Source: Salim Virji
Location: Inwood/Washington Heights, Manhattan, NY
Length: 3 miles
Difficulty: 25% beginner, 25% intermediate, 50% expert XC trails, plus a freeride trail and beginner and intermediate dirt jump park with pump track
Description: Highbridge confounds expectations. With everything from smooth cruisers to wickedly technical “east coast gnar,” the trails provide a small but entertaining subsample of the best of the regions trails, all within the confines of the densest metropolitan area in North America. Highbridge Park itself straddles the rocky cliff band above Harlem River Drive between 155th Street and Dyckman Street, and the trails use this rocky, cliff-strewn terrain to their advantage… routing beginner riders through the shadow of hulking rock cliffs, and taking expert riders up, down and across the steep and challenging cliffside. In addition to the XC trails, Highbridge also features a freeride trail, with terrain that includes drops, berms, steeps, rock gardens and other challenging features sure to get your adrenalin pumping (designed and built in conjunction with pro ride Jim Dellavalle and the Brooklyn Bike Riders). But the most-used feature of Highbridge Park is the dirt jump park, designed and built by IMBA Trailsolutions with current and former pro riders Judd DeVall, Jeff Lenosky and Kyle Ebbett. The Highbridge jumps include a pump track, a beginner line with three small jumps, and an intermediate line with five tables and two berms. While the XC trails are a bit short to ride as a destination, they’re perfect for city residents looking for a local spin and riders out to sample a bit of everything- jumps, drops and trail riding all in one place, and all a half block from the #1 train.
Directions: By Car-From the South, take the Harlem River Drive north until it ends at Dyckman Street, then turn left on Dyckman and left onto Ft. George Hill. Look for the trailhead about 30 yards up the hill on the left. From the North, take the Major Deegan to the Fordham Road/207th Street bridge exit. Cross the bridge into Manhattan, then turn left on Nagle Ave (under the elevated subway train), and veer right onto Ft. George Hill and park. By public transportation- take the #1 train to Dyckman Street and look for the trailhead across Ft. George Hill, or to reach the jump park at the top of the hill, exit at the 191st Street station, and ride three blocks north on St. Nicholas, then follow the curve around the top of the hill and look for the park between the playground and the basketball court.