Intro (Staten Island Tottenville Bike Ride)
Tottenville, once known as Bentley Manor, is the southernmost community in New York State and Conference House, the southernmost point. There’s even a South Pole. If you roam around the streets, you’ll find a number of Victorian homes, reflective of the fact that this area, was settled far earlier than the rest of southern Staten Island.
The Ride (Staten Island Tottenville Bike Ride)
Because it’s the far end of a small island, Tottenville is almost by definition sleepy. While the Outerbridge Crossing is only a little north of the northern edge of the ride, most of that traffic is heading north and east, not south. And this makes it one of the best places to ride on the island. Between the quiet streets and home density, there’s a sense that just about every day is a holiday weekend, as if much of the population is sleeping in, on vacation, or watching television.
We assumed when we first got out of the train terminal that this feeling would quickly go away. It didn’t. The western shore of Tottenville used to be fairly industrial, heavy with shipbuilding. Those days seem long gone, and marinas have taken up the space. Industry is across the Arthur Kill in New Jersey and this portion of the eastern edge of the Garden State is littered with refineries.
Meanwhile, Arthur Kill Road, the street you head out on seems to get a tiny bit busier on the way to Richmond Valley Road. But then traffic drops off, briefly picks up on Page Avenue, Amboy Road seems to also have a little more car density, then drops off again. Leaving the road to us pretty much for the rest of the loop.
The best part of the ride was the section through Conference House Park. There’s a bridge over a small creek. Stopping there for a few minutes, sitting silently, nobody else in sight, and without the hum of a busy nearby street, nature seemed to come alive, with ducks paddling through and plenty of calls in the air.
Conference House Park is a fine place to stop. Not only is the titular house there, but there are two 19th century homes as well. When investigating old digs gets tired, you can stop and admire the Arthur Kill, the Raritan Bay, and New Jersey Coast by sitting in the Russell Pavilion, located right on the beach at the very end of Hylan
Borough(s): Staten Island
Distance: 5.0 miles
Terrain: Flattish, a few rises. Traffic is pretty light.
Ride Rating: @
Notes: Hidden historic site in sleepiest part of the island.
Includes: A PDF with intelligence, a GPX file to upload to your bike computer or mobile device, and a trail map.
LInks to: SI07 (if you have a mtb), SI08, SI09