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The Bethpage Bikeway is one of Long Island's most popular trails. It connects Merrick Road in Massapequa with Bethpage State Park, and includes additional trail north to Trail View State Park in Woodbury. There are a few parkway exit crossings and a few moderately busy street crossings but safe for families with kids. All crossings are clearly marked, and drivers are generally courteous and alert.
A major road crossing at Sunrise Highway, near the trail's southern end, has a stop light and crossing lane for safety.
Take Route 135 to the Bethpage State Park exit and enter where you see signs for the picnic grounds. Note that there's a parking fee during the season. Ask anyone in the parking lot at Bethpage Park where the paved trail begins.
There is also a large parking lot at the Long Island Railroad station with direct access to trail. No fees.
Rode it this past Sunday mid-morning with my 14 year old son. We started at the nothern most parking (which has space for 6 cars + 1 handicap spot). We rode to Sunrise Highway and back, about 20 miles round trip. As it got later in the morning, the path became more crowded mostly with pedestrians toward the southern end of the route. Similar to the Vanderbilt path, there were pedestrians and cyclists with ear plugs or headphones. Some cyclists were inexperienced on paths; stopping in the middle, pulling off to the left without looking behind...
All in all the path is nicely paved and is best for cycling in the morning on weekends, or possibly more times on weekdays.
I ride this trail every time I visit family on Long Island. Best place to park IMHO is East Bethpage Road, just north of Old Country Road (GPS 40.77976, -73.4554). From there, it is about 3 miles to the northern terminus of the on-road path. This section of the bikeway is hilly and treeless, with nothing interesting to see; I'll often skip it.
From my parking spot going south, it is about 11 miles. This is a lovely, tree-lined off-road path with some street crossings. It gets busier the further south you go. Most folks stop at Sunrise Highway, but you can cross Sunrise, turn right a half block, and take the path for another short distance. You can even navigate some town streets for a while to catch another bike path going to Jones Beach (haven't done that yet).
Tip: There are few amenities on the trail itself; bathrooms are in Bethpage State Park, at the parking area. However, just east of the Massapequa Preserve there are shops on Park Blvd. When the bike path crosses Clark St, take Clark east about four blocks to Park Blvd. There's even a Carvel ice cream shop on Park Blvd.
great scenic ride cam take off road trails also that follow the paved trail great place great ride
I find this trail amazing. The southern half traces a creek dotted with lakes while the northern part is a bit more open, slightly less wooded and scenic, but great all the same. Yes, there are a few bumps in the south, but nothing even a road bike can't handle. I've never had any issue and ride this trail twice a week with my road bike. They've recently extended the trail north to Syossest and there it stops. I love to see my tax dollars put to such wonderful, practical, and visible use! I do wish they would extend this trail through Stillwell woods right to the north shore coast. Maybe one day. If enough of we cyclist petition our local government to continue this trail, it will happen. We would then have an almost contiguous trail from coast to coast. In fact, Stillwell preserve, a rarefied spot of ancient forest, was saved from being bulldozed and turned to a soccer field and parking lot (why on earth that would be a good move who knows!?!) by a conservationist mountain biking group.
When on this trail, I would encourage you to realize how beautiful it is and how increasingly rare open spaces are. Also, consider carrying a small saw. In a few decades, the trees along the sides of this trail, especially in the south, will be mostly gone. They are being choked out by the twisting Oriental Bittersweet vine (google it) which is invasive. Since these vines grow almost year round and shade out any native saplings, there is no natural way for a forest to reclaim space or defend against them. If you simply cut the vine at the base, it dies, and you've saved a tree! Plus, you've stopped the vine from making berries (seeds) and therefore saved countless other trees down the road.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Love this trail. It's kind of like a world within itself and away from the daily routine. Sort of like a mini-vacation when I walk or ride my bike there. Birds, turtles, rabbits, chipmunks, fish, and more. Just a nice place to be.
We parked on Harvard Drive off of Washington Avenue because the parking lot at Washington Avenue and Executive Drive was full. There was one handicapped spot and about 4 white lined spots that were taken. So, we found a spot in a development just before the beginning of the trail. There is plenty of free parking in the streets around the park.
My husband and I live in Queens and do a lot of cycling starting from our home. We ride in and around the boroughs of NYC. The Bethpage Bikeway was nice break from being cut off by vehicles, car doors, and traffic lights. There are streets on the Bikeway to be crossed, where you have to stop and walk your bike across the street (or at least slow down to check for cars), but the motorists are respectful of cyclists!
We started our ride at the beginning of the paved trail in Plainview, rode through Bethpage, and the Massapequa Creek ending at Sunrise Highway by the train tracks. Round trip about 20 miles.
A good part of the paths were smooth with some winding areas with blind spots, mostly in Bethpage. The return trip from Massapequa was a bit more rigorous with an elevation gain of 325 fteet and an elevation Loss of 129 feet.
We loved this ride and look forward to going back.
Bicycle trails are great for people that use wheelchairs and this one is very well maintained. This afternoon I explored the southern end of the Bethpage Bikeway in the Massapequa Preserve. The surface is asphalt and there are virtually no cracks. Beautiful trees, wildlife and a small stream/pond. I will definitely return.
Parking at East Bethpage Rd and Old Country Rd (free)
Parking at Washington Ave and Executive Dr. (free)
Parking at Bethpage State Park across from Bethpage polo at the park. ($)
I have a NY state park pass so I chose to park at Bethpage. This was my first time riding the trail and I decided to go North to Woodbury Rd. Round trip was 20 miles. The trail is all smooth blacktop with plenty of room for two way traffic. There are several crossing but all have crosswalks and signals. I don't remember seeing any place for water, restrooms, or trash. (except Bethpage State Park) This is why I rate the trail as 4 stars and not 5.
There appears to be a mountain bike trails that runs parallel to the bike trail. I will check this out sometime in the future as well as ride the bike trail south toward Massapequa.
Just did the south side start (NO Parking lot?) at Merrick Road of this trail today and OH MY WRISTS! From Merrick Rd to Sunrise is loaded with ROOTS breaking the pavement. I do love the scenic ride along the preserve, the lake and through to Bethpage Park.
There is another section or two on the Bethpage side of the trail that also have roots breaking the pavement. Now scattered leaves make them difficult to see - surprise, surprise!
Typically I start my ride from Washington Ave. in Plainview south to the Massapequa LIRR and return. The new end of the trail heading north from Bethpage picnic area is a beautiful ribbon of well marked asphalt. There are kiosks with maps and information, benches and pull off spots.
A nice ride, best on weekdays with less traffic. Enjoy!
from the southern border (it's marked) of bethpage state park on northward to the trails terminus (2 or so miles past old country road and well north of what the map here indicates) it's wide and smooth and pretty. south of that, at least to plitt ave where i joined the trail, it's quite narrow and patched bumpy.
i had planned to do the whole thing end to end, but couldn't tolerate the awful part that i just wrote of, so i hopped off where i hopped on, about halfway on the map.
now i usually bat ~20% in getting warned by approaching cyclists from the rear, but not a one of 6 or so said a word today; about as polite as they are driving their cars here in ny, if you know what i mean.
I travel a lot for business and always take my running gear with me. I found this trail within a 1/2 mail of my hotel. It is wider than most asphalt trails and was in excellent shape. There is even a portion of the trail that is marked in 1/10 miles. I have NEVER seen that before but it just turns out I was doing 1200 meter intervals that day so it came in handy.
Used most of this trail for my ride from north shore to Jones Beach. Beautiful scenic ride through middle of Nassau County, Who knew? Scenery is similar to ride I did from Lake George to Glens Falls w/o the hills. Not for the racer but perfect for a fun ride with the family. Little bumpy is some parts but no big deal.
Every weekend I ride to Bethpage state park from
Massapequa train station and it is a great ride on asphalt. During the past 3 weeks I discovered that the trail continues past Bethpage to Woodbury Road in Plainview and that was a pleasant surprise. There are some hills which are manageable. Compared to the the bike trail I did last week in New Jersey, this trail was much better because the NJ trail was very narrow and it was gravel.
Another commenter mentioned it's not easy on the wrists and I agree. That is for those of us with road bikes. More so once you get into the Massapequa Preserve too. Not smooth enough for me, but if you're a casual rider with a mountain bike looking for a mellow trail to do then this is just fine. Not going to be any crazy "Lance Armstrong" types on this trail due to the bumps which is actually a good thing for families and slower more casual cyclists. It is definitely a nice trail though.
This is a great trail for a Road Bike, a Hybrid Bike, or a Dual Sport Bike but, it is loaded with People ignoring the signs that state "NO DOGS ALLOWED". Because of this, it is a dangerous ride when you are on a bike. Other thenn the idiots with dogs, it is a great ride and very one at that.
Tried the trail for the first time yesterday. Nice easy ride but a little tough on the wrists due to pavement variation. A few meandering walkers blocked the path but not too bad. Some swans also occupied the path as you neared the end of the southern route. Overall a pleasant bit of exercise.
The biking trail is one of the best for an easy ride or taking the kids to. Paved all the way from south shore to Trail View state park in Jericho/Syosset (and you can go further north all the way to Cold Spring Harbor). From Bethpage state park down south it's pretty flat; going north it gets hilly after the section along the highway.
But the little lake along the trail (~2 mi south of Bethpage state park) has become a trash dump. It's such a shame. The lake would be beautiful otherwise. Can someone organize some effort to clean it up? We'd be more than glad to join in.
This is a great scenic ride, very nice if your cruising. Not a great ride if your going for speed.
Just used this trail for the first time. Started at Bethpage State Park and cycled to Woodbury. A good mixture of easy trails with some tougher, hilly sections. Good to be able to jump onto the paved road when things get a little tiring! Highly recommend for all levels.
Very pretty trail, closer to home (Queens) than many others and so it's a favorite of ours for a quick ride. Flat paved roads, a few small hills in Bethpage Park but nothing bad. Very pretty scenery passing the lakes. Can be a little crowded on weekends.
We biked from the parking lot at the Massapequa Preserve and rode to where the bike trail stopped, but we continued to the ocean. There was a stream along the trail and also a few ponds. There were a few park benches at the ponds to sit and enjoy watching the swans and Mallard ducks. There were also a few dirt trails off of the main bike trail that was paved. It seemed safe since there were many bike riders, joggers, etc... but not overcrowded. My only complaint was there were no bathrooms available.
I love this trail and it is very easily accessible from the Bethpage LIRR train station. An easy ride on the LIRR from the Penn Station in Manhattan to a great and scenic Nassau County trail. It is always a great ride. Lunch (and amazing homemade ice cream!) at Krisch's in Massapequa is a must for a great day on two wheels!
This scenic trail brings you through 2 State Parks, 2 wetland preserves and 2 town parks. Pick your own pace and mileage as you pedal between parks on the Bethpage Bike Trail.
Bicycle rentals at www.LongIslandBicycleTours.com
I love this trail. I have been riding this trail since I was 12.
This trail was definitely not converted from tracks, and you can tell by the steep grade and quick turns. The asphalt has long portions that would be practically impossible for wheelchairs or inline skates (mostly the areas within Bethpage state park). After you pass this area (crossing into the Massapequa section it becomes far more smooth (and beautiful).
There are quite a few steep hills - my 3-speed could barely keep up, but overall its a great and scenic ride (including a lake filled with swans).
The $6 parking fee at bethpage park includes a fancy bathroom facility that smells like cinnamon. But next time, I might park on the other end of the trail near Merrick - where it would be free street parking.
The surface of this trail could be better maintained. There are some cracks and debris that make in-line skating somewhat difficult.
"I visited this trail during “off season” and was able to park my car at Bethpage State Park’s expansive picnic area lot without having to pay a fee. If you want to visit this trail “in season” without incurring a parking fee, you may park on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa, near the LIRR station, or on one of several side streets that the trail passes along its route from Bethpage State Park, Bethpage to Merrick Road, Massapequa.
This trail’s asphalt surface is extremely suited for an enjoyable bicycle ride and/or traveling by foot. However, the surface is not smooth enough in most spots for anything but a very bumpy in-line skating adventure.
There are some hills but they are all quite manageable. The trail crosses a multitude of streets and some are quite busy. Families traveling with young children should be very alert whenever approaching trail stop signs, as some of the crossings are at highway access ramps where traffic is moving very fast.
Most of the trail’s right-of-way occupies a portion of open space serving as a buffer zone between a major highway and nearby residential neighborhoods. As such, views are either of residents’ back yards, the highway itself, or dense foliage. The southernmost trail segment passes through a nature preserve and a municipal athletic field.
There are no services available along the trail in Bethpage, but once you enter Massapequa there are plenty of stores to be found near Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road.
This is a very nice trail that should be visited by anyone traveling in or to the Nassau County, NY area."
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