One of the best ways to rediscover Long Island is to trade in your four wheels for two. Virtually all of us have traveled by car along Long Island’s many roadways, but there is an abundance of wide open spaces navigable by bicycle that offer vistas of picturesque country lanes, bustling downtowns, pristine beaches and colorful rolling hills and flatlands-far from the madding parkway crowd.
Nearly every state road on Long Island features some accommodation for bicycling except for high-volume highways and parkways where bicycling is prohibited. So whether you’re a seasoned biker or looking to try biking as a hobby, here are 25 multiuse and mountain bike trails that will let you see Long Island through the eyes of the cyclist. So, grab your helmet, bring something to keep you hydrated and start pedaling!
Length: 7+ miles
One of Long Island’s most popular trails, this paved route connects Bethpage State Park to the Massapequa Preserve at Merrick Road. For half of its route, the path parallels the Bethpage State Parkway, while the other half runs through the picturesque Preserve. With mostly gentle slopes, the route is good for beginners and can be picked up in many locations off the parkway. (Bethpage Bikeway also extends north through Trail View State Park and continues west along the Long Island Expressway service road.)
Bethpage Mountain Bike Trail
Length: 4 miles
This off-road, marked loop trail has a variety of terrain through a pine forest and two challenging hills. For the starting point, park at the picnic area lot in Bethpage State Park and look for white triangles on trees south of the gatehouse.
Caumsett State Park, Lloyd Harbor
Length: 3 miles
Situated on a scenic peninsula, this paved path is a three-mile circular loop between the Dairy Barn and Marshall Field Estate with breathtaking views of Long Island Sound and miles of pathway winding through woodland, meadows, shoreline and salt marsh.
Cathedral Pines County Park
Length: 6 miles
This single-track mountain bike trail, located on Suffolk County parklands features a beginner loop, with an additional five-and-a half miles of optional advanced hill climbs.
Central Suffolk Bikeway
Length: 80 miles
This trail offers a marked street route that begins at Bethpage State Park and runs along Quaker Meeting House Road, Bethpage Road and Main Street to the Farmingdale train station. It then follows the railroad line into Riverhead. LIRR bike-boarding passes are available for a $5 one time fee.
Cold Spring Harbor-Sagamore Hill
Length: 36 miles
This hilly, unmarked ride which starts in Cold Spring Harbor, winds along Route 25A into Oyster Bay toward historic Sagamore Hill.
Connetquot Shared Use Path
Length: 2.5 miles
This trail-both paved and boardwalk-runs along the North side of Sunrise Highway (NY 27) on the border of Connetquot State Park.
Length: 8.5 miles
This flat, single track is an off-road trail that loops through wooded areas and has beginner to intermediate levels. Helmets and eye protection are required, as well as a permit, which may be obtained for free from the State Department of Environmental Conservation at (631) 444-0273 or dec.ny.gov.
Heckscher State Park
Length: 5 miles
This bike trail allows cyclists to loop through Heckscher State Park, offering picturesque views of Great south Bay and Fire Island.
Hempstead Turnpike Shared Use Path
Length: 1.5 miles
Running on the north side of Hempstead Turnpike, this paved route stretches from Eisenhower Park’s eastern border at Merrick Avenue to Hofstra University.
Hither Woods State Park
Length: 20 miles
For intermediate to advanced riders, this mountain bike trail is mostly single track with some water views. It offers hilly terrain with sandy sections.
Length: 16 miles
This hilly, but scenic route, goes from Huntington Village through Lloyd Harbor to the Lloyd Neck peninsula, which is the site of Caumsett State Historic Park and Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge.
Jones Beach Bikeway (also called Wantagh State Parkway Shared-Use Path and the Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway)
Length: 4.5 miles
This bicycle and pedestrian path runs parallel to the Wantagh Parkway from Seaford to Jones Beach State Park. A new extension on the trail’s southern end which opened in May 2013, gives trail-goers a direct connection to Jones Beach and the boardwalk. Future plans including connecting the trail to the planned Ocean Parkway Bike Path, which would start at Jones Beach State Park and stretch 14 miles east along the scenic coastal roadway.
Kings Park Bike and Hike Trail
Length: 1.4 miles
Located along the grounds of the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center, this hilly bike trail follows the old railroad spur from Old Dock Road and winds through dense woods and open fields, connecting to Nissequogue River State Park.
Long Beach Boardwalk
Length: 2.25 miles
This boardwalk, between New York Avenue and Neptune Boulevard, was originally built in 1914 with the help of some elephants, and was rebuilt after it was completely destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 (the boardwalk officially reopened in October 2013). A section of the boardwalk is set aside as a bicycle lane.
Length: 12 miles
This one for seasoned bikers, from intermediate to advanced levels, has many hill climbs and no flat areas. The trail is two-way for 3.3 miles to a one-way loop. (It is recommended that if cyclists feel like they have bit off more than they can chew, they should turn around and go back before entering the one-way loop.) There is an option to ride to the easier Eastport trails for added miles.
Mitchell Field Pedestrian Path & Bikeway
Length: 6.3 miles
This trail consists of a circular loop in the heart of Nassau County – along Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Earle Ovington Blvd, and Quentin Roosevelt Blvd. The Mitchell Field Pedestrian Path & Bikeway connects to Nassau Community College, Hofstra University, the Nassau Coliseum, Museum Row, Eisenhower Park, hotels, corporate centers, and the Hempstead Tpke Shared Use Path.
Montauk Hwy / NY Route 27
Length: 30 miles
This is a signed, on-road bike route between Southhampton and the Montauk Lighthouse. Nassau-Suffolk.
Greenbelt Mountain Bike Trail
Length: 8 miles
This unpaved, off-road route runs from the Bethpage State Park through Trail View State Park to Stillwell Woods in Syosset and offers some challenging hills.
Orient State Parkway Bike Lane
Length: 2.25 miles
For a relaxing scenic ride, Orient Beach State Park has 45,000 feet of frontage on Gardiner’s Bay and a rare maritime forest with red cedar, black-jack oak trees and prickly-pear cactus.
Rocky Point Mountain Bike Trail
Length: 13 miles
This marked trail runs through the Natural Resources Management Area in the pine barrens and is an intermediate to advanced single track with seven miles of additional challenging hills. (Several miles of separate beginner trail is also available.) Helmets and eye protection are required, as is a free DEC permit (631-444-0273 or dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7809.html).
State Bike route 114
Length: 15 miles
NY 114 State Bike Route is a signed bike route that runs between the Village of Greenport on the North Fork and the Village of East Hampton on the South Fork. The route is unique in that ferry crossings are required at North Ferry and South Ferry as the route crosses tranquil Shelter Island (each ferry charges one-way or same-day round-trip bicycle fees).
SUNY Stony Brook-Paul Simons Memorial Bike Path
Length: 4.6 miles
The Paul Simons Memorial Bicycle Path was built in memory of Paul Simons, a former Stony Brook student and avid cyclist. The six-mile long path is open to students, faculty, staff, and to the public and connects to the railroad station.
Town of Southhold – Seaview Trails – Orient Loop
Length: 5 miles
This scenic bike route goes through the bucolic Village of Orient, goes along quiet back roads with views of Shelter Island.
Stillwell Woods Preserve
Length: 4 miles
This marked mountain bike trail offers twists, turns, and some short, steep climbs. It is a single track for intermediate to advanced cyclists with an additional two miles of challenging hills and two miles of a separate beginner trail. (Note: Stillwell connects to the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail, making it possible to ride from Stillwell down the Greenbelt to Bethpage State Park on Mountain Bike Trails.
The Long Island Bikeways map and additional information regarding Long Island Bike Facilities may be obtained at 511ny.org/rideshare/rideshare.aspx?FolderID=149. General information about cycling in New York State is available at dot.ny.gov/display/programs/bicycle.