If you live in NYC or if you are visiting the Big Apple and want to do a little A.T. hiking, you can hop on a train and about 2 hours later you can be enjoying the granddaddy of all long trails. The Metro-North Railroad station serves campers and hikers destined for the Appalachian Trail via the Harlem Line. A little planning is required as trains only stop at the Appalachian Trail on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Built in 1991 at the price tag of $10,000 this is the only train station along the 2,186 miles of the trail. The idea of the train ride to the woods was the creative thought of George Zoebelein, an avid hiker and a member of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council (MNRCC).
The trip from New York City is 65.9 miles. The train leaves from Grand Central Terminal and arrives at the A.T. station, located only a short distance from the intersection of NY Route 22 and NY Route 55. The A.T. itself crosses the track just south of the station. This station is the last station in the Zone 8 Metro-North fare zone. I have read of some thru-hikers who have taken the train to NYC to spend a few hours (even a few days) off the trail. I doubt that I am going to see the inside of the train but a picture sitting on the station bench might be nice.
The round trip fare from Grand Central is $28.00 for adults and $14.00 for children with two northbound trains in the morning and two southbound in the afternoon. It is part of an effort to promote the use of trains out of New York City. The railroad has established the run both to make money and also to help provide outdoor recreation opportunities for New Yorkers – so many residents lack easy car transportation.
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