Author Topic: Atlantic Coast Route Alternatives in NY  (Read 539 times)

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Offline BikeliciousBabe

Atlantic Coast Route Alternatives in NY
« on: September 30, 2021, 03:58:45 pm »
Recently finished a tour from St. Albans City, VT to Philly. Picked up the Atlantic Coast Route in Millerton, NY. From there heading south I took two alternatives, both of which I had ridden in the not-so-distant past.

1. From the Harlem Valley Trail in Wassaic, instead of continuing on the highway after leaving the station I made a right onto Deep Hollow Rd.  Deep Hollow is unpaved, but the surface is very good. Mostly hard pack dirt.  Encountered two cars on a weekday before noon. People drive slowly because of the road surface. Saves mileage on a busy highway and climbing. A map of the alternative from where you leave the official route to where you rejoin it:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37659291

2. From New Paltz I skipped the Wallkill Valley Trail, which was not a great experience back in 2018. Not that great a surface and not scenic. It then leaves you off sort of in the middle of nowhere, forcing you to head through Wallkill and then take Bruyn Turnpike. Both had a good amount of traffic back in 2018. Instead, I took what was the previous routing. Low traffic once you get onto Libertyville Rd./CR 7 and much more scenic, with better views of the Shawangunks.  Again, a map showing he alternative:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37659346

Offline John Grossbohlin

Re: Atlantic Coast Route Alternatives in NY
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2022, 09:39:17 pm »
The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is a very different trail today than it was in 2018. The north segment of the trail from New Paltz to Kingston was developed since then and is part of the Empire State Trail...

It is wider and smoother with a compacted stone dust surface. Bridges have been replaced or built along the corridor. There is a lot of history along the trail including cement caves, cement kilns, trestles and historic sites. Depending on the season there is also the Rail Trail Cafe that offers food and live music in the woods next to the trail as well as primitive camping.

The southern segment from New Paltz to Gardiner is in the process of being being developed. Sites such as the fire tower at Mohonk and The Gunks are visible from the trail.

WVRT has a connection to Walkway Over the Hudson and from there you can ride to Manhattan off road except for a short segment.  New Paltz is a college town and there are performing and visual arts there and in Kingston as well as lots of restaurants, breweries distilleries, and wineries in the area.

You can make good and safe time on the WVRT if you want, but you can also do some adventuring and see what is going on around it!

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Atlantic Coast Route Alternatives in NY
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2022, 11:35:41 am »
I was only referring to the WVRT south of New Paltz.  I had heard that north of New Paltz in nice.  Trail conditions aside, getting back on the "old" routing via the town of Wallkill and Bruyn Turnpike was not pleasant.

And the ACA route already incorporates the Walkway Over the Hudson. Nice facility. I believe they were working on installing the restrooms on the west side of the bridge back in 2018. They are done now and are really nice.

And if anyone is looking for a side trip further north, the now-open section of the Harlem Valley Trail from Millerton, NY up to Copake is awesome.  I camped at the Copake portion of Taconic State Park back in September after crossing into NY from Great Barrington, MA.  Really nice place.  (Much better than Rudd Pond.) The trail passes right by the entrance to the park.  There is a store there in the old passenger station that also prepares food.  Out of sheer coincidence I met one of the co-authors of "Younger Next Year" (the lay co-author, not the M.D.) while picking up some beer and a NYT.  He was out riding the trail at 87 years young. 

Offline John Grossbohlin

Re: Atlantic Coast Route Alternatives in NY
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2022, 01:33:43 pm »
Ulster County and Open Space Institute are both working with the Wallkill Valley Land Trust to get the southern section of the WVRT done. It will be much nicer soon!

I've taken day trips on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail and the Electric Railway Trails on the east side of the Hudson. I also ride the WVRT, O&W Rail Trail and the Ashokan Rail Trail. I did the entire Erie Canalway and part of the C&O Canalway. I enjoy seeing the wildlife and often quiet stretches of those trails as compared to the TransAmerica, Lewis and Clark, East Coast Greenway, Atlantic Coast and my self created road routes where the drone of traffic is a near constant. I found the Harley Davidsons to be particularly annoying in the Rockies and Cascades as they often drown out the sounds of nature. That said, I make a lot of noise on the WVRT when I'm running a chainsaw to remove fallen and hazard trees!