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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I visited NJ/ NY a couple of weeks ago. I haven't been back there since the late seventies. This time I saw how beautiful these places are but kept thinking about mountain bike trails winding through what appeared to be open and heavily forested land.
I'm currently from So. Cal and we have tons of trails in mostly exposed, dry and crappy soil conditions.
We are taking a trip to NY next year because my son wants to look at schools near NYC and would like to do some riding other than renting a city bike and riding in the city.

Please provide some riding inspiration! who knows, might make the move back there someday. I was originally from NJ but moved to California at a young age.
 

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Don't forget CT...lots of un-crowded wooded singletrack choices within 2hrs of NYC. I'm less than 2hrs from NYC in Eastern part of state and regularly ride 8-10 different places all within 45 minutes of my house. There's lots more in the Western part of state which would be even closer to NYC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, I was going to put CT, NH, MA and VT in also.
So far my son has schools around NYC picked, Fordham, NYU, Wellesley, Dowling, etc.
We need to do more research, his focus is on communications, broadcasting and journalism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice! My son had a leadership conference for sports management held at Fordham last summer. Fordham is definitely on his list as well as Rutgers, Seton Hall and Hofstra.
We'll be back there this summer to check them all out.
I'm also planning on getting some riding in also. Will have to rent a bike so I'll need to check into where to rent and where to ride in NJ/NY area.

Have you visited and ridden there?
 

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I live in south western Nassau County on Long Island. It's crowded and sometimes a pain to go anywhere except east on L.I.

That said, the local mt. bike club - CLIMB, which has been around for 30 years now, has built and maintains nearly 180 miles of singletrack in 18 different parks plus more that is not yet marked. Nearly every trail network has at least a 10 mile loop, some out to 14 or 20 miles. And they are constantly adding mileage.

It's not rocky terrain so the trail designers add features and find every hill to go up or down, moguls, tight and twisty ST, etc.... If it doesn't snow, the dirt trail surface can freeze and be remarkably fast to ride. If it does snow you grab the fat bike. The trail system at Rocky Point get written up regularly as one of the best in the country. The trail system at Manorville Hills is described as "Intermediate to advanced with many hill climbs and no flat areas". None.

I've yet to even try out some trail systems as I enjoy the ones nearby.

So Hofstra as a college can be a good choice if somebody has a (cheap) car and wants to mt. bike, Long Island may surprise you.

https://climbonline.org/2014j/
 

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Nice! My son had a leadership conference for sports management held at Fordham last summer. Fordham is definitely on his list as well as Rutgers, Seton Hall and Hofstra.
We'll be back there this summer to check them all out.
I'm also planning on getting some riding in also. Will have to rent a bike so I'll need to check into where to rent and where to ride in NJ/NY area.

Have you visited and ridden there?
I went for a visit last January and helped my daughter move in in August. Like you, I grew up in NJ and live in CA.

I haven't ridden back east, but I understand Ringwood in Passaic County is legit. If you're considering going to VT still, Burke is supposed to be killer. My brother lives about twenty minutes away, but I regretfully have never rented a bike and rode it on visits.
 

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There is a lot of riding in Westchester, lower Hudson Valley, LI, NJ and CT. All within a couple hours drive. Traffic is really the issue and drive times will vary tremendously on where you are, where you're going and when you're going. Weather is also a factor because the trails dry out at very different rates and vary a lot based on the time of year. Winter temperature and snowfall in north NJ, Westchester and LHV can be very different than in the city and on LI. Westchester is a very good riding spot nearby, especially to Fordham. Graham Hills, Sprain Ridge and Blue Mountain are very good choices. Closer to the city, and Hofstra, (but not Fordham) is Cunningham Park in Queens. New trails were just opened in Hempstead Harbor. Moving farther east are a lot more trails, 100+ miles, particularly in Suffolk County.

The riding in Westchester, north NJ and lower Hudson Valley tends to be rocky and rooty. LI is more varied with some rock (but not what I'd call rocky), hardpack, and looser sandy conditions, depending on the trail. Meadowlark, Overton, Glacier Ridge for example, are rockier. In contrast, Edgewood is a good 17+ mile spot but isn't rocky; mile after mile of moguls and tight spots. The issue isn't a lack of trails; it's what you want to out of your ride and traffic at that time. The thing the trails all lack is sustained downhills unless you go to Mountain Creek in NJ or Plattekill in upstate NY - both are bike parks. Of course if you go farther, VT has plenty of park riding. Glen Park in Strousburgh, PA, just over the Delaware River from NJ, is about 2 - 2 1/2 hrs from the city, and is used yearly for enduro races.

Definitely check out the CLIMB site for LI trails. JORBA is a good place to look for NJ trails. Westchester Mountain Bike Assoc. site has maps for about 5 or so trail systems, including Graham Hills, Sprain Ridge and Blue Mountain. Fats in the Cats has info for lower Hudson Valley trails. If you go further away, NEMBA has info for the New England trails (CT, VT, NH, MA, ME, RI). Volunteers have done a great job in all these areas putting trails and maintaining them. Overall Trail Forks app has good coverage. Well worth a look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Steamthief, Catmandoo and shortandangry, thanks for your replies.
Although it is my son whom is looking at going to these schools, I figure we would visit often if he does. Maybe even moving back there someday isn't out of the question.
Where I live in So.Cal( Big Bear Lake, Snow Summit) we are lucky to have an excellent trail network of smooth, rocky, sandy single track trails and fire roads. My main bike is a 27.5 enduro bike which I take on all kinds of rides, long days, high mileage, lots of climbing and descending and some XC type stuff. Also ride Snow Summit bike park and Sky Park which are the local bike parks. I also ride cyclocross, gravel and road.
 
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