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Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail




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General Information

Description - The Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail is a 19.8 mile long converted railroad bed in southwestern Vermont between Castleton and Poultney, and West Pawlet and West Rupert. The trail provides opportunities for hiking, jogging, horseback riding and biking. It is also a good location for snowmobiling. The narrow right-of-way supports a variety of wildflowers, shrubs and trees of all sizes which are summer habitat for a wide variety of song birds.

Attractions - The Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail is a 19.8 mile long converted railroad bed in southwestern Vermont. The two sections of trail are located between Castleton and Poultney, and West Pawlet and West Rupert. The trail provides opportunities for hiking, jogging, horseback riding and biking. It is also a good location for snowmobiling.

The trail surface consists of the original cinder ballast and in some locations gravel and stone. The trail, although graded, may offer a surface too soft for the narrow tires found on most ten-speed bicycles. The surface is better suited for the wider tires of mountain bikes. Encountered periodically along the trail are 17 bridges and overpasses of various lengths and designs. Each has a five-foot high railing and wooden deck for a smooth, solid travel surface, especially important for horseback riding and bicycle travel. The wide, flat smooth trail surface and decked bridges make the D&H Trail useable by people of all ages and abilities.

Recreation - There is much to experience along the D&H Trail. Its location can be a lane in a tunnel of green or a dike dividing the pastoral valley. Visitors are captivated by beavers, herons, ducks and other wildlife. Novice railbed users will not soon forget the sensation of passing over the 100 foot long railroad bridges in Poultney and West Pawlet. The narrow right-of-way supports a variety of wildflowers, shrubs and trees of all sizes which are summer habitat for a wide variety of song birds. The trail provides opportunities for hiking, jogging, horseback riding, biking and snowmobiling.

Climate - Winter daytime temperatures average between 16 and 18 degrees Fahrenheit (between -9 and -8 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures average between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 21 Celsius). Much of the state's precipitation is the result of snow, particularly throughout the mountains. The Heart of Vermont Travel Region has diverse precipitation totals ranging from 40 to 44 inches (102 and 112 centimeters) in the center area of the region decreasing to less than 36 inches (91 centimeters) along the state lines of New York and New Hampshire.

Location - The two sections of trail are located between Castleton and Poultney, and West Pawlet and West Rupert. Main access to the trail is found in the town of Castleton and in the villages of Poultney, West Pawlet and West Rupert. Although access is available at intersections with public roads, parking is encouraged only in designated areas and along the streets within the communities bisected by the rail trail. Parking is discouraged at Town Road intersections as there is little space to park off the traveled portion of the public highway. Designated parking can be found at Castleton State College at the northern end of the D&H and at appropriate public parking locations in the villages of Pultney and West Pawlet. There is little public parking available in the village of West Rupert at this time.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, RR 2, Box 2161 , Pittsford, VT, 05763, Phone: 802-483-2733, Fax: 802-483-9374
, gsalmon@anrpitts.anr.state.vt.us

Additional Information:
Central Vermont - Central Vermont is characterized by beautiful rolling green mountains, crystal clear lakes and rushing streams. Historical sites, museums, ski resorts, challenging multi-use trails, golf courses and more may be found in this picturesque New England region.
Vermont State Parks and Forests - Vermont has over 50 state parks and over 2,200 campsites and shelters available for seasonal use. Most state parks permit cross-country skiing and several permit snowmobiling on designated routes. Vermont also offers over 35 state forests open for recreation use along with four rail trails and nearly a dozen historic sites.

Links:
Vermont State Parks - Official Agency Website

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