Biking trails around LI

Bicyclists pedal down Stewart Avenue in Bethpage. (July

Bicyclists pedal down Stewart Avenue in Bethpage. (July 9, 2011) (Credit: Steve Pfost)

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Wanna go cycling? Grab your helmet and head to one of these paved, offroad, mixed terain, marked and unmarked trails on Long Island.


1. BETHPAGE MULTIUSE PATH. This paved route runs the length of Bethpage Parkway. It starts at Bethpage State Park, and cuts through Massapequa Preserve to Merrick Road. Good for beginners. Pick up marked route anywhere off the parkway or at the picnic area parking lot. Mileage: 9.5.

2. BETHPAGE MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL. Off-road, marked loop trail through pine forest has mixed terrain for mountain bikers and two challenging hills. Park at the picnic area lot in Bethpage State Park; look for white triangles on trees for starting point south of gatehouse. Mileage: 4.

3. CATHEDRAL PINES COUNTY PARK. Mostly flat, wooded, single-track, off-road; several optional hills. Trail accommodates all levels, although hill climbs are designated for more experienced riders. A Suffolk Green Key card is required. There is a parking fee on summer weekends. Mileage: 6, 7.5 with optional hill climbs.

4. CENTRAL SUFFOLK BIKEWAY. Marked street route begins at Bethpage State Park and runs along Quaker Meeting House Road, Bethpage Road and Main Street to the Farmingdale train station. It then follows the railroad line into Riverhead. LIRR bike boarding passes, good on off-peak trains, are available for a $5 onetime fee. Mileage: 80.

5. COLD SPRING HARBOR-SAGAMORE HILL. Hilly, unmarked street route begins in Cold Spring Harbor. Take Route 25A into Oyster Bay, where Oyster Bay Cove Road north goes to the Theodore Roosevelt grave to Cove Neck Road to Sagamore Hill. Retrace the route. Mileage: 36.

6. EASTPORT TRAIL. At Routes 51 and 111 in Eastport. A flat, single-track, off-road trail loops through wooded areas. Required: Helmets, eye protection and a permit, good for three years (free from State Department of Environmental Conservation.) To get permit call 631-444-0273 or click here and download region 1 state land access permit. Mileage: 8.5.

7. HECKSCHER PARK-CENTRAL ISLIP. Flat bikeway starts in Heckscher State Park; 5-mile route goes north along Connetquot River into Central Islip and meets Central Suffolk bike path. Mileage: 10.

8. HEMPSTEAD TURNPIKE. A new Nassau County-owned trail on the north side of Hempstead Turnpike runs between Hofstra University in Hempstead and Eisenhower Park (Merrick and Stewart avenues, East Meadow, 516-572-0348). Mileage: 2.

9. HUNTINGTON-LLOYD NECK. Hilly, scenic street route goes from Cold Spring Harbor north on Woodbury Road to Huntington village. Follow West Neck Road through Lloyd Harbor to Caumsett State Historic Park and Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge. At Caumsett, a 2-mile, off-road route (helmets required) leads to a pond and the Sound. Mileage: 16.

10. JONES BEACH. (Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway). From Cedar Creek Park, south of Merrick Road, just east of Wantagh Parkway, a multipurpose path parallels the parkway to Jones Beach State Park, near the amphitheater. Mileage: 4.5.

11. KINGS PARK HIKE AND BIKE TRAIL. Hilly trail connects downtown Kings Park with Nissequogue River State Park. It follows the old railroad spur from Old Dock Road, just east of Church Street to St. Johnland Road. Trail runs through the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center and into the state park. Good for beginners and families looking for a short, scenic ride or hike. Mileage: 1.4.

12. NASSAU-SUFFOLK GREENBELT MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL. Part of unpaved, off-road national recreation trail is marked for mountain bikes (helmets required). From Bethpage State Park picnic area north to Stillwell Woods in Syosset; challenging hills. Mileage: 8. Stillwell Woods has a 4-mile loop with difficult terrain.

13. NISSEQUOGUE-STONY BROOK-OLD FIELD. Hilly route through Stony Brook begins near the mouth of the Nissequogue River in Smithtown and goes via Moriches Road to Head of the Harbor, where Harbor Road leads into Stony Brook. Route then goes north through Setauket and the Old Field estate area to the lighthouse. Return south via Pond Path to Nissequogue River Road, back to Smithtown. Mileage: 28.

14. NORTH FORK. This is a round-trip on flat terrain through wine country. From Mattituck, take Route 48 east past Southold Beach, where road joins Route 25 in Greenport. Continue on a marked bikeway to Orient Beach State Park. Return via bikeway to Greenport, then follow truck Route 25 to Route 25 west. Mileage: 40.

15. ROCKY POINT MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL. Marked trail runs through the Natural Resources Management Area in the pine barrens. Required: Helmets, eye protection and a free DEC permit, good for three years To get permit call 631-444-0273 or click here. Mileage: 13.

16. SHELTER ISLAND. A ferry ride away from the North or South fork. This is a moderately easy, north-south street route following Route 114 across the island to the south ferry dock. In North Haven, a marked, on-street route along Route 114 leads to East Hampton. Mileage: 25.

17. SOUTH FORK. A sampling of all the East End offers. From Riverhead, go east on Route 24 through Hubbard County Park, with saltwater marshes and freshwater ponds. Pedal along Montauk Highway, crossing Shinnecock Canal into Southampton. Follow Route 38 along Peconic Bay into Sag Harbor. Swing southeast via Route 114 into East Hampton, then skirt the ocean through Hither Hills Park to Montauk Lighthouse. Mostly flat, some hills. Mileage: 60.

18. WESTBURY-BAYVILLE LOOP. A hilly, unmarked street route. Take Post Avenue in Westbury village north to Wheatley Road, cross Route 25A to Wolver Hollow Road, then east on Chicken Valley Road to Planting Fields Arboretum. Proceed to Oak Neck Beach in Bayville via Shore Road. Return via Bayville Avenue, Piping Rock, Wheatley and Post roads. Mileage: 30.

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