431-acre Graham Hills Park is located just to the east of the Hudson River. It is bordered on the east by the Taconic Parkway and Pocantico Hills; to the north by Pace University Campus; to the southwest by the Sawmill River and Sawmill River Parkway. Graham Hills County Park, shaped like a heart that is missing it's left side, features diverse woodlands with steeply wooded slopes, the Sawmill River and miles of awesome trails designed for a woods mountain biking experience. The trails total about nine miles in distance. While the trails are geared more towards intermediate to advanced riders, there are several easier beginners loops. Warm up on the loops located at the far east side of the park near the route 117 entrance.
During the Autumn, the kaleidoscope of fall foliage color is super special in this area; no doubt brought on by the unusual mix of trees. The park encompasses maple trees in every color (Red, Black, Silver, Norway, and Sugar). Oh, those reds and yellows do add fire to a fall mountain bike ride. The area along the Sawmill River on the park's western boundary is wetland habitat.
We've mountain biked at Graham Hills County Park and there definetly is a lot of malicious singletrack, a necessity for mountain bikers in this jam packed New York City suburb with limited singletrack trail options. With an expert trail named Vinny's Left Collarbone, we dub the Graham Hills County Park Mountain Bike Trails an Urban Legend.
You may also want to try the Ned's Left Lung Trail at nearby Blue Mountain Reservation.
Mountain Bike Trails - Graham Hills Park
The trails are mostly singletrack, and can be ridden in both directions. While the trails are marked, some are worn and the track is faint. Enter the trails from the parking lot. You may want to start off on the beginner warm up loop to get your legs primed for the many intense climbs. You will be climbing before you even reach the first main trail.
You will find a variety of technical challenges on these trails: a network of hard-packed dirt singletrack loops, with logs, rock and rock walls, planks, whoop-de-doos, jumps, drop offs, sharp turns, lots of climbs and enough fast twisting downhills to send the wind whistling through that space in your teeth.
Mileage / Blaze: 3+ Miles, Blue
Main trail loops around the park at the base of Graham Hill. Challenges are downed logs, stream crossings over bridges, short steep climbs and descents, roots, and a few rock gardens, stone walls - not the Rockefeller kind. Fun trail.
Mileage / Blaze: 2 Miles, Blue
Winding flowy, fast and pretty smooth singletrack. You roll like a tumbleweed downhill and over the rocks in the the path. We've never seen a tumbleweed roll uphill unless blown by the wind or on a bike powered uphill by legs.
Mileage / Blaze: 1 Mile, Yellow
Flowy singletrack on the updraft OR downdraft. Lots of squeezes between trees, some rock gardens.
Vinnys Left Collarbone Trail
Mileage / Blaze: .30 mile Miles, Red
Extreme downhill. Very steep with 5 foot rock drop offs in places.
Orange & White Trails
Mileage / Blaze: (.41 mile, Orange), (.94 mile, White)
Orange Trail is more difficult. Fast technical single-track. Nice big boulders along the trail. Log overs on the white. A few drop offs.
Video Clips: Well Done.
Trail Highlights & Nearby Points of Interest
Trails To Farms
Rockefeller State Park Preserve
The Preserve land is comprised of a portion of the Rockefeller family estate in Pocantico Hills given to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 1983. A network of carriage trails with the "Signature" Rockefeller style stone arched bridges to rival any of those at Acadia National Park in Maine, wind through an idyliic, carefully curated landscape. In addition, over 180 species of birds have been recorded at the Preserve and the National Audubon Society has designated it an IBA (Important Bird Area).
Within walking distance are the Preserve's nearest neighbors - The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, one of our favorite places to stop for lunch while in the area.
125 Phelps Way
Graham Hills Park is named for Dr. Isaac Gilbert Graham (1760 - 1848), a Revolutionary War army surgeon. According to records, he was a descendant of the Duke Montrose who was born in South Parish, CT in 1760. He studied medicine under his father, Dr. Andrew Graham, and entered the Revolutionary War army as a surgeon's assistant at an early age. He was highly regarded by Gen. George Washington for his abilities and staunch patriotism. At the close of the war, he settled in Unionville, CT where he practiced medicine for nearly 60 years.
Too bad he wasn't around to help Vinny.
The county acquired the Graham Hills County Park property in 1963 and opened it in 1973.
Graham Hills was originally a hamlet and station on the Putnam (Old Put) Railroad which came under the ownership of the New York Central in 1894. When the line first went into service, it's path travelled between the Eastview Station to the south and Briarcliff Manor to the North - about .75 mile west of the Graham Station area. This particular section of the rail line contained many wooden railroad trestles including (Trestle #6), which was 80 ft. high. It crossed the valley near what is today the Tarrytown Reservoir.
Within the first year, the line was rerouted to bypass the dangerous high trestle which slowed the railroad down. It was again rerouted because John D. Rockefller wanted to expand his estate at Pocantico and the noise was distracting. He paid for relocation to the eastern portion of his estate. The work was completed in 1931. The stations of Tarrytown Heights, Tower Hill, and Pocantico Hills were eliminated from the Putnam Line.
The new Station was supposed to have a large waiting room with lavatories along with an express and telegraph office. What actually was constructed was an open air shelter that may have cut "track distance" but was used by fewer people and generated no freight traffic.
The railroad chugged along until 1958. Today most of the railroad "right of way" has become the paved Putnam County Trailway.
The park entrance is located in Pleasantville on Rt. 117, just east of the Taconic State Parkway. You can also leave your cars at home. These trails are easy to get to from the Peekskill Metro North station.
Westchester County Parks : https://parks.westchestergov.com
Westchester Mountain Bike Association (WMBA: Westchester Mountain Bike Association