The 70 Mile Hudson River Bridge Tour + ADD NEW ROUTE
8 in New York New York70 Miles
on April 15, 1998
- Trip Toolbox
or your reference, probably the closest town to the starting point is the town of Leonia New Jersey. An online interactive map to Leonia is available through MapQuest and will help you locate the starting point (or general vicinity) of this motorcycle road. Look for the star in the middle of the map.
There are many different ways you can get to these roads but I'm describing how to get to the route from NY city since everyone can figure out how to get to NY city. I suggest that you start out the route by crossing the George Washington bridge via I-95 (in NY City) heading west into New Jersey. Once you cross the Hudson River, take the Palisades Pky north towards West Point. Continue on the Palisades Pky over the border and into New York state and look for the signs to Harriman State Park. If you want to visit this park, I suggest you enter at the north end by taking exit 19 to the Seven Lakes Drive and then take the Perkins Memorial drive where you'll find a great mountain perched overlook. After you check out the view and the rest of the park, get back on the Palisades Pky and head northeast towards the town of Fort Clinton. Continue past Fort Clinton and cross east over the Hudson River by way of the beautiful Bear Mountain Bridge. Soon after crossing the bridge, exit on to the Bear Mountain-Beacon Hwy (AKA Rte. 9D). Follow the road up along the river all the time heading towards the town of Beacon. Continue on and use I-84 heading west to cross the Hudson River again and exit on the very next exit (exit #10/Rte 9W). Take Rte. 9W south for about 5 miles. Look for Rte. 218 heading southeast to both Storm King State Park and the famous West Point Military Academy. Continue south until you can get back on to the Palisade Pkwy and head east once again over the same Bear Mountain Bridge you crossed before but this time instead of crossing the bridge and heading north you want to head south. To do this, cross the bridge and take US 9/Bear Mountain Bridge Road (NOT Bear Mountain-Beacon Hwy) south through Peekskill. Continue on US 9 all the way south through the towns of Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining, and to the routes end point of Tarrytown.
This is a great motorcycle route by any and all standards ... you will love it in the fall especially!!! This route covers the gorgeous Hudson River Valley crossing many impressive bridges along the way and hugging the river for the most part. The route starts out in New York City and immediately gets you out of the urban jungle by heading west on Interstate 95 across the George Washington Bridge. The bridge itself is something to see. It spans 3,500 ft across the Hudson River. Then you travel along the wall of cliffs known as the Palisades that follow the Hudson River. The road is called the Palisades Parkway and is a favorite bike road in New York. If you take exit 1 to the Englewood Boat Basin or Exit 2 to the Alpine Boat Basin you can enjoy some picnic areas. Just past Exit 2 MAKE SURE YOU take the off ramp to the State Line Lookout. You'll get a GREAT view of the river from up there. Continuing up the Parkway towards Bear Mountain the route gets prettier and prettier. Don't miss this route in the fall!!! The rest of the route specializes in riverside drives (many of the drives are positioned along the side of bluffs overlooking the river) and historic and interesting towns. Photo contributed by visitor in Jun 09 - "Photo taken from the roadside lookout on Route 9-D opposite Bear Mountain."
I give the route a solid 5 because of its river hugging path that meanders along. At some points the roads seem to suspend you over the Hudson as you drive along sections that are carved out of tall rock bluffs. There are plenty of turns on this route to keep your cycle leaning to one side or the other. Photo contributed by visitor in Jun 09 - "Bear Mountain Bridge taken from the Fort Montgomery historical site on the West side of the Hudson River."
The first real 'thing to do off the bike' is to go to Harriman State Park. Make sure you take the road to the mountain's summit for another great view. To get there take exit 19 to the Seven Lakes Drive and then take the Perkins Memorial drive to the mountain top and start taking photos when you get up there. Harriman State Park is very large and offers all the stuff you'd expect from a top quality state park.
Get back on the Palisade Pkwy heading east (turns into Rte. 6) and cross the Hudson over the beautiful Bear Mountain Bridge then turn north on the Bear Mountain-Beacon Hwy (Rte. 9D). Two and a half miles later you'll be going through a place called Manitoga (914-424-3812). This is 80-acres of destroyed land that was purchased by a rich man back in the 1940s and he spent the next 30 years restoring it. Today it's a beautiful garden of nature trails and forests that you can explore. It's a great example of what man can do to restore destroyed land. The Manitoga nature center is open for visitors and is a very interesting stop you all should consider. Click here to read more about this ecological success story.
As you approach the town of Cold Spring you will pass some historic riverside mansions. The town of Cold Spring is a pretty little riverside town where you can get off the bike and grab a bite to eat and checkout the town. There is a public gazebo where you can take in the river scenery.
Rte. 9D really hugs the river at times heading north out of Cold Spring. Take it all the way till you get to I-84 and take I-84 back west over the Hudson. Take the very next exit, exit-10 south on Rte. 9W for about 5 miles. Look for Rte. 218 heading southeast to both Storm King State Park and the famous West Point Military Academy. This is where the driving gets fun for a little while!!! 218 becomes the 'Storm King Highway' and goes through Storm King State Park. This is one of the best parts of the entire route as the road is carved into a cliff at points hanging over the Hudson River. A lot of twists and turns here - perfect for those of us choosing two-wheels over four. When you get through the park you'll be tempted to turn-around and go through that part of the route again - go for it! If you want to see West Point Military Academy watch for signs or better yet ask a local. West Point has plenty to offer visitors - great tours, an interesting museum and a gift shop. The trick after you leave the military academy is to get to Main Street and head south (this is the slower yet prettier alternative to getting back on 9W south). The road will 'turn into' 218 again and you will have some pretty riverside driving. Then it will merge with 9W and you need to get on 9W and take it south.
Take 9W till you get to back to the Palisade Pkwy where you want to head east once again over the Bear Mountain Bridge. Now instead of going northeast like you did before, you want to veer to the right and take 'Bear Mountain Bridge Road' (NOT Bear Mountain-Beacon Hwy).
Take Bear Mountain Bridge Road south just about 3-miles and you'll see signs for Peekskill NY and Rte. 202. You cross a bridge (Lower South St) and hit 202 which eventually turns into Rte. 9 or the Briarcliff Peekskill Pkwy. Take this south till the end of the route. Along this section of the route you'll want to pay attention to some of the impressive homes and mansions you'll see. The town of Tarrytown has some historic estates owned by famous people. The famous homeowners that I remember was the guy that wrote 'Rip Van Winkle' and the 'Legend of Sleepy Hollow.'
Photo contributed by visitor in Jun 09 - "West Point seen from Garrison Landing on 9-D going toward Cold Spring."
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