Tappan Zee GWB Bike Path Loop

Exploration and adventure are a necessity to living a happy a fulfilling life. Finding ways to inject that adventure into the daily grind can be tough and now with the snow gone I admit I’ve been feeling a bit of the post winter blues.

Tappan Zee Bridge Bike Path

I ride my bike a lot, it’s a big part of maintaining my sanity and fitness throughout the warmer months, that said I’ve been void of the motivation for rides on familiar mountain bike trails and the usual road loops have been lackluster. So, I got my ass in gear for a bit of exploration right out my front door.

Heading north from New Jersey it’s a quick 30 minutes up the Old Erie Rail Trail to the Tappan Zee bike path.

When the new bridge path opened in summer 2020 it made a whole host of new riding opportunities available for residents of the lower Hudson Valley.

Old Croton Aqueduct
Old Croton Aqueduct

Up to this point the bridge has primarily served my explorations to points northeast of the bridge and into the gravel roads of Garrison and Mt. Kisco but today I was looking for new scenery so south down the Old Croton Aqueduct I went.

The Old Croton Aqueduct (OCA) is the remnants of a 41-mile aqueduct system erected in the late 1830’s that used to carry water from the Croton River to Manhattan. Today the right of way serves as a linear park that makes its way from the Croton Damn to the southern end of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The OCA has been a popular bike route for some time and is a fun alternative to more tradition rail trails dotted with old aqueduct infrastructure and at times going through what feels to be someone’s backyard.

Palisade Avenue
Palisade Avenue

The West Chester County portions of the OCA are extremely quaint, particularly this time of year with flowers popping in the perfectly manicured garden of Irvington and Hastings on Hudson but the scenery quickly changes once into Yonkers.

Zipping down Riverdale Ave amongst the busses and cars felt more like riding in the city than any portion of the ride through the Bronx or Manhattan, in fact once I crossed into the Bronx the roads became increasing quiet and residential. The neighborhoods in Riverdale really are a far cry from what most people imagine when they hear New York City.

West 181st Street
West 181st Street

Entering Manhattan on the Henry Hudson Bridge brought me into Fort Tyron Park where I started seeing commuters on bikes and all forms of electric wheeled objects. It was at this point that my ride started coming into perspective, I had left the house with no plans of putting this loop together.

My brain and body just went into a kind of autopilot guiding me on the route that I needed to bring out a little sense of local exploration. Getting off the bike path I shimmied through the streets of upper Manhattan working my way up to the entrance of the new George Washington Bridge pedestrian path.

George Washington Bridge Bike Path
GWB Bike Path

The upgrades to the path are a welcome improvement with considerably more room for passing and most noticeably no annoying stairs or narrow ramps.

Off the bridge and into New Jersey I was back into my familiar terrain beneath the Palisades. Making my way north up Henry Hudson Drive I looked across the river at what I had just ridden through on the other side. Having such a significant land form like the river to put a ride like this into perspective is gratifying. Adventures don’t need to be anything extravagant; they can start right from our front door on a Thursday afternoon.

9 comments on “Tappan Zee GWB Bike Path Loop

  1. Great post and pictures! Interesting. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

  2. Great read and awesome photos! I get the winter blah spring rain doldrums, for sure.

  3. Excellent. This trip has been on my list ever since the new bridge got built. I’ll get to it eventually.

  4. Nice report and thanks for the info getting from the TZB to the GWB on the east side of the river. Sounds like a fun adventure.

  5. Ha. I still call it Tappan Zee, too. I heard a traffic and weather guy on the radio do the same. I have heard there’s a revenge movement of sorts to officially change the name back.

  6. “I still call it Tappan Zee, too.”

    It’s (almost!) official policy here at NYSB Benny.

    Nice piece LAL and thanks for joining our team of authors.

  7. Good article !

    I had an Uncle born in Italy who was a painting contractor in Mamaroneck who had a lot of celebrity clients in WCC and Conn. and when the TZP was built ole Uncle Ralph called it the TA Pan Zeee bridge kinda rhymed. With Chimp Pan Zeee 😁

    As a kid I thought it was pretty funny chit.

  8. Great post and pictures. Do you have a Strava of the ride or the total mileage? Thanks!

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