Albany Hudson Electric Trail – A Perfect Day on the Trail

The Albany Hudson Electric Trail is a 36-mile non-motorized trail that is an integral part of the Empire State Trail that spans 750 miles from New York City through Hudson to Canada.

The 10 to 12-foot wide trail is 85% off-road, and while a lot of it is paved, stone dust abounds in Columbia County. It can easily be conquered by runners, bikers, and walkers of all ages and abilities. You can look forward to the solace and rejuvenation that a biking trip offers outdoor enthusiasts and tourists.

The trail offers visitors an undeniably enjoyable experience. It has well-marked signage, paved paths that make riding a breeze, and accessible parking spots. Some areas feature informative tidbits that explain their rich and diverse history. All in all, the trail is easily navigable with plenty of picturesque settings to look forward to.

If you want to go on an Albany-Hudson Electric Trail (AHET) biking trip to enjoy the sights and sounds it has to offer, read on. Let’s explore the many exciting exploration opportunities the trail offers in this step-by-step guide.

Start in Hudson

Distance: 11 miles

Time required to cover the distance: 4 to 6 hours if walking, 1 to 1.5 hours if biking

Road: Paved, dog-friendly trail

Biking on an empty stomach will do little to help you enjoy the experience. So, make sure to stop for breakfast or brunch in Hudson before you hit the trail. In Hudson, Warren Street is packed with delicious restaurants and great shopping and antiquing. We recommend making a stop at Le Perche bakery and bar, a fan favorite for of locals and visitors alike.

The restaurant offers guests two seating options: a charming dining room with a beautiful tin ceiling or an outdoor patio adorned with gorgeous vines and pergolas. We recommend the patio so you can enjoy the breeze and the sunshine!

The menu has an impressive number of items to attest to its popularity. You can try their avocado toast for breakfast and a cod sandwich for a heartier lunch. These delicious dishes are bound to start your trip off right. You can opt to stock up on some delicious croissants and pastries to-go to avoid making an additional brunch stop along the trail.

Once you’re all set to go, ride through the Hudson Valley’s farmlands and orchards. Riding through this area in the fall is an experience you can’t miss, with the wonderfully cool weather, turning leaves, and seemingly endless stalls offering pumpkins and apples.

You can then take the off-road AHET trail starting at Route 9, Freeport and Delaware Ave, and then head northeast to reach Rothermel Park in Kinderhook.

Friendly tip: If you plan on taking a detour, look for benches and fill up on water before you go off-road. You must ensure ample protection against the scorching rays of the sun at all points of your journey. You can access this online detailed map to find everything you need on your trip, such as restrooms, parking, campgrounds, and other attractions. You can also get your free, hardcopy version of the Empire State Trail map if relying on your phone for on-the-go trial directions isn’t your thing.

Ride the Trail North

Distance: 11 miles

Time required to cover the distance: 4 to 6 hours if walking, 1 to 1.5 hours if biking

Road: Paved, dog-friendly trail with multiple designated parking spots

The second leg of the Albany Hudson Electric Trail starts from Rothermel Park in Kinderhook. Riding the trail north will lead you to a trailhead parking area in the village of Nassau. The trail is a mix of off-road and on-road sections and takes users from woods and water features to the more popular farms and communities.

When you’re 20 miles into the trail that leads to Rensselaer, make a stop in the town of Nassau for lunch.

Binge on tacos from Tacos Diablo for some quality Mexican food. You can customize the style, filling, salsa, and topping according to your preference here. If you’re more of a pizza person, consider visiting Zia’s Pizza & Family Restaurant. They have a range of Italian and American food items on their menu that will complement every individual’s unique food palate.

And don’t forget to wrap up this excellent gastronomic experience by grabbing an ice cream or fro-yo at Smiles Soft Serve Ice Cream, a cute ice cream shop located directly adjacent to the trail.

End in Rensselaer and Take the Amtrak Back to Hudson

Distance: From Nassau to East Greenbush – 10 miles, from East Greenbush to Albany – 3 miles

Time required to cover the distance: 4 to 6 hours if walking, 1.5 hours if biking

Road: Paved

Once you reach Rensselaer and witness its charming communities, you’re well on your way to completing the last leg of this AHET trip. The final installment in the Hudson Valley Greenway portion of the Empire State Trail lies at the on-road connection from Southern Avenue in the Town of East Greenbush to the Corning Preserve in the city of Albany.

This segment passes residential areas as well as through woods and past water sources. Vehicular traffic is common in this part of the town. If you’re not keen on biking the Albany Hudson Electric trail all the way back, you can take the Amtrak back to Hudson at this point. Before going on your trip, please take note of all the regulations and potential fees related to bringing your bicycle on board.

If you feel like you have an ounce of energy left to make one more pit stop post-ride, make your way past the Albany Hudson Electric Trail to Broadway Street in Albany. Here, you can sip on some refreshing and revitalizing ciders made with fresh local ingredients at the Nine Pin Cider Works to get the authentic New York tasting experience.

One day not enough?

While 36-miles one-way might be suitable for some, others may want to explore the Albany Hudson Electric Trail over the course of multiple days. If you are looking for lodging near the trail, here are our top recommendations by town.

Hudson: The Wick – 4-star hotel close enough to Amtrak and the heart of town, Warren Street.

East Greenbush: Comfort Inn and Suites – 2.5 star hotel with indoor pool for relaxing after a long ride

Albany: Renaissance Albany Hotel – 3.5-star hotel in downtown Albany. A quick walk to great restaurants and bars.

Looking for additional options? Check out vacation rentals on VRBO for a more personal and local experience along the trail. Also be sure to check out our blog post on the top places to stay along the entire Hudson Valley Greenway trail. 

Wrapping Up

The Albany Hudson Electric Trail offers bicyclists, walkers, and runners the perfect opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful paths that make up the greater Empire State Trail. Whether you live in town or are here for a vacation, a biking trip on this trail would more than satisfy the outdoor enthusiast in you.

With multiple detour stations, destinations where you can enjoy the wonders of nature, and fantastic gourmet food products and hand-crafted beverages, the Albany Hudson Electric Trail is the perfect spot to take a step back from the fast-paced world and unwind.

We want to make sure your next experience on the trail is enjoyable and unforgettable. We offer outdoor equipment reviews and world-class advice on the Empire State Trail and how to travel it.