Looking for a climb, within dist. of NYC

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Anonymous's picture

Hi, I'm English and new to NYC and am looking for a route to some good road climbing and views - I'd be happy with around a 120 mile round trip or less - any advice would be really appreciated,


Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Greetings from another Englishman in New York!

Have you come to reclaim the Empire, or are you here temporarily?

Either way, I would suggest a ride to Bear Mountain, including going up it and back, which is a round trip of approximately 108 miles, depending on which route you go. The climb from 9W up to the top is about 4.3 miles at an average of around 6%, I think, although there is a little bit at 8%. On a clear day, you can see the skyline of midtown Manhattan from the top of Bear Mt. Last time I was at the top in mid-May, it was just about clear enough. Best visibility is probably in the spring and autumn, though.

Our club president, Tom Laskey, and his wife, Debbie Rothschild, are jointly leading just such a ride on Sunday from the Boathouse in Central Park, the details of which are in the right hand column on the home page if you scroll down. It departs at 8:30 am and is advertised at A18-19, ie, that's the cruising speed on the flats.

I would be participating myself, but I don't think my Achilles' tendon is quite up to it at the moment, having injured it last weekend, but that's another story.

Anyway, welcome to New York, if you've recently arrived. There are plenty of climbs within quite a reasonable distance of the city, especially once you cross the George Washington Bridge and head out into New Jersey. There are also some good climbs in Westchester County too.

Anonymous's picture
David (not verified)

thanks for your help and advice - much appreciated. My wife and I moved to NY last year but I'm still getting to know the riding scene. I'm riding this weekend and then back to Europe on hols and business through to mid-september, but would love to hook-up for a ride together in the autumn if you're around,
thanks again,


Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
English, you say?

Not British? Hm.

River Rd (Henry Hudson Dr on the map) - just the other side of the George Washington (you've heard of him, I suspect) Bridge. From a point just south of the bridge, it drops down the Palisades towards the water and heads north, rolling for ~7 miles, ending with a 1-mile 6% climb. 35 miles roundtrip from Manhattan.

E. Clinton Ave - just a mile or two away from the northern end of River Rd, just on the opposite side of Rt 9W. 1.5 miles averaging 7% - includes sections of 12%, flat, and even downhill. 32 miles roundtrip, could easily be combined with River Rd.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
English and British

I hail from England, which is part of Britain, so I can describe myself as English and British, as opposed to being Scottish or Welsh. It's definitely not the equivalent of a mini United States, as we're not a repblic, and it is certainly not the 51st state, despite what some people might think.

But back to the subject of hills. I'd also recommend David takes a look at the route library on this site and buys some detailed maps of at least Westchester, Bergen, Rockland, Putnam and Orange counties. Although they don't always show hills in any great detail, and often fool you into thinking they are flat, they do at least show the minor roads in detail, which can be useful for route planning.

It's taken me sometime to find my way around Rockland and Bergen counties, and I still don't really know my way around Westchester.

Unfortunately, I haven't found anything like the equivalent of the British Ordnance Survey map series over here, which show all major and minor roads, railway lines, footpaths and terrain, including percentage gradients, very clearly. There is definitely a market for anyone who wishes to publish the same type of maps in the US. And if anyone knows of maps over here that do show these details, please tell me about them.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
A Start


While our topographic maps don't show grade, they do provide contour lines, from which grade can ultimately be calculated. I prefer to use electronic versions of topographic maps. Once a route is traced, distance and elevation gain can be calculated, along with grade. Delorme and National Geographic offer two competing products, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. As for routes with climbs, here is a start:

""Harriman Hell"": Gate Hill Road, Tiorati Brook Road, Arden Valley Road, Perkins Drive -- these climbs are all in and around Harriman Park. There are ways to connect the climbs in this park to put together a very long, very hilly ride on low traffic roads.

Greenwood Lake: Skyline Drive, Hogback, 106 or Arden Valley Road.

The ""Gunks"": Mohonk, Minnewaska, South Gully Road -- the hardest local climb.

Catskills: Peekamoose, Glade Hill Road, ""Devil's Kitchen"" (Platte Cove Road), Route 23A to Tannersville

Adirondacks: Route 9 from Elizabethtown to Keene, Route 73 from Keene to North Elba, the brutal Whiteface Mountain climb

All of these climbs exceed 500 vertical feet gain; most exceed 1000 vertical feet gain; one is 3500 vertical feet gain. I will provide more details in a later post.

Anonymous's picture
David (not verified)

thanks for your help John, greatly appreciated!


Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
tongue in cheek

Subtle sarcasm (an oxymoron?) on the internet often doesn't register without the smiley face =^P

Anonymous's picture
bill vojtech (not verified)
How come...

before the internet we all got by without the emoticons? Can you imagine Voltaire using them?

But this is about climbs.

How does Tinker Hill Rd in Putnam County measure up?

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