http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2011 ... ile-river/
A little-known marvel of New York’s public transportation system is that Metro-North, one of the busiest commuter railroads in the country, manages to connect the city to the Appalachian Trail. Just north of Pawling, N.Y., the Harlem Line’s weekend-only Appalachian Trail stop was built 20 years ago at the suggestion of Howard Permut, an avid hiker and former vice president of planning and development for the train. (He is now its president.) The small wooden structure is the only train station along the entire 2,181-mile footpath, and from it you can get to a number of magnificent spots, among them the Ten Mile River Lean-To, a charming shelter near the New York-Connecticut border situated between a large meadow and the roaring Housatonic River.
Arrive at Grand Central early Saturday morning and grab a window seat on a Wassaic-bound train (and a few Take 5 bars from Hudson News). Including a short transfer at the Southeast station, the entire trip is just under two hours. As the train nears the stop, be sure to move to the last car, the only one from which you can exit onto the 18-foot long platform. At the impossible-to-miss garden store nearby, Native Landscapes, fill up your water bottle and check out the exotic birds in the back.