Ever ridden north on 9W from the GWB to Bear Mountain?
After riding through Tompkins Cove, there’s a final hill to tackle before the turnoff to Bear. It’s often referred to as Dunderberg, for the adjacent mountain. The climb isn’t much, about a mile at around 4%. But the real difficulty is car traffic. The road widens, going to two lanes, and with a rock wall on the west side and trees on the right, there’s nothing to see and no driveways or homes that could compel a driver to slow down and look around. When riding this sector, it feels that drivers treat this stretch of road as a highway, ramping up the speed, even if the two lanes switch to one at the top, and the road winds a good bit.
It’s not a great segment of road, and I usually feel safer when riding it with a group. But as its one of two legal ways to get to Bear Mountatin by bike, it gets a fair amount of bike traffic.
Riding south on this stretch of 9W isn’t much better, though it always feels much safer than when I first tackled it. Back then, there were boulders strewn on the road because there had been a rock slide off the adjacent mountain sometime earlier.
There has, since I first rolled my tires over Dunderberg, been a multi-use path that parallels the climb. The Jones Point Path Closed to cars, apparently since 9W was created, it has always a quiet, flatter alternative. But it was dirt surfaced and was never maintained. After I had to hike-a-bike one trip, I decided never to take it again.
Time to reconsider. Jones Point Path has been paved, at least since November.
Apparently, the trail, which has been around for decades, was of interest to the New York State Department of Transportation, because they needed access to perform some electrical work. They needed to get in, and they needed the permission of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, to do so. They probably needed to bring in some big equipment and thus the trail needed work. As such, they worked out an agreement with the PIPC to improve the trail, aka paying for the clearing and paving.
The trail itself looks to be about two miles long. When you include the local roads leading from where 9W forks to the trail, the segment is 2.41 miles, a shade longer than the 2.21 miles from that fork to where the trail meets 9W. It’s also a bit flatter.
It’s now part of New York State Bike Route 9 and the Hudson River Trail Network.
Take a look. Go for a ride. Enjoy.
(and if you haven’t, you ought to sign the petition to get a bike accomodation from Harriman to Bear Mountain, as currently there’s no legal way to go from the east end of Seven Lakes Drive directly to Bear Mountain.)