GravelNY (GrNY) is a small, informal group of riders in/around New York City who like to get away from cars and be surrounded by nature. Of course, this is New York, and you've gotta ride through the City or take a train to get to/from nature. And sometimes we compromise by riding a paved trail rather than gravel, but we get as close as we can to our ideal, as often as we can.

The best way to connect with GrNY is on Strava…

We also have a presence on other sites, but they're not actively maintained…


Routes

Here are a few of our favorite routes… Use at your own risk! When looking at the routes, brown = gravel (of some sort), blue = paved, but car-free.

The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

The "Dirty Traitor" Ride

Hits spots related to Benedict Arnold's trying to sell out the Continental Army…

Combination of Dirty Traitor and OCA

Cold Spring Dirt Roads

Westchester County Dirt Roads

Harlem Valley / Berkshires Dirt Roads

Start points assume you take MetroNorth to Wassaic and ride the Harlem Valley Rail Trail to an AirBnB in Millerton or Copake Falls and then start from there.
These routes are untested! Use with caution.


Hints…

Safety

  • Gravel is deceiving… It seems so safe, you let down your guard, and then you hit a rock and crash… Crashes are actually MORE likely on gravel. They're just a lot less likely to kill you. Absolutely wear a helmet!
  • Don't rush. You're out in nature, enjoy yourself! Never try to keep up with a faster rider. Most times they'll find a pretty, shady spot, pull over and wait for you to catch up.
  • Never ride closely behind someone else on gravel. Always leave enough space between you and the person ahead of you that you can see possible hazards.
  • If you know someone is following you, point out unexpected hazards if you can spare a hand at that moment. Vocalizing potential problems is a good idea too.
  • Never go fast down hills, expecially on dirt roads. Rain washes the gravel downhill and at the bottom of the hill there are typically somewhat deep sections of loose gravel which can be quite dangerous.
  • If you encounter someone on a horse, come to a full stop and let the horse rider tell you when it's safe to proceed.
  • Wooden surfaces (e.g. on bridges) are extremely slippery when wet or damp. Any type of turning, etc. can result in a crash.
  • Watch for broken glass on paved trails. On dirt trails broken glass works its way into the soil. On paved trails it sits there waiting to give you a flat.

The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

  • Location: The Bronx to the Croton Reservoir
  • Recommended tire size: 38-53mm. Strong riders can ride it on 28s.
  • The Urban Park Rangers do awesome tours of The High Bridge that explain the significance of the OCA. The original OCA extended all the way down to Bryant Park in midtown.
  • There are MetroNorth stops every 2-3 miles along the OCA, so you can shorten any OCA route easily.
  • There are sections in Yonkers which are… "not so nice" (but still better than riding on a busy road with cars).

Raymond G. Esposito Trail

  • Location: Sparkill to Nyack
  • Recommended tire size: 28-47mm. Skinny tires can work for most riders if you slow down in the few rougher sections.
  • This trail connects directly to the Mario Cuomo Bridge Path!
  • This trail and the Joseph B. Clarke Trail (paved) collectively make up "The Old Erie Rail Trail".

Tallman Mountain State Park

  • Location: Palisades NY to Sparkill / Piermont
  • Recommended tire size: Skinny tire friendly (cinder trail).

Hudson River Greenway

  • Location: Upper Nyack to Haverstraw
  • Recommended tire size: 32-47mm north of the cut off for Rockland Lake, any tire size south of that point.

Jones Point Path

  • Location: Jones Point (just south of the Bear Mountain Bridge on the west side of the river)
  • Recommended tire size: 38-53mm. Strong riders can ride it on 28s.
  • In years past this path was badly neglected and would get completely overgrown in parts. For that reason, it's best early in the season.

Dirt Roads

  • Location: In/around Cold Spring, Bedford, Katona, Goldens Bridge, etc.
  • Recommended tire size: 38-53mm. Strong riders can ride them on 32s if they're careful. Given that relatively large stone is used for dirt roads, dirt roads are NOT skinny tire friendly.

Looking for more? Start by checking out GravelMap.com. It's an incredible resource! But make sure you read the description/comments for each segment – there are a few private roads listed that you're not actually allowed to ride.

Have fun & be safe!