New York Mountain Bike Trails
New York State offers some of the most exciting and scenic mountain bike trails in the Northeast. The Adirondack Park, Catskill Mountains, Hudson Valley, Allegany and the Finger Lakes Canal and Rail Trail systems are well-known outdoor recreation and vacation destinations that offer miles of mountain biking and cycling adventures.
New York is host to some of the best ski and mountain bike resorts in North
America such as Plattekill
Roscoe Cross Country Ski Area.
260 miles of New York Rail Trails is the legacy of the historic NY Canal & Rail System. Easy, scenic cycling, on multi-use trails can be found on the Old Erie Canal Trail in Central New York, the Erie Canal Heritage Trail and Keuka Lake Outlet Trail in the Finger Lakes region, the Catskill Scenic Rail Trail in the Catskill Mountains region and the Wallkill Valley River Trail in the Hudson Valley region.
Adventure seekers know that the Adirondack region is one of the best places to go for outdoor recreation in New York State. Premier mountain biking destinations in this region include Lake Placid, two-time site of the Olympic Winter Games, Lake George, the popular summer tourist mecca, and the six-million-acre Adirondack Park & Forest Preserve. It is mostly high mountain country consisting of 46 "High Peaks" (mountains over 4,000 feet) including 5,344-foot Mount Marcy (also known as Cloud Splitter), the highest point in New York State. Bicyclists will find everything from quiet country backroads to awesome mountain trails to explore.
Covering a fifth of New York State, the Adirondack Park is a mountain bikers paradise. While biking is prohibited on land designated as "wilderness, primitive or canoe areas", there are thousands of miles of legal bike trails and dirt roads to explore in the Adirondack Mountains. About 1.3 million acres of Forest Preserve land are classified as "wild forest" and mountain biking is permitted on most trails in these areas.
The Old Forge Trail System, located in the heart of the Central Adirondacks offers over 100 miles of scenic mountain bike trails for riders of all abilities. Trails travel through fields of wildflowers, ancient forests and past crystal clear lakes. Hop aboard the Adirondack Scenic Railroad with your bike, ride the train into the wilderness then ride back to town. For an adrenaline rush, the Old Forge / Inlet area also offers three sanctioned bike races each year, including the infamous Black Fly Challenge in the Moose River Recreation Area.
Located to the north of Lake Placid, Franklin County encompasses much of the
Northern Adirondacks and offers a diversity of mountain bike terrain with exceptional natural beauty. The Bloomingdale Bog Trail in the Lake Saranac Area follows an old railroad grade and is an easy, scenic, ride through one of the largest bogs in northern New York.
When the snow melts, the former Olympic Village of Lake Placid becomes a hot spot for mountain biking. Two ski centers, Whiteface Mountain and the Verizon Sports Complex become two of New York State's best mountain bike centers.
The Catskill region is a land of wooded hills, dense forests, cascading waterfalls, sparkling rivers and streams, scenic reservoirs, and fertile green valleys dotted with dairy farms. Every bend in the road offers spectacular backroads cycling and scenic vistas. It is home to the famous Catskill Park, which has some of New York State's best hiking trails and brilliant fall foliage.
The Catskill Trail System is currently completely open to mountain bikes.
This being said, many of the trails are not rideable unless you happen
to be Hans Rey. Some of the best riding can be found on the miles of multi-use
trails which include snowmobile, cross-country ski and horse trails. The Spruceton
Trail in the Hunter Mountain Wild Forest, the Vernooy
Kill Falls Trail in Sundown Wild Forest and the Willowemoc
Wild Forest Trails both offer great mountain biking experiences. Bear
Spring Mountain State Park, located in the western end of the Catskill
Forest offers 24 miles of scenic multi-use horse trails which are also
used for hiking and biking. The Catskill
Scenic Rail Trail features nearly flat terrain with gorgeous views
as it winds its way over streams and through forests and farmland. One
of New York's top ski resorts, Plattekill
Mountain offers lift-served mountain biking during the warmer months.
Declared a National Heritage Area, New York's Hudson Valley remains one of the most picturesque river valleys in the Northeast. The Shawangunk Mountain Range, rising to 2,000 feet above sea level, creates a spectacular line of white cliffs, 20 miles long and 5 miles wide. Clear streams cut through sheer cliffs to emerge in sparkling waterfalls. Forests cover the hills and overlook the lush green valley below.
Hudson Valley mountain biking is a unique experience. The Minnewsaka State Park Preserve and Mohonk Nature Preserve both offer miles of scenic carriage trails that criss-cross the region and gently climb along ridges to provide spectacular views of the Hudson Valley. Bike along the path of New York City's first aqueduct along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail State Historic Park.
If it's a bike ride through history you desire, many old logging, mining and backcountry roads, bike paths, rail trails and and canal towpaths lead you to and through interesting historical places and villages. The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, one of several lovely rail trails in the area, travels along the Wallkill River through a serene, quintessential Hudson Valley landscape.
Those looking for mountain bike challenges will find it at the Taconic Hereford Multiple Use Area, located in the heart of Duchess County, a wooded retreat that offers about 15 miles of riding on varied terrain. The Ninham Multiple Use Area, in Putnam County, offers a network of technical single-track multi-use trails and a gravel fire road.
Where do you go mountain biking in the Greater New York Cty urban jungle? Two new New York City Mountain Bike Trails have recently been built. The Cunningham Park North Woods Mountain Bike Trails located in Queens and the Highbridge Park Mountain Bike Trails in Manhattan, NYC. Long Island and nearby Westchester County also provide superb opportunities for mountain bikers.
Long Island is home to the Fire Island National Seashore, several State Parks, wildlife refuges, beautiful white beaches, Central Long Island Pine Barrens, lush vineyards and many miles of multi-use trails. This 120 mile long mix of rocky cliffs, rich farmland, rolling hills, woods and flatlands provides opportunities for mountain bikers of all abilities. Caumsett State Park, a little-known gem along the Long Island Sound, and Rocky Point Natural Resource Management Area are two highlights.
The first ever designated mountain bike trails in Westchester County, NY were built at Blue Mountain Reservation. Seven miles of trails wind through beautiful, rugged parkland. They are clearly marked and designated for different levels of ability.
Allegany State Park, at 65,000 acres, tops the list of favorite
places to mountain bike in Western New York. There are two developed areas,
Red House and Quaker. The Red House area features Allegany
State Park Art Roscoe Ski Touring & Mtn. Bike Area multi-use
trails that are enjoyed by cross-country skiers in winter and equestrians,
hikers and mountain bikers in summer.
New York State's Central region has a history of heroic battles fought during the Revolutionary War. The Erie Canal opened up the passage West and runs right through the heart of the region. Today the Old Erie Canal State Park is a 36-mile stretch of the Old Erie Canal which offers easy, scenic riding through lush woodlands and wetlands.
The Finger Lakes region, a popular bicycle touring and vacation destination, is world-renowned for its production of award-winning wines. Home to the eleven Finger Lakes, the varied terrain and topography is never boring. Jenksville, Hammond Hill and Yellow Barn State Forests trails are frequented by local mountain bikers. The Finger Lakes National Forest is reminiscent of the wild west with its scenic roadways on one square mile grids and free-ranging cattle.
The canal era, an integral part of the region's history, has left a lasting impression. A section of of the Erie Canal Heritage Trail bicycle path follows the old canal towpath, passing villages whose development centered around the canal. The Keuka Outlet Trail is unique, where mills of every type operated along the waterway and where you can still see mill remnants along the trail.
Spectacular Niagara Falls may be the focal point of the Niagara region but Letchworth State Park, known as the "Grand Canyon of the East", contains a 600 ft. deep gorge carved by the Genesee River. Spectacular overlooks and waterfalls lure visitors from all over the world. A 22 mile section of the Finger Lakes Trail in the park is open for mountain biking when weather and trail conditions permit.
The Niagara region also has a rich historical background, with colonial era forts, the Erie Canal and the Seaway Trail, and historic railroads. The Erie Canal ends it's 300 mile trip from Albany as it empties into Lake Erie.
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