Any downhill in upstate?
Is there any good riding for big bikes in Upstate?
I've got potential jobs in either Rochester or Albany and I'm trying to figure out the local riding scene.
FWIW, I'm trying to find a place with good technical trails. I haven't done any drops beyond 10', but I'm always looking to progress.
if by "big bikes" you mean full DH rigs, then there are a few places around Rochester that have some shortish DH and FR runs that are hike or shuttle access. An hour south of Rochester is Swain Resort, which has lift-accessed mountain biking several weekends during the summer. That is mostly old-school, fall-line DH runs with one "North Shore" trail as well. Fun for a few times, but can get kinda boring.
Originally Posted by schlockinz
If you're in Albany then you're about an hour from Plattekill, which is pure gnarly scary DH runs. lots of rocks and steeps at Platty. You'd also be about 2 hours from Mountain Creek, within 3 of Whiteface, and inside 5 from Highland
If your definition of "Big Bike" is more in the 6" range, then lots of things open up particularly in the Albany Area. Being in Albany puts you within striking distance of the Adirondacks and the Catskills. There's some decent XC stuff in Albany, some excellent trails up in Saratoga.
If you end up in Albany there's also Oneonta about an hour's drive west on I-88. We've been building a lot of new trail here and are building features into our XC trails to push the limits of a 6" trail bike: tables, doubles, nasty rock gardens, and some drops up t almost 6'. I'd be happy to show you around any time. We have about 30 miles of trails and still gaining. Cheers!
Nothing exciting within an hours drive of Albany (I'm in Saratoga) for "Going (say 6-12 footers) Big", but this place is in Rochester...
Originally Posted by schlockinz
THE LAND Freeride Bike Park - The Best in East Coast Freeriding
Looks super cool, and a buddy of mine did some trail work there and loved the guys and the terrain.
The Land is VERY Private, with only dedicated builders allowed to ride there. I've talked to the owner and he seems cool, but it's not an easy place to get permission to ride. And quite frankly, it looks pretty darn scary.
Originally Posted by bpnic
I'm in the Rochester area, and really don't much care for it for mountain biking, just not enough elevation change, and rather low in rock content. I've done a little riding in the Adirondacks, and personally for mountain biking would rather be in Albany, though I don't know if there is anything immediately close. Rochester has some reasonable trails close by, but anything big bike worthy is about an hour away.
Most of the excellent cross country riding was covered in the second post including the riding near me in Albany and Saratoga/ Spier Falls. I focused mainly on answering the second part of the OP question, which pertained to big bike riding in the capital district, which in my opinion, is very little. A good friend of mine put some sweat equity in at The Land and after a little while was allowed to sample the goods. He raved about the trails, the dedication, and the overall vibe and coolness of the guys that work/ride there.
I fully understand it's private, but with some trailwork maybe the OP'er will be riding there too, if that's his thing.
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I suppose it is true, if you get access to The Land, there would be some great stuff. I was mostly under the impression that it basically didn't happen, but perhaps if you meet the right people. I'm mostly looking at it from a perspective of if you need to drive an hour to get to a decent mountain, I'd much rather be closer to Platty (though I haven't ridden it) than to Swain. Also, other than Swain, not sure of any other lift access stuff even remotely close. Just my thoughts, I know my big bike doesn't see much use here.
Big bike/bike park riding in the Capital Region can be primarily found in the abundant lift accessed mountains surrounding the area:
Jiminy Peak, MA
Mt. Snow, VT
Plattekill (my favorite).
Oak Mountain in Speculator, NY (opening in 2013)
Mountain Creek, NJ
Windham, NY (race only)
The Capital Region (Albany) is also surrounded by a ton of great mountain bike trails in the lower ADKs, Rensselaer Plateau, Helderberg Escarpment and the Catskills - not a lot of "free riding", but good trails nonetheless.
The Eastern States Cup, besides running a DH series, will also be doing an enduro series as well. If you don't have a DH bike, these races might open up some opportunities to check out the local bike park mountains.
Eastern States Cup
By big bike I mean 7" FR build (Banshee Wildcard with zoke 66), I'm not sure that I'd have enough time to dedicate to the Land to win riding privileges. But good to hear that there is some DH riding around.
I was not even aware jiminy had any bike trails, nevermind downhill. How are they? Are they kinda lame like catamount was or are they the real deal?
I'm pretty sure they hosted an ESC race there last year, so they must be at least somewhat serious. Never ridden there though, so I can't speak from experience.
Jiminy peak has great trails, most of the trails are super steep but a few on one side of the mountain are good for intermediate/beginners.
Jiminy now has a crew to do trail maintenance. I have always loved those trails - they alternate between flow and good, steep stuff. Despite a lot of trail destruction due to other mountain projects, the spring board drop still lives! ESC will host another DH race there this year.