Adventures from the GWB

Bicycling from the George Washington Bridge - GWB

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Starter adventures

  • GWB and the river road -- If you're just starting out, riding all the way across the bridge, finding the start of the "river road" in the Palisades park, and making it through the hills is plenty of adventure.  See "Variation D" in the Manhattan to Nyack route. 
  • George Washington Bridge to Piermont -- 30 miles round trip, moderate.  Start with the GWB, go up the West side of the river through New Jersey into New York to a food stop down by the Hudson River.  See lots of fellow cyclists, enjoy cruising the long rolling grades of Route 9W.  1400 vertical feet, hill index 3.2.  Start points Manhattan, Fort Lee NJ, Piermont NY. [ Description | Maps + GPS ] 
  • Nyack -- Making it all the way to the original Runcible Spoon and riding right next to water in Nyack Beach State Park.  We've done it lots of times now, but our first was an adventure.

Big adventures

  • beyond Nyack to Haverstraw -- continuing beyond Nyack Beach on the dirt path to Haverstraw takes you beyond "normal" New York City riding.  See Variation F of the GWB to Nyack route.
  • GWB to Bear Mountain and back on Route 9W:  Making it to Bear Mountain is a worthy achievement, and Route 9W is the obvious way to get there -- but far from the most interesting.  We'd recommend instead trying some of the more interesting roads and paths in the first half of the GWB to Bear Mountain Bridge Loop -- and saving Route 9W as a fallback. 
  • Bear Mountain Adventure -- Instead of just going out and back the same way along the river, this route goes first west a ways into New Jersey, then north up through the interior in New York to make a real loop -- and finds some pretty lakes and fun downhills.
  • GWB to Bear Mountain Bridge Loop, on both sides of the Hudson river -- 92 miles (or 83 miles), hilly.  A great accomplishment, several pretty views of the River, and a great variety of riding.  Lots of motor vehicle traffic, requiring advanced traffic-handling skills.  At least two sections on dirt.  7200 vertical feet, hill index over 5.0. [ Description | Map | Photos ] 

Big adventures with Railroad assistance

You can also use the Metro North trains to get ride further out from New York City, but without the work of riding all the way back.  

The Garrison train station is closer to the Bear Mt Bridge, but Cold Spring has more food shops while you're waiting for the next train. 

  • Manhattan to West Point and Storm King Mt to Beacon -- From Bear Mountain, continue north on the West side following the Bear Mt to Newburgh-Beacon route, through the U.S. Army academy at West Point (but check Condition Reports) with pretty views and the great Storm King Mountain road.  Then on to Newburgh with more river views along the way.  Cross over to the East side on the south sidewalk of the Newburgh-Beacon bridge, and then turn south a little to reach the Metro North train station at Beacon, and ride the train back to Manhattan. 

Some can ride this in one day, but others might do it as an overnight, perhaps sleeping in Fort Montgomery or Highland Falls, or the Bear Mountain Inn. 

  • If you have the energy and daylight . . . 

- - it could be worthwhile to continue on south from Beacon on the Bear Mt to Newburgh-Beacon Loop to the train station at Cold Spring.  

- - or after enjoying the view south from the sidewalk of bridge, go back to Newburgh and ride up the West side to Highland (see route ideas), and cross the Mid-Hudson Bridge and ride to the train station at Poughkeepsie

- - but keep in mind that both of those bridges have normally been closed to bicyclists and walkers outside daylight hours -- check Condition Reports.

You need a permit to take a bicycle on Metro North.  See more about combining bike routes with trains on Train Stations with Routes.

In-bound adventures

For those living in the suburbs or upstate or some other place outside, the most interesting adventure could be bicycling into the big city and its urban variety.  Riding across the George Washington Bridge can be a beautiful part of that.

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