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At the board meeting on August 6th, it was decided to increase the size of the rides to 8 + 2 and 4 + 1, where there are 8 riders and 2 leaders, or 4 riders and 1 leader. The ride leaders have the discretion to have smaller groups.

Sloatsburg/Sterling Forest singletrack clockwise/Ringwood/Ramsey mtn bike

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General Information
Way Points: 

Sloatsburg NJ Transit railroad platform (start)> Eagle Valley Rd, Sterling Mine Rd, Eagle Valley Rd, S Gate Rd, Sterling Forest singletrack, S Gate Rd, Eagle Valley Rd> Long Meadow Rd> Mill Pond Rd> orange singletrack> red dot in white singletrack> white singletrack> yellow singletrack> blue singletrack >Ringwood wood roads and singletrack including Poison Ivy, Pierson Ridge, Bear Swamp Rd, Rt 202, Seminary Rd, Darlington Ave, Ramsey NJ Transit railroad platform (end)

 

Interest Tags: 
Details
Author: 
Hank Schiffman
Signature Route : 
off
Level(s): 
A
Distance: 
31
Vertical Gain: 
2800
Difficulty: 
59
Difficulty Rating: 
5 out of 5
Attached Files

Note: I have changed the entrance to Ringwood as all accesses to the park directly from NY State are now illegal. The new singletrack that is now part of this route will add a mile but is much nicer. However, the trails and their markings get confusing. As you can see from the Waypoints listing, the singletrack into Ringwood off Mill Pond Rd changes trail markings a lot. To get an approximate visualization of where these change, go to the Sloatsburg Access to Ringwood State Park route in the Mountain Bike section of this Ride Library. The location of where trail markers change is approximate, but the GPS route is correct; you can trust it.

Although doing one loop of this Sterling Forest singletrack, or one in each direction would be enough for many riders, trains above Suffern run infrequently; you would have a long wait for your ride back from Sloatsburg. Rt 17 from Sloatsburg to Suffern is not bike-friendly. Thus the added Ringwood and on to Ramsey for more frequent trains back to Hoboken/change at Secaucus Junction for NY Penn Station. None-the-less, the added distance is good riding.

This route has a lot of good riding on singletrack with minimum of pedaling your mountain bike on roads. Be notified that you will have to do a couple of short climbs out after exiting Bear Swamp Road. But these are on roads, and approaching the end of the ride. The route does work, but you need to keep an eye on the clock. Should you ride in warm weather, you can buy water/fluids at the restrooms in Skylands Manor in Ringwood. In season, on weekends, there is a cafe on Shepherd Pond. Otherwise, there is no food or fluids on this entire route. Therefore, carry extra stuff. 

Need I mention inherent dangers to the sport of mountain biking? These are intermediate trails, but that is akin to saying you are swimmig with average size sharks. Caution aside, these singletracks are works of art. Light a candle to those who built and maintain these trails. We are fortunate to live within train proximity to venues such as these.

Essential to doing this route is the Trailforks app. I also would advise the Avenza Ringwood, Norvin Green download map, which you will have to buy but will give you oh so much piece of mind. There are many Ringwood maps online, but the Avenza one is money in the bank. The singletrack entry into Ringwood to Shepherd Pond is not up to date yet on Avenza, but it will get you out of the park and into civilization.

As of this writing, the first train out to Sloatsburg leaves Hoboken at 9:21. The 33rd St PATH line goes directly to Hoboken on weekends. NY Waterways has ferries from Brookfield Place and 39th St to the Hoboken Terminal. On weekdays, PATH's hours will restrict access to early trails, but ferries run are bike-friendly for an additional, minimal charge, and they run frequently. You can connect to this train from NY Penn Station at Secaucus Junction with any train that has SEC in the listing. Take the earliest train that gets you to Secaucus Junction. Do yourself a favor and download the NJ Transit app to purchase your tickets.

Many thanks to John Z for exploring Ringwood/Ramsey. Ringwood is poorly marked, if at all. If you have GPS, great. If not, or it fails, you will need to resort to maps, online or otherwise. Once in the thick of the park, as you exit singletrack, it is a maze of wood roads. You need to have direction. And you can't make time if you are micromanaging your route.

My 2 cents: don't first try this as a low daylight, midwinter ride. You need to get out of the woods and onto roads before dark. And carry enough spares and tools to handle most basic problems as you will be a long way from a road should things go south, and on the dark side of the moon if things go clunk.

 

HS 7/7/2019

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