Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Northeast
Reload this Page >

Scenic gravel in/near Westchester County, NY?

Notices
Northeast Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New York |Rhode Island | Vermont |

Scenic gravel in/near Westchester County, NY?

Old 05-06-20, 08:12 AM
  #1  
NYNJrider
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Scenic gravel in/near Westchester County, NY?

just got my first gravel bike. rode the North County Trailway yesterday which was enjoyable but not gravel and a bit too crowded/close to the highway.

i've heard the Old Croton Aqueduct is OK.

anything else i might be missing? not looking for anything too long/elevated until i can get my legs under me.

thanks!
NYNJrider is offline  
Old 05-06-20, 12:46 PM
  #2  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,116

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1510 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 177 Posts
OCA is about it for dirt/gravel in Westchester, unless you want hills, then there's some dirt roads up in Bedford. Also some dirt roads up in Putnam between Rt 9D and 9 around Cold Spring and more just east of Rt 9 in the Fahnestock area.

Most of the local bike trails are paved. Only one I can think of that's gravel is the Walkill Valley trail, from New Paltz to just south of Kingston. Or the Deleware-Raritan Canal trail, goes south from New Brunswick, NJ to Trenton.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 05-06-20, 01:40 PM
  #3  
GlennR
I'm Lost
 
GlennR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Posts: 5,963

Bikes: Trek Emonda SLR, Sram eTap, Zipp 303

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1433 Post(s)
Liked 362 Times in 199 Posts
Originally Posted by NYNJrider View Post
i've heard the Old Croton Aqueduct is OK.
Not much of a trail. I did it a few years ago in the Fall and it was covered by leaves. Not well marked and had to pull out a map a few times. With leaves on the trees, you'll have limited views of the river.

We headed north from Riverdale and road all the way up. We took Metro North back.

Took a break on the way.


GlennR is offline  
Old 05-06-20, 02:21 PM
  #4  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,116

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1510 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 177 Posts
Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Not much of a trail. I did it a few years ago in the Fall and it was covered by leaves. Not well marked and had to pull out a map a few times. With leaves on the trees, you'll have limited views of the river.

We headed north from Riverdale and road all the way up. We took Metro North back.
Referring to the OCA,

I had to think about your post for a minute. I think the section from Lamartine Ave. in Yonkers to Sheldon Ave., just south of the Thruway is very easy to follow (18 miles RT). If it’s the sections thru Tarrytown and Ossining and then north to the dam that are what you are referring to as hard to follow, I agree totally. It meanders on and off local streets, disappears at times and is non existent at times in north Ossining. I’ve been lucky that my usual riding partner on the OCA lives in Ossining so knows the best route. When I rode this other times I stay on the southern section.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 05-06-20, 03:07 PM
  #5  
GlennR
I'm Lost
 
GlennR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Posts: 5,963

Bikes: Trek Emonda SLR, Sram eTap, Zipp 303

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1433 Post(s)
Liked 362 Times in 199 Posts
The Tarrytown detour was to visit a cousin who lives there.

Last edited by GlennR; 05-06-20 at 03:13 PM.
GlennR is offline  
Old 05-06-20, 09:41 PM
  #6  
Oso Polar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Westchester County, NY
Posts: 234

Bikes: Trek 3500, Jamis Renegade Escapade

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
Well, I live in Ossining, so my perspective on OCA is that it is quite a mess of a trail in quite a few places but if you want absolutely flat dirt/gravel trail in Westchester then this is the one. The nearest other way better (in all senses - much better maintained, easier to follow, more scenic) dirt trail will be Wallkill Valley Rail Trail - it is a pleasure to ride. Otherwise there is a ton of dirt and gravel roads around Katonah and Bedford but their typical elevation is 65-75 feet per mile and more. Something like this will be short and as flat as it gets: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31258865 28 miles, 66 ft/mile.
Oso Polar is offline  
Old 05-06-20, 10:05 PM
  #7  
JW in AK
Junior Member
 
JW in AK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Fairbanks
Posts: 12

Bikes: 2012 Marin Pioneer Trail, 2019 Twin Six Standard Rando

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
The Tarrytown detour was to visit a cousin who lives there.
It's hard to tell exactly from your map but it looks like your detour took you pretty much right to where I grew up. Dunnings Dr. by any chance? If not, you were super close. Small world.
JW in AK is offline  
Old 05-07-20, 07:05 PM
  #8  
Papa Tom
Senior Member
 
Papa Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,059

Bikes: The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996, although I modify it throughout the year for commuting, touring, and recreational riding.

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 51 Posts
Originally Posted by Oso Polar View Post
Well, I live in Ossining, so my perspective on OCA is that it is quite a mess of a trail in quite a few places but if you want absolutely flat dirt/gravel trail in Westchester then this is the one. The nearest other way better (in all senses - much better maintained, easier to follow, more scenic) dirt trail will be Wallkill Valley Rail Trail - it is a pleasure to ride. Otherwise there is a ton of dirt and gravel roads around Katonah and Bedford but their typical elevation is 65-75 feet per mile and more. Something like this will be short and as flat as it gets: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31258865 28 miles, 66 ft/mile.
Oso:

Has the Wallkill been restored at all since last summer? My wife and I drove several miles out of our way to ride it and were very disappointed in its poor condition. I know the OP is looking for gravel, but the Wallkill was really just broken up blacktop. We turned around after about two miles and drove back to Long Island.
Papa Tom is offline  
Old 05-07-20, 07:53 PM
  #9  
Oso Polar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Westchester County, NY
Posts: 234

Bikes: Trek 3500, Jamis Renegade Escapade

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
Hmm, I guess you refer to the stretch of the trail inside New Paltz itself? AFAIR it is the only part which is mostly broken pavement and stones. The northern end of the trail (part from the parking lot in Gardiner till the northern end of the trail) is a doubletrack dirt, grass and mud (after rainy days), South of Rosendale AFAIR mostly the same plus gravel (a fresh gravel in quite a few places). I'd say trail is mostly hardpack dirt and gravel. which is easy to ride in dry days - otherwise can have lots of puddles and mud. New Paltz section because of the broken pavement and stones surface (and the fact that it is by far the widest part of the trail with the least amount of surprises) is very easy and fast - and also most uncomfortable, it is a bone shaking part of the trail. I've never been on the trail before last year, so can't compare with the previous condition. As far as condition for a gravel bike - it is nice and easy ride except for some stony parts that are easy but a bit rough. I'd not recommend it for regular road bike on skinny tires - it'll definitely be rideable during dry period but IMHO it'll be a very, very rough and uncomfortable ride. IMHO this trail is perfect for something like gravel bike or hybrid. MTB will be an overkill and for road bike it is too uncomfortable in many places. BTW, one needs to be careful on Rosendale Trestle - this bridge surface is made from extremely slippery plastic, smooth as ice. Bike tires were actually doing a much better job than shoes - first time I nearly fell down dismounting.
Oso Polar is offline  
Old 05-08-20, 01:38 PM
  #10  
kumachan
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi, All, a bit of info on the most southern section of the Old Croton Aqueduct/Old Putnam Railway trail. I live in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and ride in Van Cortlandt Park, everyday. There is a mix of gravel, dirt and paved riding in there. The OCA/OPR starts (or ends, depending on which direction you're riding) at Van Cortlandt Park. Unfortunately, the OCA/OPR is closed in Vannie, right now, as the NYC section of the trail is undergoing some serious construction (backhoes & bulldozers). Yup, The City is finally working on paving that last section of hard pack dirt trail into a paved bike path. I believe that the bike path re-opens at the Alan B. Shepard Pl. access in Yonkers, though, if you wanted to ride the trail down and connect up with either MetroNorth or the subway in Riverdale.
kumachan is offline  
Old 05-08-20, 01:56 PM
  #11  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,116

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1510 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 177 Posts
Originally Posted by kumachan View Post
Hi, All, a bit of info on the most southern section of the Old Croton Aqueduct/Old Putnam Railway trail. I live in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and ride in Van Cortlandt Park, everyday. There is a mix of gravel, dirt and paved riding in there. The OCA/OPR starts (or ends, depending on which direction you're riding) at Van Cortlandt Park. Unfortunately, the OCA/OPR is closed in Vannie, right now, as the NYC section of the trail is undergoing some serious construction (backhoes & bulldozers). Yup, The City is finally working on paving that last section of hard pack dirt trail into a paved bike path. I believe that the bike path re-opens at the Alan B. Shepard Pl. access in Yonkers, though, if you wanted to ride the trail down and connect up with either MetroNorth or the subway in Riverdale.
The Old Croton Aqueduct and the Old Put RR trail are not the same trail in VCP, as far as I'm aware.

The Friends of the OCA have an interactive trail map here - https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/vi...420840887&z=16

You can see that the OCA is a bit to the east of the Old Put, which runs closer to the Saw Mill Parkway and which is the dirt path being paved by NYC Parks as an extension of the (Westchester) South County Trail.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 05-11-20, 03:12 PM
  #12  
basketbro
-
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: nyc
Posts: 28
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 8 Posts
i have the gpx file for the dirty apple 50 mile gravel run. perhaps you prefer different scenery, but i love riding through the dense woods, past lakes, through parks, etc. there's quite a bit of climbing, about 5000' if i remember correctly. dm me if you want it.
basketbro is offline  
Old 05-11-20, 03:56 PM
  #13  
Oso Polar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Westchester County, NY
Posts: 234

Bikes: Trek 3500, Jamis Renegade Escapade

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
BTW, Westchester Cycle Club has a ton of different routes (including gravel/dirt) in their route library in RWGPS and in "Past Rides" section of the web site. Need to be a club member though.
Oso Polar is offline  
Old 05-18-20, 09:18 AM
  #14  
NYNJrider
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rode the OCA for a short while from Sleepy Hollow to Ossining and had a blast.

Not sure if itís much different (worse?) north or south of the section I completed yesterday.
NYNJrider is offline  
Old 05-18-20, 01:51 PM
  #15  
arbee
Senior Member
 
arbee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: New York City
Posts: 112
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by NYNJrider View Post
Rode the OCA for a short while from Sleepy Hollow to Ossining and had a blast.

Not sure if itís much different (worse?) north or south of the section I completed yesterday.
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the report. My experience with the OCA: because most of it (excepting a few hundred feet in Ossining) is unpaved, the trail's condition varies ó predictably ó with the seasons. Right now ó "mud time" ó I avoid the OCA. Your route either bordered or traversed parts of the Rockefeller Park Preserve. I've found this part of the OCA to be typically in better condition than other trail segments. But. South and north of where the OCA trail crosses NY 9 in Scarborough / Briarcliff Manor: there are segments that have always been soggy even in the driest of drought conditions.
arbee is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.