What are some good places for cycling around Hudson, NY?
August 2, 2011 11:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm spending a couple of weeks in Hudson, NY and I brought my bike with me, hoping for some nice rides along some quiet country roads. However, after scouting the area by car, I'm having second thoughts - the traffic around here is quite heavy! Do you know of some good places for riding a bike around Hudson, Columbia County and vicinity?

I'm an experienced urban cyclist but I've never ridden on country roads before, so I'm a little wary of just going for it on any old road. Perhaps there are secondary or tertiary roads I am missing?

I'm looking for 5 to 20 mile loops in quiet paved roads, but I'm open for suggestions. I have a car equipped with a bike rack, so I'm willing to drive somewhere nearby for a good ride. Thanks!
posted by gertzedek to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
These are kinda of far from Hudson and not really country roads, but I thought you might be willing to travel since you'll be there a few weeks.

There's the Hudson/Mohawk bike trail, starting up in Albany.


My absolute favorite upstate bike ride: the Saratoga battlefield. Hilly and gorgeous, with lots of places to stop along the way and check out historical markers. Oh god, you have to go.
posted by imalaowai at 12:34 PM on August 2, 2011

I asked a sort of similar question last year and one of the answers pointed here...
posted by lapsangsouchong at 1:07 PM on August 2, 2011

Another link (since succumbed to link-rot) pointed to a long circular route around the Ashokan Reservoir that looked amazing--I'm sure you could find a shorter route in the area. That's about 40 miles south of Hudson, though, so perhaps a bit far.

Unfortunately I ended up getting a job in a different country and never got to do any of the wonderful rides people suggested. Shame!
posted by lapsangsouchong at 1:12 PM on August 2, 2011

Seconding lapsangsouchong's link. I've only done the Northern routes on the map, but can say that they're well described and very scenic.

Also, Route 9 is pretty busy but has a nice wide shoulder, and once you get off 9, you'll mostly have the road to yourself.
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 3:40 PM on August 2, 2011

I grew up just east of Hudson (in a little flyspeck hamlet called Harlemville) and used to ride a lot, but that was 25 years ago and I haven't been back a lot, so YYMV.
Take a look at this: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4690083. In general you want to stay off the yellow roads as much as possible, but since that's not possible just try to put loops together that minimize time on them. In the map linked above Tishauser and Fish and Game roads were good to ride on when I lived there.

If you don't mind driving a bit head over to Harlemville and park at the Farm Store or across the street in the school parking lot (the store has wonderful Biodynamic produce, baked goods; the Light Wheat bread is a big seller, and dairy products. (Abe Madey, the cheesemaker, and I went through 12 years together at the Waldorf School across the street. I was on the construction crew that built the school and Abe and I once burned a hole through the concrete floor of the Chemistry lab when the teacher let us in there after hours. We also blew up the stream behind the school which got us in more trouble than the hole in the floor of the lab).

Anyway, park and get ready to ride. Here's a map: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4690083

Everything within the borders of that map is rideable except the southwest edge (bikes aren't allowed on the Taconic Parkway) and I have ridden every road within those boundaries multiple times.

1. Not all the roads are paved, but in general they're fine for skinny tires; I rode them all multiple times on 25mm road tires with no problem. Just make sure you have a patch kit and pump.
2. There are some vicious hills out there; they're never that long but they're steep as hell so be prepared. The payoff is some amazing scenery and wonderful riding.
posted by dolface at 3:55 PM on August 2, 2011

I'd say cross the river and bike up from the Rip Van Winkle bridge through Athens and Coxsackie, or up to Athens and out to Leeds.

You could also drive up to Windham and around the high valleys there, it's lovely in the summer.
posted by nicwolff at 4:32 PM on August 2, 2011

There is a local mag called Our Town published in Claverack, a village a few miles west of Hudson. An article published a while back details rides of varying length in the area. Our Town is not online, but the author posted a PDF on her personal website and I can vouch for at least two of the routes.

Hudson is wonderful. I live in the area. Memail me if you want more info.
posted by minervous at 5:41 PM on August 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

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