From Grand Central to Harriman’s East, by Train
In the olden days, a passenger train called the West Shore railway ran up the western side of the Hudson River from New Jersey and afforded a hiker easy access to the east side of Harriman State Park.
Those days are gone, the passenger train now a roaring freight train beloved by trainspotters on Iona Island. And now, if you want to reach the east side of Harriman State Park by train — at Bear Mountain, or — you really have two choices: the Metro-North to either Peekskill or little Manitou Station. Both of these stations are on the opposite (east) side of the Hudson River from Bear Mountain park and Harriman.
Here are two options for taking the train, from Grand Central, to the vicinity of Harriman:
- Peekskill Station: You can take a cab to Bear Mountain, and that will cost you about $25.00, one way. There are usually taxis waiting outside the Peekskill station.
- Manitou Station: Trains run infrequently (four times a day on the weekends) to Manitou Station, little more than a shed on a platform at the side of the track. From there, it’s a two-mile, largely uphill hike from Manitou Station to Bear Mountain State Park. On the weekends and holidays, you can catch either the 7:44 am or 8:44 am train from Grand Central to Manitou Station, and you must let the conductor know that you’re getting off there, or they may not stop. There are two return trains (4:27 and 7:31) to Grand Central, and you’ll have to flag down the train from the platform. True.