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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    considering moving to the capital region

    Hey all,

    My wife are considering moving from Northern NJ, north to the captial region. real estate and the every day hustle and bustle and traffic here is a bit too crazy and we are looking to put down roots somewhere different, and closer to the mountains we enjoy.

    The capital region is on our radar as being a place that is well located for access to the northeast mountains and still has a lot of job opportunity.

    Long Story short, I know there are a handfull of areas to ride MTB (thacher, pine bush preserve, schenectaty central park) but i really have no idea on the quality of the trails. Also, something that is important to us, is being in a place with a strong bike culture and community, both mountain and road. Are there local teams/shops that do group rides? are there local races?

    The bike culture in NJ is pretty good, we have a lot of good trail to ride and have the bulk of the H2H series within 1 hour of us, But im just not sure if something similar exists in the albany region. Id love to hear some feedback of people who live/have lived in the area.


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LonelyDwarfProd.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    I live and work in Albany, so I can give you answers to some of your questions. There are a good amount of places to ride locally and regionally. In the immediate Albany area and in no particular order.

    Pine Bush: Wide, double track trails, sandy, good for an aerobic workout, but not very challenging.
    Luther Forest: Purpose built mountain bike, fun, fast, intermediate difficulty.
    Colonie Town Park: Rocky, rooty, lots of ups and downs, slightly higher difficulty.
    SMBA - Saratoga: Super difficult, lots of rocks and boulders, might be fun for some, but not me, on my single speed hardtail.

    Some others I haven't personally ridden, Lock 7, Pittstown, Thatcher. Also within a few hours, there's lift served riding at Thunder Mountain and Killington, and tons of trails in Vermont and New Hampshire.

    I typically ride solo and don't race, but I know there are a few clubs around including SMBA (Saratoga Mountain Bike Association), Capital MTB (CapitalMTB - Home) and R Cubed ( I'm sure there are others I'm not aware of.

    It's a good place to live, work, and raise a family. If you have other questions feel free to ask/message me.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: qdawgg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    I live out in schoharie county, so about 40 minutes from general "albany" area. There is a very strong bike community and a really a ton of good mtb trails, really good road riding in every direction, and fantastic dirt road riding in most directions too.

    Pine Bush - There is a lot of single track in the pine bush, easily an hour or more of riding in there on mostly ST. The best riding is in the spring before it gets sandy
    Thacher - excellent singletrack, great mix of rock/roots, and really flowy sections. Some good climbing but nothing extreme

    SMBA - the most technical trails in the area (saratoga), another excellent trail system. Groups rides every week

    Colonia town park - Easily an hour of single track or more without repeating sections. I've only ridden here with people who know the trails but if you went often enough it would be easy to figure out. Also excellent ST

    Schenectady CP - I've only ridden here once. If you lived near the trails it would be worth riding because it would be close but IMO you wouldn't drive 30 minutes to ride the trails often with all the other options

    Churney Gurney - In Queensbury NY, depending on where you live in albany not a terrible drive. Really well laid out fast and flowy trails. Excellent place to go ride once in awhile even if it's a little far from where you buy a house.

    Luther state forest - In Malta, I've only been here once but was surprised by how good the trails were. It's a far drive for me but wouldn't be if you lived in Albany. There are at least 1 - 2 group rides there a week

    North Bethlehem Park - Trails just opened recently. Only a few miles and can be ridden fast on a CX bike, so not overly technical. Not worth a drive to them probably but again, depending on where you lived would be nice having them close if that's where you lived

    * I'm probably missing 1 - 2 things but other than the couple I mentioned, all of the trails are excellent ST IMO.

    Some things close but just far enough probably a weekend drive:
    Oneonta - Not sure why but almost nobody from albany drives out there to ride the trails. Easily 30 - 40 miles of some of the best ST in the state. Biggest problem is the trails aren't marked so it's kind of a sh!tshow for anyone who's never been there to try to piece together a decent ride. I've been riding there for years and still have no idea where I am most of the time. It's really too bad because there is a pretty strong local riding scene but I wouldn't recommend riding there without a guide or without downloading someone else's ride from strava and following it.

    Elm Ridge - Windham NY, maybe the best or at least some of the best ST in NY. About an hour or so from Albany depending on where you are. Just rode all the trails there last weekend without riding anything over again except to connect to something else. About 25 miles of all ST, you could do 40+ miles repeating some of the trails in the opposite direction but with the climbing 25 miles was about 3 hours of ride time

    Cole Hill - Just past Thacher park. Another area very few people from albany ride for some reason. There isn't a lot of trail but you can ride for a good hour, mostly without repeating anything and the ST is really fun. You're also doing an out and back for a section but it's fun both ways. Good for once in awhile.

    VT - a ton of places to go in VT, some of the closer places are Pine Hill park and Green mountain trails. Another couple hours past those places you have stowe/waterbury area and millstone trails.

    Mass - There are quite a few people who ride in Mass and are more familiar with the riding than I am. Some parts of Mass and trails are really close to Albany. I've only ridden a place called Kennedy Park which was really good and I think a little over an hour from Albany. I believe there are quite a few trails close to Albany too.

    There are quite a few bike groups in the area. Most of the mtb racers in the area do the NYS mtb series. Most of the races are within 1 - 1.5 from albany. Churney Gurney also has a race once a year that's great. HRRT puts on a series called hot summer nights, or something like that starting in August in Schenectady CP.

    I wrote a ton but if you have any other questions feel free to ask. There used to be a lot of Albany people using this forum but most people are now on one of the FB pages.
    "Like" the Brewery Ommegang facebook team page

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Saratoga Springs is one of the more bike friendly cities in the area.
    Home - Saratoga Greenbelt Trail

    Great bike shops and plenty of like minded bike folks...

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    That is some really good info, Thanks guys. it will help play into our decision

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