North County Trailway

New York

65 Reviews

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North County Trailway Facts

States: New York
Counties: Westchester
Length: 20.7 miles
Trail end points: Tomahawk St. (Baldwin Place) and South County Trailway at Old Saw Mill River Road (Elmsford)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016678

North County Trailway Description


At just over 20 miles, the North County Trailway is the longest of four rail trails created from the former New York Central Railroad’s Putnam Division line. The trail travels through communities in West Chester, just north of New York City, and provides a respite in nature from the urban sprawl surrounding the city.

The trail trends somewhat downhill as it heads south toward the connecting South County Trailway. Vegetation protects sections that pass through residential and commercial areas or run next to roads. Two short sections (one spanning 0.5 mile and the other 0.8 mile) use the shoulder of Saw Mill River Road. 

About the Route

The northern end of the North County Trailway is located in the West Chester community of Baldwin Place. From here, the trail heads south and passes the 1830's Amawalk Friends Meeting House on Quaker Church Rd. Along this section of the trail (near where it crosses Granite Springs Road), there are a number of pick-your-own apple orchards.

As the trail crosses through the business district of Yorktown Heights, which sports a number of Revolutionary War landmarks, trail users may also be able to spot an old Putnam Division railroad depot. Three miles south of here, the trail passes through the Kitchawan Preserve and crosses the New Croton Reservoir on a rail trestle bridge. 

South of Millwood, there are two short sections of on-road trail, one of which takes trail users by Echo Lake State Park. This section of trail also passes the a short spur trail, that trail users may take to the Briarcliff Manor Library, which was originally one of the 23 railroad depots that served commuters in Westchester County. This section of the pathway follows alongside the Potantico River and Saw Mill River Rd.

As the trail continues south, it skirts Pocantico Hills and the Rockefeller State Park Preserve as it curves toward its southern endpoint, which continues directly along the South County Trailway.


At its northern end, the North County Trailway continues as the Putnam Trailway.

At its southern end, the North County Trailway continues as the South County Trailway.

Trail History

The North County Trailway runs along the New York Central Railroad's Putnam Line, "Old Put" railroad. Several mid–19th-century railroad companies laid tracks that came under the control of the New York and Putnam Railroad in 1894. Serving communities in Westchester and Putnam Counties, the primarily commuter rail service ran from the Bronx to Brewster. It became the Putnam Division of the New York Central after 1913, earning the nickname Old Put. Passenger service ended in 1958, and tracks began to be pulled in 1962.

Parking and Trail Access

The North County Trailway runs between Tomahawk St. (Baldwin Place) and the South County Trailway at Old Saw Mill River Road (Elmsford), with parking available at both ends.

Parking is also available at:

  • 281 Underhill Ave (Yorktown Heights)
  • 14088 Station Rd (Millwood)
  • Law Memorial Park, 1031 Pleasantville Rd (Briarcliff Manor)

The trail is also accessible via. light rail. Please see New York MTA for more information.


North County Trailway Reviews

North County Trail Yorktown Heights Mahopac DANGEROUS crossing proposed for cyclists and walkers

On our beautiful part of the North County Trail there is a new proposal by a developer to cross over the bike trail midway between Yorktown Heights, Baldwin Place and Mahopac Ave. section in a residential neighborhood.
Builders want to put a road for vehicles through the beautiful 2 mile stretch of nature at this point for a driveway, to gain access to a landlocked piece of property to build 3 new homes. There are no houses built on that side of the Trail now.
This would endanger all walkers and cyclists with constant traffic at all times of the day. Help us stop this project "Green Tree Rd Extension" by writing to the Town of Somers Planning Board. next meeting is July 12, 2023 Hurry, before it's too late. E mail
Save lives and preserve the beautiful undeveloped part of this trail for your families!

beautiful & well kept trail!

This trail is great despite the middle aged men speeding past you at 90 mph on their LeMonds. I’m not sure if they are bike messengers or just “has beens” trying to live out their dreams of being in the Tour De France, but their speed and shrill shouts of “Left, Left, Left!” piercing the crisp fall air can really ruin what is otherwise a beautiful and relaxing family outing.

Great trail, well maintained and scenic

Rode the full trail on Memorial Day and really enjoyed it. It is well maintained; smooth pavement all the way. Mostly good shade and scenic, with lots of woods. A few spots along busy roads, but the trail is well protected throughout; always a sturdy railing between you and the cars. Goes through a few towns for snacks or lunch. Others warned about it being uphill heading north but I found it mostly flat. Some uphill as you approach the Putnam border, but mostly a gentle grade. Never came out of the seat. Overall a great trail.

Great trail, well maintained and scenic

Rode the full trail on Memorial Day and really enjoyed it. It is well maintained; smooth pavement all the way. Mostly good shade and scenic, with lots of woods. A few spots along busy roads, but the trail is well protected throughout; always a sturdy railing between you and the cars. Goes through a few towns for snacks or lunch. Others warned about it being uphill heading north but I found it mostly flat. Some uphill as you approach the Putnam border, but mostly a gentle grade. Never came out of the seat. Overall a great trail.


great trail for running miles.

Starting from Elmsford the road has been completely repaired and has less bumps and cracks than before. The path from Briarcliff towards Millwood has been repaired and the road seemlessly transitions from elmsford to Yorktown Heights which is the furthest I have run so far. The important notes: -Well paved for running biking and even roller blading. -signage great but not necessary because trail is clearly designed -only one major road crossing but when I ran there was no traffic -few quick street crossing

A very well maintained trail with okay views

I recently rode the entirety of the North County Trailway starting in Elmsford and ending at Somers. The entire trail is paved and in perfect condition, no cracks, bumps or tree roots in sight. Starting in Elmsford makes the return trip significantly easier. Given the completion of the Empire State Trail new signage and mile markers have been installed. There are a few towns along the way for food and there were two major trailheads with bike repair stations but no public water or bathrooms that I could see.

I rode on a very hot day but most of the trail is shaded which provided great relief. The on-road sections mentioned in the description have been separated with a guard rail so no riding with traffic. There are a handful of road crossings, some busy, but I found drivers to be very polite. My only criticism is that the scenery is typical rail trail; forests, streams, some farmland and residential areas. All very nice to look at but nothing breathtaking.

Nice training ride but some issues

Great trail with greens and manageable hills. But some dangerous crossings and noise highways. Recommend ear buds. I wouldn’t take my kids for whole trail. Just south is fine. Will definitely go during foliage season.

perfect Sunday walk

easy, beautiful, peaceful, friendly, shaded Great for walking and biking

smooth easy pavement

An absolute joy for all bikes. Smooth well maintained trail which runs through a couple towns (not in the street) for easy access to grub.

beautiful ride

Starting at Baldwin Place and headed south. Beautiful well maintained trail, all new surface. First few miles were downhill, so the finish of the return trip was a little tough. Nice places in Yorktown to stop for refreshments. Can’t recommend enough.

Great Trail

Completed approximately 12 miles and then back. Started at the north end. It is downhill going south so, biking back (more tired) you will have more hills to deal with. Next time we will start at the north end. Also, a short part of the trail was closed and there was a detour for about .25 of a mile and then you get back right on. We stopped in Millwood for refreshments. Excellent trail. It was 90 degrees outside but the shade was awesome and made the ride very comfortable.

Pretty, but a little loud

This trail is perfect for a long ride—paved, very pretty, nice scenery. It runs parallel to the Saw Mill pkwy so it can get a bit loud. Other than that, it’s really nice!

Millwood to Rt 118/Rt 6 Baldwin Place and back

My wife and I rode this trail from Millwood to Rt 6/Rt 118 in Baldwin Place on 6/7/20, 24 miles round trip. This is a beautiful trail, with large sections away from the road and some very long sections between road crossings. The bridge over the Croton Reservoir offers great views. The route from Millwood north has a lot of long, gradual uphills; we enjoyed the downhills after turning around at Rt 6/Rt 118. We used road bikes so no problem, just keep a steady cadence. Trail or mountain bikes would work as well. Notably, big sections of the last 6-7 miles as you approach Baldwin Place have been redone - perfect condition! Yorktown has a very nice downtown with multiple places to get something to eat, and a nice park through which the trail proceeds. Trail was busy, especially the southern section. All in all, this is a great trail, well maintained, really takes you away. We’ll be back in the Fall!

lovely trail

Great trail, well-groomed. Lots of trees on each side of the trail so good shade. Everyone is respectful of their space and good bike etiquette. I brought my dogs and it was a perfect four mile walk.

North County Review

Amazing trail. It’s a great full one or two day trek. I did a 30 mile loop in just over 4 hours, which wasn’t very pleasant to endure, but if you gave yourself ~6 hours you could ride the entire trail (just over 20 miles) in one day, assuming you didn’t have to ride back.

Beautiful Paved Trail

We have biked this trail numerous times over the past 7 years and it's one of the trails we always go back to. We usually start at the Millwood parking lot and head north. The bridge over the Croton Reservoir is the highlight of the trip. There are horse farms and wooded sections along a rock gorge before you merge onto the Putnam Trailway. The trail is crowded on weekends so if you can get away during the week you will have this trail to yourself pretty much until the afternoon.

Scenic but Hilly

Parked at the trail head in Millwood & rode North. Did total 35 miles. 17 1/2 one way.Rode into the Putnam railway,as they run into each other.The trail is very scenic.You ride pass some towns. But is hilly & can be challenging ..for some..There are sections that are bumpy.. (tree roots) a lot are marked..just have to pay attention..There are some road crossing..all & all we had a good ride..but don't think this trail is for everyone,not just an easy flat trail.. We had lunch at the Tazza cafe on Rt 133,near where we parked,it was great. Toward the healthy side,loved it..

Quiet ride so close to NYC

My wife and I have been riding the North County Trailway off and on for about 10 years now. Always enjoyable; passes through several small towns but often through unpopulated areas. Trail continues to the south (South County Trailway) and to the north (Putnam County Trailway), so it's possible to start at the NYC border and bike for 40+ miles on well maintained trails.

Repairs being done in some areas.

The signs are clear but be prepared to go w traffic in certain areas of trail. There are also markings where the trail is to be repaired but hasn’t begun yet. Overall GREAT trail!

TrailLink Description is Accurate

Dateline: Sunday, July 15, 2018.
Weather: Upper 80's to 90F, very humid.

Starting from north headed south it is a pretty good trail with some very nice scenery, until you reach Millwood. Then it goes from woodland trail to NOISY bike route next to highways. No rail trail surface is perfect and we are very lucky to have off-road paved trails, so I am not going to criticize a few sections of root bumps. It is a worthwhile trail to experience.

I had already done the Putnam County rail trail 2 years ago, which leads right into this one seemlessly. So this time I parked at the northern end in Baldwin Place and went north a bit to find where I turned around last time. I did not intend to do the whole trail for a roundtrip of 44.2 miles, but since I had an energy drink just before starting I kept going. When I got the the SCRT sign, I stopped and looked at my Strava app, which stated I had already done 25+ miles, because I forgot I did about 3 miles on the PCRT before starting on the actual NCRT. So now I figure it will be my first 50-miler! When I got back to my parking area I was SO tired and ready to drop when I realized it would only be about 48+ miles and I needed to go at least another mile north to make 2 more miles for 50. I did it - slowly, but it was not wise to do on such a warm day. I should have waited until autumn and 20 degree cooler temperatures.

The North County

This is a hybrid/mountain bike trail. Great riding experience.

Not Like It Used To Be

The North County Trail is suffering from serious neglect. It used to be a well maintained, smooth riding experience. It is now in danger of becoming a Civil War era corduroy road. There are many areas that are in desperate need of re-paving. There is also a section that was eroded during Super Storm Sandy and has not been repaired. It's a shame that what was once a terrific trail has been allowed to degrade so much.

Meh. Okay, but some dangerous parts

I enjoy a good ride, but also am looking for a good place to train. I rode from the RT 117 junction north for about 10 miles. The trail was much bumpier than I was used to. There is a clear knowledge of the state of the trail, the larger bumps and potholes are sprayed and there are signs warning of 'uneven pavement' but it was not super enjoyable to ride on at higher speeds. My biggest concern is the RT 100 section. There is about a 1 or 1.5 mile stretch where you are on the shoulder of RT 100. If you ride out and back you end up having to cross 4 times, once at an intersection, with all others being at crosswalks with no lights or markings. Although the shoulders are wide they are filled with gravel and pot-holes forcing you to ride closer to the shoulder line than preferable or risk a flat. Additionally, you have to cross an on-ramp/off-ramp to stay on the shoulder. All told its a bit to dangerous for my taste. The section starting at Millwood and going north seemed nicer. Ill probably try again parking up there and going all the way onto the Putnam Trail, but I don't know if its worth it to ride the RT 117 to Millwood section again.

Good ride

I rode (using my cyclocross bike) this trail today end-to-end in conjunction with the Putnam Trail to make a 62+ mile out and back ride.
Overall the trail is in fairly good shape with somewhat tricky start/end points as noted in the previous review. As there is really no parking at the southern end I parked in a commuter lot just off the Saw Mill parkway about 2 miles from the south end and backtracked to complete the end-to-end.
While a road bike could be used for this trail I suggest a hybrid or cyclocross bike due to some tough pavement in spots and pretty heavy debris on the two on-road sections. The Putnam Trail is fine for a road bike.

Don't make the same mistakes I did

Perhaps this information will not apply to most of you. Many people just ride a segment of the North County Trailway or they ride it in segments. My goal was to ride the entire length of the North County Trailway and then turn around and ride back to my car. When you get to the northern 'end' of the North County Trailway, you might miss the little sign that says you are entering Putnam County. The trail looks the same, but if you were planning to turn around here, you might not notice that you are done going North and should now go South.

On another day, I left my car in the same parking lot and got on my bike and started going South. I thought that on my first excursion I had done the entire North County Trailway up and back, but that was not correct. I went South for maybe a mile or two and came to a street crossing. This was apparently Warehouse Lane in Elmsford, NY. When you get to this point, you have finished the North County Trailway.

I didn't see any sign to that effect, but I could have missed it. Not knowing what to do, and not particularly worried, since there were other places on the North County Trailway where the signage was inadequate or confusing, I continued ahead. I ended up in a parking lot. Couldn't find any trail leading out from the end of the parking lot, so I turned around and headed back to Warehouse Lane.

Followed some yellow signs with arrows on them, but they petered out and I did not know where to go. Checked googlemaps on my cell phone. That is when it dawned on me -- three things:

1) I had previously gotten to the end of the North County Trailway.

2) The North County Trailway does NOT run into the South County Trailway, as I had incorrectly assumed.

3) You have to go on city streets to get from the end of the North County Trailway to the beginning of the South County Trailway.

Don't miss the reservoir

If you start your ride at the Eastview Park and Ride, take a few minutes to cross the street and ride the short segment of the trail along the reservoir. If you go on a sunny day, the reflections on the water are pristine.

First time on the NCT

I parked at the trail head on Old Saw mill river road, the south terminus of the North County Trail. I ride a road bike and thought this would be a nice change of pace. While I was not expecting freshly paved asphalt, I did think the trail would be in slightly better shape. Some sections were better than others, and it seemed to improve as I went north - although there was a lot of debris and you need to pay attention. I liked the elevation change - while gradual there were some good long uphill sections. The route is well marked but you have to pay attention crossing route 100 and there is a lengthy section along the (wide) shoulder. I rode up about 15 and then turned back. Next time, I'll start at the other end or farther north. I really enjoyed the ride, but I'm glad I've got gatorskins.

Overall, great to have this biking trail, but warning about Echo Lake State Park section

I normally use the northern part of this trail, but explored yesterday by starting in Yorktown Heights and heading south.
When heading South, the bike trail has you cross the road (Rt 100, at a traffic light) and then ride the southbound shoulder. It's a wide shoulder, so that's fine. What I didn't like is that it brings you back in below Echo Lake State Park, where you have 2 way bike traffic in what is essentially the shoulder of the road, but protected by a guard rail. At first, I thought this was good, but it is so full of gravel and other debris that I ended up getting a flat tire!
I would recommend staying in the southbound shoulder for that stretch until the rail trail picks up again (at least that's what I will do if I end up in this stretch of the trail again).

continuance of ride from van cortland park


great run and bike trail

In town on business and gave this trail a shot and what a treat. Parked in town and ran up to theorem bridge and back. Wide trail with beautiful views of the lake. Tree colors made it magical. Great for families and solo runners alike.

Eastview to Yorktown

We rode this trail on 10/25 from the Eastview Park and Ride to just beyond Yorktown, which is almost 40 miles round-trip. The trail is easily accessed by taking a left out of the parking lot and following the bike route sign. The trail is a series of slight, gradual uphills and downhills. While not very challenging, you can get a decent workout. There are 2 areas where you have to ride on the road for short distances, which are clearly marked. The shoulders are wide so the road riding is very safe. If you're going to look at foliage, most of the leaves have fallen already.

Almost 100 miles round trip

I have cycled this entire trail from end to end a few times already this year and its almost 100 miles round trip if you combine all three sections. It starts off being called the "old Putnam trial" in the Bronx's Van Cortland Park then goes by the South County trail and of course leads into the North county trail to the end in Brewster NY.

There are only a few completely "Paved" car free trails across the country that are 50 miles long. There may be prettier dirt and gravel covered trials in this country, but this is the best trail locally and has so many great qualities, like; long quite sections of forests and lakes, plenty of brooks, rivers, and waterfall features, towns, horse farms, apple orchards and nice peoples back yards to look at.

The trail suffered some erosion by super storm sandy and a small section was closed immediately north of the reservoir bridge but was just opened recently with limited passage at this point. Thank god because the detour has put you on a narrow dangerous road and up a steep hill. There is another spot where you are actually on the highway shoulder, but all of this is fine considering the real crime of the trails very beginning in Van Cortland park and the lack of trail in Elmsford.

The entire trails beginning in Van Cortland park and has no legitimate paved trail. Its a nasty muddy wood chip pit that's dangerous to bike on and still has the wood in the ground used for the rail road track which makes it impossible to bike over. You have to walk your bike thru ankle deep mud the first mile of trail after any rain because its lower and all water drains there. The parks dept. has refused to pave this one single mile to connect this entire trial to the park but has instead built a new club house for the golf course. This trail has been ignored.

The other even more dangerous work around is in Elmsford. Travelers are forced on to a main and very busy road with virtually no sidewalk. Google this section on route 9A in Elmsford and see what I am talking about.

This and all trails should be celebrated.

Very enjoyable bike trail

I rode this trail in May 2014. Took Metro North from Grand Central Station, the 9:22am train, fare $13.50. Got to Brewster at 11:00am, found trail easily. Trail is well maintained and very shady. Slightly hilly at the start but sort of level after. Beware of the lack of signs or facilities, bring your own of everything. Trail has a few detours that will catch you off guard. If not sure ask for directions. Stopped at Yorktown Heights old rail station for lunch, again there are no bathrooms or water to be found. Made my way from North to South county. Stopped at Tibbets Brook park in Yonkers, rest room and water,etc found here. Continued south to NYC border. Trail at this point is dirt with some mud. Depending on previous rain fall, this path could be dry or a muddy disaster. Made it to the #1 train station at Van Cortland park. Total travel time was 6.5 hours with lunch stop and total miles was 52. I can't wait to do it again.

Great trail

I ride this trail from Tibbets Brook Park in Yonkers up to Brewster and back in the late summer early fall months. Safest in New York State if you're looking to do a 90+ mile ride with minimal road traffic. When you get to Brewster at the end of the trail there's a Subway, a pizza parlor and a Mobil Gas Station to re-fuel up for the trek back. Sporadic spots along the trail to stop for food/water as well. There's one or two bike shops along the trail too. The bridge spanning over the Croton Reservoir is worth the ride alone. Recommended.

Great ride

But be aware that a short section of trail is closed just north of the reservoir crossing. Heading north, after you cross 118, there's a parking area; if you jog back to 118 there, you go about 1/4 mile north until you can jog back to the trail. I forget the name of the street you turn right on, but it's a steep incline about 50 yards back to the trail. If you're coming south to this point, be careful coming down that hill to 118.

A Great Trail -- Especially North of Millwood

Starting in Yorktown Heights (about 5 miles from the northern end of the trail) over a two day period while visiting my wife's Dad, I rode on 17 of the 22 miles of this largely wooded trail. The first day I rode south about 5 miles from the parking area at Saw Mill River Road (Rt 35-202-118) and Quaker Church Road across the Croton Reservoir Bridge to Rt 134 at Kitchawan Farm. Then I turned around and rode to northern end of the trail in Somers. From Somers I continued on the Putnam County Trailway to Brewster and returned. From the same starting point, on the second day I rode south about 12 miles through Millwood en route to my turnaround point at the parking area at Bedford Road (Rt 117) about 5 miles from where the North County Trailway joins the South County Trailway.

This is a great trail and I truly enjoyed my two rides on hot July mornings. For someone looking for a long bike ride or run, I can highly recommend all 17 miles (Bedford Road to Rt 118 in Somers) that I covered. And as I understand it, the southernmost five miles I did not ride are similar to the trail south of Millwood -- so for a long bike ride the entire trail is highly recommended. And most of the trail was shaded - a big plus in the summer heat.

If you are planning a family outing, I would strongly recommend driving to one of the parking areas between Millwood and the northern trailhead at Somers and riding on some or all of the 12 miles of trail between those towns. The trail is further from the road in this section making the ride much more pleasant than it is further south. With the woods in full foliage for the summer I found it easy to image that I was riding on the Great Allegheny Passage in rural Pennsylvania rather than in the NYC metropolitan area. And don't miss the bridge across Croton Reservoir. It is the scenic highlight of the trail.

Located less than four miles north of the Croton Reservoir bridge, Yorktown Heights is a central location and provides an excellent base for a family biking or hiking outing on the North County Trailway. Railroad Park is located along the trail at the southern end of town on the grounds of the old train station. You can also find parking, shops, and restaurants nearby. Millwood (south) and Somers (north) can also serve as the base for an family outing.

Bucolic Gem

My husband and I parked in Amenia at the Rail Trail lot and biked 10 miles up to Millerton. With foliage full, only occasional views of countryside showed. But the trail was also a cool tunnel on a 90-degree day. Bugs are plentiful, so use repellent. Three flew in my eye.

Near Millerton in the middle of the woods is a series of three small houses, rustic, gate-size, and elegant facaded, which surround a small pen with long-horn bulls and a llama. A river rushes past on the far side. Charming and unexpected.

Millerton is a very appealing town, with the original Saperstein's clothing store carrying styles from the '50s, it seems, as well as New Age eateries and artsy shops.

We dallied about 15 minutes, then rode back to our car in Amenia. Whole trip took 1:40.

Then we drove up to Bash Bish Falls in Copake, took a dip along the trail to cool off, and headed home to CT, stopping at McEnroe's organic farm (on a hill on the right, between Millerton and Amenia) for egg salad, strawberries and Harney's apple juice. Yum.

Fabulous day trip.

Advertising on the Trail

This is a great trail but the Putnam County portion is going to ruined see the following story.

What a Gem

Discovered this trail just a week ago...left from Tibbetts Park in Yonkers at 6am Sunday morning and rode the 11 miles to the end in Elmsford. Most of the way the surface is very good though there are 2 rough areas in the northern end. But with few road crossings you can ride well through woods and some very nice scenery including plenty of the Saw Mill River. I did not do the 3 miles south of Yonkers yet (to Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx) though it looks promising.


I joined R2T after it helped me find this trail - just 10 mins from a relative I was visiting in Westchester, NY. And what a trail?!! The asphalt surface is in excellent condition. The superb maintenance showed when, only 2 weeks after Hurricane Sandy, the felled trees were already cleared from the path. The trail has the gentle slope and moderate curves of the old railway line.

Some of the southern miles run along a local highway, but the next 8 southern miles (that I ran) range from secluded suburban to forest. The bridges over local reservoirs were especially spectacular. Best of all, I ran on a perfect day in early/mid Nov when the weather was crisp, the air pristine and many trees still held their autumn vibrance. It was, for me, a day and trail to savor and remember.

Great Trail

Road this last Friday. It was amazing. Started from Brewster station and rode back to the city with a few friends. 73 miles! The road was perfect no pot holes, just a few uneven roads. Best park its private! no traffic. Amazing.

Sad -- Beaver Dam Destroyed north of Rte 35 ...

Alas, I guess the Powers That Be decided that enough was enough, and removed the beautiful Beaver Dam from the stream about a half mile north of Rte 35. They had been there all through the winter, and while it caused a bit of an overflow onto the Trail, it was well worth it to see them create & enjoy a whole new aquatic habitat -- the Frog Symphony alone was worth the trip! It's now back to a small stream, with only the muddy, skeleton remains of the beautiful Pond the Beavers had created.

Winter Update

Thanks to the relatively mild Winter so far, as of late January the North County Trailway remains in great shape for cycling.

The rail trail between Millwood, NY and the Putnam County border has been remarkably clear of fallen branches and debris all Winter. Yesterday (Jan. 24) I discovered why.

Westchester County has a two-man tree crew with a leased cherry picker working along the trail to clear overhanging deadwood. From a brief conversation, I got the impression this was mainly a safety/liability issue -- the County is (rightfully) concerned someone could be clocked by a potentially deadly falling tree limb. But it's also a boon to cyclists!

The chronic flooding north of Route 35 seems to have been solved by placing a drain pipe about 18"-inches below the top of the beaver dam. The water level remains high alongside the trail, but even after 6" inches of snow on Sunday and a heavy rain on Monday, there was no flooding on Tuesday.

In fact, there was only one significant icy patch to be found on the entire 12 mile ride between Millwood and the Putnam County border. Ride on!

Mid October Update

The complete off-road section of the North County Trailway from Milwood, NY to the Puntam County Border (at the Route 118 Trailhead and Mirabella's Cafe) is now completely open--as well as the Putnam County Trailway from the Route 118 Trailhead to the Brewster Trailhead.

HOWEVER, following a heavy rain there is a short section -- about 200 feet -- of the North Country Trailway which floods thanks to the work of eager beavers (literally!!!!) that have built a dam at a low spot along side the trail. The flooded area is about a mile north of Route 35 (between Yorktown Heights and the Putnam County Border).

When flooding happens, the Westchester authorities post a "Trail Closed" sign on the north side of the Route 35 crossing -- as was the case several weeks ago when we cycled the trail after a heavy rainfall the previous night.

We ignored the signs -- along with most other cyclists -- and found the flooded stretch to be passable at slow speed with only about 4 to 5 inches of water over the asphalt in the deepest area. Not even a problem for our Terra Trikes with 20" wheels.

The trail is especially beautiful right now as the Fall foliage is nearing its peak--although the presence of wet leaves and fallen branches may pose problems for road bikes.

Post Irene -- Millwood to Yorktown Heights Still Closed But Passable

As of my ride on Sept. 8, there were still barricades with "Path Closed" signs on a portion of the trail between Millwood and Yorktown Heights.

The barricades were being universally ignored -- and even on the officially "closed" section, all fallen trees had been cut and cleared at least enough to open the full width of the trail.

There were, however, many dead branches, and even several trees, still hanging precariously overhead.

There was also some flooding and lots of debris--mud, gravel and branches--on the trail. In a few spots, the trail shoulders were eroded. And in several places the asphalt had partially collapsed, effectively narrowing the trail to one lane. However, these were all well marked with orange cones and the trail was passable -- even for my recumbent trike.

I didn't travel north of Yorktown Heights -- although while driving home, I could see yet another "Path Closed" barricade on the north side of Route 35.

On Sept 9, I triked the Putnam County Trailway between downtown Mahopac and the trailhead at Putnam Ave. in Brewster. The trail was open with minor debris and flooding along with a few fallen, but cleared, trees in the heavily wooded section of rail trail between Mahopac and Willow Road. The new bike path extension between Willow Road and Putnam Ave. in Brewster showed very few signs of storm damage.


On Friday July 5th I rode 18 and a half miles up form the park and ride at Saw Mill Parkway at exit 23 37 miles round trip. The first eight miles where great and then there is a very bad spot at rt 9a where you have to cross the road and then ride next to cars where the speed limit is 55 mph. The second spot is on rt 100 where you are also next to cars going over 55 mph, not a family friendly ride. If I was going to do this trail again i would start at echo lake and go north. From that point on this is a very good trail. I was on my road bike and the pavement is not always the best but it is a great ride. The bridge over New Croton Reservoir was the high light of the trip. There are a number of old train stations on this ride and lots of historical markers along the trip, I could picture the trains running though this valley. Mile markers are hit and miss but over all it is well marked. Again north of Echo Lake it is family friendly. Lot of shade most of the way. I am looking forward to doing the Putnam trail on my next trip up to New England.

North County Trailway

Now that the trail has been extended 2.5 miles, we figured out how to start from the new part of the trail. Take the Metro North to Brewster, NY, make a left out of the train station onto N. Main St and then bear left onto Rt. 6. After a couple of miles go under a tressle; make a left onto Tilly Foster Rd, a left onto Old Mine Rd. and a right onto the trail. The new section is beautiful - scenic & much more hilly than the rest. There are hiking trails to the right after the lake too. From Brewster to Brooklyn is about 80 miles so we stay at either the Budget Motor Inn on Rt. 6 in Mahopac (1 block from the trail) or the Ardsley Acres Hotel Court - just open the door in the fence to get there!. This way we can enjoy the trail for a couple of days, including the wood bridge over Croton Reservoir, the towns of Brewster, Carmel, Mahopac, Yorktown Heights, Millwood, Pleasantville, Tarrytown, Ardsley, and of course the peace & quiet of the woods, bunnies, ponds & deer. This trail keeps getting better!


Trail extended!

This trail has been extended! It now starts in carmel and runs 3+ miles into Maophac. Great job on the trail construction and lets hope more trails get funding for more miles. This whole trail is beautiful and goes through some nice towns. The weekend of May 22 there were Boy Souts volentering their time to construct bike racks on the trail parking lots. Great community job boys!!! The lemonade was good and i hope you raised alot of money.
Geoff Miller, ride a trail, write a review!!

Rode from 117 and the Taconic to Ketchiwan, and back, yesterday

The trail bits are very beautiful. The trail is pretty well shelterd from the wind. The bit where the trail is shared with NY 100, from Briarcliff towards Millwood, is a bit challenging. Traffic moves at 55+ along this bit and there are two crossings of this road required. If I were to do it again I would start in Millwood and ride north to miss the bit shared with NY 100. YMMV.

Beautiful trail

We road this trail in the beginnig of October. The leaves were just starting to turn and the trail was perfect for a fall ride. We started in Mahopac and road 17 miles to the Croton Reservior. Along the way there were other bridges to cross that went over rivers and streams. Many pretty sites to see and being in the woods that time of the yr was the best! The trail goes through little towns that have great eateries and planty of places to rest your legs. We stoped at a bar/resturant and had a late lunch with some good friends. The condition of the trail was very good and easy to ride. Many intersection w/ auto traffic but those intersection are safe and clearly marked. You ride on the trail the whole time and only hit the roads when going into the towns for some eats. The trail has many nice benches to sit and have a brown paper bag lunch if you like. Beatiful views and ride. Go ride this one!! Ride a trail, write a review. Geoff Miller

Beautiful trail

We road this trail in the beginnig of October. The leaves were just starting to turn and the trail was perfect for a fall ride. We started in Mahopac and road 17 miles to the Croton Reservior. Along the way there were other bridges to cross that went over rivers and streams. Many pretty sites to see and being in the woods that time of the yr was the best! The trail goes through little towns that have great eateries and planty of places to rest your legs. We stoped at a bar/resturant and had a late lunch with some good friends. The condition of the trail was very good and easy to ride. Many intersection w/ auto traffic but those intersection are safe and clearly marked. You ride on the trail the whole time and only hit the roads when going into the towns for some eats. The trail has many nice benches to sit and have a brown paper bag lunch if you like. Beatiful views and ride. Go ride this one!! Ride a trail, write a review. Geoff Miller

Ketchiwan to Baldwin and Back

Great October ride for 67 yr old granny w/6 & 8 yr old grandsons and their mom & dad! Beautifully surfaced and maintained with easy access at several points. 10/05

Ride on July 10th

"We drove up from Brooklyn on a beautiful day to ride the trail for the first time. We parked at Eastview and headed north. We had a great lunch at the Moonbean Cafe on Pleasantville Road in Briarcliff Manor. You exit the trail at the old Briarcliff Manor Station (now a library), go right out of the parking lot, right again at the T-intersection, and it's a short bike to town. North of the New Croton Reservoir Bridge, in a marshy area, we saw frogs, a turtle, and a beaver. At the end of the trail, in Mahopac in Putnam County, the OTB located on the main drag near the trail has restrooms."

North County

"Except for a sign reading ""EAST/WEST"" with no other explanation the trail from the 118 trailhead was great. A sign with directions at Warehouse Lane would have been nice."

A Great Day!!!

"I road the trail today with my wife and 2 kids (12 and 9). What an awesome trail - a great way to spend a spring day. It's a ""10""."

A scenic breeze

"My friend and I first rode this on 6/18/2003. We rode it again on 7/18/2003 and made really good time (since we saved over 45 minutes reading the historical markers). We did the north and south trailway of 36.2 miles in 3 hours.

As you can tell by the posted pictures on here, the scenery is plentiful and full of history.

You enter off Route 6 in Mahopac next to Wallouer's Paint (on the left) and the parking lot is just behind it to the right. The trailhead is right there and the first 1.5 miles is downhill, so just coast. You will go over the Putnam Division Bridge over the Croton Reservoir. The bridge was built in 1905.

A good rest stop to take is in New Castle around mile 11.5 or so just before you hit the old Millwood Station (which looks like an old Foto-Mat).

It's a small suburb of Millwood and has a small deli on the right.

Then it's back on the trail and from mile 12-18 it basically hugs and follows Saw Mill River Road.

The trail will first share the road with Saw Mill River Road for .5 to .75 miles on the right shoulder and it's a wide shoulder so you're safe and there are plenty of ""Bike Route"" signs.
The only DANGER is you do ride through an exit lane and there's no marking for cars to watch out or for bikes. That was a little scary as the speed limit does exceed 55mph.

Then the trail crosses over for 2 or so miles on the left shoulder behind the guardrail. Then it crosses over to the right again around mile 18.

You will then come to the old Briarcliff Manor Depot which is very beautiful and has been converted to the Briarcliff Manor Public Library. Behind it is a picnic pavilion, parking and recreation fields.

The next 4 or so miles is all woods with some benches and it's real quiet.

The trail ends at with 2 bike signs reading east and west.
Straight ahead is a bridge with stone sides and it's scenic.

It should be noted that straight is obviously south. To the left it goes down to street level and ends at a Con Edison plant. (If you happen to cross the road, it's their parking lot.) If you cross and go under the overpass, you can ride up the on ramp to the Taconic and stay on the grass and there will be an exit/service road that enters a small lot and you can get back on the bridge).

If you continue south past the bridge there is an orange fence blocking you but to the right is a small opening, so get off your bike.

It does not make sense for it to be there as it is paved for a bit before switching to gravel and dirt. Maybe a sign saying, ""Unpaved, ride at own risk"" would be better.

If you go to the right, it will take you further to Tarrytown on a feeder trail near Sunnyside Road near a reservoir. This feeder trail will connect you on the trail a few miles south.

Read my review on the South County Trailway to get exact details after the orange fence. It's titled South County Trailway from 6/18 and the the path continuation starts at paragraph 9.

Happy riding and remember, after the South County Trailway ends in Yonkers, it does connect to the John Kieran Nature Trail in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx around 234th street, about 7 miles further. Read my review about that excursion under the New York City section for John Kieran Nature Trail."

Wonderful three-season trail

"I rode the south county and the north county trails from beginning to end during the fall on my way up to Brewster. I wait with anticipation for the completion of the additional leg through Mahopac and into Brewster.

I tried it again this past weekend only to find -- to my disappointment -- that the trail is not cleared of snow in the winter. After four miles through snow, I quit. Oh well, I will wait until spring."

Best trail near NYC

There are lots of deer around this trail. Over a one week period I saw three bucks and a few blue herons. The northern section is quieter then the southern section. The trail is stunning in the fall when the canopy turns golden yellow. It's very well maitained I saw them blowing leaves off the trail twice this fall.

Getting longer

"As well as the Eastview/Rt 100C to Rt 117 section of the NCTW now being opened, you can go even further. Putnam County is finishing the remainder.

Currently the Baldwin Place/Rt 6 terminus ends the Westchester County segment. You can continue 1.8 miles to Mahopac on a newly complete section.

Eventually they will have the 5.7 mile section to Carmel completed (construction is under way) and are bidding the carmel to Brewster segment at 3.9 miles. Total length in Putnam - 11.4 miles

So says the Putnam County Planning Office."

Great time

This trail is the best for non-experienced riders and families looking for a great day of biking. The best starting point is at Millwood due to lots of parking and an easy town to find and get to. Heading north is your best bet. Make sure you stop at Yorktown for some lunch; this little town is great place to hang out for a few hours. I highly recommend this trail for a nice day w/your wife and kids or girlfriend.

Long Awaited Missing Link Now Open

"The long awaited ""missing link"" between Hawthorne and Pleasantville is now open.

As of this date, the surface is unpaved but is suited for walkers and mountain bikers. Westchester County Parks and Recreation advises that the surface should be paved by the end of April.

The remaining missing link, a connection to the South County Trailway, will soon be going out for bid. Expectations are that this project will take at least 2-3 years to design and build. For now, you're able to travel through to Warehouse Lane in Elmsford on an unpaved surface."

Millwood to Baldwin Place Trip

"I biked the round-trip route northbound from Millwood to Baldwin Place for the first time today. Total round trip distance was 25.8 miles.

The northbound ride was somewhat strenuous, as there is a significant difference in ground elevation (height about sea level) between the start and end points. The return trip ride was a breeze. Keep this in mind when planning your expedition; better to go from south to north and have the easy leg on the way back to your car when you might be tired.

Pavement surfaces were all in excellent condition. All damage caused by this past winter’s numerous snowstorms has been repaired. Many scenic views will be in store for trail users, particularly near the New Croton Reservoir in Kitchawan. However, be ready for some not so scenic views of sewerage treatment plants and industrial buildings as well.

There was plenty of free parking at my starting point in Millwood. However, I noticed no parking at the trailhead in Baldwin Place.

The Railroad Park in Yorktown Heights looked like an excellent place to stop for a picnic. There were plenty of tables and benches.

This is a great trail that everyone should bike at least once.

"north county trailway, NY"

"very good, but any plans to continue into Putnam County? Very wild area free from roads etc, it would be GREAT! Thanks."

Spring 2001 Review-Eastview to Elmsford

"On Sunday, 03/25/01 I biked the non-paved section from Eastview to Warehouse Lane in Elmsford.

A nice trip for experienced off-road bikers. Watch for glass near the Coca-Cola bottling plant though.

Westchester County Parks says that this section should be paved by the Summer of this year. Evidence of survey markings and pre-construction activity was noted."

Washout Repairs

10/10/2000It was great to discover that the damage this trail experienced in the fall of 99 has been repaired.I first dicoverd this trail in 1998 and have ridden it in length over 20 times. Caution should be used by bikers as this trail has many other recreational uses though most people using it are recreational bikers. As a deversion when riding up to Baldwin I have found that taking the main road east to Rt.212 and south to Rt. 35 and turning right back to the trail is a nice ride with little traffic.

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