Sept-2002 report: Brewster train station to NYC

using the Westchester County Trailways 

Steve Faust (excerpts from E-mail), September 2002

Metro North train to Brewster, rode the shoulder of Route 6 about 10 miles west to Lake Mahopack, where the new Putnam County section of the trail begins at Bucks Hollow Road. The Olympic Diner is up Miller Rd at Rt 6 in Baldwin Place, just before entering Westchester County. There is trail construction along side Rt 6 between Brewster and Carmel. I was pleasantly surprised that Rt 6 has good shoulders all this way, with some rolling hills.

Steady ride all the way to Old Saw Mill River Road between Hawthorn and Elmsford. Construction fences are erected to close the path south to the Elmsford Industrial PArk - they are apparently getting ready to pave this section. This wasn't fenced in July. We climbed around the fence and rode to the Industrial Park, the dirt was quite ridable right now. This left us with only a block of Rt 9A to ride. This section ought to be finished by next summer. It's not clear if they will bypass the junk yard and complete connecting the trail without using 9A at all. It's very possible to do this.

[ see notes below for more details on connecting between South and North County Trails

Below Rt 119 - Elmsford, the path is clear to Barney St in Yonkers (must paint a purple sign here...) Rode 9A - Saw Mill River Rd south to Nepperhan and Broadway-Rt 9 through Yonkers, finished at 231st St Subway station, where we caught a TA shuttle bus (track work - nice of the driver to let us on) to 215th St and the # 1 train to Brooklyn.

The families and kids respond well to a bicycle bell - they generally moved to the right so we were safe to pass without slowing much. I still don't believe the thermoneters that said it was 91 degrees at noon. But it was noticeably cooler under the trees of the trail.

Total about 50 miles from Brewster to the Bronx. And it's mostly downhill from Brewster (sort of...)  

Connecting on roads from South to North Trailway

notes from a June ride: 

[After riding on South County Trailway to its north end]  Cross Rt 119 in Elmsford onto Vreeland Ave - the small street just west of Rt 9A - Saw Mill River Rd. The name changes to Hayes St under the Cross Westchester Expy, but keep going 3 more blocks until you are forced to turn right on N Payne St to Rt 9A. You need to turn left on 9A for only 200 yards, so I tried to ride the sidewalk here. ** Beginner Warning here ** a: Rt 9A is a narrow busy 4 lane road with no shoulders and no traffic light at N Payne St - crossing for a left turn is not easy. There is a traffic light at Warehouse Ln, but it's very busy with an entrance to Sams Club. Therefore the double left turns across 9A can be a pain.  Warning b:  the sidewalk along the west side of 9A is not continuous and is blocked by cars in front of a car repair shop.  I wound up riding the wrong way in the street a few feet along this section.

At Warehouse Ln - Turn left - west into the Industrial park - ride right past the security gate, and ride straight as far as you can until the road "Ts" at the base of a hill (sign to the Animal Shelter points to the left here. UPS to the right.) Look for the rail trail on the right behind the same kind of gate used in the southern section. This section has not been paved yet but the roadbed is firm and reasonably dry. Saw a deer in the woods here. North of the Coke plant, the path is entirely isolated for several hundred yards. You then reach the southern end of the new pavement - a 1/4 mile or so south of Old Saw Mill River Road.

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