New York City to the Appalachian Trail in Under 2 Hours

appalachian trail train station

Image from Emily Moser /

The Appalachian Trail is in easy reach of almost everyone on the East Coast, including New Yorkers.

Did you know that you can get from Grand Central Station to the A.T. in just under 2 hours?

In comparison to Grand Central Station, the Appalachian Trail train station looks like something out of a children's movie. The platform is less than 20 feet long.

The platform is an ideal launching pad for the trail. The hiking is flat around the station and there are overnight hiking shelters less than five miles away in each direction.

Where is the Appalachian Trail train station?

Appalachian Trail train station

Image by Daniel Case

If you're familiar with the trail, the station is on the New York section of the trail. It's close to Pawling Nature Preserve and really close to the border with Connecticut. The trail itself crosses the track just south of the station.

For those of you who are more familiar with New York than the trail, the station is near Pawling and Dover Plains, on the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line.

Metro-North is a super-busy rail line that connects New York City and its northern suburbs up in New York and Connecticut. That's part of what makes this station so delightfully different.

Using the Appalachian Trail train station

The station has a schedule that fits its small size and remote location.

Trains only stop at the station on weekends and holidays, which makes it perfect for day-hikers.

Even on those weekends and holidays, trains stop here only four times. The two northbound trains in the morning drop the hikers off on the trail, and two southbound trains in the evening bring the hikers back to the city.

Trains leave Grand Central at 9:47 and arrive in Southeast at 11:20. From there you change to the Shuttle to Wassaic, which leaves at 11:24 and arrives at the Appalachian Trail station at 11:41.

The round trip from Grand Central costs about $30.

History of the station

The station dates to 1991 and its creation was the idea of a couple of hikers:

  • George Zoebelein, an accountant in New York City, who was an avid hiker who served with Appalachian Trail Conferences in both New York and New Jersey.
  • Howard R. Permut, who was Metro-North's vice president for planning and development.

In the early years of the station there was a wedding on the platform. The couple went hiking immediately afterwards.

Video of the Appalachian Trail train station

Tags: Appalachian Trail

About the Author Steve Burge:
Steve Burge was the original founder of He was a teacher for many years before starting a web development firm.
Related Articles

Published Apr 22, 2013.

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference brings a hundred trail clubs together to inspire the exploration of 2,000 miles of trails in their states.

Published May 5, 2015. The Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame will honor four new members at a banquet to be held June 5, 2015, at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, PA.

Published Sep 4, 2014. Opposition is growing against the casino that investors want to build in New York's Sterling Forest State Park, site of the Appalachian Trail.

Published Aug 16, 2014. Our Appalachian Trail News Headlines makes mountains out of little stories that might otherwise go unnoticed. Please pass along your favorites.