Nov-2001 report on using South County Trailway

Westchester County Trailways 


Ken Roberts on NYC.bicycles newsgroup: 

I took advantage of the nice weather by driving my bike up to the parking area where Farragut Ave meets the Saw Mill River Parkway -- thought I'd explore some of these Westchester trails.

I ended up doing a loop the included all of South County Trailway, a sizable part of the Old Croton Aqueduct, some other bike trail, just a touch on North County Trailway, and an interesting connection between North and South.

I started riding south on the South County Trailway. It soon came to an end, so I crossed west over the Parkway and continued heading south on Nepperhan, which I found reasonably friendly to ride on. I kept going until just south of Ashburton where went right underneath the aqueduct.

Then I found my way up some side streets onto the Old Croton Aqueduct and tried to follow it south-bound, but it seemed to run out as it reached this big expressway interchange. 

So I turned around and headed north-bound on the Old Croton Aqueduct. There were some disconnects as it headed west-ward at first, but those hand-drawn maps from Adirondack mountain club website which Tony R mentioned helped me figure out the trickiest one. 
(The Hagstrom Lower Westchester County map was useful for making connections on the streets, but I didn't find it much help in following trailways or abandoned railroads). 

The trail curved north, and once it got past Lamartine Ave it was pretty continuous and not hard to follow. It was mostly dirt, and I was riding on slick tires, but the tires were reasonably wide (1.25-inch) so that was no problem. 

Lots of walkers were out, but only one other rider. There were some glimpses of views across the Hudson, but I would have had to stop riding to get a sustained view. Lots of cross streets -- I got lots of chances to remember my curb-hopping technique. 

Just after going thru Lyndhurst, the trail stopped again, and I went down the hill on Rt 9, and then started climbing some side streets up from Tarrytown which led to Union Ave and then Sunnyside Ave. 

Then just by the intersection of Sunnyside and what I think was going to be Neperan, I found an off-road paved bike path, so I followed it east along the Tarrytown reservoir. Very nice pavement, and it ended at a road -- but the continuation of the bike path was actually clearly marked.  And then a sign for North County Trailway.  

I headed south on North County Trailway. Almost immediately I ran into some fencing that directed the main route down a hill off east from the main railroad bed. But old instincts from exploring abandoned railroads led me to an opening in the fencing, and I kept going south on the railroad. First it was paved, then it was gravel with the plants pretty close. And then it was dirt and the plants were almost growing over and brushing me. I kept riding on my slick tires, and got to some warehouses, and finally the way south on South Warehouse St was blocked next to the animal shelter. So I exited on Warehouse Lane and got on Rt 9A. 

There was no shoulder on Rt 9A as I headed south, but with a little creative riding I felt fine until I could turn off right onto a side street. And then I talked to a guy who told me the way to the rail trail was to head south on a side street (perhaps Nepperhan), and that's how I went under the Thruway. 

Then I bumped into a major street (Rt 119), and just across it next to Rini's seafood restaurant, was the start of South Country Trailway. The trailway pavement was in great shape, and I saw several other bicyclists and one skater. It was great to cruise along on my slick tires in the middle of pretty trees, with glimpses of the little Saw Mill River. But flanked on both sides -- by the Thruway and Saw Mill River Parkway. And soon I was back to my car at Farragut Ave.

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