We awoke to another perfect day. How do they do it? We had breakfast in the cockpit, then dinghied ashore to retrieve our bikes. We hadn’t ridden since Block Island so we thought we’d take it easy on ourselves and rode the four miles along River Road into Piermont then stopped at Bunbury’s Cafe for a pick-me-up.
As we sat there enjoying our coffee and pastries we reminisced about the great trail we’ve ridden many times. But where was it? And could we get there from here? We knew it was high above us halfway up the mountain. We consulted the map on my phone and headed out, wandering through the streets of Piermont trying to orient ourselves to the map on the phone. We asked someone in the street if she knew where the bike trail was. She looked around, then pointed vaguely up the steep street behind her. “Up there somewhere.”
We made our way up and up and up, but the street stopped halfway up the hill and turned back down. I looked at the map again. It showed the trail right next to us. But where? We looked up, and recognized at once the familiar terrain, some 60 feet above us in dense woods. Just before the street crested the hill there was a set of wide stone steps leading up to a steep path up through the woods. We couldn’t see from below, but the map told us that would lead to the trail.
Jack easily carried his light bike up the steps and disappeared into the woods. It took me several tries but I finally got my 40-lb. beater up each step and onto the path and shoved the beast toward the trail. We were greeted by the familiar Piermont Train Station where the Old Erie Path crosses Hudson Terrace. Success!
The Old Erie Path is the middle segment of a three-part trail that runs from Tappan to Nyack. It connects to the Joseph B. Clarke Trail to the south and the Raymond G. Esposito Trail to the north. We joined in the middle — and best — part, through deep woods halfway up the Palisades with expansive views of the Hudson River whenever there was an opening in the canopy and intimate views of houses and back yards below us and more houses further up the cliff above us.
The trail is mostly rough packed dirt and gravel, occasionally narrow, with no barrier at the edge of the steep hillside.
Sometimes the houses are so deep in the trees and so high above us that we can’t see them at all, but we see the beautiful Adirondack style pathways that lead up from the trail.
This one has a drawbridge!
Eventually the trail starts to widen and slope down towards Nyack. It did us both good to be in the woods and to stretch our legs for a while.
We were expecting Nancy and Dave for the afternoon and dinner so we stopped at the wine store to pick up some refreshment then rode back to the dock, locked up the bikes and went home.