June 17, 2019
These are good trails, and as a bonus they are within riding distance of NYC. Unfortunately riding here is illegal and currently must be discouraged for a few reasons:
1.) The Boy Scouts of America lease this land from several different owners/municipalities. The terms of the lease prohibit mountain biking.
2.) The BSA does not want anyone, especially adults, trespassing near their camp; they have young kids staying and sleeping there and all adults they come into contact with need to be vetted. Troop leaders are well within their rights to ask you to leave or call the police if they see you.
3.) One of the troop leaders is pro-mountain biking, and until recently had been maintaining the trails and conducting his junior MTB team practice there. He has recently learned that even scout MTB activities are prohibited by the terms of the lease and has had to stop.
Up until recently the BSA showed some tolerance to folks riding bikes, running, and walking dogs, so long as users stayed on singletrack/hiking trails and OFF the double track, paved roads, and away from camp sites. They have not put up no-trespassing signs, they are nice people and they are not taking a heavy-handed approach. However, people invariably get lost and find themselves encroaching on camp facilities and campers. With online maps and resources bike traffic has steadily increased, and riders have continued to wander off-trail and come into contact with scouts. Where before public use was tacitly tolerated, public use has increased and now we are asked to stay out of the area entirely.
The Palisades MTB advocacy group is currently in negotiations with the BSA and the leaseholders so that junior and scout MTB programs can continue. The eventual goal is to get public access for riding, via a new lease agreement and a compromise with the BSA that would spell out some clear boundaries and improve signage. Until that happens, please avoid these trails. Riding there, and especially encroaching on scout activities, will only hinder progress toward public access.