Where to ride in NYC?
START: Harriman, Storm King and Cold Spring
The first real ‘thing to do off the bike’ is to go to Harriman State Park. Make sure you take the road to the mountain’s summit for another great view. To get there take exit 19 to the Seven Lakes Drive and then take the Perkins Memorial drive to the mountain top and start taking photos when you get up there. Harriman State Park is very large and offers all the stuff you’d expect from a top quality state park.
Get back on the Palisade Pkwy heading east (turns into Rte. 6) and cross the Hudson over the beautiful Bear Mountain Bridge then turn north on the Bear Mountain-Beacon Hwy (Rte. 9D). Two and a half miles later you’ll be going through a place called Manitoga (914-424-3812). This is 80-acres of destroyed land that was purchased by a rich man back in the 1940s and he spent the next 30 years restoring it. Today it’s a beautiful garden of nature trails and forests that you can explore. It’s a great example of what man can do to restore destroyed land. The Manitoga nature center is open for visitors and is a very interesting stop you all should consider.
As you approach the town of Cold Spring you will pass some historic riverside mansions. The town of Cold Spring is a pretty little riverside town where you can get off the bike and grab a bite to eat and checkout the town. There is a public gazebo where you can take in the river scenery.
Rte. 9D really hugs the river at times heading north out of Cold Spring. Take it all the way till you get to I-84 and take I-84 back west over the Hudson. Take the very next exit, exit-10 south on Rte. 9W for about 5 miles. Look for Rte. 218 heading southeast to both Storm King State Park and the famous West Point Military Academy. This is where the driving gets fun for a little while!!! 218 becomes the ‘Storm King Highway’ and goes through Storm King State Park. This is one of the best parts of the entire route as the road is carved into a cliff at points hanging over the Hudson River. A lot of twists and turns here – perfect for those of us choosing two-wheels over four. When you get through the park you’ll be tempted to turn-around and go through that part of the route again – go for it! If you want to see West Point Military Academy watch for signs or better yet ask a local. West Point has plenty to offer visitors – great tours, an interesting museum and a gift shop. The trick after you leave the military academy is to get to Main Street and head south (this is the slower yet prettier alternative to getting back on 9W south). The road will ‘turn into’ 218 again and you will have some pretty riverside driving. Then it will merge with 9W and you need to get on 9W and take it south.
Take 9W till you get to back to the Palisade Pkwy where you want to head east once again over the Bear Mountain Bridge. Now instead of going northeast like you did before, you want to veer to the right and take ‘Bear Mountain Bridge Road’ (NOT Bear Mountain-Beacon Hwy).
Take Bear Mountain Bridge Road south just about 3-miles and you’ll see signs for Peekskill NY and Rte. 202. You cross a bridge (Lower South St) and hit 202 which eventually turns into Rte. 9 or the Briarcliff Peekskill Pkwy. Take this south till the end of the route. Along this section of the route you’ll want to pay attention to some of the impressive homes and mansions you’ll see. The town of Tarrytown has some historic estates owned by famous people. The famous homeowners that I remember was the guy that wrote ‘Rip Van Winkle’ and the ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow.’