Most people probably don’t picture dirt jumps, rock drops, pump tracks, singletrack, and lush, green forest when they think of mountain biking in New York City, but on the north end of Manhattan in Highbridge Park there’s a stash of sweet trails ready to be ridden.
A dedicated group of volunteers from the New York Mountain Bike Club (NYCMTB) built the trails at Highbridge three years ago. Their effort is featured in Elastic Lab's latest film, Bring the Riding to the People. Since then, they’ve worked hard to keep the trails in good shape, safe and fun to ride.
Last weekend, NYCMTB had some help from a new cache of volunteers that included scouts from Troop 729 (STN). Based in Washington Heights, STN brings together a community of boys and girls who care deeply about their neighborhood. This care was evident through the hard work of the scouts as they pitched in on some trail maintenance and rock armoring at Highbridge. There's nothing more inspiring than a group of good kids having the time of their lives out in the woods. It's a sad truth that kids do not get outside enough. Yet, these are the people who would benefit most, in the long run, from the smell of dirt, fresh air, and trees; and being able to accomplish a visible success in the outdoors. We encourage all of our hosts to solicit and partnerships with organizations that foster youth development in the outdoors.
And young or old, mountain biker or not, there’s something for everyone at Highbridge. If you live in New York City, cruise up on one of the city’s greenways (we recommend the Hudson River Greenway) and check out the trails that make New York proud.
Thanks a million to our tireless host, Dawson Smith, for allowing us the opportunity to learn about trails in highly urban settings, and for exposing us to the joy of trail building with kids. We can never thank our hosts enough for all of their planning and organization, without whom our visits would be much less effective and plainly, our lives would be much less fulfilled!