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My husband and I will be relocating to the capital region very soon and were hoping to get the scoop on the local riding/living. We enjoy technical singletrack with lots of ups and downs. Living in Utah has made us hill lovers. We would like to find a house within a short distance of decent riding and skiing. We will probably be looking to live in Rensselaer co. since this is where my husband will be working. From what I have viewed online, it appears that there is some awesome riding around Saratoga Springs. Any help you can give us on places to live/ride would be much appreciated! BTW, if anyone wants to show us the local goods we would be up for a spin once we get settled.
 

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Grafton

Living in Rens. county will put you closer to Grafton Lakes State Park. It's pretty much the mecca (IMHO) for mountain biking in these parts. It's east coast riding complete with mud, roots, and muddy wet roots. There are weekly rides out of there every Wednesday and Friday (check out http://www.mohawkhudsoncycling.org/ for more info). Plus, living on the east side of Albany you'll be closer to the closest ski resort, Jiminy Peak.

Saratoga is ok, but it doesn't really hold a candle to Grafton in terms of size and ability to get yourself lost for a day. Also you generally have to go through rush hour traffic in Saratoga to get to biking...

Hope this helps...
.nathan.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks

for the info. That is exactly what I wanted to know! I will have to check out the web site. Can't wait to get back to the muddy wet roots of the east. Not to imply we haven't enjoyed our ride time here in UT. I also didn't realize Jiminy Peak was the closest ski resort?? Can you ride at J.P.? What about Hunter?

nathasm said:
Living in Rens. county will put you closer to Grafton Lakes State Park. It's pretty much the mecca (IMHO) for mountain biking in these parts. It's east coast riding complete with mud, roots, and muddy wet roots. There are weekly rides out of there every Wednesday and Friday (check out http://www.mohawkhudsoncycling.org/ for more info). Plus, living on the east side of Albany you'll be closer to the closest ski resort, Jiminy Peak.

Saratoga is ok, but it doesn't really hold a candle to Grafton in terms of size and ability to get yourself lost for a day. Also you generally have to go through rush hour traffic in Saratoga to get to biking...

Hope this helps...
.nathan.
 

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Snow sports

JP is the closest (45 minutes) and they sometimes run cheap ($10) deals during the week....and yes they allow riders. They have a meager halfpipe and terrain park, it's not great, but it's there. Supposedly they are going to open two new trails...but who knows.

I tend to avoid Hunter/Windham on the weekends due to it's proximity to NYC. Most of the city folk venture there.

Mt Snow is probably about 1.5 hr away and Stratton is a tad farter than that. Whiteface is a good 2 hours as is Gore...and if you're willing to travel 3+ hours, there are a world of other resorts around.

Oh...and in term so of mountain biking. If you like to travel, about 3 hrs north is a place called <angels singing>Kingdom Trails</angels singing>. Phenominal singletrack and a great place to venture to once or twice a season! (http://www.kingdomtrails.com/)

.nathan.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
nathasm said:
JP is the closest (45 minutes) and they sometimes run cheap ($10) deals during the week....and yes they allow riders. They have a meager halfpipe and terrain park, it's not great, but it's there. Supposedly they are going to open two new trails...but who knows.

I tend to avoid Hunter/Windham on the weekends due to it's proximity to NYC. Most of the city folk venture there.

Mt Snow is probably about 1.5 hr away and Stratton is a tad farter than that. Whiteface is a good 2 hours as is Gore...and if you're willing to travel 3+ hours, there are a world of other resorts around.

Oh...and in term so of mountain biking. If you like to travel, about 3 hrs north is a place called <angels singing>Kingdom Trails</angels singing>. Phenominal singletrack and a great place to venture to once or twice a season! (http://www.kingdomtrails.com/)

.nathan.
I was referring to XC riding (in the off season) not boarding. We are skiers ;) Thanks again for the helpful info.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also need rec for good LBS

I am in the process of building 2 bikes and I will need a really good LBS.
 

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Nervous Descender
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nathasm said:
Living in Rens. county will put you closer to Grafton Lakes State Park. It's pretty much the mecca (IMHO) for mountain biking in these parts. It's east coast riding complete with mud, roots, and muddy wet roots. There are weekly rides out of there every Wednesday and Friday (check out http://www.mohawkhudsoncycling.org/ for more info). Plus, living on the east side of Albany you'll be closer to the closest ski resort, Jiminy Peak.

Saratoga is ok, but it doesn't really hold a candle to Grafton in terms of size and ability to get yourself lost for a day. Also you generally have to go through rush hour traffic in Saratoga to get to biking...

Hope this helps...
.nathan.
Hey Nathan- you forgot to mention rocks, wet rocks, muddy rocks, and more rocks! Also, Renssalaer county puts you closer to the great MTB trails in Western Mass. :D
 

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Renss. Co. and W. Mass. riding!

You can also link up the Pittstown State Forest singletrack to Grafton for a long, more technical ride. MHCC does 3 weekly rides in Grafton/Pittstown (Wed, Fri, Sun), check the calendar at webmhcc.org (addy changed for some stupid reason). We do a lot of rides off the map also, so you can get to know the about 30 miles of trails out in G/P. I lead some rides with the club, so drop a line. I work in Renss Co so I ride a lot there. We also have a 4 mile technical time trail course on private land that I can show you.

Petersbugh Pass has a ton of trails and LOTS of climbing. The Mountain Goat in Williamstown, MA does a Tues ride, I believe.

Other riding: check out Lenox Mountain in Stockbridge, MA: tons of rocky singletrack with climbs. You can ride from Olivia's Overlook in Stockbridge to Kennedy Park in Lenox. The Arcadian shop sells maps and they do a Thursday ride out of the shop, as a trailhead's located at their back door. October Mountain (close to Lenox) has tons of hidden singletrack. I haven't done it, but I've heard it's a 4 mile climb on doubletrack then an almost 6 mile descent on singletrack.

Jiminy is a good local place to do downhilling. They have new trails being built every week with some north shore stuff., lots of jumps and drops up to 6 feet so far.When it's wet, though, that place is slimy as hell! Trail #4 is fun as hell, with fun jumps and flowy singletrack.They guys at the shop could also hook you up with local ride information like the trails in the Pittsfield State Forest (which connects to Jiminy Peak at the top of the mountain).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow!! Thanks for all the info! October Mtn sounds perfect!! Just what we like 4 mile climb with a long singletrack decent. Can't wait!

We also like to do road rides as well on rolling country roads. We primarily uses the roadies for increasing our endurance for mtn riding. ;)

Thanks a million!

kelly

Jim Mac said:
You can also link up the Pittstown State Forest singletrack to Grafton for a long, more technical ride. MHCC does 3 weekly rides in Grafton/Pittstown (Wed, Fri, Sun), check the calendar at webmhcc.org (addy changed for some stupid reason). We do a lot of rides off the map also, so you can get to know the about 30 miles of trails out in G/P. I lead some rides with the club, so drop a line. I work in Renss Co so I ride a lot there. We also have a 4 mile technical time trail course on private land that I can show you.

Petersbugh Pass has a ton of trails and LOTS of climbing. The Mountain Goat in Williamstown, MA does a Tues ride, I believe.

Other riding: check out Lenox Mountain in Stockbridge, MA: tons of rocky singletrack with climbs. You can ride from Olivia's Overlook in Stockbridge to Kennedy Park in Lenox. The Arcadian shop sells maps and they do a Thursday ride out of the shop, as a trailhead's located at their back door. October Mountain (close to Lenox) has tons of hidden singletrack. I haven't done it, but I've heard it's a 4 mile climb on doubletrack then an almost 6 mile descent on singletrack.

Jiminy is a good local place to do downhilling. They have new trails being built every week with some north shore stuff., lots of jumps and drops up to 6 feet so far.When it's wet, though, that place is slimy as hell! Trail #4 is fun as hell, with fun jumps and flowy singletrack.They guys at the shop could also hook you up with local ride information like the trails in the Pittsfield State Forest (which connects to Jiminy Peak at the top of the mountain).
 

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MHCC also does tons of road rides out of Renss. Co. Much more than MTB rides, actually, so check the site for rides. If you're into it, there are a few club rides that hit a bunch of the mountains in RC with a combined total of 5 to 6,000 feet of climbing! Youch!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Jim Mac said:
MHCC also does tons of road rides out of Renss. Co. Much more than MTB rides, actually, so check the site for rides. If you're into it, there are a few club rides that hit a bunch of the mountains in RC with a combined total of 5 to 6,000 feet of climbing! Youch!
Now that's what I'm talking about, 5-6000 feet of climbing ;) Never done a club ride though. I couldn't imagine climbing 5000 feet at race pace. UGH!!
 

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Welcome to Grafton!

kellyinNY said:
Now that's what I'm talking about, 5-6000 feet of climbing ;) Never done a club ride though. I couldn't imagine climbing 5000 feet at race pace. UGH!!
Grafton is where I grew up, and I can't reccomend it enough. Land is pretty cheap, there's tons of riding around (In addition to the State Park, there are a lot of ATV/snowmobile trails and disused logging roads which are quasi-open to the public.) and it is totally beautiful. And it looks like the General Store is going to reopen soon, so no more 30 minute drives to buy some milk. The nearby towns of Petersburg, Pittstown, Berlin (which includes the Cherry Plain State Park, more excellent riding), etc... are all good too. If you're looking in Saratoga, I'll assume your husband is working more in Northern Renn. Co., so probably Stephentown and northern Columbia county would be out of the question. They're less hilly anyway.

There's very little in the way of flat land in Grafton. The State Park is actually one of the flatter sections. If you're really into hills, riding from Grafton through Petersburg and into Williamstown MA would feature some screaming downhills and brutal ups. I see roadies doing it all summer.

The biggest problem with rural SoRennCo (as I like to call it) are the schools. If you have kids around school age, this isn't the greatest place. The cheap land means a meager tax base which means underfunded public schools, and the State has overlooked this area for a while. I hear it's better when than when I was a kid, but the drop out rates are still on par with the worst inner city schools, and the facilities are limited.

The Saratoga area is much more expensive and developed, though I know people who live near the racetrack who pay their mortgage by renting their house for the month of August (horseracing season). If you can travel for a month in the summer, that's one way to improve your financial situation.
 

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RE: Western Mass

I have to go with the folks that are mentioning Western Mass. I live in the capital district and work in Mass. The single track riding there is great. As mentioned the Lenox mountain/Kennedy park area is a great place to start. There are so many linking trails there you could probably spend the whole day riding just there. The state forest is pretty good also. Jiminy Peak is where I go when I'm looking for some downhill action. You can ride all the way from Jiminy Peak off the back to the state forest if you wanted. It's long and easy to get lost though. October mountain is by far the best single track in the area. At least in my opinion. But the problem for riders new to October mountain is that you will probably never be able to find the single track trails. The climb is via a network of fire roads. The fire roads are frequently ridden by dirt bike and ATV riders. In an effort to preserve the single track trails the entrance ways to them are camouflaged quite well. So you would have to find someone that could show you the entrances if that's what your looking for. It is some sweet long single track though. Best in the Berkshires.
 
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