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LifestyleRecreationOutdoors

Mountain biking on Long Island trails

Michael Vitti shows his mettle on the pedal

Michael Vitti shows his mettle on the pedal as he rides his bike on the trails at Cathedral Pines County Park in Middle Island. Photo Credit: John Brian Silverio

Long Island has over 175 miles of mountain biking trails. Many of the trails are built, inspected and maintained by CLIMB trail volunteers,” says Michael Vitti, president of Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists. As CLIMB warns its members, mountain biking is an inherently risky activity, so don’t ride beyond your abilities, don’t ride when trails are muddy and be respectful to others on the trails.

The group also recommends helmets and eyewear. For a complete list of trails, directions and maps, see its website: climbonline.org.

Please note that all of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation-managed lands on Long Island, with the exception of the Ridge Conservation Area, require a seasonal access permit. It’s free and valid for three years. Call 631-444-0285 or go to dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7815.html.

Here’s a sample of trails throughout the Island.

BEGINNER/INTERMEDIATE

BETHPAGE STATE PARK, 99 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Farmingdale, 516-249-0700, $8 parking fee per car on weekends and holidays through Nov. 12, 12 miles. Trails are two-way and multiuse, so be courteous to runners and hikers, and use caution.

CATHEDRAL PINES COUNTY PARK, Yaphank-Middle Island Road, south of Route 25, Middle Island, free parking, 631-852-5502. More than 6 miles of trails, beginner-to-intermediate one-way single track. Additional 5.5 miles of optional advanced hill climbs.

CALVERTON MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL, Route 25, Calverton, 8.5 miles of trails, beginner-to-intermediate single-track loop. Additional 1.5 miles of optional advanced hill climbs. DEC permit required.

EASTPORT MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL, East Moriches/Riverhead Road (County Road 51), Eastport, 8.5 miles of trails, beginner-to-intermediate single track. DEC permit required.

MANNETTO HILLS PRESERVE, Washington Avenue (north of LIE underpass), Plainview, 4 miles. Beginner to intermediate with some challenging hills. No parking lot; park on the north side of the LIE overpass.

INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED

HITHER WOODS STATE PARK, 164 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk, 631-668-2554, more than 20 miles of trails, free parking. Bridle paths available for intermediate to advanced bikers.

MANORVILLE HILLS, County Road 111, Manorville, 14 miles of trails. Many hill climbs and no flat areas. The trail is two-way for 3.3 miles to a one-way loop. If you find you’re in over your head, turn around and go back before entering one-way loop. Option to ride to the easier Eastport trails for added miles.

EAST SETAUKET, Belle Meade Road, more than 8 miles of intermediate to advanced trails, plus more than 12 miles of optional black diamond loops, featuring difficult hill climbs.

GLACIER RIDGE NATURE PRESERVE, Independence Hill Drive, Farmingville, more than 9 miles of trails. Intermediate to advanced single track with two optional advanced black diamond loops and fire roads.

NORTHWEST WOODS, Route 114, Sag Harbor, 8 miles of trails. Intermediate to advanced trails.

MEADOWLARK PARK, Middleville Road, Northport (near Veterans Park), 5 miles. Intermediate to advanced single track with many logs to ride over.

OVERTON PRESERVE, Mill Road, Gordon Heights (Coram). More than 6 miles of intermediate to advanced trails with 6 miles of optional black diamond loops.

ALL LEVELS

EDGEWOOD PRESERVE, Commack Road, Deer Park, more than 17 miles of trails, beginner, intermediate and advanced trails with lots of single track. Also 13 miles of additional advanced loops of which three miles are black diamond trails for those with the most advanced biking skills. 5.5 miles for beginners, 7.5 miles intermediate, 3.5 advanced. DEC permit required.

ROCKY POINT PINE BARRENS STATE FOREST, Rocky Point Road or Route 25A Bypass, Rocky Point, more than 13 miles of trails. Intermediate to advanced single track plus additional 7 miles of black diamond challenging hills. Several miles of separate beginner trails also available. DEC permit required.

STILLWELL WOODS PRESERVE, South Woods Road, Syosset. Entrance to trail is just behind the soccer fields, 4 miles of trails. Intermediate to advanced single track with an additional 2 miles of challenging hills plus 2 miles of separate beginner trails.

TRAIL VIEW STATE PARK, 8101 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, 631-423-1770, 8 miles of trails, free parking. Trails are two-way and multiuse, use caution.

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