Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Monsey is for Mountain Bikers and Hikers

Posted by Frum Hiker on December 26, 2006

Monsey NY is probably one of the largest frum communities that is so accessible to great hiking and mountain biking, so I have compiled a short list that I will update with your suggestions, of great places to ride and hike in the area.


Harriman State Park

This 52,000 acre state park is one of lower NY’s best kept secrets. It offers 325 miles of marked hiking trails, many pristine lakes for fishing and boating and miles of beautiful roads to ride your bike on. Unfortunately mountain biking is prohibited on all off road trails, but the hiking is phenomenal especially on weekdays when the park is nearly abandoned. Both the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trails can be accessed in this park near the main southern entrance in Sloatsburg off of route 17.

Bear Mountain, Storm King, Hudson Highlands

Located just north of Harriman State Park off the Palisades Parkway, Bear Mountain and Storm King State parks also offer hiking and great views of the Hudson River and the mountains and cliffs that rise up from its shorelines. I have not hiked here too much but across the river in Hudson Highlands where the famous Appalachian Trail crosses the Bear Mountain Bridge and climbs straight into the highlands.

Clearance Fahnestock State Park (Cold Spring)

Just off the Taconic Parkway at the exit for route 301, which if coming from across the river can be accessed by taking a right off the Bear Mountain Bridge and continuing to Cold Spring at the western terminus of route 301. This park has many horse trails, boating lakes and hiking trails and well as beginner bike trails.

Stewart State Forest (Newburgh Airport buffer zone)

Located in Maybrook NY just off  I-84 about 9 miles northeast of Middletown this is my favorite place to mountain bike on the east coast. It features 9000 acres of mostly fast rooty and rocky single track, with some double track horse and ATV trails thrown in the mix. The easiest way to get here from the south is to take route 17 west till I-84 east. Get off the exit for Maybrook Route 208 and take a left, then a right on route 17-k. Go east on 17k for about 1.5 miles until after you pass over railroad bridge to Barron road. Make a right and at the end there is parking and a map- this place is huge and has hundreds of miles of trails so its easy to get lost.

Blue Mountain Reservation (Peekskill)

Located just outside of Peekskill, this park features biking and hiking trails that are very hilly. All of the trails go up and down though they have started to build crisscrossing ones. The single track is all marked and connected and quite good. There are also good drops for all you free riders out there. Take Route 9 to Welcher avenue. If coming from north make a left and visa versa if from south. Go up hill past gas station and then you will see park veer left upon entering and go till the last parking lot. Trails start here.

Ninham State Forest

Located near Fahnestock park listed above, this park is open to hunting within season, hiking and biking. It is located on county route 41 (gypsy trail rd) just off of route 301 in Putnam County. It has numerous single track s well as lots of double track. Just enter and make your own route.

Neversink Unique Area (Rock Hill)

Located just off exit 109 off Route 17, this area is a great area for hiking and campinbg if you seek solitude. Located in near Rock Hill New York, this little known gem is especially rewarding in the summer when you have to beat the crowds that occupy all the areas of the Catskills. Take route 17 west to the Rock Hill exit and make a left under the roadway. Follow that road all the way until it dead ends about 5 miles down. The hike takes you through lush pine woodlands down to the Neversink river, where many opportunities for swimming await.

Cronmer Park (Newburgh)

Located just off Exit 17 on the New York State Thruway I-87 this Newburgh city park features numerous mountain bike trails and lots of jumps and stunts. Take route 32 north after exiting the thruway and on your left side about 2 miles up will be Cronmer Park- small brown sign.

Ringwood State Forest (Ringwood NJ)

Located just inside NJ along the border with NY this park is one of the most famous mountain biking areas in the tri-state area. Take Route 59 through Sloatsburg and then follow signs to Ringwood. The single track here is very rocky with many sharp ones so make sure to bring extra tubes.

Jockey Hill (Kingston)

A little farther then most of the other places but still rather close. About a mile off of exit 19 on the NYS Thruway this wildlife management area is more of a locals only place. It is hidden and used more frequently by dog walkers then riders but the trails are well kept and slick. Very rocky, sharp rocks and slippery roots and numerous stream crossings make this a technical skills playground. When getting off exit 19 stay to your right and take route 28 west about 3 miles, on your right there will be a hunting and fishing store. It is your first road after the large quarry on your right. It is called Jockey Hill rd. Take this rather steep windy road till it ends make a right- you are on Sawkill rd now. Then in about 1 mile you will come to a sign depicting a ski area. Take that right, go to end of road. At the end of the road there is a circle, either park here and ride up the dirt road that looks like someone’s driveway or drive it, and go till the end and park there. The best route once you are in is to take the first trail on the left after you pass the yellow gate.  


3 Responses to “Monsey is for Mountain Bikers and Hikers”

  1. Dina said

    Nice list. Mahwah Reservation, which is right down Route 202 past Ramapo College, has beautiful waterfalls and lots of trails. The only downside is that the entire Mahwah walks their dogs there.
    And two days ago, I found Blauvelt State Park. You can take exits 8 or 5 off the Palisades to get there, so for people from Monsey who like to hike with people from the city or Jersey, it’s not too bad. I haven’t hiked there yet, but I got the trail map from the Palisades Visitor Center and noticed that if you switch to one or two other trails, you can get to Buttermilk Falls. And Buttermilk Falls are really nice, too.

  2. susan said

    I got the trail map from the Palisades Visitor Center and noticed that if you switch to one or two other trails, you can get to Buttermilk Falls. And Buttermilk Falls are really nice, too

    and don’t forget that in berry season there are great pickins in that buttermilk falls area!

  3. rachel said

    the cell band lost its signal, i didnt get thru

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