Westchester South & North County Trailways

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General Information
Way Points: 

Van Cortlandt Park (start) > Old Putnam Trail> South County Trailways > Elmsford > North County Trailways > Putnam Trailways> Brewster (end)

Brewster (start)> Putnam Trailways> North County Trailways> Elmsford > South County Trailways> Old Putnam Trail> Van Cortlandt Park end)

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7308984 southbound RWGPS link

Hannah Borgeson/Hank Schiffman
Signature Route : 
B, C
Vertical Gain: 
Difficulty Rating: 
2 out of 5
Attached Files

RWGPS link is northbound route. It is 1800' gain

RWGPS link in Waypoints, futher above, is southbound route. It is 1400' gain.

I have updated the cue sheet that Hannah had originally submitted. So much has been changed on this route that it deserved to be rewritten, from access to added length. Thank you Hannah for getting this on the Ride Library.

Cue sheet includes access from the 242nd St terminus of the #1 train, the Hudson Greenway at Dyckman St/Riverside Rd and the unpaved VC Park bypass in both directions as the cue sheet has this ride in both directions plus potential bailouts. 

You will need to add a mile to the end (or beginning if you are going south) from the Brewster MN RR station, traveling on Rt 6. And a half mile to or from the #1 train, more if you are cycling from Manhattan or elsewhere.

The first section, 1.4 miles in length, is actually the unimproved Old Putnam rail trail in Van Cortlandt Park. Currently (as of December 2011)  it is unpaved. Under wet conditions is muddy in sections and somewhat sketchy for less skilled riders on anything with less than 25m tires. However, it is very nice on a mtn bike or cyclocross. [There are some old rail ties and muddy puddles can form] But it certainly is interesting and passable if the bike is walked in problematic sections (remember, only 1.4 miles is unpaved and it is only at the start). This section is slated to be paved in the next few years.

Preferred subway access is the #1 Train to 242 Street, last stop. Exit on the right (east), then down the stairs on the right (south). At the bottom of the stairs is a path going into the park. If you look carefully, it has a green bikeway sign. Follow this path across the park, emerging from under blue bridge, it will go to the left. The path on that blue bridge is the Old Put. Your path will merge with the Old Put, and you are good to go! From subway stairs to the Old Put is all of 0.25 mile. It will be running to the west/ left of the lake. If you take a right fork and go by the boathouse, you have missed the access, instead of the Old Put, you will be on the Pelham Bay bike path. You can also access it via Sedgwick or Broadway (at 238th St) to Bailey to end, crossing Van Cortlandt Av West /Van Cortlandt Park South. (The Van Cortlandt Park entrance/exit and the entrance/exit ramp to the Major Deegan will be in across Van Cortland Park South.) Be careful as it is double barreled, the left lane will be the exit from the Major Deegan, the right lane is both an entrance ramp to the expressway and, bearing left and going under the expressway, the option to enter Van Cortlandt Park near the lake and tennis courts. As road curves to right, enter the park behind the parking lot before the house which sits on the south side of Van Cortlandt Lake. The trail will be on the left of the house. Follow the trail to the right. It will skirt the western side of Van Cortlandt Lake. 

The Elmsford detour is no more. Be carefull crossing Rt 119. This is the divide between South and North County Trailways. You might have to go over one block to the light at 9A. But still be mindful at the traffic light as motor traffic is not bike friendly here. 

The final section is interesting as it ascends the last few ridges, passing over ravines and by reservoirs.  The first Word document (Cue Sheet File 2) has a description of the path in its entirety, with detours, caveats and suggestions, yet not a cue sheet proper but contains cue sheet to and from Hudson River Bike Path to start of Old Putnam/Trailways in Van Cortlandt Park in Word.

The Trailways, including the Putnam Trailways on the cue sheet, but not listed as such, now ends just shy of a mile of the Brewster Metro North Railroad Station. So add another mile to the length for the total length.

The updated cue sheet is the second document.

Please note that all cue sheets should reflect the completed section in Elmsford. Which ever direction you approach crossing Rt 119, the entrance to the path on the other side is to your left. If you have any doubts about crossing Rt 119, cross at the light at the intersection of 9A, but this too is a dangerous and confusing crossing. Be mindful of vehicular traffic in all its perumutations at this intersection.

HS 12/7/17

cycling trips