The Catskills are home to varied cycling terrain that includes something for all levels – from flat, gravel trails covered by forest canopies and paved, peaceful roadways circling the region's reservoirs for beginners and intermediate-level riders, to switchback roads offering some of the toughest climbs on the East Coast for expert cyclers and hill addicts.
Cycling in the Catskills not only offers opportunities to explore the region from the seat of your bike, but unique and unexpected ways to enjoy other experiences like the region's growing craft beer and wine scene, farm-to-table restaurants, and historical museums and sites.
Catskills Cycling for Newbies
If you’re just getting into cycling or you’re looking to hone your riding skills, the Catskills offer a variety of beginner and intermediate terrain to explore, as well as opportunities for one of the cycling world's newest trends: gravel road cycling.
Hop on your hybrid bike and try the leisurely gravel trail of the Fallsburg O&W Rail Trail traveling just over four miles along the former Ontario and Western Railroad bed from Mountaindale to the Neversink trailhead in Woodridge. Or, if you find yourself among the rich and lush landscape of the Catskills’ dairy farming region, explore the 26-mile flat-packed gravel Catskill Scenic Trail or venture out to bike the paved country roads of the area and pick up some goodies to enjoy after your ride at a farmers’ market or farm stand.
Climbing the Catskills by Bike
Looking for a more challenging Catskills cycling route? Try a loop around one of the region’s reservoirs and enjoy varied terrain that offers steep climbs followed by rewarding descents, and unique features like touring through some of the Catskills’ covered bridges. The Pepacton Reservoir Loop offers a 50-mile challenging ride, as do numerous routes around the Ashokan Reservoir .
For those who take pleasure in challenging cycling climbs, the winding route past Kaaterskill Falls on Route 23A offers riders the chance to stop and see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in New York, and a climb that ascends 1,500 feet in five miles.
As home to some of the toughest terrain in the country, the Catskills play host to world-class cycling competitions and events throughout the year, including:
- Tour of the Catskills – Held annually every summer, the Tour of the Catskills offers Pro/Am Stage Races, road races and the Grand Fondo, and includes one of the Northeast’s most challenging climbs: The Devil’s Kitchen.
- Women’s Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix – One of the few women-only cycling races in the United States, this hilly course begins and ends in Woodstock traveling over 50 miles in total.