About (Staten Island Miller Wadsworth Ride)
This ride links two sectors of the Gateway National Recreation area, which means both were once defense installations. Miller Field was an Air Force base, both with runways for planes with wheels, and ramps for planes with pontoons. The runway remains because unlike Floyd Bennett Field, the strip was grass, not pavement.
The Ride Story (Staten Island Miller Wadsworth Ride)
Miller Field is an immense patch of grass, and circumnavigating it is its own ride. I’d hate to mow it! But it’s also a good starting point for a ride as it takes the beach bike path all the way up to Fort Wadsworth, linking the ride from the ferry, creating a nice 15-mile loop from the ferry, a nice day’s outing.
Since this ride spends most of its distance right next to a beach, expect that the ride can feel pretty windy. It’s not a bad thing; if you get a tailwind, you’ll get a nice easy ride, and if you get a headwind, you’ll have to either ride slower or work a bit harder. The good thing about riding along the beach is little traffic. At the height of summer heat, expect the path to get crowded, otherwise you’ll have much of the ride to yourself. At a certain point on your ride north, the boardwalk begins and it should mean a nice separation between pedestrians and cyclists, but you lose a view of the water for a while.
With so little to worry about in terms of safety, the ride goes by very quickly. Even when the bike path ends and you enter the forts’ grounds, there are very few cars to worry about. The forts appear just after riding under the massive Verrazano Narrows span, a contrast of modern and early American history.
The forts really are something to behold. Not only were they an essential part of protecting New York Harbor from invasion starting in the 17th century, but the structure was built for another era, so there are tunnels that go through the place in all sorts of directions.
While we prefer stopping by Battery Weed for the views, there are plenty of picnic areas, playgrounds, and miles of sand to relax on.
Borough(s): Staten Island
Distance: 7.5 miles
Terrain: Fairly flat, but a few hills by the turnaround. Most on protected bike paths and quiet park roads.
Ride Rating: @@
Notes: The area around the ferry has been changing for years and will change more for years. Fort Wadsworth is the opposite. It’s largely stuck in the 19th and early 20th century. Quite the contrast.
Includes: A PDF with intelligence and a GPX file to upload to your bike computer or mobile device.
LInks to: SI02–which will take you to the ferry, SI05–around Miller Field, and SI06.