Trip Reports on 
New Paltz to Ashokan Reservoir

see also 
 - - [ Road Condition Reports ] - [ Photos
 - - [ Ashokan Reservoir Dam reports
 - - [ Ashokan Reservoir Views reports
 - - [ Woodstock and around Ashokan Reservoir reports
 - - [ all Trip Reports index

Greg, July 2009:

This past Friday I did the New Paltz to Ashokan Reservoir ride. We added variation D and finished by going thru Rosendale to Springtown Road. Somehow the total distance was 81 miles. Even allowing for some errors, it probably would be at least 78. You may want to update the cue sheet to reflect added mileage when avoiding the final steep hill of Mohonk House. Nevertheless, the ride was enjoyable and if we had more time in the day left we might have doubled back on Springtown Road to get to an even 100 miles.

There are two additions I'd make to the cue sheet: the "unsigned" road at 16.2 is now signed and called "Francis" road or street. Also, at 38.6 the right turn is on to a road with a street sign called "Spillway". That goes for about a block or two before becoming Ashokan Road. Since there was no sign for Ashokan Road at the turn, we went about a mile before turning around back to that point and turning on Spillway. We should have known better though if we looked closely at your cue sheet because it did say the turn came up in just 1/10 of a mile after the bridge.

KenR, October 2008:

On a wonderful fall color weekend, Sharon and I rode the route with Variation D. Roads mostly in good condition. The route still seems great for us.

KenR, August 2007:

Sharon and I rode the route with Variation D on a nice cool summer day with blue skies. It was pretty and fun as always. Roads mostly in good condition.

KenR, November 2006:

Sharon and I rode the route with Variation B on a cool weekend day. Most of it was nice as ever -- but on Variation B, Lundy Rd was rough in places, and Roque Harbor Rd had some bad potholes which we hit. It's clear to us that for riding on our tandem we'll likely avoid Variation B in the future (but other folks might enjoy riding the remote dirt road, just for variety). We sure noticed all the steep-ish hills on the Cherrytown roads, and were glad that each was rewarded with a descent.

KenR, June 2005:

Paula and Dave and Sharon and I rode the route on a hot and humid weekend day, taking Variation D. We were glad we started early in the morning, and we made lots of stops to make sure we had enough liquid in us. Still felt like a great ride, and still felt plenty hilly.

September 2003:  see Report from John about Rt 28A around the West end of the Ashokan Reservoir.  This impacts Variation D.

September 2003, Ken

With rain showers coming and going, Sharon and I started on the Rt 44 section thinking we doing a shorter route.  But the sky got better, so we started going for something longer, and we were glad to see that the road from Rt 44 down into Kerhonkson had been paved since last time.

After that, pleasant riding to the Ashokan Reservoir, where we discovered that part of Monument Rd had concrete barricades which blocked out cars -- but not bicycles (see Condition Reports).  We got some sunshine at the Reservoir -- good timing to enjoy the views across the water.

We found other roads had been re-paved which was nice, including some of Ashokan Rd.   A rather pleasant ride on a cloudy showery day.

June 2003, Michael Margulis

Myself and 3 other riders from Queens and Nassau County, NY rode the New Paltz to Ashokan Reservoir ride on sunday.  This ride provided excellent training for the mountains and I liked the 5000 vertical feet gained for its training benefit.  I am training for a 3 day, self-supported, cycling fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House in Alaska, where the daily vertical adds up to about 6000'.  We averaged about 13 mph and racked up 75 miles of gorgeous scenery, hard-earned ascents and many exhilarating descents.  Two years ago, I cycled Mt. Ventoux and although the mileage was less, the pain of the vertical gain on Mohonk Road (Rte 6A) brought back memories.  When we reached the top, we all looked at each other and remarked how ascents like that makes one very honest and puts the money on the table.

The roads were in excellent condition and Ashokan Road appeared newly paved.
We avoided Lundy and Rogue Harbor Road of Variation B, but cycled Variation D, the small loop around Ashokan Reservoir by turning left on Rt 28A and returning back via Reservoir Road and along the spillway for some pretty views.

We named this ride, Tour De Road Kill.  It wasn't the potholes we had to watch out for, but the variety of possum, raccoons, deer, turtles and frogs that littered the route.  There was one other hazard, we didn't focus on and that was dashing deers.  We saw many, but during one descent, one deer dashed out of the woods, across the road, a few feet in front of one of our riders.

Micheal Margulis is author of Mountain Biking New York, Globe Pequot Press.

September 2002, phone call with Pat

He and Mary rode the route for the first time.  They liked the variety of the climb and descent over the Shawangunks on Rt 44 -- followed by the dirt on Rogue Harbor Rd in Variation B.  No problems with the dirt, and didn't mention any other problems on the route.  

July 2002, Ken Roberts[ Photos ] 

I met Samir and Rhonda visiting from California in New Paltz in the morning.  They had never ridden in the Hudson Valley before, but they said they wanted to do a 100 mile ride to train for their big event coming up in August.  So we decided to combine the "New Paltz to Ashokan" route with Woodstock and around the Ashokan Reservoir

We were lucky to have a nice cool day even though it was the middle of the summer.  After climbing over the Shawangunk ridges and the "Minnewaska West" descent, the road surface on the Kerhonkson main street was a bit rough.  I liked Clay Hill Rd better than Variation B. 

Cherrytown Rd and Upper Cherrytown had good pavement condition, and I really enjoyed mile after mile of the quiet road through the woods with a wide variety of houses and farms and summer camps.  The sun came out when we got to the Ashokan Reservoir, just in time to make the water pretty.  

Then we switched the Woodstock and Around the Ashokan route and had lunch at a restaurant Rhonda picked out in Woodstock.   The couple of miles on Route 212 west from the center of Woodstock were a bit rough, but pavement on Cold Brook Rd was in good condition.  Wide shoulder on Route 28 East to Boiceville.  Then some serious ridges across one of the early bridges on Route 28A, but the other bridges and the pavement back to rejoining the New Paltz to Ashokan route were in mostly good condition. 

The rode the path by the Ashokan Reservoir for the second time that day, but this time turned off to head back to New Paltz.  We all made it up the Mohonk West climb -- they said they were very accustomed to hills from riding in the Bay area in California.  When we got back to New Paltz, Samir's odometer only said 94 miles -- but we decided that was enough.


June 2001, Ken Roberts:  

Sharon and I left New Paltz at 6:15am on a hot day with afternoon thundershowers predicted, and it worked out great.  Our recent training work paid off, and we went through the big and little climbs faster than ever.  Seemed like even larger number of fun downhills than we had remembered.  After taking Variation B, while re-fueling At Tetta's we met another rider who was up from Long Island for the weekend, and joined together for a few miles through the Ashokan Reservoir and down Ashokan Rd.  We were back to New Paltz before the noon heat, and very satisfied with the ride.

Notes on road conditions: the climbs and descent on Rt 44 still in good condition.  Rt 209 shoulders a bit rough in places, but generally reasonable.  Good news:  Lundy Rd and Rogue Harbor Rd were back in acceptable riding shape -- a few potholes, but we found them very avoidable.  The remaining back roads to the Ashokan Reservoir had their pavement mostly in rather good condition.  The climb up Ashokan Rd had some bumps and roughness that weren't very nice, but fortunately the descent was in pretty good condition -- just as fun as ever.  No noteworthy problems with any of the other roads back to New Paltz (except that Springtown Rd is still in definite need of re-paving).  

July 1999, Ken Roberts:  Sharon and I were riding it yet again, and we noticed that Lundy Rd and Rogue Harbor Rd in Variation B had fallen into rough condition.  My guess is that they've had a lot of traffic by heavy construction vehicles.  Hopefully they'll fix it up before too long.  But for now I've put the "Clay Hill Rd" variation into the cue sheet, and we recommend taking that if you don't want the chance of needing to ride through a lot of bumps.  Otherwise the route was lots of fun as usual. 

Road Condition Reports Overall Description of this route Overview Map for this route Route directions Cue Sheet Photos

Story of this Route 

Ken's story:  The New Paltz end of this ride started with Sharon and Tony and me spending lots of weekends rock climbing nearby in the Gunks (the cliffs of the Shawangunk ridge which you see early in this route).  Then after I discovered the speed and fun of riding my mountain bike with slick tires, I started looking for more places to ride it to -- and the Ashokan Reservoir was an obvious large geographic feature to go for.

The first time we rode there was when Tony wanted to go on a 100-mile AYH ride whose description was "hills, more hills, and a bridge".  I had never ridden a 100 miles, and we figured we'd better train for it.  So we decided to do our training ride from New Paltz to the Rondout Reservoir to the Ashokan Reservoir -- taking the obvious main roads.  Somehow we made a wrong turn as we left the Rondout and did the big Sugarloaf climb by mistake, so Tony and I were real tired when we finally made it back, but it convinced me that the Ashokan Reservoir was very worth riding to.

Next for me was to figure out how to get there using the most quiet and interesting roads.  So on another weekend morning, Tony and I were trying out different little roads going northwest from Route 209, before we hit on Lundy Rd of Variation B (but at first we made it the main route).  Then we connected to Cherrytown Rd, and it was like being in another world.  The long fun downhill, and visiting the beautiful reservoir under the mountains again.  I think we experienced the Ashokan Rd descent on that first exploration, but hadn't yet found a good connection back to the Gunks.  It was obvious that I was going to do this ride again and again.

Next time, we started in Accord, so that Sharon could ride it on her mountain bike (now with slicks) without having to do the big climbs over the Gunks and back.  Our return route included "Fording Place", where we walked our bikes through the water.   

When Sharon and I got the tandem, we rode the whole way from New Paltz together, and we would try different variations small and large, like having lunch at Bread Alone near Boiceville.  After a few tries we found the Leggett Rd connection from Ashokan Rd to the Gunks.  But sometimes early in the season the Mohonk hill was too much for us and we'd have to walk our tandem up the last part to the top and under the little bridge.  After a rest by the gatehouse, we'd finish the route with the long curvy descent to Wallkill River valley and New Paltz. 

Around 2002, we tried Clay Hill Rd and liked it, and later we made that the main route (instead of Lundy Rd and Roque Harbor Rd which are now Variation B).

see also 
 - - [ Road Condition Reports ] - [ Photos
 - - [ Ashokan Reservoir Dam reports
 - - [ Ashokan Reservoir Views reports
 - - [ Woodstock and around Ashokan Reservoir reports
 - - [ all Trip Reports index

Road Condition Reports  Overall Description of this route Overview Map for this route Route directions Cue Sheet Photos 


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