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Tarrytown

The Breakdown

Ride the length of Manhattan along the Hudson River on the borough’s longest greenway.

Leave the Hudson River and follow local roads through Inwood, Marble Hill, and Kingsbridge towards Van Cortlandt Park.

Find the beginning of the Old Putnam Trail as you leave New York City.

Follow the right-of-way of the Old Putnam railway line through Westchester County.

Arrive in the village that is home to the Captain Lawrence Brewing Company as well as the North and South County Trails.

Sample some suds in the garden at an award-winning Hudson Valley brewery.

Finish your ride as you return full circle to the river and grab a bite while overlooking the Tappan Zee.

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NYC to Tarrytown

An undemanding ride from the city to Westchester that spans multiple boroughs and includes a pit stop at a delicious craft brewery, the ride to Tarrytown is a must for NYC cyclists looking for a getaway day trip.

This ride is also a great introduction to the Hudson River Greenway and South County Trail as well as points north of the city on the east side of the Hudson. Any rides you might do, for example, up to Peekskill or Poughkeepsie, can all follow this basic route in the beginning. The roughly 35-mile journey has no serious hills and can be completed in four hours at a leisurely pace. As for getting back to the city, a 45-minute ride on the Metro North Railroad is your ticket.

The main road that cuts through Tarrytown is U.S. Route 9, more familiarly known as Broadway, the same stretch of road that runs through the famous theater district in New York City. Broadway traverses the length of Manhattan from Bowling Green to Inwood and continues north through the Bronx and Westchester County. Broadway by name ends just north of Tarrytown where it becomes Albany Post Road, but U.S. Route 9 continues for about another 300 miles up to Lake Champlain and the U.S.-Canada border. In theory, if you have a penchant for congestion and traffic lights, you could ride all the way to Tarrytown by just sticking to this one road. But most will find the combination of the Hudson River Greenway and South County Trail to be a far preferable route.

Tracing the west side of Manhattan Island from Battery Park to Inwood, the Hudson River Greenway escorts you beneath the George Washington Bridge and to the northern tip of the borough. Crossing over the Harlem River via the Broadway Bridge, you’ll enter the Bronx as you make your way towards Van Cortlandt Park. Here you will find the entrance to the South County Trail, a 50-mile stretch of nearly uninterrupted bike path that runs past Tarrytown all the way to Brewster, NY in Putnam County.

If you can plan your ride to coincide with the open hours of its tasting room, I recommend stopping by the Captain Lawrence Brewery for a glass of suds. The brewery is located in Elmsford, NY and just minutes from the South County Trail. And though the distance from Elmsford to Tarrytown is only a few miles, it goes without saying to leave the brewery in decent shape to complete the ride safely. You’ll have plenty of options for more food and drink near the Tarrytown train station.

The Hudson River Greenway

The road to Tarrytown begins next to Stuyvesant High School at the intersection of Chambers Street and the West Side Highway in Lower Manhattan. If coming from Brooklyn, this entry point to the greenway is easily accessible from the Brooklyn Bridge via Reade or Chambers.

From Stuyvesant High School to the George Washington Bridge the greenway generally remains level with the Hudson, often running close to its bank. However, immediately after passing beneath the deck of the GWB there rise a pair of short, steep hills that elevate the greenway above the Metro North railroad tracks and away from the river.

At the top of the hill, a pedestrian footbridge crosses the busy Henry Hudson Parkway. This bridge, a gateway to Washington Heights and the GWB, is a useful resource for any rides west of the Hudson. But if your destination is the Bronx or Westchester, pass beneath the footbridge and continue straight ahead keeping the river on your left and the parkway on your right.

The greenway abruptly comes to an end at the top of a flight of steps just shy of Dyckman Street in Inwood. A chain fence and construction area make it clear that the path has concluded. You must descend these steps and go beneath the Henry Hudson Parkway underpass in order to enter into Inwood. From here you’ll leave the Hudson River Greenway behind and continue on local roads with well-marked bike lanes.

Inwood & The Bronx

Once you descend the steps and pass beneath the Henry Hudson Parkway, keep an eye out for Staff Street, which slopes down to meet Dyckman Street. Ride down to the bottom of Staff and take a right on Dyckman. Tread Bike Shop is located nearby at the corner of Dyckman and Seaman if you’re looking for service or adjustments. From here there are well-posted bike route signs to Van Cortlandt Park.

At W. 218th Street, it’s necessary to use Broadway for a few blocks in order to cross the Harlem River into the Bronx. The Broadway Bridge has a pedestrian path on its east side.

Once on the Bronx side of the river, keep following signs for Van Cortlandt Park.

Crossing the Harlem River via the Broadway Bridge

Van Cortlandt Park

Source of the Old Putnam/South County Trail

In addition to being a cyclist’s gateway to Westchester County, Van Cortlandt Park is an historic NYC landmark chock full of superlatives. It’s the third largest park in New York City, boasts the city’s largest freshwater lake, and is named after the city’s first native-born mayor. It also contains the Van Cortlandt House Museum, the oldest building in the Bronx.

The entrance to Van Cortlandt Park is at Broadway and W. 242nd Street. The park also marks the end of the 1 subway line. From here you’ll say goodbye to the five boroughs and head into Westchester. Since you’ll be leaving civilization for a moment, this is a good time to stock up on any last minute provisions. There is a deli/grocery among the row of shops on Broadway and United Spokes Bicycles is around the corner on W. 242nd to serve any bicycle-related needs.

Finding the Old Putnam

Riding the Old Putnam

The South County Trail

The South County Trail is a predominantly paved bicycle path that runs for roughly 13.5 miles alongside the Saw Mill River Parkway from its beginnings in Van Cortlandt Park to Elmsford, NY. I say predominantly paved because the first 1.5 miles or so, also known as the Old Putnam Trail, is composed of hard-packed dirt and can get fairly muddy after a good rainfall.

The South County Trail, and its 35-mile North County sister, which continues from Elmsford to Brewster, are located along the right-of-way of the old Putnam railway line.

The Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad was an old rail line that provided freight and passenger service between the Bronx and the town of Brewster in Putnam County. The “Old Put”, as it was referred to by its commuters, operated as a passenger line from 1881 to 1958. It made its final freight run in August 1982.

Due to its mud, railroad ties, and generally rocky and root-gnarled surface, the Old Putnam section of the trail could be problematic for a road bike with thin racing tires. There is, however, a way to circumnavigate this unpaved section. Follow Broadway to the NW corner of Van Cortlandt Park and take the following side streets that connect to the paved portion of the South County Trail:

RIGHT on Caryl Ave
LEFT on Van Cortlandt Park Ave
RIGHT on Caryl Ave
RIGHT on McLean Ave
RIGHT on Rte 127
CROSS Saw Mill River Parkway and S County Trailway
LEFT on Tibbetts Road
LEFT on Alan B Shepard Jr Pl
RIGHT on S County Trail

Otherwise, enter Van Cortlandt Park at W. 242nd Street. There is no signage pointing you in the direction of the trail, and the park is home to an abundance of trails, so it may be somewhat difficult to find the first time. The simplest way is this (refer to videos below):

Enter at W. 242nd Street near the subway steps and follow the paved bike path straight ahead, keeping the Van Cortlandt Swimming Pool on your left. After about 30 seconds, the path will fork. Keep to your left. After another 30 seconds, the paved road will run across a dirt path and you will see a blue overpass straight ahead.

Go underneath the overpass and follow the path around to your left. You will soon see a small bridge with blue railings. This is the beginning of the Old Putnam Trail. Just stay on it and after approximately 1.5 miles, you’ll hit Westchester County and the paved section of the trail.

It’s important to make sure that Van Cortlandt Lake is on your right-hand side when joining the trail. If it’s on your left, you’re most likely headed out towards Pelham Bay and City Island on the Mosholu Parkway Greenway – a trail worth mentioning, but for a different ride.

Elmsford

End of the South County Trail. Home of the Captain Lawrence Brewery.

The village of Elmsford marks the terminus for both the South and North County Trails. Once you reach the end of the South County Trail, you’ll arrive at the busy intersection of Route 119/W. Main Street & N. Central Ave/Saw Mill River Rd.

Directly across the street you’ll find the Elmsford Deli. This is a good place to stop if you’re looking for a cold drink, a candy bar, or a hot or cold “wedge”, Westchester parlance for hero or sub.

The Elmsford Deli is situated on the corner of W. Main St. and Vreeland Ave, the latter being your starting point for getting to the Captain Lawrence Brewery.

Vreeland Ave is a quiet service road that runs parallel with the much busier N. Central Ave. It will guide you through a rather unromantic and industrial section of Elmsford marked by haphazard collections of scrap iron, junk yards, and a morgue for decommissioned Hostess and Drake’s Cakes trucks.

The service road eventually ends and rejoins with N. Central Ave/Saw Mill River Rd. Unfortunately, you’ll have to ride about 1/2 mile uphill on Saw Mill River Road in order to reach Captain Lawrence.

The brewery is located on the right-hand side in the back of the Cross Westchester Executive parking lot at 444 Saw Mill River Road.

The Captain Lawrence Brewing Company

The hours of the Captain Lawrence tasting room are:

Wednesday – Friday 4 – 8
Saturday 12 – 6
Sunday 12 – 5

Additionally, there are tours available on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and 4pm. The brewery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Once in the tasting room, you have the option of either buying pints of beer directly from the bar or buying chips to use towards samples. It costs $2 for a small sampling glass (which you can keep) and $5 for 5 chips or $10 for 12 chips. The chips do not expire, so it’s okay if you don’t end up using them all. You can save them for your next visit.

The selection of beers on tap rotates but a couple of my favorites are the coffee-charged Smoked Porter and the bright and hoppy Matt The R.I.P.A. The Freshchester Pale Ale is also a popular staple that can occasionally be found at drinking establishments in NYC.

The bar is located at the far end of the tasting room where you can, among other things, buy a sixer, fill your growler, or load up on Captain Lawrence paraphernalia such as hats, t-shirts, and hoodies. The drinking area is walled off from, but adjacent to the brewing lab, and consists of a number of table tops and bar stools scattered about a casual open space. A large transparent window allows a peek inside the lab.

Once you’ve finished perusing the various news clippings and awards decorating the walls of the tasting room, you can retire with your beverage to the outdoor beer garden. The garden boasts a number of umbrella-shaded picnic tables and a Cornhole court which looks as if it could double as a Bocce court.

The brewery doesn’t have a kitchen but often joins forces with local food vendors to serve up some excellent fare. Last I was there, that vendor was Tarrytown’s artisanal hot dog creator, Village Dog.

I know what you’re thinking. Artisanal hot dogs belong in a Portlandia skit, not a brewery. You are wrong. Village Dog takes the “anal” out of artisanal and out of hot dogs. At first I was skeptical about spending $8 on a dog, but I’ve never had toppings to choose from like mac-n-cheese, lamb merguez, or tzatziki. I shelled out $7.25 for the Seoul Dog – a plump length of crispy pork nestled inside a soft toasted rustic roll, smothered in kimchi and plum ketchup. I don’t know if it was the 35 miles I had ridden, or perhaps the beer I had just drank, but it was probably the best hot dog I’ve ever had in my life.

Unfortunately, I don’t know if Village Dog is still grilling at the brewery. You can always check the CLBC website to see what is currently shaking with regard to beers, food, and events.

Kindly direct any comments, questions, updates, restaurant recommendations, praise, or cathartic rantings to velotrope@gmail.com.

Tarrytown

“In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators of the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port which by some is called Greenburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town.”

– Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Situated peacefully in a nook at one of the widest points on the Hudson River, tucked beneath the shadow of the Tappan Zee Bridge and gazing out across the water at Nyack, its western shore sibling separated at birth, lies the village of Tarrytown. At the same time a haven for suburban hipster refugees and die-hard Yankees fan locals; a blend of folksy main street infused with sophisticated consumer consciousness; gastropubs offering up the trendiest locavore cuisine alongside sneakers and jeans pizza joints that serve a great slice, Tarrytown is at both the geographic and cultural crossroads of urban and suburban, New York City and Westchester County.

Located approximately three miles northwest of Elmsford as the crow flies, Tarrytown is a logical addendum to the ride as it offers frequent train service back to NYC. All you need to do is reconnect with the trail.

In order to do so you’ll need to get back on Saw Mill River Road and ride down the hill in the direction from which you originally came. About a 1/4 mile down the road you’ll pass a large Sam’s Club on your right and arrive at a road called Warehouse Lane. Take a right on Warehouse Lane and follow it past the Sam’s Club parking lot and UPS depot until you can’t go any further. When the road dead ends, look to your right. This is the beginning of the North County Trail.

As mentioned earlier, the North County Trail extends approximately 35 miles to the north, terminating in Putnam County. However, the turnoff for Tarrytown lies only one mile or so from the head of the trail.

Like the South County Trail, the early section of the North County Trail follows the path of the Saw Mill River Parkway. The Tarrytown turnoff is easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for, but could also be missed if you don’t.

There are several landmarks that indicate the approaching turnoff, the first being a small car park for trail users on your left about a mile up the trail. Almost immediately after, you’ll cross a short bridge as you pass over Old Saw Mill River Road. Shortly after that, you’ll cross another bridge that passes over the Saw Mill River Parkway. Once on the other side of the parkway, you should see an emergency telephone call box and, immediately past it, an unmarked path to your left, climbing uphill and switching back in the opposite direction of the North County Trail. This is the Tarrytown turnoff.

The turnoff will connect you with Old Saw Mill River Road which you previously passed over. Make a right and proceed along the sidewalk for several hundred feet until Old Saw Mill River Road begins to bend. At the bend in the road you will see a stone building and a bike path entrance to Tarrytown Reservoir across the street to your left.

What happens here is that Old Saw Mill River Road becomes Neperan Road which skirts the northern edge of the Tarrytown Reservoir, while the pedestrian and bicycle path across the road skirts the southern boundary. Either way will get you to Tarrytown, but the path along the bank of the reservoir is a far quieter ride.

After about one mile, the path rejoins Neperan Road at the west end of Tarrytown Reservoir. Turn left and follow Neperan to the stop sign at the top of the hill. Stay left and follow signs for Route 9 as the swift descent down Neperan Road leads to Tarrytown and a return to river level.

Neperan Road crosses Route 9 (Broadway) and continues as Main Street on the other side, sloping downhill towards the river and Tarrytown Station. On the way to the station, you’ll pass the 130-year-old Tarrytown Music Hall which is still hosting live performances. Built in the Queen Anne style and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the landmark is one of only a handful of theaters built in the United States before 1900.

If you feel like further exploring the area, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and the Philipsburg Manor House are both within striking distance. Previously known as North Tarrytown until its residents voted to change the name in 1996, the village of Sleepy Hollow lies just north of Tarrytown Station.

And if you have some time to kill before your train and are looking for a bite or a beer, you’ve got several decent options on Beekman Ave in Sleepy Hollow.

Check out Hollywood North Pizza for a cold soda and a good slice if you’re looking for something quick and inexpensive. You can usually find the friendly owner Benny behind the counter. (Tip: Don’t ask him if he serves pizza).

Just up the block from Hollywood North is The Huddle, a sports bar where you can grab a beer.

My personal recommendation, however, is the Bridge View Tavern. Located on top of the hill at the west end of Beekman Ave, the Bridge View Tavern, as its name suggests, overlooks the Hudson River and the Tappan Zee Bridge. There is indoor and outdoor seating with the outdoor tables offering fantastic sunset views. Indoors there is a bar serving pub fare and also a more formal dining area. And when you’ve had your fill, Tarrytown Station is only a couple of minutes away by bike. Downhill, I might add.

Make sure you have your MTA bike permit – and your bike – and hop on a New York-bound train. Direct trains to Grand Central Terminal run frequently. The cost of an off-peak one-way ticket is $9.75 and the trip should only take about 45 minutes. With any luck the Yankees are on the road and you have a quiet, uncrowded ride back to the city.

Tarrytown Reservoir

Tarrytown Main Street

Additional Points of Interest

Tarrytown

39th Street Ferry Terminal

This midtown terminal located at the western end of 39th Street provides ferry service to Hoboken, Weehawken, Paulus Hook and other NJ destinations across the Hudson. It’s also a good place to stop if you need an early bathroom break or want to fill up your water bottle.

Tarrytown

Harlem Fairway

Another option for loading up on fruit, drinks, or a sandwich for later, this Fairway at the end of W. 132nd Street is a convenient stop right along the path. There are also clean restrooms.

Tarrytown

Inspiration Point Shelter

Inspiration Point Shelter is a misplaced-looking structure that resembles the ruins of some Roman palace left derelict to time. It no longer provides the function that the last word in its name implies, but it still offers some sweeping views of the Hudson and the New Jersey Palisades across the river. For an interesting history on this structure, go here.

Tarrytown

Tread Bike Shop

Bike shop located along the route in Inwood at 250 Dyckman Street & Seaman Ave.

Tarrytown

The Great Irish Hunger Memorial

Located just off the South County Trail and across Woodlands Lake in Irvington is the Great Irish Hunger Memorial of Westchester County. Unveiled in 2001, this memorial serves as a tribute to the millions of peasants who starved during the Irish Potato Famine (an Gorta Mór) and commemorates the Irish immigrants who settled in Westchester and built the railroads, dams, aqueducts, and other critical infrastructure that serves the county.

Tarrytown

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company

Located at 444 Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford, NY. See main section write up.

Tarrytown

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

The cemetery, well-known for housing the burial place of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” author Washington Irving, is easily accessible from Broadway. The cemetery grounds close at 4:30PM.

Tarrytown

Philipsburg Manor House

Just up the road from the cemetery, back in the direction of Tarrytown, is the Philipsburg Manor House. Considered a National Historic Landmark, the house is operated as a non-profit museum by the Historic Hudson Valley. Tours are seasonal and limited during the week. An admission fee is also charged. But if you happen to be there at the right time and have 75 minutes to spare, you can learn about the Philipses – a family of Dutch assholes who got unbelievably wealthy exploiting the Atlantic slave trade and later sided with the British during the American Revolution.

Tarrytown

Hollywood North Pizza

Located at 109 Beekman Avenue in Sleepy Hollow. You could definitely do worse for a slice.

Tarrytown

Bridge View Tavern

The Bridge View Tavern is located at 226 Beekman Avenue. Sports bar and casual dining atmosphere boasting great views of the Hudson Valley.

NYC to TARRYTOWN CUE SHEET

STARTING POINT: Hudson River Greenway @ Chambers Street & West Side Highway

Key: R=RIGHT, L=LEFT, S=STRAIGHT, X=CROSS, bL = BEAR LEFT, qR = QUICK RIGHT

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mile: turn: street/trail: distance: Notes:
0.00 NORTH Hudson River Greenway 10.2 mi head north, river on left.
10.2 S Hudson River Greenway 0.1 mi pass beneath GWB. Follow path uphill to Henry Hudson Parkway.
10.3 L Hudson River Greenway 1.5 mi greenway path ends at staircase
11.8 L staircase   – descend staircase to street level
11.8 L 9A South on-ramp 250 ft use sidewalk to pass beneath Henry Hudson Parkway overpass
11.8 L Staff St. 0.1 mi
11.9 R Dyckman St. 0.1 mi
12.0 L Seaman Ave 0.7 mi
12.7 R W. 218th St. 0.2 mi
12.9 L Broadway 0.2 mi
13.1 X Broadway Bridge 0.2 mi
13.3 L W. 228th St. 0.1 mi
13.4 R Marble Hill Ave 0.1 mi
13.5 L W. 230th St. 0.1 mi
13.6 R Tibbett Ave 0.7 mi
14.3 L W. 240th St. 0.05 mi
14.3 R Unnamed path 0.1 mi use sidewalk path at the end of Irwin Ave and adjacent to Gaelic Park
14.4 R Manhattan College Parkway 0.2 mi
14.6 bR W. 242nd St. 0.1 mi
14.7 X Broadway   – enter Van Cortlandt Park
14.7 S Van Cortlandt path 0.2 mi
14.9 bL Van Cortlandt path 275 ft pass beneath blue overpass
14.9 L Van Cortlandt path 0.1 mi look for small footbridge with blue railings
15.0 S Old Putnam Trail 1.7 mi
16.7 S South County Trail 2.7 mi
19.4 X Mile Square Road   –
19.4 S South County Trail 3.0 mi
22.4 X Tompkins Ave   –
22.4 S South County Trail 1.7 mi
24.1 X Lawrence St.   –
24.1 S South County Trail 4.2 mi End of South County Trail
28.3 qR W. Main St./Rt 119 100 ft
28.3 L Vreeland Ave 0.2 mi
28.5 S Hayes St. 0.3 mi
28.8 R N. Payne St. 0.1 mi
28.9 L N Saw Mill River Rd 0.1 mi For the Captain Lawrence Brewery, stay on N Saw Mill River Rd for another 0.4 miles. Brewery on R.
29.0 L Warehouse Ln 0.3 mi
29.3 R North County Trail 0.4 mi
29.7 X Ridgewood Dr.   –
29.7 S North County Trail 1.4 mi
31.1 L Tarrytown turnoff 0.1 mi
31.2 R Old Saw Mill River Road 350 ft
31.2 X Old Saw Mill River Road   –
31.2 S Tarrytown Reservoir path 1.0 mi
32.2 qR Sunnyside Ave 30 ft
32.2 L Neperan Road 0.2 mi
32.4 bL Neperan Road 0.5 mi
32.9 X Broadway/Rt 9   – Arrive in Tarrytown center
32.9 S Main St. 0.2 mi
33.1 bR Main St. 0.1 mi
33.2 L Depot Plaza 400 ft
33.2 END Tarrytown Station END Arrive Tarrytown Station
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