Beacon Line Rail Trail

About

Welcome to the Beacon Line Rail Trail website. The Beacon Line Rail Trail will be a shared-use bicycling and pedestrian path running along a 25-mile portion of the Metro-North Railroad (MNR) Beacon Line Corridor from Brewster, NY to Hopewell Junction, NY. The Beacon Line does not currently have active train traffic, the project proposes building a “rail with trail” on the Brewster to Hopewell Junction segment. The Trail is set to be completed in 2020.

The Beacon Line Rail Trail is an important part of the Empire State Trail, providing a key link between the Putnam Trailway and the Dutchess Rail Trail and Walkway Over the Hudson State Park. The Empire State Trail, when completed in 2020, will create a 750-mile trail bike and walking pathway from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo.

The Route

The Trail crosses through two counties (Putnam and Dutchess), five towns, and one village. Along the route, the trail goes through rural landscapes and wooded areas featuring seasonal waterfalls and crossing of the Appalachian Trail along the way.

At the southern end, the Beacon Line Rail Trail will connect to the Putnam Trailway and the Maybrook Trailway, and to the north, the Dutchess Rail Trail. There is MNR station access nearby at Poughkeepsie and in Brewster, providing multi-modal access to transit along the trail.

View the entire route below or click on the following sections to see more detailed maps:

Click image below to enlarge:

Beacon Trail Benefits

The Beacon Line Rail Trail can bring a number of benefits to surrounding communities (click a benefit below to learn more.):

Health and Wellbeing
The Beacon Line Rail Trail will improve the health and wellbeing for local residents and visitors as access to outdoor activities increases participation in healthy lifestyles and improves the academic performance of children. Regular exercise reduces the likelihood of heart and respiratory disease. People with access to trails exercise more regularly than those without access to similar recreational opportunities.
Transportation
Trails provide alternatives for getting around for those without access to cars or transit as well as for those wanting to choose a healthier transportation alternative. Construction of the Beacon Line Rail Trail will increase mobility and accessibility by providing a new recreational opportunity.
Safety
Trails provide safer recreational opportunities for all users. They provide a designated space for bicyclists and pedestrians and minimize interactions with motor vehicle traffic. This is especially important for the children.
Economic
The positive economic impacts of trails include recreation-based tourism, an increase in property values, an enhanced ability to attract new employers and employees, and development of new industries, such as visitor services and outdoor related product sales, to accommodate the increase in recreational opportunities in the area.
Education
Not only do trails provide outdoor learning opportunities, but children with access to open space resources demonstrate higher academic achievement, better attendance, and higher levels of concentration. They also provide children with the opportunity to discover local natural and cultural heritage.
Environment
Trails benefit the environment as well as the people they serve. Trails provide opportunities for habitat protection and enhancement, stormwater and flood retention, improved water and air quality, conservation of natural and cultural resources, and scenic views.
Civic Engagement
Greenways provide opportunities for diverse groups of people to discover common interests and form a sense of community. Whether as a means of improving quality of life, our health, our children’s well-being or our natural places, civic leadership springs from community engagement. When neighbors are engaged, employers are enthused, and visitors are attracted, the vitality of a community is boosted.

Documents

As the project gets updated and related documents get completed, they will be uploaded here for community members to review and provide feedback. Please check back regularly for updates.

Meetings

Join us for the upcoming meetings to learn more about the Beacon Rail Trail and share your thoughts. The meetings will include a presentation followed by an open house.

Contact

The project is seeking public comment on the Draft Beacon Line Rail Trail Concept Plan. Please provide your email address and comments through the form below. Your comments, observations, and concerns will be incorporated through the public engagement process.