The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown will hold another of its popular History Hikes Sunday, Oct. 2 when historians John Duda and Diane Galusha will lead a walk on the former Ulster & Delaware (U&D) Railroad tracks from Highmount to Pine Hill.
Reservations are $10 per person and are required as attendance is limited. Call 845-586-4973 to save your spot. This is not a developed rail trail and the terrain is uneven and wet in places. Appropriate footwear is a must. Heavy rain cancels.
The 3.3 mile, round-trip walk begins at 1 p.m. in the parking lot opposite the Highmount Post Office just off Route 28. It will traverse the famous Double Horseshoe Curve and will visit the ruins of the Crystal Spring Water Company’s massive rail-side loading dock.
Participants will hear about Highmount’s heyday in the era of the elegant Grand Hotel and the estates of wealthy notables. They’ll learn how pure spring water was bottled and shipped to New York City long before the city built its own reservoirs to supply the masses, and see firsthand how surveyors, engineers and laborers designed and built the U&D up and over Pine Hill, elevation 2,000 feet.
That climb was a special feature of the U&D, eagerly anticipated by passengers on the ride over the divide between Ulster and Delaware Counties.
Photographs of trains navigating this section, as well as images of both the Grand Hotel and Pine Hill Stations, the Crystal Spring Water Company and of some of the hotels and estates in Highmount will be shared on the hike, which is estimated to take three hours.
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