The Wallkill Valley Railroad was organized in 1866, with construction beginning at the Erie connection at Montgomery in 1868, and opened to Kingston in 1872.
The railroad was absorbed into the West Shore Railroad in 1881, and the West Shore absorbed into the mighty New York Central in 1885.
The Wallkill Valley maintained its' own legal identity until 1952.
Becoming part of the failed merger of Penn Central in 1968, the line survived into Conrail in 1976 and the last trains ran in 1977 when Conrail had discovered that the piers of the Rosendale Trestle had shifted, and declined to invest in the route.
The Rosendale Trestle at 940' long, and 150' high, has its' weight limitations, and is indeed the reason that the line was abandoned.
While the Ulster County portion was abandoned by 1984, (minus a very small 300' section of track along Greenkill Avenue in Kingston), the Orange County portion of the line from Walden to Montgomery survives today in active freight service as the Middletown & New Jersey Railroad Walden Branch.
The Walden-Wallkill Rail Trail extends from Walden to Birch Road in Shawangunk. The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail begins at Denniston Road, and ended in New Paltz until 2009, when the portion from Rosendale to Kingston was seized from John Rahl, who had bought the line from Conrail in 1986 for $1, but failed to pay $13,716 in taxes. Now, the trail extends through to Kingston.
Of an interesting note, in 1991, Mr. Rahl had allowed bungee jumping from the bridge until a court order stopped it.