2 people road biking in the Catskills

Cycling the Catskills

Hit the Pavement and Tour the Catskills by Bike

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.

Catskill Road Biking Routes

Routes 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 biking.

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.

Cherry Ridge Wild Forest Loop

Cycle around beautiful Cherry Ridge Wild Forest along winding roads that cut right through the dense forest and surrounding farmland in Delaware County.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 29.3 miles
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Total Elevation Gain: 2,795 ft.
  • Starting Location: 41o 56'12.2" N 74o 54'57.0" W

Monticello Loop

Travel to Sullivan County and cruise along the road that borders the Swinging Bridge Reservoir then back up into Monticello, passing multiple ponds along the way. End right on the banks of Sackett Lake and then head into Monticello for the rest of the day to explore the town.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 12.9 miles
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Total Elevation Gain: 403 ft.
  • Starting Location: 41o 37’38.5” N 74o 44’44.1” W

Short Tour of the Shawangunks

The “short” tour of the Shawangunks in Ulster County will have your legs burning yet leave you asking for more. Starting and ending just outside of New Paltz, make sure you stop in town afterward for a delicious meal and mountain town atmosphere.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 30.1 miles
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Total Elevation Gain: 2,867 ft.
  • Starting Location: 41o 44’48.1” N 74o 05’24.0” W

The Grand Fondo Tour

Head out on one of the best race courses in the Northeast. The Grand Fondo loop in Greene County will be sure to test even the strongest riders. This strenuous ride does have its perks though, the beautiful areas you pass through will surely take your mind off the distance and help pass the time.

  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Distance: 73 miles
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Total Elevation Gain: 5,432 ft.
  • Starting Location: 42o 11’44.3” N 74o 08’09.5” W

Catskills Mountain Biking Routes

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 challenging mountain biking routes, 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.

Plattekill Mountain

With trails for all abilities of mountain bikers, you'll definitely want to add this to your list of must-visits in Delaware County. After the snow melts the ski trails become a mountain biking hot spot. Rental gear and guided tours are available.

  • Difficulty: Various
  • Distance: 60 miles of bike-specific trails
  • Rentals: Yes
  • Trail Type: Single Track, Cross Country, and Beginner
  • Location: 42o 17'24.6" N 74o 39'11.1" W

Kingston Point BMX

Take your downhill skills onto the track for some BMX racing in Ulster County. With a course that offers multiple jumps, and berms to fly around. It is the perfect practice ground and beginner spot if you are just getting into the world of mountain biking. 

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: ~1000 ft.
  • Rentals: No
  • Trail Type: BMX Track
  • Location: 41o 55’39.1” N 73o 58’02.0” W

Pearson Park on Walnut Mountain

Located on the second tallest mountain in Sullivan county, Pearson Park not only offers stunning views but incredible single track riding. Wooden berms offer advanced riders a unique experience while gradual curves allow beginners to improve their skills. 

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 13 miles of trails
  • Rentals: No
  • Trail Type: Single Track and Rooted
  • Location: 41o 47’21.9” N 74o 45’47.8” W

Windham Mountain Bike Park

Located in Greene County and home to the UCI World Cup, this park attracts some of the best riders in the Northeast. Fast, rugged, and gnarly terrain will have your heart pumping and legs burning the entire way down. After all, you’re looking for an adrenaline overload, right?

  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Distance: ~13 miles of trails
  • Rentals: Yes
  • Trail Type: Single Track
  • Location: 42o 17’57.4” N 74o 15’25.5” W

Cycling Events

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 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.
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