3. Wolfe’s Pond Park
Best for: those who are out of NYC options and looking for something new
Sometimes, you’re just bored of your trails. Cunningham Park feeling old hat? Make an urban adventure ride over to Staten Island and find Wolfe’s Pond Park! There are only four miles of trails, but it’s well-worth the trip—and if you want to add miles of singletrack. Mount Loretto Forest is only a mile and a half away down Hylan Boulevard, or you can practice your sand riding skills on the beach for great views of New Jersey across the water (this is also an awesome option for fat bikers in the summer or winter!).
Any level of mountain biker will find this park fun and challenging. Thankfully, there are plenty of twisty, rotted trails that an intermediate or expert can enjoy, but a beginner will still be able to make his or her way through most of the sections, albeit more slowly. And the short, steep climbs? Yikes. For a seasoned mountain biker looking for new adventures, Wolfe’s Pond Park is an awesome destination.
4. Blue Mountain Reservation
Best for: a close day trip
If you’re looking for a long day on the bike but can’t commit to a major trip outside of the city, then Blue Mountain Reservation is the perfect option. You can spend hours here (and head to Sprain Ridge before or after to add mileage), and still be back in the city in time for your dinner reservation. NYCMTB refers to it as “one of the best trail systems in the Northeast,” and they’re right on the money. It’s fantastic. Honestly, it’s one of the best examples of true East Coast riding in the area, defined by lots of short, steep climbs, crazy rock gardens, plenty of roots, and a heck of a lot of trees.
The vast majority of the trails fall into intermediate range, and it’s an accurate assessment: newbies can attempt them, but may find themselves walking more frequently, while experts will enjoy getting speedy on some hill repeats in the double-track that largely makes up the intermediate trails. There are shorter beginner trails (all double-track), and two sections of expert trails on double-track entitled “Limbo” and “Ned’s Left Lung,” respectively. And they’re tough. There are a lot of other black diamond sections of singletrack worth exploring, and while this park is fairly technical, intermediate riders shouldn’t be terrified, just cautious.