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Getting to Harriman By Train from New York: The East Side

From Grand Central to Harriman’s East, by Train

manitou_station_harriman

The amenities at Manitou Station include a shed and platform, from which you’ll have to flag down the engineer of the Metro-North train you’d like to board. The shed includes a schedule of trains, and a string-art portrayal of a locomotive. It’s a two-mile walk — much of it uphill — to Bear Mountain State Park on the other side of the Hudson. But if you’re coming back to the station at the end of your hike — and therefore walking downhill — it’s not too bad, and the view of fields and farms is pleasant.

 

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.
Old, dirty string-art, depicting a train locomotive decorates the platform at Manitou Station in the Hudson Highlands.

Weird and inexplicable string art, depicting a locomotive, decorates the shed at Manitou Station, on the eastern short of the Hudson River, just north of the Bear Mountain Bridge.

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