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Old 09-27-09, 07:19 AM   #1
thesearethesuns
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Route from Manhattan to Delaware Water Gap, NJ ??

Hello all, I'm looking for the most direct route from Manhattan, via GW Bridge, to Delaware Water Gap National Park on the far opposite end of New Jersey (from there, I wish to continue north through the park and link up with route 6, PA.) What would be the best bicycle route for crossing New Jersey East to West? Does any one know of any bicycle paths/greenways that run east/west in New Jersey? At the very least some good back roads/county roads for long distance riding? Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-27-09, 08:02 AM   #2
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Bicycle tours in NJ .. just like that; a bunch of sites. A good one is avail. thru an official NJ dept. of .. I own a book myself published some time ago but.......
I don't believe it'll be easy to have somebody give directions, kind of extensive. Forums here that are local to NYC may be a place to post as well.
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Old 09-27-09, 08:23 AM   #3
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Yeah, nothing too straightforward on the NJ state sites. I was just wondering if any one here has experience with this route, because the Delaware Water Gap seems to be a popular park destination.
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Old 09-27-09, 08:35 AM   #4
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It's not such a good idea to try and ride across Bergen and Passaic Counties unless you are really familiar with the area. Your best bet would be to ride along the NJ/NY state line on the New York side. From the GWB take 9W up to Rockland County, and then ride through Rockland and Orange Counties in New York, and get into the Gap at Port Jervis. It' more miles, but a lot less stressful and dangerous.
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Old 09-27-09, 08:36 AM   #5
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If I encounter the book I have, I'll post it, it focused on all things touring in Northern NJ. I bought it at the Shore for a beach read, it was quite good, it realy broke-it-down from a cyclist's perpective.
I don't know, maybe a book can be had thru Amazon if things don't pan-out here. It ill be a wonderfull ride, NJ is no joke , LOTS o' hills.
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Old 09-27-09, 10:21 AM   #6
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It's not such a good idea to try and ride across Bergen and Passaic Counties unless you are really familiar with the area. Your best bet would be to ride along the NJ/NY state line on the New York side. From the GWB take 9W up to Rockland County, and then ride through Rockland and Orange Counties in New York, and get into the Gap at Port Jervis. It' more miles, but a lot less stressful and dangerous.
The ride down from Port Jervis is really nice. Some of the roads in the Delaware Water Gap are pretty beat up after this last winter.
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Old 09-27-09, 09:58 PM   #7
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It's not such a good idea to try and ride across Bergen and Passaic Counties unless you are really familiar with the area. Your best bet would be to ride along the NJ/NY state line on the New York side. From the GWB take 9W up to Rockland County, and then ride through Rockland and Orange Counties in New York, and get into the Gap at Port Jervis. It' more miles, but a lot less stressful and dangerous.
Yeah, this sounds better actually. I've been spending alot of time on Google maps trying to wrap my head around Northern Jersey, but it doesn't look too feasible for a first-timer really. Even some "county routes" that open their shoulders and narrow their number of lanes further beyond the Jersey Turnpike, etc. take a while to do so when heading from the GWB, and in fact are not navigable until you pass some of the larger urban/semi-urban areas like Patterson, Newark, etc. I am thinking specifically of route 46, which opens up later on, but both require several other feeder roads until that point is reached.

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From the GWB take 9W up to Rockland County, and then ride through Rockland and Orange Counties in New York, and get into the Gap at Port Jervis. It' more miles, but a lot less stressful and dangerous.
So, route 9W to Bear Mountain, then US 6 to Port Jervis? I'm looking to link up with US 6 to cross Pennsylvania anyhow, I wonder if the section that runs through New York is bicycle friendly.
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Old 09-28-09, 07:18 AM   #8
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However, climbing up Bear Mountain is no joke.
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Old 10-11-09, 09:00 AM   #9
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Okay, just got back yesterday from riding the proposed route through Rockland County to link with Route 6 to PA. Based on the above bits of advice, I ended up avoiding Bear Mountain altogether, and looked to link up to Route 6 via southern feeder routes that skirted the border towns of southern New York State, all in an effort to bypass heavy NJ traffic. In theory, this sounded like the best solution, and, without realizing the types of grades I would be up against in this area, I was set to take this on. This route ended up being a COMPLETE disaster.

While in Rockland County I spent roughly half my time literary pushing my bike up some incredibly steep hills while traversing residential areas, after having come off 9W to meet with Route 59 to cut across the southern tier of the state. Prior to any of that, the GWB crossing itself was impossible without dismounting and carrying bicycle, panniers and gear up and down several flights of stairs on both sides of the bridge, including a secondary high pedestrian bridge crossing the highway on the NJ side. In the process I must have thrown out my back--really not worth it. Next time, I'm paying to take the ferry to Liberty Park, and I would suggest that any reasonable person who is touring fully loaded and is looking to make a Lower Hudson crossing into NJ do the same. In the end, with back thrown out and weary legs, I made roughly 50 miles before reaching Suffern, NY and took the NJ Transit Rail (lucky for me) home from there.

Lessons learned: Rockland County is WAY too hilly to cross if you're looking to get to Northern PA from NYC, GWB crossing is a *** unless you are looking to do a commute/day tour.

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Old 10-11-09, 09:19 AM   #10
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To respond to old and new's comment--9W gets better going north after hitting the town of Tenafly. Before that, Englewood Cliffs is very hilly, and with two lanes of traffic and essentially benign "Share the Road" signs, as far as truckers are concerned, dangerous. That said, I would suggest to anyone going north bound into the Palisades Park area to consider biking on sidewalks on the left side of the road, adjacent to the industrial parks. There is one point where it eventually ends, but that's literary the block before Tenafly which is the one motor lane/one wide shoulder transition point.
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Old 10-11-09, 11:06 AM   #11
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To respond to old and new's comment--9W gets better going north after hitting the town of Tenafly. Before that, Englewood Cliffs is very hilly, and with two lanes of traffic and essentially benign "Share the Road" signs, as far as truckers are concerned, dangerous. That said, I would suggest to anyone going north bound into the Palisades Park area to consider biking on sidewalks on the left side of the road, adjacent to the industrial parks. There is one point where it eventually ends, but that's literary the block before Tenafly which is the one motor lane/one wide shoulder transition point.
Sorry you had such a bad experience, but I can assure you that there is no east-west route in North Jersey that would be better than the Rockland-Orange, New York route.

If you don't know the local roads in Bergen County, I will guarantee that you will get lost, or pick a route that is not rideable. Even if you managed to get across Bergen, the hills in Passaic and Sussex Counties are even worse than the hills in Rockland.

For future reference, you can avoid the worst parts of Route 9W by ride south from the GWB in Fort Lee and getting into the Palisades Interstate Park. When you get in the park, you can ride the park road all the way to Alpine and get on route 9W from there.

BTW, why all the stairs on the GWB? Did you go across the north walkway? The north walkway is usually closed unless they are doing work on the South walkway. I guess it was just your lucky day.
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Old 10-12-09, 10:31 AM   #12
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Check out the book "cycling the atlantic coast" (donna aikenberry) I believe the author rode the area you are looking into
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