Westchester County Trailways
  

what's here 

see also

info on this page not checked by us since 2003 -- learn more | see Reports


Quick summary 

These are paths, mostly paved and mostly off-road.  Flat to gentle. 

Definitely worth exploring by families with children, or anybody looking for bicycling in Westchester county without much motor vehicle traffic. 

Here's the trailways (as of July 2006) we know something about: 

We've heard there's another one which we do not know much about called the Bronx River Pathway. 

These three trailways meet in "Eastview", where the trailways cross over the Saw Mill River Parkway, roughly where the Saw Mill River Parkway crosses Neperan Rd / Rt 100C.

gaps: There is at least one "disconnect" in the Trailways (as of July 2006) -- see more details below -- and lots of little "gaps" (which some people would not even call "gaps") where the trailway intersects with a motor vehicle road.

For more information see

(if you have problems with that link, try Westchester Parks). 

brochure for North County Trailway | map

brochure for South County Trailway | map

Experienced road bicyclists with good vehicle-traffic-interaction skills sometimes like to use the Trailways as part of a larger ride combined with riding on the public roads in Westchester county.  For ideas on this see: 

back to Top | Reports | other Gentler Places | more on Westchester


South County Trailway

where:  It runs roughly north-south in southern Westchester county.  Its southern end is at Tuckahoe Rd [as of September 2006] -- but starting in 2006 they are doing some further construction at near the southern end near the New York City - Bronx border with Westchester county. 

The trailway's northern end is by the Eastview park-and-ride at the Rt 100C exit from the Saw Mill River Parkway, where it connects with North County Trailway and very near to the Tarrytown Lakes extension).   But as of September 2006, there's a gap, so the northern end of its main paved section is in Elmsford at Rt 119 - Tarrytown Rd (between the Saw Mill River Parkway and Rt 9A).

Length is more than 9.5 miles but less than 14.5 miles (in two or more separated sections). [as of September 2006]

sections:  (south to north) 

  • [under construction] - New York City Bronx / Westchester border to Cross County Parkway bridge -- 1.8 miles  (At least one bridge in this section was missing and parts were under construction as of September 2006 -- but we heard in April 2007 that the bridge is now complete and some other construction had been performec -- for more detail see the Reports.

(south end connects to unpaved trail in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx borough of New York City)

  • [missing] - Cross County Parkway bridge to Tuckahoe Rd -- about 2.5 miles  (This section is mostly unpaved with much in very bad condition as of September 2006) - (We heard in April 2007 that the bridge across Cross County Parkway is now complete.)

  • Tuckahoe Rd to Tarrytown Rd / Rt 119 in Elmsford -- 7.9 miles

  • [missing] - Tarrytown Rd / Rt 119 to Warehouse Lane -- 0.6 miles  (This section is missing as of September 2006)

  • Warehouse Lane to Eastview park-and-ride -- 1.7 miles

(north end connects to North County Trailway and very near to Tarrytown Lakes extension)

status of sections:

See Reports for comments about the status of each section. 

information

characteristics:  Flat to gentle, mostly off-road.  Some sections are paved, some are not -- see Reports

  • Note:  Some sections of the Westchester County Trailways are incomplete (as of July 2006) -- see Gaps and Reports.

  • Hilliness:  About 80-100 vertical feet of climbing in the continuous paved section from Farragut Ave north-bound to Route 119, for an average grade less than 0.5%.  About 80-100 feet of climbing from Route 119 north-bound to Eastview.  In the south-bound direction, about 30-50 vertical feet of climbing. 

  • Traffic:  The trail itself is off-road, but it intersects with public roads and driveways at some points, where cars and other motor vehicles cross the trail -- so special care is required in detecting, approaching, and crossing those. 

Also, there can be lots of non-motorized users on the path:  walkers, runners, skaters, bicyclists, etc -- sometimes at high speeds, sometimes oblivious to other users, sometimes not following rules or the directions of signs.  Need to take seriously the risk of interactions and collisions with them. 

  • Traffic -- nearby roads:  Most users of the Trailway stay only on main trailway route.  If you decide to ride off the trailway, be aware that most of the streets and roads nearby have high traffic volume, often at high speeds, and often little or no shoulder.  That's a whole different set of risks, with a whole different set of skills and strategies needed for handling them.  For help on learning about those risks and skills, see Resources for Bicycle Riding

info on this page not checked by us since 2003 -- learn more | see Reports

back to Top | Reports | other Gentler Places | more on Westchester


North County Trailway

where:  It runs roughly north-south in northern Westchester county.  Its southern end is near the Eastview park-and-ride where Rt 100C crosses the Saw Mill River Parkway, where it connects with South County Trailway and very near to the Tarrytown Lakes extension.  Its northern end is at Baldwin Place on the county border near Rt 6 and Tomahawk St, where it connects with the Putnam County Bicycle Trail

Total length is about 22 miles.

sections:  (south to north) 

  • Eastview park-and-ride to Pleasantville Rd -- 5 miles

(south end connects to South County Trailway)

  • Pleasantville Rd to Route 120 -- 3.6 miles

  • Route 120 to Croton Reservoir -- 2.7 miles

  • Croton Reservoir to Yorktown Heights -- 3.8 miles

  • Yorktown Heights to Baldwin Place -- 5.5 miles

(north end connects to Putnam County Bicycle Trail at Baldwin Place)

see Reports for comments about the status of each section. 

information

On its north end, this path connects with the Putnam County Trail

Characteristics:  gentle, mostly off-road, all paved. 

  • Hilliness:  About 700-800 vertical feet of climbing going north-bound from Eastview to Baldwin Place, including a long uphill north-bound coming up from the Croton Reservoir of about 250 vertical feet at nearly 2% grade.

In the south-bound direction there about 330-430 vertical feet of climbing, including a long uphill south-bound coming up from the Croton Reservoir of about 160 vertical feet at around 1% grade

  • Traffic:  The trail itself is mostly off-road, but it intersects with public roads or driveways at several points, some with high-speed vehicle traffic -- so special care is required in detecting, approaching, and crossing those.  Some segments of the trail are on a wide shoulder of Route 100, sometimes not separated from the high-speed motor vehicle traffic by a guard rail or fence (as of July 2002).  The five mile section at the south end between the Eastview park-and-ride at Rt 100C and Pleasantville Rd does not have any crossings of motor vehicle roads or riding on road shoulder (as of July 2002). 

Also, there can be lots of non-motorized users on the path:  walkers, runners, skaters, bicyclists, etc -- sometimes at high speeds, sometimes oblivious to other users, sometimes not following rules or the directions of signs.  Need to take seriously the risk of interactions and collisions with them. 

  • Traffic -- nearby roads:  Most users of the Trailway stay only on main trailway route.  If you decide to ride off the trailway, be aware that most of the streets and roads nearby have high traffic volume, often at high speeds, and often little or no shoulder.  That's a whole different set of risks, with a whole different set of skills and strategies needed for handling them.  For help on learning about those risks and skills, see Resources for Bicycle Riding

info on this page not checked by us since 2003 -- learn more | see Reports

back to Top | Reports | other Gentler Places | more on Westchester


Tarrytown Lakes extension

where:  This paved path runs east-west along the south side of the Tarrytown Lakes, just east of Tarrytown.  It comes pretty close to connecting (across a high-traffic road) with the south end of North County Trailway and the north end of South County Trailway, at the Eastview Park & Ride.  

  • East end of path is at the east end of the Tarrytown Lakes, on the southwest side of Nepperhan Ave near the Eastview Park & Ride, just West of where Nepperhan Ave / Rt 100C goes under the Saw Mill River Parkway.  

  • West end of path is at Sunnyside Ave, just south of its intersection with Nepperhan Ave.

  • Length is about 1 mile. [as of May 2004]

information

At its east end it comes pretty close to connecting (across a high-traffic road) with the south end of North County Trailway.  

characteristics:  flat except for the access at each end, off-road, all paved. 

  • Traffic:  the trailway itself is all off-road. 

But there can be lots of non-motorized users on the path:  walkers, runners, skaters, bicyclists, etc -- sometimes at high speeds, sometimes oblivious to other users, sometimes not following rules or the directions of signs.  Need to take seriously the risk of interactions and collisions with them. 

  • Traffic -- access to end-points:  Getting to the East end from the Eastview Park & Ride or from North County Trailway requires crossing high-traffic Nepperhan Ave / Rt 100C on a curve.  At the end, Sunnyside Ave has had little traffic when we've been there, but of course Nepperhan Ave / Rt 100C gets lots of motor vehicle traffic, some at high speeds.

info on this page not checked by us since 2003 -- learn more | see Reports

back to Top | Reports | other Gentler Places | more on Westchester


gaps

There is at least one major "disconnect" in the Trailways (as of July 2006).

There are also a number of little "gaps" (which some people would not even call "gaps") where the trailway intersects with a motor vehicle road "at grade", with no bridge or tunnel.

major gap between Elmsford and Eastview

(as of July 2006) Roughly east of Tarrytown, there is a disconnect of 0.6 mile between Rt 119 (Tarrytown Rd) by Elmsford and Warehouse Lane (a road which runs west from Rt 9A south of "Eastview").

"Eastview" is roughly where the Trailway crosses the Saw Mill River Parkway, near Neperan Rd / Rt 100C. It's where North County Trailway and South County Trailway meet.

Most riders on the trailway simply turn around and go back way they came when they reach this gap.

A few riders have tried to combine off-road with on-road riding, and used public motor vehicle roads to get around the gap and then continue riding on the trailway.

Warning: The risks and dangers, and judgment and skills are rather different for riding on motor-vehicle roads. Trailway riders should not attempt to get around the gap unless they are sure they understand the risks and dangers, and have the required judgment and skill.

For reports on some of this mixing of on-road with off-road riding, see

Reports on Riding combining Roads with the Trailways

For reports on how some riders got around this gap between Elmsford and Eastview, check under "Connecting between South and North Trailways". Actually nowadays the gap is within South County Trailway; but a few years ago this gap extended farther north, so it was between North and South.

major gaps south of Elmsford (?)

(as of August 2006) We've heard that that there are still substantial disconnects in South County Trailway between Farragut Ave and the Bronx - New York City border -- but we're not sure exactly what they are or how long they're going to continue -- or how some riders might have tried getting around them. See Reports on Trailways and on combining Roads with Trailways.

more . . . 

(if you have problems with that link, try Westchester Parks). 

Some trails, roads, intersections might be different since then, or closed. Or some directions or maps might be incorrect. So be prepared to find alternatives -- a good reason to carry a detailed map. Other people may have more recent experiences with some changes which could help prepare: see the Reports page linked below.

info on this page not checked by us since 2003 -- learn more | see Reports

see also

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