Weekend Wheeling in New York City

Stillwell Woods (Long Island)
By Sproule Love
  |  Gorp.com
Stillwell Woods Essentials
Getting There
By car: Take I-495 (the Long Island Expressway) to exit 44 and the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway. Follow this to exit 14 east, which will put you on the Jericho Turnpike, Route 25, headed east. Continue for about 1.5 miles to a left turn (north) on South Woods Road. Look for the entrance to Stillwell Woods County Park on your right 1.2 miles after the turn.

By train (the Long Island Railroad): From Pennsylvania Station, it is only an hour to Cold Spring Harbor Station and Stillwood is a short ride from there (four or five miles). Check out the LIRR Web site for schedule, fare, and bike permit (required) information.

Maps
C.L.I.M.B. (Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists) — see their Web site — is an excellent resource for trail maps for this and other Long Island rides.

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This Long Island mountain bike ride is closer to New York City than Rocky Point. It is also a much shorter loop — only five miles. Narrow, twisting, and buffed, this trail makes the most of Long Island's lack of elevation change by keeping you constantly thinking about how to negotiate some very tight turns and unusual obstacles. Stillwell contains an astounding amount of interesting riding for such a small area. The trail is primarily single-track and is well marked by painted yellow blazes and white plastic triangles.

As such, this is not a ride for anyone who likes to explore but it does demand more technical skill than Rocky Point. Every meter of the trail keeps you on your toes, whether it descends a series of short steps or climbs a log bridge. This ride also has a bit more vertical than Rocky Point. There are several short, steep uphills that demand a keen understanding of tire traction. You may want to ride this trail with lower tire pressure in the rear to bring the knobbies on the sides of your tire into play, which will help you get up the climbs.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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