After a couple of weeks of cycling in California with my brother and in Indiana with a gang of Weitlaufs, I nudged my friend Andre to ride in the Hudson Valley. We considered a few routes and settled on a relatively easy 60-mile ride to the Peekskill Brewery using two long multiuse trails in Westchester Country, the South County Trail and the North County Trail.
For whatever reason, I have never taken many trails around here. Usually, trails better serve novice cyclists, who are just getting used to cycling and for families taking a leisurely jaunt, than roadies, who are trying to keep their heart rate elevated. But yesterday was a cool and sunny autumn day. It was cold enough to keep the trail relatively empty, but pleasant enough for riding thirty-plus miles on beautifully paved, tree-lined trails. And there was that foliage everyone goes gaga for this time of year.
One downside of the trail is that there aren’t many opportunities for rest stops along the way. There’s some opportunities in Ardsley and in Elmsford, but really the best place to stop was the Millwood Market, off Route 100, in Millwood. There was food, a bathroom, plenty of water, and even a bike rack. We even ran into an experienced cyclist, an emeritus member of the NY Cycle Club, who informed us that part of the North County Trail was closed. We would have to take a detour. After crossing the Croton Reservoir over a wooden bridge, we took a left at Route 118 and followed that road until we came to Revere Drive. From there, a right turn and a quick left will put you back on the trail.
The route I followed had us take US–202/NY–35 west from Yorktown to Cortland Manor just south of the Blue Mountain Reservation and north to Peekskill. Along the way, there’s some really nice countryside which takes on a nice luster during the fall.
Once we arrived at the Peekskill Brewery, we found about a half dozen cyclists hanging there after a ride. The brewery has become a popular destination for cyclists because it offers delicious food, great beer, and easy access to the Hudson line train back to the city.