Connecting between South and North Trailways -- reports in 2004

Tours combining roads with the Westchester County Trailways 

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see also: more Reports | Trailway conditions | description | Putnam reports

May 2004, Ken:

I covered 33 miles of mostly-off-road trailway on rollerskis (like inline skates, but with cross-country ski boots) from Drewville Rd (between Mahopac and Carmel) south to Barney St (at north end of Yonkers) -- Putnam County Trailway (see Reports), North County Trailway, South County Trailway

Most of the pavement of those 33 miles was in good condition, and it was definitely a fun tour for me, with nice food stops at Yorktown Heights and Elmsford. Sharon parked our car way down at the south end near Hearst St and the Saw Mill River Parkway while she had fun rollerskiing on South County Trailway.

Route details North-to-South

My route for connecting north-to-south from Eastview Park&Ride to Tarrytown Rd in Elmsford was:

Start from the intersection of North County Trailway with the paved access path from the west from Eastview Park & Ride.

cross Bridge south-bound -- the Trailway has its own special bridge over Rt 100C.  Continue south 1.5-2 miles on paved trail, mostly downhill.  Along the way, go under some power transmission lines and then cross a road (which comes from Rt 9A by Fairview Park Drive and Ridgewood Drive).

Trailway ends by going beside a chain-link fence in front of UPS building and running into a street, which is Warehouse Lane.

Left on Warehouse Lane about 0.4 miles (East-bound) to traffic light.

Right on (or beside) Rt 9A South for about hundred yards or so. High-traffic-volume high-speed road. Four lanes not very wide, no shoulders, and little or no sidewalks. There was so much vehicle traffic at the time I was there, and I was on rollerskis, so I did most of this section out to the side off the lanes of the roadway. I found there sand, dirt, gravel, parking lots, driveways, so I had to be careful and go slow, but soon it was over.

Right on North Payne St (also signs for "Raceway") about 0.15 mile to its end.

Left on Hayes St (South) about 0.6 mile, underneath the NY Thruway.  It later becomes Vreeland Ave, which becomes one-way.

Left on Paulding for one block.

Right on Nepperhan (South) a little ways, which merges into Rt 9A South, and soon reaches a traffic-light intersection.  (several food places near here)

Right on (or beside) Tarrytown Rd / Rt 119 West a short ways (fifty yards?).

Left onto South County Trailway (near Rini's restaurant).

South County Trailway continues south mostly off-road for 6 miles or more and ends at Barney St. 

At the end, can go onto the public vehicle roads, and turn Right, quick Left, and another block south on an unsigned street which then turns Right into a traffic light which permits crossing the high-speed high-traffic-volume Saw Mill River Parkway east-to-west, onto Hearst St.  A little ways west on Hearst St leads to Nepperhan Ave, which is a major north-south street in Yonkers.

Reflections on using Rollerskis or Skates

There are several problems in rolling on the Trailways that are worse on rollerskis or skates than on a bicycle:

  • Variable conditions.  I was lucky with weather and surface conditions that day.  Lots of times there are problems with wet pavement, leaves, wet leaves, stones, gravel, dirt, mud, and fallen tree branches and twigs.
  • Seeing obstacles. The trailways are mostly underneath trees. Cooler on hot days -- but makes it much more difficult to _see_ stones and twigs that could make you crash and get hurt, especially when using little wheels like on rollerskis or skates.
  • Slippery. Because the trailways are mostly underneath trees, the trailway surface takes longer to dry off after rain, because less sun and the overhanging trees keep dripping on it -- could be very slippery for rollerski or skate wheels, with plastic or polyurethane being the worst (the normal kind of wheels for inline skates). After a substantial rain, the surface is still to be wet the next day even though it's now sunny. And then there's the problem of leaves -- and wet leaves. Lots of things to be careful about.
  • Hilliness. Some sections of the Trailways have some long downhills -- especially in northern Westchester and Putnam counties. For example the section between Millwood and Yorktown Heights that crosses the Croton Reservoir. I always use rollerskis with speed-reducers, and I _use_ the speed reducers for the hillier sections of the trailways. I'm not saying those sections cannot be done without speed reducers, but be prepared for how to handle it, because you could get hurt real bad if you pick up too much speed on a downhill.

May 2004, Ken on NYC.bicycles:

The connection between the South and North sections of the Weschester County Trailways has now gotten even easier than when I tried it last year. The paving is finished from Eastview Park&Ride all the way south to Warehouse Lane in Elmsford. So now there's only about a mile which must be done on roads, but most of the way is not high traffic volume -- except for less than a hundred yards on Rt 9A which is pretty bad (and crossing Rt 119/Tarrytown Rd, but that has a traffic light). See details of my route below.

I did it on skates a few days ago, and the pavement on the roads was decent to good, except for that horrible short section on Rt 9A. The pavement on the new off-road Trailway section was mostly excellent, but of course there were a few rocks and twigs and wood-chips that I had to be careful with on skates. The slope of the Trailway between Eastview and Warehouse Lane is evenly graded, with no noticably steeper sections. (I measured it on DeLorme TopoUSA as less than 2% grade overall, and mostly under 1% grade)

Route details South-to-North

Here's how I connected the South section of Westchester County Trailways to the North section:

South County Trailway comes to its northern end where it hits Rt 119 / Tarrytown Rd (between Saw Mill River Parkway and Rt 9A), next to Rini's restaurant.  (Several other food places in the next block or two on Tarrytown Rd east to the right.)

I went a tiny bit Right on Rt 119 East as I went straight across onto an unsigned street that looks a bit like a parking lot. It's called Vreeland Ave (the entrance is just West of the traffic light for Rt 9A / N Central Ave). Actually there was a lot of vehicle traffic, so I went a few steps further East on the sidewalk and crossed at the traffic light, then back on the other sidewalk to Vreeland).

Straight north on Vreeland Ave underneath the NY Thruway all the way to its end (about 0.65 mile). (It is One-Way north-bound for the first part, and along the way its name changes to Hayes St).

Right on North Payne St, go past signs for "Elmsford Raceway", ends at a busy road which is Rt 9A (about 0.15 mile).

Left on (or beside) Rt 9A North for about 100 yards. High-traffic-volume high-speed road. Four lanes not very wide, no shoulders, and little or no sidewalks. There was so much vehicle traffic at the time I was there, and I was on skates, so I did most of this section out to the side off the lanes of the roadway. I found there sand, dirt, gravel, parking lots, driveways. I think the west side was worse than than the east side.

Left at first traffic light onto Warehouse Lane, into Elmsford Distribution Center, about 0.4 miles. Right onto paved Trailway. There was no sign for it. The Trailway comes immediately _before_ the roadway turns right (where another road turns left). The Trailway starts north between a chain-link fence and the right-turning roadway of Warehouse Lane.

After about a hundred yards, cross the driveway entrance for UPS (and the end of the chain-link fence), and continue north on the Trailway.

After a ways cross another road (which comes from Rt 9A by Fairview Park Drive and Ridgewood Drive), and keep going for about 1.5 miles on the paved Trailway.

cross Bridge -- the Trailway has its own special bridge over Rt 100C -- soon see paved access path coming in from the west from over the top of a hill from Eastview Park & Ride (and from the Tarrytown Lakes extension of the Westchester Trailways).

North County Trailway continues north from there for another 20 miles and connects to the Putnam County Trailway (see Reports) all the way to Mahopac.

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