Blue Mountain Reservation

Location: Peekskill, Westchester County, NY

Length: Approx. 30 miles across 1600 acres

Difficulty: 20% beginner, 20% intermediate, 60% expert

Description: Blue Mountain is one of the best trail systems in the Northeast. The product of a healthy relationship between Westchester Parks and the Westchester Mountain Bike Association, Blue showcases the best mix of rocky technical trails, fast and flowy (but still technical) cruisers, quad-killing technical climbs and cross-stuntry goodness in New York (and New Jersey). It’s easy to have a rough ride at Blue, if you don’t know where to start or what to ride. Even the carriage roads can make for a tough time, as the exposed rocks make for a technical challenge that can rival some of the singletrack. But the most popular route (and the “Chainstretcher” race route) begins with the gently climbing carriage road named the “Dickey Brook” trail, which leads to a big climb up “Ned’s Left Lung.” From there, you’re at one of the highest points for bikes in the park, and you can choose your way back down via the Stinger trails or via the SIS/Upper SIS/Crossover combination. If you’re looking for an extra challenge, try the Monster trail (from the powerline entrance near Montrose Station Road- more descending than climbing that way), and keep your eyes peeled for all the technical alternate lines off to the side of the trail. “My Favorite Trail” is another Blue Mountain classic, with extremely technical slow-speed moves, big rollers, a few good drops, and rock gardens that will leave you shaking your head. Don’t get discouraged after your first trip to Blue Mountain- it’s natural to come away thinking “how do people ride this,” but it’s the challenge that keeps riders coming back week after week, month after month, year after year… and you’ll never get tired of riding and challenging yourself at Blue Mountain.
Directions: By Car-From the Sprain Brook Parkway/Taconic Parkway, exit onto 9A (Briarcliff-Peekskill Highway) right after the Route 117 exit for Graham Hills. 9A eventually merges with 9 at the Hudson River just South of Croton-on-Hudson. Continue North, exiting at Welcher Avenue. At the light turn right, and follow Welcher Avenue straight into the park. Past the entry gate, bear left and follow the road around the lake to the back parking lot where most of the mountain bikers park. Parking is $8 from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Drive time is about one hour from NYC. By public transportation- take Metro-North to the Peekskill station (Hudson Line). From the station, climb the steep hill up Hudson Avenue, then turn right on Washington Street and left on Welcher Avenue into the park. It’s about 2.5 miles from the train station to the park.