Trip Reports on 
Walkway + Mid-Hudson / Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge loop

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KenR, July 2009:

After the encouraging reports from Greg and Herb & Jerry, Sharon and I rode the loop on a cloudy (and slightly rainy) weekend day. We had a great time.

Two roads with fun downhill sections that had been eroded last time were nicely repaved: Mills Cross on the east side and Hawleys Corners on the west side of the river.

This time we were struck by how special is the River Rd south of Port Ewen for riding alongside the Hudson river with clear views of the water. There's nothing else like it north of Beacon (or north of Albany).

We noticed that the Rondout waterfront food is mostly at slower more expensive "sit down" places (now that the bakery has moved away to Rosendale). We did find one smaller quicker place there which had old-fashioned "Italian ice" -- possibly it also had gelato, but didn't see that so clearly.

We picked up some food in Port Ewen and carried it with us a couple of miles to the picnic table at the Lighthouse Park on River Rd, and that was a rather pleasant spot for a snack.

Greg, July 2009:

The route was a very pleasant surprise when we did it a few weeks ago. There was lots of nice scenery, great roads, and terrific views from the bridges. One of our favorites so far on the website.

Herb & Jerry, June 2009:

We rode it today without any of the variations. NB: starting at Walkill River bridge in New Paltz makes it a 68 mile ride. After heading east on Rt 299, pick up New Paltz Road west of the Thruway and join the cue sheet at milepost 51.0. Cue sheet didn't mention that the rain scheduled for 3 pm would arrive at 12:30 while we were having lunch at Rondout Waterfront. We waited it out and didn't get too wet on the way back.

Serious notes:

  • There is no food at milepost 28.0. You have to go on to Rondout Waterfront at milepost 31.6.

  • There are some short unpaved stretches just beyond milepost 17.4, but they are not too bad and can be ridden OK on a road bike.

  • Milepost 0.3: The sidewalk that got you past the entrance ramps for Rt 9 ends and the one you want by Clover Street is not visible. Resist the urge to cross the highway to ride with traffic, but rather walk the 30 feet or so on the grassy shoulder to get to the Clover Street sidewalk.

[Ken responds: I've changed the cue sheet to try to clarify how to navigate the sidewalks around mile 0.3. Regarding food at mile 28, last week in the midst of a very long ride, Sharon + I bought drinks + food at the gas station / convenience store on rt 32 by the west end of the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge. I suspect Herb & Jerry just weren't as thirsty + hungry as us then.]

Scott, May 2006:

My bf and I did the first half (a tire blowout at Rhinecliff ended the trip abruptly) of your Mid-Hudson/Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge loop yesterday, Sunday, May 28. We found it pleasant and pretty. I judged it slightly hilly.

Some changes/comments:
mile 1.3 Garden St now signed
mile 4.7 E Dorsey Lane and Beck are unsigned
mile 7.8 Netherwood has become Crumb Elbow Rd.

Keep up the great work!

[ Ken Roberts response: I've since updated the cue sheet based on those comments. ]

Joel, April 2005:

There is still (left over from last year) some construction on South Mill Road just north of the 2nd bridge. The site, however, is brief and rideable.

September 2003:  see condition reports on DC Rt 85 / Morton Rd near Rhinecliff.

Joel, June 2004:

I just rode the Mid-Hudson/Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge loop with some minor detours of my own. 2 condition updates:

1. Some construction on Kinston Rhinecliff bridge, with narrowing in the middle of the bridge. No major problem.

2. Construction on Mill Rd just north of bridge over falls. 2 unpaved (depaved?) sections totalling < 1/8 of a mile. Very passable. Thanks for the ride

Ken, July 2003:

Sharon and Tony and I found the usual pleasant roads going north out of Poughkeepsie.  Some rough sections on Mill Cross.  Turning off Morton Rd / DC Rt 85 before the bottom of the hill coming into Rhinecliff was worth it for the pretty view across the river.  (Note that the turnoff for the best view is before the turn marked for the official bicycle route.)  

Riding across the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge on the wide shoulder was good.  Once across the river, we tried Variation E -- some of it seemed better paved than last time we checked.  Since some of us had ridden on River Rd recently, we skipped the hill by taking Variation G.  

But somehow the hills after mile 37 were too much for me.  Not sure if it was from not enough water earlier, not enough food, or not having recovered from a tough workout a couple of days before.  The last few miles back to the Mid-Hudson Bridge were little more than painful survival for me.

Hawleys Corners Rd had lots of rough pavement, or the downhills could have been fun.  Instead I would have preferred to take Variation K as a way to avoid some of its climbs.  Finally the north sidewalk of the Mid-Hudson Bridge was in excellent condition, and soon we were finished.

April 2003, Ken

Sharon and Ron and I started out from Poughkeepsie early on a Sunday morning and followed the route up the East side of the river.  Pleasant riding to Mill Cross and Rt 9.  Nice views of the Hudson River marsh from Mill Rd, because the trees still did not have leaves on them.  Then two short dirt sections on Mill Rd.  Memorable was a gravel bump on Morton Rd / DC Rt 85, right in the middle of the big downhill into Rhinecliff.  Alas the cafe in Rhinecliff had gone out of business, so we continued on north with some pleasant riding on Ryan Rd and River Rd. 

We rode across the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge for the first time since the big  construction was finished.  We rode on the wide shoulder, which was in excellent condition.  Nice views up and down the river, and ahead to the Catskill mountains.  And we didn't have to ride across any big metal expansion joint gratings. 

When we got to the Rondout waterfront, we stopped for some food and coffee at the The Alternative Baker on Broadway.  We climbed up out of Kingston, continued through Port Ewen and down along the river to the Lighthouse Park, a pleasant place to stop with wide views of the Hudson river, picnic tables, and no boat launch facilities.  We had to pay for our visit down to the water with a sizable extra hill climb, but it was worth it.

One of us was feeling an injury, so after that we broke off the route, and instead took a shortcut on Variation H, and rode on Rt 9W South for several miles.  But the day before we had noticed a rough section on Rt 9W just north from the Mid-Hudson Bridge -- so to avoid that, instead of taking 9W all the way, we turned off Right onto North Rd (just south of Rt 299).  At the end of that we turned L on New Paltz Rd, R on Elting, and at its end turned L to rejoin the main route on Philips Rd / Commercial Ave. 

We crossed on the Mid-Hudson Bridge to finish in Poughkeepsie.  The north sidewalk of the Bridge was in excellent condition.

June 2000 -- Sharon and Ken started out from Poughkeepsie fairly early on Sunday morning and followed the route up the East side of the river.  Once we navigated through the section around Main St, the rest of the way out of city and town of Poughkeepsie turned out to be much less city-like than we expected -- even rural sometimes -- and reasonably quiet (at least on Sunday morning).  But then it started to rain seriously as we approached Rhinecliff.  We had a pleasant stop at the cafe, but it was still raining when we came out.  

Then we found out that the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge was closed to all bicycle traffic.  The south side of the bridge was blocked off under construction, and we saw two narrow lanes of high-speed traffic.  We checked out the walkways, but we could see only a tiny strip of raised concrete free on one side.  So we turned around and headed back.  We wanted to make some speed, so we decided not to retrace the route.  Instead we went to Rhinebeck and took Route 9 south to Poughkeepsie.  Lots of high-speed traffic, but the shoulders on south-bound side were pretty nice -- except for a little south of Rhinebeck where Route 9 widens to 4 lanes for 2 miles or so -- pretty rough through there.

When we got back to Poughkeepsie, we checked out the new walkway on the Mid-Hudson Bridge, now open for riding bicycles.  We found it ridable on our tandem, though there are some narrow spots.  Generally the whole walkway is much narrower than the one on the Newburgh-Beacon bridge, and we did not find it a pleasant riding experience.  But at least it's ridable, and open.

Story of this route

Ken's story:  We first thought of doing this route because of the concept of riding a Hudson River loop across both bridges.  

Unfortunately the first time we tried to ride it in June 2000, we discovered that the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge was closed to bicycling because of a long construction project.  So we only got to ride the parts on the East side of the river on that day. 

At last in 2003, the Bridge was re-opened for bicycling, so we finally got to ride all the roads.

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