This ride and this cause is very special to me. It was my Mom, Elinor Mettler, who got the idea in the 1980s that the abandoned railbed which extended from Wassaic to "the end of the line" in Chatham, should be turned into a Rail Trail- like the one we had ridden on in Cape Cod. She began to promote the idea in her newspaper, the ROE JAN INDEPENDENT, and soon others joined in-- Larry Kane and Dan Haas, and then George Beneke and lots of other folks. They lobbied, they raised money, they twisted arms of politicians in Columbia County and in Albany, they cut brush and literally built trail.
Today the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association has an office and a lot of members. They have had huge success. But crossing Route 22 at Black Grocery still looms as an expensive hurdle, and then there remains building trail from Hillsdale to Chatham.
When we were younger, my Mom would have us make signs which read: "Chatham of Bust". We would carry those signs at rallies and celebrations. It summed up my Mom's dream.
I look forward to a day when a cyclist can get off the train in Wassaic and then ride all the way to "the end of the line" in Chatham. The complete trail will be a tremendous economic catalyst to the entire region. And, it will be the realization of my Mom's dream.
Whatever contribution you can make- no matter the size, is deeply appreciated.
Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour
The Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour celebrates its 6th year with a marvelous, scenic and enjoyable ride, sponsored by the towns of Copake, Hillsdale and Ancram, New York on the border of Massachusetts. This year there are 5 routes to choose from (10, 18-new!, 25, 35 & 50 miles) on quiet country roads in some of the most beautiful scenery of the Hudson Valley & Taconic foothills you've ever seen.
While our event is free, we encourage donations for the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. Our fundraising will be used to extend and connect the trail throughout our three towns, and to create an uninterrupted traffic-free trail for biking, walking, jogging & healthy exercise that extends from Wassaic, NY ultimately 46 miles to Chatham, NY.
The 6th Annual Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour is sponsored by the Towns of Copake, Hillsdale, and Ancram, New York. This free public event encourages donations to support the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association.
The Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association (HVRTA) was founded in 1986 and incorporated in 1995 as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to advocating for completion of the HVRT. HVRTA’s core mission includes partnering with public and private agencies, leading volunteer efforts to assist with trail maintenance, raising capital for purchasing rights-of-way, and offering trail design expertise to public and private agencies.