KenR, July 2008:

Sharon and I rode it on a weekend morning on our tandem. We've ridden over great mountain passes in so many other places since we started riding this loop -- but it seemed as fun and challenging as ever. Roads were in good condition.


KenR, November 2007:

Sharon and I rode it on our tandem. Roads mostly in good condition, the usual pretty scenery and good workout on the hills. Didn't notice any problems with the bridges like in the 2006 and 2004 reports, so I guess they must all be fixed now. We combined this route with the southern half of the New Paltz Farms + Orchards route -- and that worked out nicely.

Had a nice snack top on a side trip to Accord -- Saunderskill Farms on Rt 209 a little south from Accord.


August 2006, KenR:

I didn't ride the whole route -- only Ulster County Rt 6 up and down over the east and west sides of Mohonk.

  • bridge missing on Ulster county Rt 6 - Clove Rd (around miles 24-25 in the cue sheet directions):  bridge over the Coxing Kill. I saw construction workers and vehicles, and a sign said construction is expected to take about three months and which started some date which I forget, but it was before August.

I didn't look for alternate roads, since I was not riding the whole loop.


May 2004, Ken:

Sharon and I rode the loop on our tandem.  We discovered that two bridges were missing, both with construction equipment present:

  • bridge missing near south end of Upper Granite Rd -- so we continued further west down Rt 44 and took Lower Granite Rd instead.
     
  • bridge missing on Tow Path Rd just southwest of Alligerville.  But we saw a wooden footbridge instead.  It looked like the access to it might have been across private land, but we didn't see any No Trespassing signs, so we walked our tandem bicycle across the bridge and continued our ride.

September 2003, Herb & Jerry:

We rode it in early September. Lovely ride, beautiful views, cue sheet is right on, roads in good shape.

One note: why do you include the words "climb" in the start of the trip, past the hairpin turn, but don't mention "steep climb" on the way up to Mohonk House. That, in our opinion, was the steepest part yet.

High point (sorry about the pun) for me was at the rest turn-out just before the big descent on Rt. 44. I have a photo of my bike in that exact spot taken in 1974! Not only did I recognize it, but it still looks the same after 30 years!

Ken replies:  Good point about the "steep climb" -- I'll add that to the cue sheet.


July 2002, Tony:  (Ken's notes from a phone conversation) 

All roads in good condition.  Rode multiple laps to train for a big event with big hills.  Came back again two weeks later for more laps.  Weather was hot and humid, so was glad to make a new food + water discovery:  There is a sink and water fountain and vending machines inside the Mohonk gatehouse, right at the top of the toughest climb. 

June 2001, Ken Roberts:  Sharon and I rode Butterville Rd, Route 299, and the four major hills as part of the New Paltz to Ashokan route.  Roads were in good condition, views as good and downhills as fun as ever.


 
 
see also 
 - [ New Paltz to Ashokan Reservoir reports
 - [ Road Condition Reports
 - [ Traffic discussion
 - [ all Trip Reports index

 Overall Description of this route Overview Map for this route Route directions Cue Sheet  

  

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Story of this Route 

Ken's story:  We started riding the hills of this loop as an extension of our mountain biking on the Shawangunk ridge.  On lots of weekend days, Sharon and I would go rock climbing in the Gunks (the East-facing cliffs on the ridge you can see on this route), often with Tony or others joining.  We would ride our mountain bikes on the old "carriage roads" of the Mohonk Preserve to reach climbs on the cliffs farther out, or to get near Mohonk and Skytop back when climbing was permitted there.

Sometimes we would just ride on the pretty carriage trails even if it was not a rock climbing day, and we would spend a day on mountain bikes at Minnewaska State Park, even though they didn't allow climbing there then.

Next we extended our exploring further out onto some of the quiet roads around the Shawangunk ridges, like Clove Road.  Then further to Alligerville, and Accord.  And those roads were interesting and we had fun.

Then we tried putting slick tires on our mountain bikes.  It was on Route 44 and Route 6 in the Shawangunks that we first discovered how fast and exciting it was to go down the smooth pavement of regular roads on slicks.  

Sharon and Tony and I also wanted to keep our legs strong for climbing up big mountains with our skis or snowboard in the winter, so we were looking for good workouts.  We found that the biggest and steepest uphills were out on the regular public roads.  So after a day of working out our arms and fingers on the cliffs, we would head out on our bikes to challenge our legs up the road hills, followed by lots of fun going down them.

After a couple of years doing this, we got a feel for which hills we preferred to take in which direction, and what connecting roads we liked.  We also tried out other roads that cross the Shawangunk ridge (which extends south into New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and beyond) -- but the ones in this route are our favorites.

Nowadays we like this loop as the prettiest and most interesting short-day hill workout around.  If we have more time available, we like to extend it to the Ashokan Reservoir (see the New Paltz to Ashokan route).  For additional concentrated interesting hill work, we ride the "Shawangunk Double" -- and start out early in the morning to avoid the traffic on the "Mohonk East" climb.

 
see also: 
 - [ New Paltz to Ashokan Reservoir reports
 - [ Road Condition Reports
 - [ Traffic discussion
 - [ all Trip Reports index

 Overall Description of this route Overview Map for this route Route directions Cue Sheet  

  

Send us your trip report

  



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