Saturday, January 7 Putnam County Trails/Hardpack Ride

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  • Saturday, January 7 Putnam County Trails/Hardpack Ride
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Anonymous's picture

Meet 8:30 for 8:51 train to Cold Spring
Main Street (301) to Route 9 (north). About 1/2 mile from the intersection is a trail leading to East Mountain Road through Fahnestock Park, trail difficulty unknown, probably intermediate. This is a 1200 vertical foot climb over 7.0 miles.

Take East Mountain Road back to Route 9, then Route 9 to Old Albany Post Road. We will ride Old Albany Post Road to Old West Point Road to Route 9 to South Mountain Pass. At the crest of South Mountain Pass is a trail heading north to Sugarloaf Hill near Garrison, again trail difficulty unknown, probably intermediate. End by taking Avery Road to Indian Brook Road to Route 9D back to Cold Spring.

Both trails are listed in various guides, but I have not ridden either. Total distance is about 35 miles, with 3500 vertical feet of climbing. Approximately 25 of the 35 miles are unpaved: 11 miles trails, 14 miles hardpack.

Bring some pocket food as there will be no stops.

Anonymous's picture
Steve Weiss (not verified)
What is Recommended Bicycle / Tire

What would be the ideal bike for this ride?

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)


I think something akin to a Cyclocross bike should suffice, as the trails do not appear to be difficult from the references I have found. However, I have never been on the trails, so I don't know for sure. Come along and if its iffy for you, we can alter the route. There are plenty of options.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
John, if you keep pulling this c__p ...

... and I'll have to start taking off Saturdays.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

On this ride we set all-time speed record of 4 mph. 20 miles in 5 hours.

Everything started fine, with the exception of a few minor mechanicals that the Jobs Brandt of New York was able to address. We readily found Fahnestock Park's White Trail, AKA Old Schoolhouse Road, which at first seemed passable. As we went deeper into the park and higher in elevation, snow became deeper and deeper and after about 3 miles the trail was impassible to bicycles. Faced with the choice of turning back or pushing forward, we decided to push forward -- literally. Pushing a mountain bike through over a foot of snow with 600 vertical feet of elevation gain is quite the full-body workout and we also managed to work on our paceline skills and endurance. Now I know why Bjarne Riis has his team undertake such endeavors.

All in all, the most interesting ride of the last year or so, with Fahnestock Park's winter scenery superb.

Anonymous's picture
Ron (not verified)

All in all a very challenging ride that I am sure we will refer to for years to come.

Anonymous's picture
cyclist/skier (not verified)
not surprising about Fahnestock

It is, after all, a ski area in the winter

General info:

Snow conditions:

Trail report for last weekend from park manager:
Good evening. A seasonable cool weekend is on tap! Mid thirties during the day and teens at night. A possibility of light snow is also in the forecast. Tracked and groomed -Field, Ridgeline, Campground, Mt. Laurel and Old Pasture. Mt. Laurel has been packed and rolled. We might groom and track in the morning. Lake closed. Snow conditions will be variable- granular snow mixed with powder. Snow will be quick. Good for ski skating. There are thin spots, especially under the evergreen trees and the low drainage spots that collect H20. Caution advised on downhills. With the cold temperature these wet areas could change over to icy spots. Considering the unfrozen ground and warm temperatures over last few day conditions are decent. Hope to see you this weekend.

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
Missed all the fun!

"Hey, seems like I'm missing out the fun (with a camera in hand and skies to my feet)?

The title of the thread didn't jump out at me as an ""off-road"" rides, or I would have either join you guys on my mtn bike or skies!

The trails in Fahnstock Park, as mentioned by others, is a cross-country skiing trails in the winter and mountain bike trails in the summer. To ride it in cycle-cross, you need to be a pretty good off-road rider.

Much better ""trail"" for roadies for a change of pace would be the old-Croton aquaduct trail. 90% of the trail is passable on skinnies, with occasional walk or well-informed detours around the in-passable sections. But this time of year, I think snow biking is in order much of Westchester trails."

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

If you pull off the Taconic Pkwy into the State Police parking lot you can look up at what once was a downhill ski area (3 or 4 trails, IIRC). The rope tow was fast, which it had to be to get up that hill, and famous for ripping the palms out of your gloves. The towers and rusted-out pulley wheels are still there.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
UCI bans pre-season team building events!!!

"John Z wrote: ""Now I know why Bjarne Riis has his team undertake such endeavors."""

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