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Distant and wild, these peaks are actually an eroded plateau, though you would not be faulted mistaking them for mountains. The Catskills offer long passes with few crossing roads, deeply wooded forests and solitude.
Though still many miles ride to and from, Poughkeepsie is the Metro North rail head to this region. Also accessible by car, the Catskills host the NYCC's Columbus Day weekend.
The Catskills are where Rip Van Winkle slept and early American landscape artists honed their skills. They are as far away as 2 hours on a train plus a concerted effort on your bike. But they are as close as water flowing out of your tap and a well planned all day ride.