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  1. #1
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    Central NJ to NY Catskills on trails?

    I am probably showing my cycling naivete by asking this, but anyone know if this can be done strictly on trails yet, without coming into much contact with cars?

    Has anyone mapped a route? I don't care if it is a mountain bike trail, I just don't like coming into contact with cars and trucks, if I can avoid it.

    I once asked a similar question on these forums and the reply was that I could definitely get to the catskills by just riding local back roads with local traffic but they didn't provide a route.

    Has such a route already been plotted somewhere or is this something I would have to plot and work out on my own?

    Of course, I would like to camp along the way, if possible.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I am going to go ouit on a limb here and say it cannot be done.

    If you ask for google bike directions between two point the "logic" usually routes you onto available trails. You might try that for starters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I am going to go ouit on a limb here and say it cannot be done.

    If you ask for google bike directions between two point the "logic" usually routes you onto available trails. You might try that for starters.
    Thanks for the reply. I tried the Google Maps Bike trails thing and I can't really tell myself since it lets you drag the A to B route pretty much anywhere on the map you want.

    With all the roads between the two states I would be surprised if there wasn't a way to do it; at least very small local roads, if not entirely by trail, which I admit is a long shot under the current level of trail development. I may have to plot the route entirely by car first, unfortunately.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jim Kukula's Avatar
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    I live in the Catskills and my parents live near King of Prussia PA. I have been contemplating a ride to my parents' place! I would go through NJ. Someplace I had made a list of campgrounds but I can't find it. I bet you could take really nice roads almost the whole way.

    Here is a recent ride I took that headed toward NJ, anyway!

    http://www.mapmyride.com/us/woodstoc...oute-266660785

    One of my ideas was a bit of wild camping in the state land just east of Ellenville. Depends a lot how far you want to ride each day. Some folks would / could do central NJ to the Catskills in a single shot!

    ah, found my list...

    Shawangunk Ridge State Forest
    High Point State Park
    Stephens State Park
    Nockamixon State Park

    Short distances between so this is a lazy sort of riding!
    Last edited by Jim Kukula; 09-20-13 at 08:43 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jim Kukula's Avatar
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    Definitely look too at the ACA Atlantic Coast route, section 2. It goes through New Paltz, which is right by the Catskills, and also has a spur to Summit, NJ.

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    Senior Member Jim Kukula's Avatar
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    Here might be a piece of a route!


    https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=O...rce=gplus-ogsb
    Last edited by Jim Kukula; 09-20-13 at 09:07 PM.

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    You guys are awesome! Looks like outstanding information! I'm outside for the day but will look through everything presented thoroughly when I get home.
    Last edited by chillspike; 09-21-13 at 07:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kukula View Post
    I live in the Catskills and my parents live near King of Prussia PA. I have been contemplating a ride to my parents' place! I would go through NJ. Someplace I had made a list of campgrounds but I can't find it. I bet you could take really nice roads almost the whole way.

    Here is a recent ride I took that headed toward NJ, anyway!

    http://www.mapmyride.com/us/woodstoc...oute-266660785

    One of my ideas was a bit of wild camping in the state land just east of Ellenville. Depends a lot how far you want to ride each day. Some folks would / could do central NJ to the Catskills in a single shot!

    ah, found my list...

    Shawangunk Ridge State Forest
    High Point State Park
    Stephens State Park
    Nockamixon State Park

    Short distances between so this is a lazy sort of riding!
    That's another possible option. I could perhaps plot the route through a chain of parks going all the way to the Delaware Water gap and then get on any trail that runs between the DWG and Sullivan and Ulster counties.

    This doesn't seem as daunting as I thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kukula View Post
    I live in the Catskills and my parents live near King of Prussia PA. I have been contemplating a ride to my parents' place!
    The ACA route from Port Jervis, NY through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and then down the river to Lamberville is quite nice. I have done that to Philly in three days the last two springs. No need to stealth camp. You can camp at Worthington State Forest on Old Mine Rd. and in Upped Black Eddy, across from Milford, NJ. From there, you can easily make it to the KofP area the next day

    These were taken between Matamoras, PA and Milford, NJ during this spring's ride:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez20...7633368316419/

    I skipped Worthington this year and instead camped at Camp Taylor near Columbia, NJ. Right next to Camp Taylor is the Lakota Wolf Preserve. Took the tour of the preserve the next morning and then rode down to Columbia on NJ 94

    Going through the DWGNRA is fabulous. At the right times of year, the traffic is extremely light. There are a good number of bears in the area, so stealth camping poses some issues. That is the reason you will see bear-proof trash cans in some areas and why Worthingon has a bear locker in one of the group site.

    The route along the river south of Portland, PA is also extremely nice. It gets better south of Belvidere until Phillipsburg. I ride in Hunterdon and Warren Counties several times a year. In August I did a loop ride out Frenchtown that icnluded the stretch between Belivdere and Phillipsburg. In that stretch we saw fewer than 10 moving vehicles. Once you get south of Phillipsburg, it gets nice again until Milford. From Milford to Frenchtown you have some traffic. At Frenchtown, you can pick up the D&R feeder canal trail to L'Ville.

    Send me a PM if you have any questions.

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    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    It couldn't be more impossible. It could be done mostly on back roads though.

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    Senior Member Jim Kukula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    The ACA route from Port Jervis, NY through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and then down the river to Lamberville is quite nice.
    Thanks for the encouragement and the route tips! It's a natural next big ride for me! Probably two weeks there and back with some time in between hanging out with my parents! I think I have the equipment and stamina, now just to figure out how to carve out the time!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Jim Kukula's Avatar
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    as for the bears, I am taking steps... that's a bear canister on my rear rack!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kukula View Post
    Thanks for the encouragement and the route tips! It's a natural next big ride for me! Probably two weeks there and back with some time in between hanging out with my parents! I think I have the equipment and stamina, now just to figure out how to carve out the time!
    Two week there and back? Where would you be starting from? Port Jervis to the trail in Conshohocken, which would help you get to the KofP area is 3 relatively easy days. (You could get picked up in Valley Forge Park.) And no need for a bear canister if you don't stealth camp in the NRA. Personally, I wouldn't bother with stealth camping. Worthington is only $25/night for non-Jersey residents. And it's a nice spot. Showers and right along the river. The private place in Upper Black Eddy (Dog Wood Haven) is owned by a nice guy who might give you a cyclist discount. He always charges me only $15. The first time I stayed there he offered me a beer.

    There used to be a very nice state park campground at Bull's Island between Frenchtown and Stockton, but the campground park is closed. Years of root damaged caused by river flooding has made the trees too unstable for it to be safe.

    Further up, there is a private campground outside of Port Jervis in NJ on CR 521 just over the border from NY.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jim Kukula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Two week there and back?
    I'm in Woodstock, so my five day ride down was

    Woodstock to Shawangunk Ridge State Forest
    Shawangunk Ridge State Forest to High Point State Park
    High Point State Park to Stephens State Park
    Stephens State Park to Nockamixon State Park
    Nockamixon State Park to King of Prussia

    ten days of riding plus a couple days with the folks makes twelve and that's just about two weeks!

    Google maps says about 200 miles by bike without any zig zags for campgrounds. Probably 220 is more realistic. I can imagine four days each way at my pace and endurance. Five is taking it easy a bit!

    Thanks again for the specifics! Actually my parents live right by Valley Forge Park. My last visit there, my brother and I fixed up the old Schwinn Suburbans that my parents have had for decades but essentially never ridden.

    Interesting about the bears. My big overnight experiment a couple weeks ago was at Little Pond state campground in Andes, near Margaretville. They had signs posted about keeping all your food locked up in your car. My bear canister wasn't disturbed overnight. But I know there are lots of bears around there, so precautions are not out of place. But I don't think those big animals are so frequent along the Delaware Water Gap.


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    Ah. I thought you meant two weeks riding each way.

    Bears are most certainly present in the DWG National Recreation/Worthington Forrest Area. I have done the Black Bear Century through there the last two years. The first time I just missed seeing one. We came around a curve on the lower section of Old Mine Rd. south of Millbrook Village and only a few miles from the Worthington campground. There was an oncoming Jeep stopped and flashing its lights at us, and the driver was pointing into the woods. I pulled up to him and he told me a bear had just ran across the road. It had come down a hill, walked through a drainage ditch and left muddy footprints on the blacktop. Last year, the caterer was driving between rest stops and snapped a photo of a bear with her iPhone. And a couple working one of the rest stops who lives on the upper section of Old Mine Rd. said they frequently see them behind their house all the time. They live a little into the woods across from a historic house in the park. (It's the oldest standing house in Somerset County.) The picnic area at that house has bear-resistant trash cans. Now I understand why. Three years ago, the official event phtographer was snapping photos when two bears crossed the road in the background. Made for some neat shots. In 2003 a hunter bagged an 864 lb. black bear in Pike County, which is not that far from the NJ side of the NRA. It was believed to be same bear that had previously ripped someone's garage door open in a nearby NJ area. The wildlife officals believe he found his way across the river into PA.

    FYI...I don't think Noackamixon State Park has camping, although there are some private campgrounds in the area.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jim Kukula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Ah. I thought you meant two weeks riding each way.
    Yeah, in one direction it might a nice walk for two weeks!

    At Nockamixon I was thinking about the Weisel hostel:

    http://www.buckscounty.org/governmen...outWeisel.aspx

    probably it is hard to get a spot in the main season but I don't know. I need to study your suggestions more closely. The route I'd plotted uses most of that bike path through Schwenksville and Collegeville, keeping a bit further away from Philadelphia. I went to college in Princeton egads 40 years ago and used to ride out to Lambertville and along the Delaware and at least back then it was really nice. I am not so sure about the roads around say Doylestown or Newtown. I drive through there sometimes on my way to visit my parents & certainly some roads are narrow twisty busy & remind me of Westchester County, i.e. worth a major detour to avoid. In a happy world I would be able to ride down there often enough to experiment and refine my route! Anyway I can learn from the experiments and refinements of others, so thanks much for sharing!


    I have seen quite a few bears on my local rides. One time I saw a bear running full speed across Route 28. Fortunately it was a good quarter mile away! But wow those bears can really move! Up Silver Hollow Rd in Willow I was grinding my way up the hill and there was a bear in somebody's trash just maybe 20 feet off the road. The bear saw me and started to move away and then just figured I wasn't a threat and went back to the trash. I just kept on going up the hill. That's one thing about the pace that I climb, nobody would interpret it as "running away". Dignified, rather, I like to think!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chillspike View Post
    I once asked a similar question on these forums and the reply was that I could definitely get to the catskills by just riding local back roads with local traffic but they didn't provide a route.
    I have a route from Asbury Park to Glen Spey.

    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1527605

    The route was created for http://bike4chai.org Logistics dictated that they go through Suffern but it's probably not the most direct route.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezalel View Post
    I have a route from Asbury Park to Glen Spey.

    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1527605

    The route was created for http://bike4chai.org Logistics dictated that they go through Suffern but it's probably not the most direct route.

    I can suggest a more direct routing between Warren NJ and West Milford NJ that also will have less traffic. Let me know if you're interested.

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