Bike Loft

North Syracuse

Bike Loft East

Hours: M-F 11-7 Sat 10-3, Closed Sunday

DIRT: Ride Guide 2010

Trail Status




Status Date



Open for regular day use.  Probably don't want to ride just yet.  Make sure you register and make a donation!

Mar 18

Finger Lakes Trail @ Letchworth


Official bike season starts June 1, but WNYMBA's web site is non-committal. (WNYMBA Status page)

Mar 18

Highland Forest


Mud season - Highland is not open for biking yet.  (Officially open May 1 - Nov 15)

Mar 18

What to Expect

Our rides are just one of the many ways to become associated with other members, familiar with local trails and an excellent bonding activity for you, your mountain bike and the land. Let's face it, riding is the one activity that defines us all. It is the primary reason we work so hard to fight for trails and maintain areas. For above all, riding is the source of the joy we feel and what brings us together as a group in the first place.

Every week beginning in the spring and extending into fall, CNY DIRT offers guided rides to various places near Syracuse and throughout Central New York, and even extending into Pennsylvania for some more fun. We cater to all skill levels and riding experiences. We offer Green Spokes rides that will benefit the beginner. Night rides and women's rides will also be offered. Pick-up rides are offered, but not regularly scheduled.  Sometimes weekends trips are also scheduled with more possibilities opening as the season progresses.
The usual safety precautions apply: Bring plenty of water and food. Tool and spare tubes are a good idea. Of course, helmets are required of all riders.

DIRT rides are fun, easy going, and yet challenging enough for anyone from those new to the sport to the seasoned veteran. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet some great people, find new riding partners or just to socialize. You will discover new areas to ride or even new trails to ride in your favorite areas. Most importantly, you will be out on your bike in the woods. After all, isn't that what it's all about?

If you haven't been to a ride that CNY DIRT is offering, it is best to check with Lance or any member of the club to determine what kind of challenge awaits.  There are some rides that are not for the faint of heart.

You can find the dates and locations of our rides on our calendar. Rides start at noon or 10:00 depending on the location.  More complete directions or information about any of the rides can be obtained by phone or fax. Call Lance at 458-5260 or stop in to the Bike Loft in North Syracuse. Directions for a few particular rides are not listed (Oakley Corners, FLT at Letchworth, etc),  but will be available at a later date.  These are fairly new rides added to the schedule and shouldn't be missed!  Night rides will be determined by weather and demand so make sure to call or stop by the Bike Loft for more info. Hope to see you there!

1. Split Rock

Great riding area close to Syracuse. Mostly open terrain with a bunch of technical singletrack sections thrown in. Careful of the rocky sections. Bring spare tubes.
Directions - Park at the end of Onondaga Blvd, group rides meet at Split Rock Elementary School.
Ice cream - Marnee's, just west of 173 on Genessee (almost kitty corner to the Walmart at Fairmount Fair).

2. Stoney Pond, Nelson

Lots of twisty singletrack with rooty sections around the pond. Across the road is a longer loop with a great downhill finish. Can be muddy with briars at times but all in all a good time.  Recent ice storms did some major damage to the trails on the upper side, be careful.
Directions - Take Route 20 east out of Cazenovia. Take a right onto Erieville Road in center of Nelson. Take next left onto Old State Road, then right onto Jones Road. Follow Jones Rd. to second parking area on your left.
Ice Cream - Kimberly's has great homemade ice cream.  As you return to Cazenovia on route 20, it's in a shopping plaza on the right side of the road, just before you get to Caz.

3. Bird Sanctuary

Fairly fast singletrack sections separated by long climbs with a daring descent thrown in sometimes. Some parts are rocky and some are mushy, but all are fun.
Directions - Take Salina Street south and turn right onto West Seneca Turnpike. Turn left into Meacham Field parking lot. Trailhead is about a half a mile away at the end of Hopper Rd. Lock your car while riding.
Ice cream - Arctic Island right across the street from Meacham Field has great homemade ice cream.  Just west about 0.1 mile on 173 is Gannon's Isle, which also has great homemade ice cream (and indoor seating for those colder days).

4. Highland Forest, Fabius

The most bike friendly park in CNY with the best maps. It can be very muddy and also very challenging. Lots of climbing (and descending) on dirt road and singletrack. Highly recommended for beginners to advanced riders.  Be aware of muddy conditions since we want to be able to ride the trails when they're finished being muddy!
Directions - Take route 80 east out of Tully and Fabius. Watch for signs about four miles outside of Fabius. Most of our rides and maintenance sessions will start in the parking lot across from the old main office -- go straight on the main park road instead of turning left to the Park Headquarters and meet at the first parking lot on the right.

5. Vanderkamp, Cleveland

Vanderkamp boasts incredible singletrack that is subtle enough to kick your butt without you even realizing it.  There is a mix of classic East Coast single track and tight, twisty, slow-you-down fun as well. Note that Vanderkamp is closed to riding from the end of June until the beginning of August.  Check with CNY DIRT for specific dates each summer.
Vanderkamp is also a private enterprise, so please make sure you register and show your appreciation by donating some cash at the Commons Building.
Directions - Take Route 81 north to route 49. Head east 13 miles and turn left onto Martin Rd. Drive 1.5 miles north and watch for signs.
Ice Cream - Sundae's Best, which is directly across from the Super Walmart on route 49 in Central Square. Home made hard ice cream, and pumpkin custard when the season is right.  (Sorry I don't have any ice cream directions for those of you coming from the east!)

6. Great Bear, Phoenix

Just about everybody knows about Great Bear but not everyone has been there or rides all its trails. A small area north of Phoenix is laced with a mulitude of rolling twisty singletrack and doubletrack, beginners can take it at their own pace and learn basic skills while advanced riders can be challenged.  "Friends of Great Bear" have been making some awesome improvements, including some new trail and some fantastic bridges of the muddy sections.
Directions - Great Bear is on Route 57 about 3 miles north of Phoenix. Take the Phoenix exit off 481. Turn Left toward Phoenix, and then right onto route 57. Go through town then another 3 miles, just past Great Outdoors RV Sales. Park at the Family Auction Barn on left. Trail head is less than half mile north on the left.

7. Morgan Hill and Labrador Loop, Apulia

This ride has actually morphed into two different rides. The scheduled Morgan Hill rides usually begin with the Hang Glider climb and then go wherever our whim guides us, and the Labrador Loop will explore some old fire roads on Labrador Hill that are more interesting than you think an old fire road can be.  There's quite a bit of "Single-track on double-track" on each.  Both rides will be very challenging.  Not for beginners.
Directions - Both the Morgan Hill ride and the Labrador Loop usually begin and end at the Labrador Pond parking area just off Rte 91 about 3 miles south of Route 80.

8. Bear Swamp, Sempronious

One of our favorite, rides. Another great mix of dirt roads and singletrack. The downhills are great, but you pay in the end with the climb back up to the vehicles. The ride is well worth it both on the trails and to the park - the view of Skaneateles Lake is spectacular. 
Directions - Take County route 41A south out of Skaneateles. Pass through Mandana and New Hope. Look for Colonial Lodge on the left and pull into the dirt road that runs just behind it.

9. Green Lakes

Some of Green Lakes trails have been reopened to bikes and new trails have been added with bikes in mind.  A great place for beginners and anyone looking to get some trail fitness without traveling too far.  Use the Rte 290 entrance, the trailhead is in the West Beach parking lot.

10. Happy Valley

This is a large chunk of state owned land up Mexico way. We use the state land as a jumping off point and then let Dave Sheldon get us lost. Ellie Sheldon gets us back home, usually after a fun 20 mile mix of dirt roads and snowmobile trails.
Directions - Take Route 81 North to Route 104(Maple View exit). Head east on 104 for about 4-5 miles. We'll be parking at the State Maintenance garages on the right. Look for a dirt road with 2 older garage type structures. (Not Dave and Graeme)

11. Camden

Usually a 25 mile ride of country dirt roads and double track. Not too challenging except for the length.  There are a few tricky sections, but overall a nice ride with pretty scenery. 
Directions - Call or stop by the Bike Loft for directions.

12. Shindagin Hollow, Dryden

This is one of our favorite rides. It's a bit of a drive, but well worth it. This is the place for riders that love constantly changing terrain. Not very technical, but lots of fast, rolling twisty singletrack. Sounds good huh? 
Directions – Take 81S. to the Homer exit, turn left onto 281S. 3.8 miles later, 281 turns in to 13. Follow 13 for 8.9 miles (be sure to stay on 13 when it take a right turn in Dryden). Turn left onto Irish Settlement Rd. (goes through 2 sharp turns at a farm). Irish Settlement turns in Creamery Rd. Follow Creamery (it will cross Rt. 79), until it tees with Shindagin Hollow Rd. You will have traveled 8.8 mile since you turn on to Irish Settlement. Turn left onto Shindagin Hollow. Go 2 miles. The road will Y, stay right onto Braerly Hill Rd. Go 1.4 miles to the pull off on the left.  Park front-in to make sure there's space for all of us.

13. Chenango Valley State Park

This ride is becoming a favorite. "State Park" has lots of great, technical singletrack lots of fun.  This place also dries up very early in the spring and stays pretty dry for the whole season.
Directions – call the shop (315 458-5260) or stop back here later.

14. Harriet Hollister Spencer Park

There are several popular races at "Spencer Park..." but we've found it to be a great all day trail ride as well. If you have not made it out there, it is well worth the trip. Not super technical, but it keeps you on your toes.  Bring your softtails if you have 'em!
Directions – Call or stop by the Bike Loft for directions. 

15. Carpenter Hill, Jackson Hill, and Alder Creek

These rides will be guilded by fearless leader Dave Sheldon. These are the Sheldon's ski journeys in the winter.  Not very technical, mostly doubletrack but expect great views. 
Directions –Call or stop by the Bike Loft  or stop back here later.

16. Thompson Park, Watertown

We've teamed up with our friends from up north to bring you a new ride this year.  The erosion of local riding areas has forced our search for places to ride into an ever widening circle.  This ride includes tight, twisty singletrack with flat open rock sections.  The area is a city park, a gem in the middle of town.
Directions: Take 81 North to Watertown, the Bradley Street exit.  Turn right off the exit and left when the road Ts onto W main St.  Go to the second light and turn right.  Next light, take another right onto Mill St.  Cross bridge over Black River.  Look for "Black River Adventure Shop" on the right.  Park in their parking lot.

17. Merli-Sarnoski County Park, Carbondale, PA

This is the ride chairman's favorite ride!  And this time, we go even further south, over the border to our friends in PA.  Over 95% single track, this ride showcases the bedrock of NE PA.  There are tough climbs, technical rock sections, fast descents, and a grand view of the Wyoming Valley.  If you like rock - for scenery or for riding - you'll love this challenging ride.  We finish with a dip in the lake to cool off, too.
Directions: Call the Bike Loft or check back here soon.

18. Finger Lakes Trail at Letchworth, Mount Morris

In cooperation with the Rochester Bike Club, the FLT is open for 22.5 miles through Letchworth State Park.  It features a few tough climbs, plenty of fast, fast, smooth downhills, and views of the Grand Canyon of the East.  There are dozens of technical sections in which we dip into tributary canyons and try to ride up the other side.  We won't cover all 22.5 miles in one trip; that's why we split the ride into two parts.  Either one will kick your butt and leave a smile on your face anyway.
Directions: Call the Bike Loft or check back later.

19. Jones Park, Vestal

Jones Park is a small town park that is big on classic east coast single track.  Swoopy turns, gradual climbs and fun descents, with some great man made technical trail features here and there.

Directions - Take I-81 South to route 17 West. After about 8 miles, take exit 67S to route 26 South.  Go 6.6 miles on route 26 and turn left onto State Line Rd.  In less than a half mile, Jones Park will be on your left, with a parking lot adjacent to the road and a big green garage set back.

20. Moosic Mountain Conservency, Scranton PA

The ride chair's new favorite ride, this Northeast Pennsylvania ride has more rock that you could ever imagine.  12+ miles of singletrack designed and built by mountain bikers.  This is the only Nature Conservency property east of the Mississippi in which bikes are welcome.

21. Prompton Dan State Park, Honesdale, PA

Nothing but classic east coast single track here. A ride around the lake can be 12-18 miles, depending on how much extra you do.  Someone on the group ride always opts for the 18 miles, especially since it includes one of the best rock gardens around.  Not a ride to miss!

More Info

More complete directions or information about any of the rides can be obtained by phone or fax. Call Lance at 458-5260 or stop in to the Bike Loft in North Syracuse.