Cathedral Pines - Mountain Biking

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About

Summary

Singletrack mountain biking that offers something for both beginners and advanced riders.

Written by

Jeff Banowetz

Distance

10.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

46.9 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 hours

Seasonality

Spring, Summer, and Fall

Dog Friendly

Yes

Fees Permits

Yes

You’ll need a Green Key Card to ride the trail, which you can buy onsite or at other Suffolk County locations. The cost is $24/year for residents, $40/year for non residents, with some discounts available. Helmets and eye protection is required for all riders. Parking is free on weekdays, $6 on weekends.

Review

Intro

Cathedral Pines, located near the center of Long Island in the aptly named town of Middle Island, is a fine mountain biking destination that manages to have a little something for everyone.

Located along the headwaters of the Carmans River in Suffolk County, Cathedral Pines County Park features just about 10 miles of mountain biking trails in the 320-acre preserve. The park also offers camping and picnic sites, and is located next to the Prosser Pines Nature Preserve, where you’ll find some nice hiking trails (but no mountain biking).

The trails in the Cathedral Pines County Park are maintained by CLIMB, the Concerned Long Island Mountain Bikers, which offers an excellent map of the area. The trails system features a one-way, 6-mile loop (the blue trail), that’s suitable for beginning riders and accessible from the trailhead in the parking lot. You’ll find mostly rolling hills with a enough roots and switchbacks to keep it interesting, even for more experienced riders. It’s a good trail to get a taste of off-road riding for those exploring singletrack for the first time.

Off of the main loop you’ll find about 10 spurs that offer smaller, more difficult loops that will test your skills a bit more, with some serious hills and technical riding. CLIMB keeps the trails well-maintained, and they’re well-marked throughout. There are even several placed to hop off the trail and take the paved roads back to the car if you need to cut you trip short.

What Makes It Great

Cathedral Pines offers fun singletrack, which just isn’t that easy to find. It’s particularly suited for beginners, who can push themselves with the short black diamond spurs as they improve and become more confident on the bike. There’s nothing in the park that’s too outrageous, so you don’t have to worry about getting out of your league. And they’re short, so you can get back to the main loop in a hurry.

The camping facilities on site allow for a weekend mountain-bike retreat. Ten camping sites even feature water and electric hookups, but there are bathrooms and showers available for everyone.

Who is Going to Love It

Beginner and intermediate level mountain bikers; families who enjoy camping and taking older kids off-road riding. The adjacent Prosser Pines Nature Reserve is great for family hikes.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

You’ll need a Green Key Card to ride the trail, which you can buy onsite or at other Suffolk County locations. The cost is $24/year for residents, $40/year for non residents, with some discounts available. Helmets and eye protection is required for all riders. Parking is free on weekdays, $6 on weekends. Camping reservations and costs can be found here.

Location

Cathedral Pines

Cathedral Pines County Park , Yaphank-Middle Island Road
Middle Island, NY, 11953
40.872337, -72.942735

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