If you are looking to get away to the Hudson Valley on your bike, but you don’t have a car, you are in luck! One of the best things about bicycling in the Hudson Valley is its robust, bike-friendly transit system. Thanks to Metro-North, you can often access a great bike path or bike route from a train station. Here are our five favorite Hudson Valley bike rides (and the corresponding Metro-North locations) to get you out on two wheels this summer.
Explore the route of the Old Croton Aqueduct, which was the first pipeline that brought fresh water to New York City. Since it’s no longer used, the aqueduct is now a dirt-surfaced walking and cycling path that has breathtaking views of the Hudson River along most of its length. Since the trail parallels the Metro-North Hudson Line, you can access it from different stations, allowing you to do a one-way ride that starts and ends at different stations. Pro tip: this ride is best for those with mountain bikes.
Watch our video “Bike the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail”:
Get off here: This trail can be accessed via Metro-North Stations at Glenwood, Greystone, Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley-on-Hudson, Irvington, Tarrytown, Philipse Manor, Scarborough, Ossining and Croton-Harmon.
2. Bronx River Pathway
The oldest parkway in America is Westchester County’s Bronx River Parkway. Luckily, the parkway wasn’t constructed just for cars: it also has a great biking and walking options. The multi-use trail parallels the Metro-North Harlem Line and can be accessed from a number of stations, allowing you to do a one-way ride that starts and ends at different stations including: Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Crestwood, Scarsdale, Hartsdale, White Plains, North White Plains and Valhalla (via Kensico Dam Plaza). The Bronx River Parkway vehicle road is also closed to traffic on “Bicycle Sundays” during the summer allowing for a different “car-free” experience. You can use these same Metro-North stations (except for Bronxville, North White Plains and Valhalla) to access Bicycle Sunday.
Get off here: Start your ride at Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Crestwood, Scarsdale, Hartsdale, White Plains, North White Plains and Valhalla (via Kensico Dam Plaza).
3. The “Old Put”
If you’re looking for an easy ride from the city heading North, look no further than the Old Put. This abandoned railroad turned rail-trail heads North from Van Cortlandt Park into Westchester. It’s flat and mostly paved making it a relaxing and scenic experience as you ride along a quiet path past swampland, lakes and forest. Our perfect day trip includes riding the Old Put up to Captain Lawrence Brewery and then hopping on the train back to the city.
Get off here: Start your ride in the Bronx and then use the N. White Plains Metro-North Station for an easy ride back to the city.
4. Walkway-Over-the-Hudson, Hudson Valley Rail Trail, and Dutchess Rail Trail
If you’re looking to get far out of the city, another great bicycling destination is the Poughkeepsie train station where you can access the beautiful Walkway-Over-the-Hudson and the two trails that connect to it on either side. Ride east on the Dutchess Rail Trail, or ride west on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail…or do them both. Though not complete, the Hudson Valley Rail Trail is extremely close to being connected to New Paltz’s 22 mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, adventurous cyclists could connect the trails with a few miles of on-street riding.
Get off here: Poughkeepsie Station
5. Harlem Valley Rail Trail
The furthest bike-on-train getaway from NYC is the Harlem Valley Rail Trail in northern Dutchess County. This beautiful bike path is very easy to get to…since it begins in the parking lot of the Wassaic train station. Ride through beautiful farmscapes and pass through quaint villages. Plus, if you go on a Saturday you can experience the Millerton farmers market right along the trail! It’s a perfect lunch stop.
Get off Here: Wassaic Train Station
Need more ideas? A great resource for discovering these rides is www.bikehudsonvalley.com which bills itself as a “one-stop resource about where to bicycle in the Hudson Valley, and how to get there!”
Lukas Herbert has been taking his bicycle on Metro-North Railroad ever since he was old enough to leave the house on his own. He has taken his love for train-friendly cycling and used to create Gotham Bicycle Tours, the only fully transit-accessible bicycle touring company in the U.S. Lukas has also created two informational websites to help people plan their own cycling adventures: www.bikehudsonvalley.com and www.bikelongisland.com