Alpine and Rockleigh are both Boroughs of Bergen County located in New Jersey just 10 miles North of the George Washington Bridge. They are home to the Alpine Scout Camp, Lamont Reserve and the Rockleigh Woods Sanctuary. Adjacent to the Palisades Interstate Park these woods feature over 4.5 miles of Single Track. Getting to the trail heads from Manhattan is pretty simple. Pedal over the George Washington Bridge, make a left and head onto River Road aka Henry Hudson Drive. Take River Road all the way up to the Ranger Station and make a right onto 9W. 1.3 miles down 9W make a left on Ruckman Rd. Ruckman dead ends and turns into a Gravel Road. The Trail Head will be on your right.
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An alternate route that I highly suggest is that you follow Ruckman Rd all the way down until it spits you out onto Anderson Ave. Once on Anderson make a left, follow the Gravel Road until you see the Trail Head on your left. The Trail Head will eventually split. Keep right to climb up Wild Turkey or stay left on the Un Named trail. Both will take you back to Ruckman Rd where you will make a right and then a left onto the Trail Head you passed earlier. Wild Turkey is a pretty challenging climb for a Cyclocross bike and you will definitely have to hike and bike a couple small sections. I am told the left side is mellower but I've yet to explore it.
At this point you will be on the Ravine Trail. Keep right to connect with the Red Dot trail that will take you through the Scout Camp or head left to follow the trail back down to Anderson Ave. Which brings up another cool loop! Ruckman Rd to Ravine to Anderson to Wild Turkey to Ravine to Red Dot. Follow?
Back to the Red Dot. So you will be on the Red Dot trail for awhile. The terrain is really fun on a cyclocross bike and at times really really challenging. You will be dismounting quiet often but thats ok because it only for a quick scramble here and there (If your on a mountain bike everything is ridable). Theres a lot of cool stream crossings which can be navigated by CX bike if you have the skills. The majority of them are borderline crossable on CX bikes and I'll leave it up to you to find out which ones a 35c or 40c tire can roll over. Other notable features are a some really cool rock formations that are ridable and lots of tree logs that can be bunny hopped.
The Red Dot trail eventually intersects with the White Trail and the Yellow Trail and the Orange Trail and the Blue Trail and the Red Trail. Basically at this point you have a lot of options and a lot of them I've yet to explore. Don't fret you can dig through my Strava to see the various routes I've done. For example the other day I bailed out half way through the Red Dot Trail and took a Fire Road that led me to the Alpine Scout Camp. I crashed three times and figured I'd better get out of there before I really wrecked myself.
I am pretty excited about exploring the rest of Alpine and Rockleigh and I will update this article as I discover new routes. As with all trail explorations, be safe, let someone know where your headed and ride within your limits. Now only if I could get some people crazy enough to pedal out there with me!