New York City to Albany

along the Hudson river -- in one long (multi-day) tour

Some  people like to visit a new region and explore it with one long multi-day tour.  For the Hudson valley, following the great river from New York to Albany is the natural choice.  It can work also for people who live in the Hudson valley and want to try a new kind of adventure on their bike.

The route starts in the center of the modern world -- or at least the center of the money.  It ends in the historic capital of New York state.  In between it travels along a beautiful "fiord" -- a tidal finger of the Atlantic ocean that reaches inland through ancient mountains.  

  • 202 miles total, from the south tip of Manhattan to Albany, with visits along the way to the villages of New Paltz and Rhinebeck.

No shortage of ups and downs, but no truly large hills.  Riding on a surprisingly large number of reasonable roads without high-speed traffic.

GPS-capable digital mapping is available for all stages from GWB to Albany -- see links for each section below. Or see this GPX file with tracks for the different sections all together in one file.

  • How long does it take?

That depends on how strong your legs are.  But more important:  

How long do you want it to take? 

  • Why this route -- instead of going shorter and faster on the main roads?

Nowadays the ancient valley of the Hudson has been overlaid with cities linked by high-speed motorways, and filled in with housing developments.

Our route discovers a different way:  Horse farms on quiet roads, long views along the great river, historic towns and apple orchards.  When we have seen reports from other people who have biked from New York to Albany, we find that they used a lot of major roads -- which are shorter, simpler, less hilly (and have high-speed motor traffic).

But the major roads miss what makes the Hudson valley special.  Our route offers a choice.  You can try out some quiet exploration where it sounds interesting.  Then if your time gets short or the hills too much, the major roads should not be difficult to find.

  • where:  The route starts on Manhattan island, crosses the George Washington Bridge, and heads North.  It takes the West side for the first two-thirds thru New Paltz, then crosses back from Kingston to Rhinecliff and continues up the East side until the last bridge over to Albany.

The "Poughkeepsie variation" takes the West side for the first half, then crosses back at Poughkeepsie and continues up the East side until the last bridge over to Albany. 

  • paper road maps:  See the individual sections. 

See also:  overview Map | Planning ideas | Alternates

Sections of the Route

variation: Poughkeepsie to Rhinebeck [ map on Bikely | cue sheet on Bikely | Google Earth KML | GPX ]

see also: GPX file with tracks for different sections on one map for GPS.

Unlike the other routes on this website, some of the route direction "cue sheets" for these routes are given as Excel spreadsheets.  For a description of the symbols on the route direction sheets, see the Symbols page

more . . . 

see also

and also:  River routes map | Overview of all routes | by Difficulty | Favorites


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