River Road : Shore Trail Exploration

Henry Hudson Drive aka River Road is the quintessential cycling destination for residents living within the Five Boros. Cyclists cross the George Washington Bridge with the option of turning left or right. Turning right is for people on TT bikes. Why would you ride a TT bike in the city? Trust me. No one knows. So back to turning left. Follow the Bike Path down to Henry Hudson Drive aka River Road and stay left. Boom! The sounds of the city are gone. Nothing but trees, tarmac, the sound of breath, the sound of chains running through cassettes.

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River Road is roughly seven miles of rolling hills ending with a short but challenging climb to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Alpine Approach Road is where you will find a lot of cyclists doing hill repeats.

And so this is the point where The Shore Trail comes into play.

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After climbing up Alpine, zip your jacket up and head back down. Hands in the drops. Keep it tucked. Most importantly; smile. At the bottom of Alpine go around the round about and head down towards the Parking Lot. The Trail Head will be on your right.

The Shore Trail is a beautiful stretch of Single Track that runs along the Hudson and just below River Road. There are many entry points but not everything is ridable on a Road / CX bike. You will find plenty of Hike and Bike sections on this trail and some opportunities to really push your self on your CX or Road bike. My personal favorite is getting on the Shore Trail at the Alpine parking lot and only doing the first mile or so. At a mile or so in there is a intersection in the trail where you have the option to head right up to Henry Hudson Drive. I’ve found this short but steep switch back to be the most challenging climb in the Palisades. And no one ever rides it!

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The legality of cycling on The Shore Trail is questionable though the Palisades Interstate Park Commission clearly states on their website that Bikes are in fact off limit to all trails. I will never encourage cyclists to poach trails but I will always encourage them to explore and follow their hearts.

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If you do decide to explore The Shore Trail make sure to do it respectfully, yield to any hikers and take the time to say hello.

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You can download the high resolution version of this map here.

For more stories like this make sure to explore Broken and Coastal and Pedal Often.