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Suggestions for 4-day CC tour early May, roundtrip from/back to New York City?

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Suggestions for 4-day CC tour early May, roundtrip from/back to New York City?

Old 03-04-15, 10:41 PM
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Suggestions for 4-day CC tour early May, roundtrip from/back to New York City?

I'm looking for suggestions for a nice 4-day trip leaving from and returning to New York City. I'll be traveling with my girlfriend, each on our road bikes with minimal gear (saddle- / handlebar bags and a backpack).

While the Great Allegheny Passage would be excellent, it requires a car rental at both ends of the trip. Not to mention a 6-hour drive from NYC time that we'd much rather spend on bikes.

We only have four days. We want to leave our house on bikes and return on bikes. We're willing to take the Metro-North or NJ Transit or the like to get part of the way to a nice road that's relatively low on traffic. We're going to credit-card tour this, so inns, B&Bs, and hotels are where we are choosing to stay. It's one of three very short vacations we get this year, and we'd like to make the most of it.

We've done a few bike overnights in Westchester, Dutchess, and Ulster counties, but never a 3- or 4-night trip, and we're looking forward to it.

Anything come to mind?
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Old 03-05-15, 06:37 AM
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Daily mileage?

One possibility is to catch the last morning train from Hoboken or Seacauucus Jct. to Port Jervis, NY and then basically ride down the Delaware River, in part through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, to Trenton to catch the train back to NYC. Doing this in four days would mean relatively short mileage days. Let me know if you would like route details and lodging opportunities, which range from hotels/motels to B&Bs (some wildly expensive).
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Old 03-05-15, 02:32 PM
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My favorite trip starts in Port Chester, just at the NY/CT border (take Metro North) and goes all along the CT coast as far as Mystic, Stonington, Westerly (RI), or Narragansett (RI). I've done the bulk of this trip (Syosset to Pt. Jeff, LI, ferry to Bridgeport, CT, then ride to Mystic, CT -- approx 120 miles) in one 2 1/2 day ride, but I've never done it all in one shot. If you are strong riders and you don't feel the need to stop and take pictures every few miles like I did, you can probably make it as far as Mystic (a nice place to spend a day/night) in 3-4 days. From there, you can pedal back 11 miles or so to the New London Ferry and head back to Orient Point Long Island. If you ride another 10 miles or so into Greenport and time it right, you can take the LIRR all the way back to Manhattan.

This is just a rough sketch. I can give you directions if you decide to go this route. I do one or two segments of this ride every summer.
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Old 03-05-15, 10:09 PM
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Thanks — both sound interesting. I'm counting on about 50-60 miles on the average per day.

For the Port Jervis to Trenton ride, I take it that part of it overlaps with the Delaware and Raritan Canal Trail? Is there a tow path or a service road that hugs the river?

And Papa Tom, what sort of roads are you on for the CT coast ride?

My girlfriend is a good rider, but she dislikes riding on narrow road shoulders. We'd want to stick with generous road shoulders or low-traffic roads.

Originally Posted by indyfabz
Daily mileage?

One possibility is to catch the last morning train from Hoboken or Seacauucus Jct. to Port Jervis, NY and then basically ride down the Delaware River, in part through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, to Trenton to catch the train back to NYC. Doing this in four days would mean relatively short mileage days. Let me know if you would like route details and lodging opportunities, which range from hotels/motels to B&Bs (some wildly expensive).
Originally Posted by Papa Tom
My favorite trip starts in Port Chester, just at the NY/CT border (take Metro North) and goes all along the CT coast as far as Mystic, Stonington, Westerly (RI), or Narragansett (RI). I've done the bulk of this trip (Syosset to Pt. Jeff, LI, ferry to Bridgeport, CT, then ride to Mystic, CT -- approx 120 miles) in one 2 1/2 day ride, but I've never done it all in one shot. If you are strong riders and you don't feel the need to stop and take pictures every few miles like I did, you can probably make it as far as Mystic (a nice place to spend a day/night) in 3-4 days. From there, you can pedal back 11 miles or so to the New London Ferry and head back to Orient Point Long Island. If you ride another 10 miles or so into Greenport and time it right, you can take the LIRR all the way back to Manhattan.

This is just a rough sketch. I can give you directions if you decide to go this route. I do one or two segments of this ride every summer.
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Old 03-06-15, 05:52 AM
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The CT ride involves a nice mix of roads, and even a state park, if you choose a certain option. Connecticut's south shore traverses some very nice little towns, some blow-you-away soundfront mansions, and also some busy cities. At some points, you'd be on Rt. 1, where the shoulder might get narrow or even disappear in some spots. I prefer wide shoulders and bike lanes, too, but I've never had an oh-sh-t moment on any of my CT rides since the late 1990's.

There are so many miles and so many possible routes to take that I can't remember them all. Perhaps you'd want to take a look at Google Maps satellite view to get an idea of where you'd be riding.
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Old 03-06-15, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MoonJW
Thanks — both sound interesting. I'm counting on about 50-60 miles on the average per day.

For the Port Jervis to Trenton ride, I take it that part of it overlaps with the Delaware and Raritan Canal Trail? Is there a tow path or a service road that hugs the river?

And Papa Tom, what sort of roads are you on for the CT coast ride?

My girlfriend is a good rider, but she dislikes riding on narrow road shoulders. We'd want to stick with generous road shoulders or low-traffic roads.
If the Port Jervis to Trenton route is too short, you could go to Jim Thorpe, PA from Port Jervis via the DWG (riding the Old Mine Road) and then ride along the Lehigh River in PA to New Hope, PA and Trenton.
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Old 03-06-15, 09:14 AM
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A few years ago I mapped out a 3-4 day route in eastern PA for some friends who were planning to come visit from Louisiana and do a bike tour, but haven't ridden it yet. It's flat to rolling hills, and has opportunities for "inside" lodging. It goes roughly like this (adjusted for your needs).

1. Take NJT to Trenton station. Head north along the Delaware river on either the NJ or PA side. Nice B&Bs all along this route, including in New Hope, Lambertville, Stockton, and Frenchtown. Can either ride on the crushed gravel Delaware and Raritan Canal path, or along NJ hwy 29, most of which has a pretty good shoulder and is nice to ride. Plenty to see along here, too, from Washington's Crossing to interesting small towns.
2. North of Frenchtown, NJ, head inland into PA near Upper Black Eddy toward Quakertown, Pa., passing Noxamixon State Park (there's a decent hostel there). Some hills to get out of the river valley, but not too bad after that. Landscape is varied, fairly rural, and very pretty. Small towns en route. Hotels in Quakertown.
3. Continue east toward Green Lane County Park/Green Lane Reservoir.
4. At Green Lane Park connect with the Perkiomen Trail (finely crushed gravel) and head east toward Valley Forge Nat Park/Philadelphia. Perkiomen Trail connects with the paved Schuylkill River Trail, which leads eventually to downtown Philadelphia.
5. From Philly you could catch a SEPTA (Regional Rail) train to Trenton, then transfer to NJT. Bike are allowed on non-peak hours.

I have the maps I did somewhere if this interests you at all.
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Old 03-06-15, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MoonJW
For the Port Jervis to Trenton ride, I take it that part of it overlaps with the Delaware and Raritan Canal Trail? Is there a tow path or a service road that hugs the river?
IndyFabz will no doubt chime in regarding the upper Delaware, but for the lower part from Milford to Trenton it goes like this:

1. Milford to Frenchtown has no bike trail, but the road isn't too bad to ride. The shoulders are not that big, but traffic volume usually isn't too bad.
2. Frenchtown to Trenton can be done two ways: either via the Delaware-Raritan Canal path, which is usually in good repair and is crushed stone (ok with tires bigger than 28mm, 32 is better), or via Rt. 29. The road has huge shoulders from Frenchtown to Stockton and is a favorite of many local riders (including us); that's definitely what I would ride in that section. Traffic can be nonexistent or really busy, but the shoulder is so big that it's no problem. We used to ride up there pulling a baby trailer and had no worries. From Stockton to Lambertville the shoulders narrow and traffic can be a bit busier, but it's not usually too bad. Take the canal path there if you are worried about it (it's a lot prettier, too). From Lambertville to Trenton the road has ok shoulders, not huge but not too narrow, although traffic can pick up. Again, the bike path provides a nice alternative.

At some point in Trenton you'll have to ride the city streets to get to the NJT train station.
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Old 03-06-15, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by briwasson
A few years ago I mapped out a 3-4 day route in eastern PA for some friends who were planning to come visit from Louisiana and do a bike tour, but haven't ridden it yet. It's flat to rolling hills, and has opportunities for "inside" lodging. It goes roughly like this (adjusted for your needs).

<snip>

I have the maps I did somewhere if this interests you at all.
YES! A map would be awesome.

I think we're leaning in the direction of a NJ / PA route for this May trip. But the Connecticut ride is also a great idea. We'll save that for the summer.
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Old 03-06-15, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MoonJW
Thanks — both sound interesting. I'm counting on about 50-60 miles on the average per day.

For the Port Jervis to Trenton ride, I take it that part of it overlaps with the Delaware and Raritan Canal Trail? Is there a tow path or a service road that hugs the river?
My girlfriend is a good rider, but she dislikes riding on narrow road shoulders. We'd want to stick with generous road shoulders or low-traffic roads.
There is a trail between Frenchtown and Trenton. Some of it is along the old D&R feeder canal which was latter replaced by the Belvedere & Delaware RR. NJ 29 parallels the trail but riding it south of Lambertville is not advisable because of traffic and the total lack of shoulder. You can ride NJ 29 south of Frenchtown to the north end of Stockton as there is a wide shoulder. The trail is doable on a road bike. I have done Frenchtown to Lambertville several times on 23c tires.

The section through the DWG is very traffic light, especially on weekdays. PA 611 south of DWG to Portland, PA is traffic light outside of rush hours and there is a shoulder for much of the way. Portland to the crossing back to NJ at Belvedere is has very little traffic. I ride the section from Belvedere to Phillipsburg at least once a year and maybe see 3-4 moving cars in the 13 mile stretch. There are several close clearance rail overpasses which means you get no trucks. There are nice views of the river as you pass through secluded communities. Traffic in the center of Phillipsburg sucks, but you are out of that section pretty quickly. You end up back on a relatively quiet river side road all the way to Milford, NJ. There can be moderate traffic from Milford to Frenchtown depending on the time of day, but there is a shoulder.

You could probably do this in 3 days. IIRC, the last morning train gets you to Port Jervis in early afternoon. You could ride the 37 miles or so to DWG and stay at the Deer Head Inn which also has live jazz some nights. There is also a motel in town that has allegedly been renovated from the dump it once was. Another lodging option is to ride a few more miles to a Day's Inn in E. Stroudsburg. Maybe the Black Bass Hotel, the Stockton Inn or somewhere in Lambertville the second day and make it to Trenton on day 3. (The Black Bass is on the PA side of the river. Coming down the NJ side, you pass Bulls Island Recreation area about 4 miles above Stockton. There is a pedestrian bridge linking the park and PA. The Black Bass is right at the PA end of the bridge. The zinc bar there is originally from Maxime's in Paris.) One issue that comes to mind is that any B&Bs may have a two-night minimum over the weekends.
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