Until this summer, hikers arriving at Harriman State Park by train all had to enter the park using the same nearby trailhead. Thanks to a new creative partnership, hikers and other park lovers can now hop aboard a shuttle bus to various stops in the park, providing greater access to the park’s 200 miles of trails.
The Harriman Shuttle Bus is a joint project of A Better Tuxedo, the Tuxedo Chamber of Commerce, and MyHarriman.com to connect car-less New York City hikers with the 230+ miles of trails in Harriman and Sterling Forest State Parks, the parks that surround Tuxedo, New York. Organizers are also working to get younger people who might not otherwise get the chance to hike and camp on the bus.
The bus operates on weekends and holidays, picking up hikers at the Tuxedo Train Station and dropping them at various stops in Harriman State Park. For $5, visitors can now start their outdoor adventure at a trail, camp, lake or beach. The bus also makes a stop at a local restaurant in Sloatsburg, and local residents ride for free. The ticket booth is inside a restored 19th century train station, right next to the platform for the train to New York.
“We sell maps, dispense trail advice, fill water bottles, and have a great time talking with the hikers and backpackers, including lots of AT and Long Path thru-hiker,” says Suzy Allman, owner of MyHarriman.com and the person behind the initiative.
Harriman is the second-largest park in New York’s state parks system. In addition to its extensive network of trails, Harriman also boasts 31 lakes and reservoirs, two beaches, two public camping areas, a network of group camps, miles of streams and scenic roads, and scores of wildlife species, vistas and vantage points.
The new shuttle, which had a successful first run over the July 4th weekend, is scheduled to run through the end of October. Organizers hope to eventually be able to offer a return shuttle, but for now the shuttle will only make one loop in the morning.