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Thread: Gravel riiding

  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Gravel riiding

    Hello is there any good gravel riding in NY (im on long island and we have plenty of mtb trails) or NJ. Seems like a cool thing between road and mtb.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Check out Gravelmap.com

    There are a lot of gravel roads in NW New Jersey, mostly Hunterdon County, but also a high concentration of gravel roads in Bedminster-Somerset County (Donald Trump country - one gravel road runs through his estate/golf course). Venture a bit further west into Bucks County PA for more gravel goodness. Long Island looks like a gravel road wasteland, but keep in mind that this site relies on users to identify the gravel roads, so maybe nobody made the effort. Perhaps you can be the L.I. ambassador.
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  3. #3
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    There's lots in Putnam County, NY. Some of the roads between US 9 and county 9D up and over the ridge are gravel, though they are not very long. Old Albany Post Road (east of US 9) is gravel (the part I've ridden, anyway). I'm sure there are more, I've only run across these accidentally, I don't go looking for gravel roads though my 35mm tires don't have any trouble with them.

    When I was a kid, there were more miles of gravel roads in the U.S. than paved (probably still true, but not out east in major metropolitan areas like we live in). In N. Wis. where I was then, about half the roads in town were paved, and off the highway, almost all of the roads were gravel.

  4. #4
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    Long Island has a lot of dirt roads, just not really fun on a gravel bike as there's too much sand. You can ride the length of Fire Island for the most part, just pick a day after a prolonged freeze, else you'll be pushing.

    "Upstate" NY is a bit of a crapshoot. The Catskill and Adirondack Parks have dirt roads, but not a ton that are through routes, mostly due to the extensive patches of state owned forests of various classifications, some of which prohibit bikes.

    That said, the only and nearest places for extensive dirt would be the Berkshires of western Mass. as well as Vermont and New Hampshire. TONS of stuff in those area's.

    The D2R2 ride is held in western Mass and has loops or 12 miles out to 112, all dirt, so there's a lot of stuff to explore.

    D2R2 | Franklin Land Trust

  5. #5
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    There is plenty of dirt in Putnam county and even more in the Catskills.

  6. #6
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    More events are also coming on line for gravel. My club, MAFW, put on the Revolutionary Ramble in central Jersey and are adding in a gravel section this year for the June event. Kermesse Sports sponsors the Hell of Hunterdon, and other spring events, which include shorter gravel sections. They are layering gravel options on more of their Spring Classic themed rides. Bicycling Magazine Fall Classic in October added in a gravel option two years ago. None of these are epic gravel rides, but mixing in 15-25 miles of 60-80 mile events. Pennsylvania and New England have more of the huge gravel mile events with high degree of difficulty. As Alan first posted, the farm roads around Burnt Mills Rd to Pottersville Rd in Bedminster NJ offer loops where you can put a quick 20-25 miles of gravel in with almost no pavement. Same along the Delaware River from Lambertville and north with longer climbs. Hilltop Bicycle shops just hosted their annual event for Fat bikes, 50 miles long. Members of their club also host a night time gravel ride on Monday nights which mixes gravel/fat/road/mtn bikes. If you are headed out to NJ, we can always match you up with the right group.

  7. #7
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    Living upstate, we don't have those perfectly-groomed forest roads like out on the west coast. We have some dirt roads in rural areas, but those are usually in pretty poor shape, and are more like mud than gravel. Fenders are a must.

    What we DO have in many central and western NY counties are lots of rail trails. Just within my county (Monroe), I have trails where the NY Central used to run, the Lehigh Valley, the Erie, the Pennsylvania, as well as canal trails along the NYS Barge Canal, the abandoned old Erie Canal, the abandoned Genesee Canal, and many old interurban rights-of-way.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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