Pedal Your Way Through The Catskills on Old Railroad Tracks During Opening Weekend
Personally, I’ve only heard about the magic of the railroad but have you ever experienced it? Good thing that opening weekend of Rail Explorers is finally here! All aboard!
I’m sure you're wondering, what is Rail Explorers, exactly? Well, I love learning the history lesson behind everything if you didn’t figure that out already. Supposedly, in the 1850’s, maintenance workers actually used rail bikes along with hand cars when they traveled on the tracks. The bikes and cars helped transport crew members along with their materials for track repair and inspection, how neat! Even though it’s on railroad tracks there aren’t any trains when the tours are scheduled. It’s such a great idea that we can use these tracks to this day and make a purpose out of them, capturing the beauty of the Hudson Valley of course!
The journey begins on the Ulster and Delaware Railroad. Into the woods is where it all starts and you’ll get to see the breathtaking, Catskill Mountains and Esopus Creek along with the cute little village of Phoenicia (one of my favorite spots in the summer). They recommend bringing a drink and snack for the ride.
The rail explorer is actually pedal powered, different from a bicycle! The pedaling is easy and you don’t have to watch the road as if you were on a bike; it’s a hands free experience, to take selfies, duh! Just remember, it’s not like a bike so you can’t pass people but who would want to rush when it’s time to slow down and unwind!? Also, I know we're in New York, BUT no tailgating as well, ha ha! This is what I would call the perfect workout especially on a sunny day, soaking up that Vitamin D!
You’ll have the option to choose, 1 of 2 rail bikes. For instance, there’s the Tandem Rail Explorer which is a 2 seater and the Quad Rail Explorer which fits 4 seats and is perfect for families or groups. On another note, shout out to my single friends, since you’re the real VIP, you get that seating as well. There actually is VIP-seating, I believe to fully enjoy the solitude in the woods, sign me up! The VIP-single rider can also group this one together to join additional people.
The River Run consists of an 8 mile round trip experience, about two and a half hours total. They recommend booking early enough since seats are limited and I can imagine how wonderful this can be. I’ve honestly been trying to visit since last summer!
They have trained guides on this adventure to ensure safety. The tours start together but the riders have the chance to spread out and enjoy at their own pace. Rail Explorers is family friendly and fun for everyone including the furry friend! I’m talking about a dog of course, yes I’m serious. Honestly, I don’t know about cats, believe me; you know I’ll find out! This experience is rain or shine, if the weather wasn’t safe they wouldn’t take the rail bikes out. Pricing is on their website, there aren’t any tickets since you pay for either the 2 or 4 seater bike.
Gift cards are available for purchase if you can’t go with someone but want them to experience this magical journey into the woods! If you’re traveling, they have two other locations. One location is in Rhode Island, which opened on May 11 and the other is in Las Vegas, which opens in September!
Don’t forget to show up in your comfy clothes and on those sunny days, bring along some sunscreen and maybe some water bottles. For other days, it would be a good idea to bring umbrellas even though they have ponchos. My suggestion, maybe bring a portable charger to get all the pictures possible? Capture the moment.
In addition to opening day, the Phoenicia Railroad Station is celebrating 120 years which is the perfect reason to stop by the Empire State Railway Museum after your journey. The maintenance of the tracks allow us to enjoy this wonderful experience.
You can book your Rail Explores tour or gather more info at https://www.railexplorers.net/.
Happy Pedaling and see you on the trail!! :)