Catskill Preserve + ADD NEW ROUTE
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Starting from Catskill, NY take Rte 23 W (we came across the Rip Van Winkel Bridge) to Durso Corner (18m). Here you'll find on your right side the 5 state lookout, worth stopping for. Travel on from Durso Corner, 23 W, towards Windham (8m) where, just before town, you'll pick up Rte 296 (on left) to the Village of Hunter (9m). From Hunter you'll pick up Rte 23A W taking you through Lexington on to Prattsville where you'll once again rejoin Rte 23 (16m). Prattsville to Stamford on 23 W is a 13m blast through cornfields and pastures bordered by the Catskill Mtns and pleasantly interrupted by the village of Grand Gorge. From Stamford take Rte 10 S through the college town of Delhi to the Town of Walton (38m). From Walton you'll take Rte 206 S to Downsville. At Downsville you want to get on Rte 30 heading east to the town of Margaretville (Rte 30 hugs the shore line of Pepacton Reservoir for 26m). In Margaretville take Rte 28 E (through Pine Hill and Shandaken) to Rte 214 N in Phoenicia (21m). Take 214 N up to where it T's into Rt 23A Here you want to take Rt 23A East through Tannersville (14.5m) and ending back in Catskill (16m), whew!
The scenery is spectacular. You'll spend the day surrounded by the Catskill Mtn. range. Carving your way through mountain passes and skirting along crystal clear reservoirs and rivers. Time your ride for around October 1st and enjoy the added thrill of the fall foliage. Photo contributed by a visitor in July 09
This scenery description addition was added by an anonymous contributor in Aug of 2014: "This scenic ride is surprisingly direct: 23A to 214. This short ride, just under an hour, speeds past a variety of scenery as the landscape changes dramatically. After escaping the urban sprawl of Catskill outskirts, you ride past long, flat vistas of working farms. Fields of corn and cows zoom into steep, swishing mountain passes. Slow down for the pedestrians near Kaaterskill Falls, or even better, park and take a hike.
The next bit of road is a blast if you can catch it early, before the hikers are about and cars are few. The road changes back and again, from narrow to wide, with sweeping turns and tight ones, too. The speed limit here is 55, but be careful.
Route 23A continues to climb and off in the distance you can see the slopes of Hunter Mountain. A left onto 214 and the scenery changes again. Coming down off the mountain now, compact communities with homes set back from the road are replaced by trees and no shoulder. Slower now, but more windy."
The quality of the roads is remarkable. These roads don't bear all the heavy traffic of the cities so they remain in near perfect condition.
There is an abundance of charming towns and villages along the route where you will find fuel (for both bike and body)as well as affable locals to greet you. If camping is your thing you will find an abundance of both state and privately owed campgrounds throughout the Catskill Preserve.