Only an hour and a half drive from New York City the town of New Paltz offers great scenic riding. New Paltz was a town founded in 1678 by French Huguenots and has become a popular tourist area in the Catskills where the well know Mohonk Mountain House resides on the Shawangunk Ridge since 1869 on 300 acres of protected forest. Views of the Shawangunk Ridge known as the Gunks dominate the town of New Paltz, where one can enjoy activities such as hiking, rock climbing, biking, swimming, wine tasting, dinning, and shopping .
The ride is an 80 mile loop that goes around the Shawangunk Ridge. You start at the free municipal parking lot in New Paltz and go North following the Wallkill River towards the town of Rosendale with views of the ridge to the West. Rosendale was a region that was inhabited by the Lenapes who were a member of the Algonquin peoples. The route then travels South following the Rondout Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River. The first 40 miles are well shaded from the Sun and also ideal if you are seeking a Fall foliage ride. The town of Ellenville is the halfway mark and a great stop to refuel before the 4 mile climb over the Shawangunk Ridge.
Once over the ridge you will be on the East side of the Shawangunk and the countryside transitions to open fields, farms and apple orchards. During the climb you will have beautiful views of the scenic Hudson Valley. If you have time for a detour stop at the well known Angry Orchard Brewery right off route 52 you can enjoy outdoor eating surrounded by apple trees and views of the ridge. The final miles will take you through rolling hills with views of the Shawangunk Ridge to the West. If you need an additional stop to fuel up you can stop at the town of Gardiner at mile 75.
When returning to New Paltz, treat yourself to a yummy burger at Clemson Bros. Brewery or a tasty burrito at Mexicali Blue.