The Cunningham Park Mountain Bike Trails and the story behind how they came to be is an Urban Legend. Until the trails were built it was the dark ages for local mountain bikers and those of us living in New York City. To find a place to mountain bike or anything remotely resembling a singletrack trail, we had to travel far and wide. The Cunningham Park trails, officially opened in 2007, was one of two FIRST EVER designated mountain bike trails inside New York City. Today, you can now find freeride trails and a BMX jump park at Highbridge Park in northern Manhattan; and in Cunningam Park, a mixed cross country mountain bike trail network with smooth singletrack, teeter totters, fun obstacles, short but sweet ascents and descents, and ad-hoc areas of fun dirt jumps. There's something for everbody. - beginners to advanced in a nice small package.
The southern area of the park encompasses 243 acres of designated Forever Wild Preserve consisting of forest, vernal pools and kettle ponds. About 60 acres in southeast section of this area is one of the most undisturbed natural areas in the city.
The designated mountain bike trails are located in the North Woods area of the park. The younger forest in this area is dominated by tulip and flowering dogwood trees. The juicy burst of white and pink flowers punctuate the ride with spring flavor. You'll find restrooms, ballfields and other recreational facilities on 73rd Avenue. Old stone walls and broken up paved walkways are evident of the area's past as farmland. Hard to believe.
We are just getting warmed up with this. There's a lot more to come. We're going to get DOWN & DIRTY. You're going to love it!
Cunningham Mountain Bike Trails Description
Cunningham Park features well-marked, color coded trail systems that were carefully planned and designed for the beginner to advanced rider.
Green Circle Blaze Trails
The trails are relatively smooth, providing a great xc mountain biking experience for the beginner. These two loop rides also give you a good overview of the park habitat and a chance to practice some basic mountain bike skills. Several laps of these two loops make for a fun, fast warm-up. At the beginning of the trail near the 67th Street officiai park entrance, you'll be riding the guantlet between massive logs, trees knocked across the trail by Hurricaine Sandy in 2012. The Green Apple Corps and the Concerned Long Island Mountain Bike Club made the best of things by sawing a section out of the middle of each log - handle bar width. This combined with smooth, fast and flowy singletrack, some sections of ROOTS, short ascents and descents make this a most interesting ride.
The Clearview Expressway splits the park in two. The wide white-blazed trail that bisects the park east west, connects the two loops via a bridge over the Expressway. The trail on the west side of the Clearview comes to a large clearing in the woods at one point. Here you'll find dirt jumps and other BMX features. Stay to the left to find and continue on the green trail.
Blue Blaze Trails
For the intermediate rider, these loop trails offer fast, tight and twisty singletrack. Short steep sections, canterlever turns, rollercoasters (whoop de doos) and technical rock and log features make the ride interesting. City residents (others welcome) now have a place to hone their technical skills, or just get in a good workout after school or work. Even with elevation changes of no more than around 40 ft. a good fast, challenging workout awaits!
Black Diamond Blaze Trails
These trail spurs offer the advanced rider steeper and tougher terrain. Expect a ride with continuous non-stop challenges!
Take I-495 (Long Island Expressway) to Exit 27S, Clearview Expressway South. Get off at first exit for 73rd Ave. Turn left (east) onto 73rd Ave. Turn left (north) onto 210th St. Trailhead is at 210th St. and 67th Ave.
Public Transportation: F train to Jamaica/179th St. Ride bike east on Hillside Ave., turn left on 188th St. (Saul Weprin St.), right on 73rd Ave., turn left onto 210th St. Trailhead is at 210th St. and 67th Ave.
New York City Parks
Website: Concerned Long Island Mountain Bike Club (C.L.I.M.B.)