Technical, flowy singletrack, and a lot of it? Blue Mountain Reservation can be hard to find, but that’s not a bad thing. NYCMTB refers to it as “one of the best trail systems in the Northeast,” and they’re right on the money. Blue Mountain Reservation is fantastic.
What Makes It Great
Honestly, it’s one of the best examples of true East Coast riding in the area, defined by lots of short, steep climbs, crazy rock gardens, plenty of roots and a heck of a lot of trees. What makes East Coast riding so distinctive is also what makes it so darn hard though, so be ready for a rough day in the saddle.
The trails are designated in three ways: beginner, intermediate and expert—it’s a great system for the 20+ miles of trails within the vast 1600 acre park. Yellow is for beginners, orange is for intermediate and red is for advanced.
And man, is red advanced! But it’s wicked fun as well. Trails feature more climbing than most of the parks closer to the city, so if you’re looking for serious climbs and descents on your mountain bike ride, this is a better option than Cunningham Park in Queens or Sprain Ridge Park just north of the Bronx.
Looking for the most technical terrain in the park to test your abilities? Head to “My Favorite Trail,” where you’ll be treated to ultra-technical riding with big rollers, some intense drops, and the rock gardens that make East Coast mountain biking so crazy.
Who is Going to Love It
The vast majority of the trails fall into intermediate range, and it’s an accurate assessment: newbies can attempt them, but may find themselves walking more frequently, while experts will enjoy getting speedy on some hill repeats in the double-track that largely makes up the intermediate trails. There are shorter beginner trails (all double-track), and two sections of expert trails on double-track entitled “Limbo” and “Ned’s Left Lung,” respectively. And they’re tough. There are a lot of other black diamond sections of singletrack worth exploring, and while this park is fairly technical, intermediate riders shouldn’t be terrified, just cautious.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
If you follow your GPS, it takes you up a dead end road. The best entrance is down the road and to the right, along Washington Street. While the park entrance is down the road a bit farther, the best spot to park if there’s space is right along the road at the trailhead on Washington Street. If you’d rather park in the main area, head to 45 Welcher Avenue, but there, parking is $10.
Note: there is a shooting range adjacent to the park. Do not venture in.