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  1. #1
    Senior Member stayfed's Avatar
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    Steepest Climbs in NYC that aren't too far from Manhattan

    Hey.

    I am looking for the steepest and most difficult climbs accessible via Manhattan either on the Train or from biking. I don't drive and I am on the hunt for some climbs that will break me.

    Roberts site has been a great resource but many of the climbs that I want to do are too far away.

    I've found some short steep climbs around Nyack and even a secret one I've found off River Road. But these are all rather short climbs.

    Anyone have some tips? Maybe something off the Path train?

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Can you take bikes on the Staten Island ferry? I seem to recall that Todt Hill is pretty steep. Maybe you could try riding up Mt. Trashmore, the Great Kills landfill. Widely rumored to be the only man made object you can see from the space shuttle.

    Seriously, I think you have to get out to the Catskills, or over to NJ, for real climbs. I have a buddy who lives in Montclair, and his Strava rides usually show some cat 4 and cat 3 climbs. Might be a few on the North Shore of LI, too, if you took the LIRR Port Washington branch and rode east. Nothing really long and grinding, though, I suspect.

    Of course, being Strava, those cat 3 climbs might not be what most people would refer to them as. YMMV.

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    Something off the PATH? Heh. Maybe the Col de Hoboken or Passo Jersey City.

    The Roberts' site has internal links to climbs in NJ. If you put in the miles, many of the top rated climbs in Hunterdon County (e.g., Ludlow Sta., Forge Hill, Iron Bridge, Fox Farm, Bloomsbury) are reachable on a loop ride from High Bridge. So are Buffalo Hollow Rd. off SR 31 in High Bridge and Slyker from CR 513 in Califon.

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    Some steep but short stuff on the north shore of L.I.

    Moores Hil Rd. off Cove Rd. if heading east, or of Rt 25A if heading west. Then Mill Hill Rd. heading west off Shore Rd.

    Both these about 1 mile from the Oyster Bay LIRR.

    Then ton's of repeated hills all over the Nassau and western Suffolk north shore.

  5. #5
    Senior Member stayfed's Avatar
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    I think I will hop on the MTA North this weekend and explore Pawling! Will definitely climb the Blackberry Rd suggested on Roberts site and see what else I can found on my way over to Cold Springs.

  6. #6
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    http://nycc.org/rides/regional-hill-grades

    Bergen County
    Alpine (police station) Hill—to grade change at top 1.07 400' 7.1%
    Churchill 0.69 240' 6.6%
    Closter Dock – 501/crest at Ridge 1.97 415' 4.0%
    E Clinton – Dean/crest south of Woodland 1.13 340' 5.7%
    E Clinton – Old Smith/crest south of Woodland 0.52 225 8.2%
    Speer 0.33 198' 11.4%
    Walnut – from Lydecker 0.55 190' 6.5%
    Englewood Boatbasin (River Rd) to crest going north 0.34 140' 7.8%
    Forbidden Hill (2nd half of above) to pkwy 0.40 180' 8.5%
    Ross Dock Hill 0.25 115' 8.7%
    Under Cliff 0.21 145' 13.0%
    Skyline Drive (Rt 91) – to first crest from south 1.44 605' 8.0%
    Skyline Drive (Rt 91) – distance adjusted minus flats* * 605' 10.1%
    Dutchess Co
    Long Hill Rd from Hortontown Rd to crest 0.87 550' 12.0%
    Long Hill Rd from East Hook Rd to crest 0.58 467' 15.2%
    Miller Hill Rd, Hortontown Rd to crest 1.22 653' 10.1%
    Miller Hill Rd, Hortontown Rd to Woodmont Rd 0.64 431 12.7%
    Rockland County
    Piermont/Sparkill:
    Rockland Rd from Ferdon to crest of hill 0.41 147' 6.8%
    Nyack/Upper Grand View:
    S Highland Av/Blvd bet Old Mtn. & Tweed 0.24 111' 8.8%
    Upper Nyack:
    Old Mtn. Rd from Broadway to 9W 0.61 203' 6.3%
    Upper Rockland County:
    Ash – to divide just short of 9W 0.32 205' 12.1%
    Little Tor 0.80 420' 9.9%
    South Mtn. Rd to the Orchards 1.60 360' 4.3%
    S Mtn. Rd Orchards Hill – steep section 0.69 240 6.6%
    State Line Hill - Oak Tree/crest at state line 0.57 167' 5.5%
    Mott Farm Rd from north entrance 9w to Buckberg 0.82 280' 6.5%
    Liberty (Dunderberg) going north 0.90 274' 5.9%
    Liberty (Dunderberg) going south 1.50 274' 3.6%
    Clausland Mtn. Rd – 1st 0.31 m from S. Greenbush .31 180' 11%
    Rockland Lake Hill 9W – Lake Rd to crest 0.83 306' 7.0%
    Calls Hollow Rd, 1st hill south of Willow Grove Rd 0.68 158' 4.4%
    Rockland/Orange County
    Harriman State Park:
    Gate Hill to Lake Welch 1.45 520' 6.8%
    Gate Hill to Rt 106 junction 0.61 320' 9.9%
    Rt 106 – rise w of Central Hwy/Lake Welch 4.85 960' 3.7%
    Rt 106 – east from 17A to change in grade 0.96 266' 5.2%
    7 Lakes Dr., hill 1.5 miles north of Rt 17 1.50 360' 4.5%
    7 Lakes Dr. – 9w to Bear Mtn. Circle 0.59 162' 5.2%
    7 Lakes Dr. – 9w to start of Perkins 2.42 630' 4.8%
    7 Lakes Dr – Bear Mtn. Inn Cir/start Perkins 1.80 428' 4.5%
    Perkins Memorial Drive 2.10 660' 6.0%
    Arden Valley Rd – final climb to crest 1.13 283' 4.7%
    Tiorati Brook Rd – to height just before lake 2.09 445' 4.0%
    Tiorati Brook Rd – distance adjusted minus flats* * 445' 6.3%
    Orange County
    Hogback from west, steepest continuous climb 1.8 620' 6.5%
    Mt Peter – east to west 1.60 547' 6.4%
    Highland Av (S Blvd) – Old Mtn. Rd south to crest 0.18 111' 11.7%
    Rockland Rd – from Ferdon to crest 0.38 171' 8.5%
    Rt 6 – from Queensboro Circle west to 1st crest 1.00 418' 7.9%
    Greenwood Lake/Warwick:
    Kain Rd 0.73 580' 15.0%
    Greene County
    Clove Platte (Devil's Kitchen) 1.95 1129' 11.0%
    Palenville to Tannersville Rt 23A 4.00 1230' 5.8%
    Ulster County
    Mohonk – west (6/6A) to east (top) 1.91 713' 7.1%
    Minnewaska – 299/Trapps Bridges (1st crest) 1.41 468' 6.3%
    Minnewaska – hairpin/Trapps Bridge 0.57 218' 7.2%
    Minnewaska – Berm Rd/Lake Minnewaska 5.49 1112' 3.9%
    Greenville Rd – start of climb to crest, Greenville 3.51 985' 5.3%
    Mountain Rd – final climb from east 0.65 288' 8.4%
    Peekamouse (Rt 42) – "wall" from north 0.78 508' 12.3%
    Peekamouse (Rt 42) – from south 6.64 604' 1.8%
    Rt 52 west of Walker Valley – to crest 6.64 604' 1.8%
    Slide Mtn. (Rt 47) – final 1.21 miles from north 1.21 665' 10.4%
    South Gully Road 3.05 1240' 7.7%
    Vista Maria – from 52 to where grade flattens 1.46 748' 10.2%
    Vista Maria – steep section 0.47 400' 16.1%
    Yagerville Rd – 55A to crest 3.37 1060' 6.0%
    Sullivan/Ulster County
    Red Hill Rd – from Sugarloaf to crest 0.88 345' 7.4%
    Sugarloaf Rd – start of climb to Red Hill Rd 3.24 1255' 7.3%
    Sugarloaf Rd – top 0.77 to Red Hill Rd 0.77 482' 11.9%
    Sugarloaf Rd – same top 0.77 to 2500' level 1.21 755' 11.8%
    Sugarloaf/Red Hill Rd – to crest Red Hill 4.12 1600' 7.4%
    Sullivan County
    Glade Hill Rd 1.90 1259' 12.5%
    More Hill Road – start of climb to flattens 2.3 1117' 9.2%
    Westchester County
    Roaring Brook Rd 0.75 337' 8.5%
    Whippoorwill Rd to top from 120 2.57 298' 2.2%
    Whippoorwill Rd – 1st from 120 1.00 200' 3.8%
    Whippoorwill Crossing 1.42 292' 3.9%
    Whippoorwill from 117 – steep section only 0.85 306' 6.8%
    Whippoorwill Rd East – steep section only 0.52 200' 7.3%
    Hardscrabble Rd – 120/top of 1st hill 0.70 210' 5.7%
    Hardscrabble Rd – from 120, start 0.10 50' 9.5%
    Anthony’s Nose going south from Bear Mtn. Bridge 0.70 220' 5.9%
    Rt 448 – Rt 9 to crest 3.00 440' 2.8%
    Rt 448 – Rt 9 to 2.2 miles 2.20 403' 3.5%
    North White Plains:
    Route 22 north from Reservoir Rd 0.37 64' 3.3%
    Armonk:
    Rt 22 between Cox and Banksville Rd 0.70 203' 5.5%
    Hartsdale/White Plains:
    hill on Walworth Av/Fisher Av 0.18 55' 5.8%
    Kitchawan (Town of New Castle, NY):
    Pines Bridges Rd from Rt 134, 1st 0.38 150' 7.5%
    Putnam County
    E Mtn Rd, start of climb east side to crest 1.58 7.18' 8.6%
    Cold Spring/McKeel Corners (Rt 301):
    Main St, Cld Spng at depot to Rt 9 2.79 440' 3.0%
    Main St, Cld Spng at depot to crest Rt 301 6.61 1158' 3.3%
    Indian Spring Rd – west of 9D to Dennytown Rd 4.39 760' 3.3%
    Indian Spring Rd – Loch Lyall to above Reeves Pd 0.70 310' 8.4%
    Canopus Hill Rd – whole length 1.36 521' 7.3%
    Canopus Hill Rd – steep section to Albany Post Rd 0.29 180' 11.8%
    Joes Hill Rd – steep section 0.04 50' 23.7%
    Joes Hill Rd – section below steep section 0.10 50' 9.5%
    Essex County
    Whiteface ’ from 86 to top climb 7.95 3567' 8.5%

  7. #7
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    Ft. Lee, NJ

    Ft. Lee Rd, (In Ft. Lee, NJ), has a serious, 1 mile hill. It is a mile from the GWB.

    To get there from Manhattan via bike: Go left once off the GWB bike path. Make the first right, then quick left, then next right, onto Main Street, (which will later become Ft Lee Rd). Stay on there, heading north - west. It will become a downhill. Once it levels out, at the railroad crossing. Turn around and head back up it.

    Lots of roads around there are hilly, but the one above is the closest and easiest to explain.

    If in Staten Island: Start on Bay Street and head onto Victory Blvd. for a 1 mile leg buster.
    Last edited by Cyclerock; 10-15-13 at 04:17 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
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    I did the rides from 9W to the start of Perkins, and then Perkins, just this past weekend. It isn't that steep but it is long and steady uphill with only one or two flats and almost 5 full miles. The view from the top is spectacular. The other good hill on this list, the one every serious cyclist does, is Alpine Hill to the police station. 7.1% and just over a mile.

  9. #9
    Pug
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    High Modulus Pug's Avatar
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    You can take Metro North to Bear Mountain.

    You can also take NJ Transit to the Peapack NJ station. Peapack is centrally located to a lot of nice climbs including Black River, Pennbrook Rd (aka Jacob's Ladder) and a lot more. You can easily do 3,500-5,000 ft of elevation over a 40-50 mile ride.

    If you're REALLY serious about breaking yourself then ride from Peapack out to the Washington Twp area that's between the Delaware River and Route 57. There are climbs, like Fiddler's Elbow, that ramp up to 20%+ inclines. You can find more info by Google searching on "Hillier Than Thou" routes. Most of the NJ monsters are on that ride.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pug View Post
    You can take Metro North to Bear Mountain.

    You can also take NJ Transit to the Peapack NJ station. Peapack is centrally located to a lot of nice climbs including Black River, Pennbrook Rd (aka Jacob's Ladder) and a lot more. You can easily do 3,500-5,000 ft of elevation over a 40-50 mile ride.

    If you're REALLY serious about breaking yourself then ride from Peapack out to the Washington Twp area that's between the Delaware River and Route 57. There are climbs, like Fiddler's Elbow, that ramp up to 20%+ inclines. You can find more info by Google searching on "Hillier Than Thou" routes. Most of the NJ monsters are on that ride.
    Just to clarify, while the train station is in Metro North territory, it's actually run by NJ Transit so it goes out of Penn/Hoboken (if you leave from Penn you have to transfer at Secaucus Junction for a Port Jervis-bound train). The closest you can get to Bear Mountain via train easily is the Sloatsburg station. While it has service all day, it doesn't have the frequency that the Main/Bergen lines have, so check the schedules.

  11. #11
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    I went to Bear mountain last weekend. I took the train to Peekskill (1 hour from manhattan on metro north) and it's a 5 mile hilly ride to bear mountain, and then the hill is about 1300 vertical feet to the top. My average speed going up was like 8mph, coming down it was 35mph. Really nice especially with all of the fall colors.

  12. #12
    Senior Member stayfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pug View Post
    You can take Metro North to Bear Mountain.

    You can also take NJ Transit to the Peapack NJ station. Peapack is centrally located to a lot of nice climbs including Black River, Pennbrook Rd (aka Jacob's Ladder) and a lot more. You can easily do 3,500-5,000 ft of elevation over a 40-50 mile ride.

    If you're REALLY serious about breaking yourself then ride from Peapack out to the Washington Twp area that's between the Delaware River and Route 57. There are climbs, like Fiddler's Elbow, that ramp up to 20%+ inclines. You can find more info by Google searching on "Hillier Than Thou" routes. Most of the NJ monsters are on that ride.
    Thanks! I went to Bear Mountain recently after not climbing for awhile. The ride is fun but it's really not challenging. I am longing for the west coast. I think I am homesick.

  13. #13
    Pug
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    Quote Originally Posted by stayfed View Post
    I am longing for the west coast. I think I am homesick.
    If you're looking for west coast kind of climbs you'll need to head north towards VT and NH or south towards NC. Neither option is easy to do without a car though.

    Basically, most of the "big" climbs in the metro NY area top out at about 600-1,000 feet. I'd guess the next big stepup in elevation would be Mt Greylock in MA which is about 2,500 ft but it's not easily accessible via mass transit.

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