Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Dunderberg Spiral Railroad/1777 Trail

Consult the NY-NJ Trail Conference map #119 for this trek. What a beautiful day for hiking! My companion and I decided to celebrate my 41st birthday with a hike. I've trekked this trail before, but I wanted to show Desiree the very cool and very unfinished Dunderberg Spiral Railroad. We began on the Blue Blazed Trail off the Hiker's Turnoff Parking on Route 9W North, just past the Anchor Monument. The railway was the brainchild of Henry J. Mumford, an entrepreneur from Pennsylvania. When Mumford discovered beautiful Dunderberg Mountain and it's tremendous views of the Hudson River in 1870, he decided to build a scenic railway. Work on the railway began in 1890. One of the first parts of the railway that was actually completed is the lower tunnel. Unfortunately, after a recession and a one million dollar loss, work ended on the railway in 1891. But not without a riot by the workers who had worked so hard to blast rocks out of the mountain to lay down train tracks. We proceeded up to the first tunnel and stopped to take some pictures and a rest. Be sure to notice the exquisite stone work on the tunnel. We continued up the blue trail and came upon a second unfinished tunnel. It is literally a large tunnel in the mountainside. Continue past that to three spectacular lookouts on top of the mountain. I'll admit, the view is better in the winter, but we did spot some beautiful hawks up top. Now the fun part, as I was happily turning a corner on the trail, I narrowly missed stepping on a seven foot long black rat snake who was in the middle of the trail. After much hysteria on my part, my companion ran past the snake and we continued on until we hit the 1777 Trail. This was a pleasant trail since it led us downhill after much uphill hiking. We encountered some bullfrogs and a very pretty Eastern Box Turtle on the way down. I highly recommend this hike; there is a lot to explore and the views of the Hudson River are amazing.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. Can I use your photos of the tunnels on my Unfinished Railroads of New York State page? Please reply to