D & H Rail Trail

D & H Rail Trail

D & H Rail Trail brochure and map

Tips for Birding

The Delaware & Hudson Rail Trail (D & H Rail Trail) runs 19.8 miles between West Rupert and Castleton. The section just west of Castleton State College provides easy, level walking through good birding habitat. This is an excellent spot for new and/or young birders.

Spring and fall are a good time to check the trail for sparrows and migrating warblers including Palm Warbler. Rusty Blackbirds have been spotted here as well. Lots of brush and tangles of grapevines make it an attractive spot for migrants.

Adjacent farm fields attract Killdeer and Canada Geese as well as Wild Turkey. Ruffed Grouse can be seen along the trail. Eastern Bluebirds are present year-round.

About this Location

The D & H Rail Trail is a multiple-use trail open to pedestrians, bicyclists, and horse riders in the summer and snowshoers, skiers, and snowmobilers during the winter. Snowmobiling is the only authorized motorized use of the trail; state registration and VAST membership requirements must be followed when operating on the trail. The trail has a speed limit of 35 mph.

The trail includes 17 wooden-decked bridges of various lengths. The bridges have 5-foot high railings and are constructed to provide a smooth travel way. The trail tread consists of the original cinder rail bed ballast, gravel, and stone. In some places, the cinder sections can be soft and may pose a challenge to road bicycles. The trail is better suited to hybrid and mountain bikes. For foot travel, the trail is well suited to people of all ages and abilities due to its wide, level, and stable base.

The D & H Rail Trail encompasses the trail sections only in Vermont. Even though the original rail line extended into New York, and weaved back and forth between the two states several times, some sections of trail in New York have reverted to private ownership and are not open to public use. Please respect private property in both New York and Vermont, and access the trail only at the designated trailheads.

Content from D & H Rail Trail brochure and map and Susan Elliott, Rutland County Audubon Society