Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

36 Mile Loop: Woodborune-Neversink-Claryville-Grahamsville

Posted by Frum Hiker on July 30, 2007

So I finally decided to brave the roads of the lower Catskills which I have noticed are rather bumpy and lack good shoulders. I parked in the municipal lot in Woodbourne, NY and road north on Route 42 for about 3 miles, a nice flat start and took a left at a place where it forks with Hasboruck road. Hasboruck road meanders its way north to to the Neversink Reservoir, it is a bit choppy so you will want to make sure your tires are hard, the road is mostly flat except for a lengthy climb at the end. I passed by fields and bungalows with a few trailer parks, some very nice people waved to me and the road has light traffic, no shoulders and potholes are issues, but by utilizing this road you can make some nice loops back to Woodbourne.

At the end of Hasboruck road, you hit route 55. I road west on route 55 and sat down over looking the Neversink Valley on top of the huge grassy hill that is an earth filled dam holding the Neversink Reservoir in place. I then proceeded back on route 55 east towards Grahamsville, after riding down and up a short steep hill I came to a very long downhill. I would estimate it at about 3 miles, it is steep with a decent shoulder but the bumps kept my speed below 40 mph.

If you want a nice short loop you can just take 55 east back to route 42 and go south 8 miles back to Woodbourne, this make the loop about 17 miles or so. Instead I took a left at route 19 or Claryville Road. This road starts off with a huge climb, I mean grinding it up in low rings for about 20 minutes at least. I ended up walking half way up. This road is beautiful, it is a shortcut to route 28 in the central Catskills and a great road to ride, it is smooth and has no traffic really.

After the huge climb it becomes a fast road that can be cruised at 20+ mph, you parallel a creek fro a bit and there are no houses until Claryville, which is a way off the beaten path town in the middle of nowhere. Stay straight on the road when seeing any junctions and ride past the old tannery and a number of houses. After passing over a temporary bridge because the mnain one is in repair keep going on the paved road. I rode for about 2 miles until Red Hill road. A women tending to her garden warned me that it was very steep and windy, both up and down. She was right, I could not ride any of it due to its steepness. I walked up the hill for about an hour until I crested it, I started going down and then took a right on Sugarloaf road, I was going 45 mph and my brakes were smoking the whole time, it was pretty steep and rough, my hands were seriously hurting.

At the end of Sugarloaf road, you take a right, the road I think is called Peekamoose Valley Road. At the end of that road you will go right into route 55A going west, on your right is the Roundout reservoir. Wildlife especially deer is abundant in this area so be careful, I have seen hundreds of deer in this area. Take route 55A into Route 55 and take a right, go 1 mile and then take a left on route 42 south. Unfortunately I undereestimated my timing and had to ride Route 42 at dusk, when cars cannot see cyclists so well.

I would rate this route as expert simply due to the 2 amazingly long and steep climbs I had to endure.

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