  Blast Furnace


 The small museum even had a very nicely done diorama of the area.

 Photo of the Main Line Train Station (now the Deli)

 The Narrow Gauge Railroad

the narrow gauge rr ran here

After this visit,  I headed back south to research finding vestiges of the old ND&C west of Millerton.

Retracing the ND&C

After riding the Harlem Valley Rail Trail and visiting the Copake Iron Works earlier in the day, I decided--while in the area--to try to sniff out traces of the old Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad (a.k.a Central New England Railway) that headed west out of Millerton.

It wasn't that easy! Much has been obscured by the ravages of nature or deep in the woods, inaccessible without a hike over private property.

 Nevertheless, I was happily able to spot a bit of the ROW along RT 199.

I climbed up the hill to photograph the abandoned ROW both looking down(southeast) and up (northwest)

...and was more than amply rewarded by finding this spot!

I will definitely be back up at some point to bike ride this (above) and of course look for more vestiges of the line in the area.

Further Info

Copake - Abandoned Railroad Station

For some strange reason I have been always fascinated with this still standing relic from the past. In between my Harlem Valley Rail Trail bike rides, I stopped by to check it out.
Google Street View
Back in the day...
(from the Bernie Rudberg collection)

Here is where the old ROW crossed Rt 22.

There is reference to it on this page (scroll down)
Bernie Rudberg's Rhinebeck & Connecticut Railroad

Fair Use Notice

Riding the Harlem Valley Rail Trail

It was a beautiful autumn day and I thought it would be nice to ride the Harlem Valley Rail Trail and enjoy the wonderful blaze of autumn colors.

Millerton to Wassaic

I started out at Millerton and headed south.
The"second" station
"Railroad Plaza" - I like that!
The original "first" station - now
back in the active railroading early days....
It's a very very slight downhill from Millerton to Wassaic, 285 feet difference.

Along the way, there is informative signage including interesting facts about the railroad's and various station's and town's history...
Mighty picturesque

Always love riding thru a rock cut...
"Postcard" perfect!
End of the line at Wassaic
Heading back, I stopped to snap this shot of the ROW near Amenia...
Autumn is a great time for riding this trail!
Short One-Handed Video (Highlights)

I snatched a lunch in Millerton--ordering a pesto chicken hero at Taro's and sitting peacefully on a park bench at Railroad Plaza...

Copake Falls Section

After my lunch, I drove up to Copke Falls to ride that section.  [I first detoured for a bit to check out the abandoned Copkae RR station ]. Once at the Rail Trail, I parked in the lot by the old Depot and first headed north,
The trail only goes for a short bit north, much of it traversing open fields 
end of the line -north
Heading south...
For a short bit you ride on a dirt road but you can see the old ROW to the side
Old ROW to the west (riding south)
End of Developed Trail...
Upper Mountain Road Trailhead
The old ROW continues
(but 40 plus years of plant growth has taken over!)

Enlarge for Panorama of the view at Upper Mountain Road
(trail end)
Super Short One-Handed Video of the Ride Highlights

I next spent some time visiting the Copake IronWorks and later that day explored a bit of the ND&C abandoned ROW west of Millerton.