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  1. #1
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    Trails in the Saratoga Springs/Albany Area

    Looking for decent beginner to intermediate trails to ride with my 8 year old son (who rides with me a lot) and a friend who has not done much trail riding. From looking here:

    Saratoga Springs, NY Mountain Bike Trails || SINGLETRACKS.COM || SINGLETRACKS.COM

    It looks like Colonie Shale/The Pits or Lauderdale State Park might be my best bets, though reviews sound like Lauderdale might be too much for our group.

    Does anyone know these trails, can confirm the are still open, or make any recommendations? Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    I've never been, but was just at the Luther Forest trails. There were some kids there that were riding the outer loops.
    Luther Forest STEP Trails

  3. #3
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    You'll have to do some research, but a few moons ago there used to be trails out by Skidmore College and it's horse stables. The college does or used to have events out there.

    Mountain Biking In Saratoga Springs NY: Biking Trails In Saratoga County
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  4. #4
    dvn
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    Quote Originally Posted by shwinn8 View Post
    You'll have to do some research, but a few moons ago there used to be trails out by Skidmore College and it's horse stables. The college does or used to have events out there.

    Mountain Biking In Saratoga Springs NY: Biking Trails In Saratoga County
    Those are the SMBA trails and require a membership. Also, the majority of those trails are NOT beginner friendly! Colonie Shale trail is still alive and well. It is quite a bit more difficult than Luther Forest. Very rocky and rooty in sections but a lot of fun as well. Luther Forest would be a great place for you to try first. Nice, fast, flowy stuff and some inner loops with a little climbing. Here's a video of me riding my single speed there. https://vimeo.com/72775062 The map in the above link is very current and accurate. The trails can be ridden in either direction from the parking area. There is also the Albany Pinebush which has around 15 miles of singletrack but unless you are familiar with the area, it would be very difficult to find some trails. If these trails are too easy, head down to the Shale Trail and just follow the Yellow loop. Oh, and lets not forget Schenectady central park! Lots of great riding in the area!
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  5. #5
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    My dad used to take me to the park around S.P.A.C. when I was a wee little one. Not a bad place to pedal around and explore.

    also a good place to look: New York Trail Reviews
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  6. #6
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    SMBA is cool, but I wouldn't take an 8 year old there. Pine Bush trails are more mellow, but still fun. They can be tough to navigate though.

    The Central Park trails are a nice choice. Lots of tight and twisty trails, most of which are beginner friendly.

  7. #7
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    Colonie shale trail would be fine for beginners. There are some rocks, but nothing super difficult. Luther Forest is much smoother and easier. I've been taking my kids riding there since they were 5 and 3 (7 and 5 now) and they are able to ride 80% of the trails there. The only sections I don't take them on are the couple hills, they still don't have enough leg strength to climb well.

    Regarding Saratoga. The SMBA trails are not beginner friendly. I do not recommend bringing a beginner there.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the input everyone! It ended up raining a good bit through the night before we were going to ride. So, we ended up going to a local park that had a good bit of gravel trails to explore -- worked out better for our newbie friend, and ended up bringing other kids with us too.

    We'll probably be going up again in the near future, so I'll definitely refer back to the information in this thread.
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
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  9. #9
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    Pine Bush - albany is my recommended beginner trails. Marked ones are super easy, un-marked are very beginner friendly


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  10. #10
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    I'd also say colonie trails are as hard or harder then Scdy

  11. #11
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    If you're willing to come north a bit or find yourself in Queensbury, I like bringing absolute beginners and kids to Cole's Woods. Most of it is very smooth with some sandy sections and enough roots to practice some skills. Every first timer I've brought there had fun and found something that felt over their head but helped build their confidence. I go there several times a week just to get miles in since its so close to home.

    Park behind Inside Edge and follow the trail onto the ski trails.

  12. #12
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    Awesome, thanks!
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
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  13. #13
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    honestly Malta(luther state forest) is your best bet in the area. Lauderdale SP is right by my house and its a place to ride but not particaully easy or fun for beginners. I have fun charging some of the quad track decents and playing on side trail features but its not as easy and as fun as malta is .

  14. #14
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    Where are the riding trails in relation to the hiking trails? I used to pull the car over close to where the SEFCU was to go for a walk in the pine bush...

  15. #15
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    Luther Forest STEP Trails
    Desktop Version

    Get Directions to Parking link on bottom...
    Click the Link for Google Directions

    I have built a mobile version as well

    It's a lovely spot - ENJOY

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