Road & Mountain Biking
With it's hilly terrain and expansive views, the area is a real attraction for mountain and road bikers alike with a variety of great rides available. Pawling is home to an annual Triathlon in May every year that has gained popularity and attracts athletes from as far away as Europe.
For those for whom biking is a way of life, Pawling Cycle & Sport organizes weekly group rides. At 5:30 every Wednesday evening, 30 or so bikers of varying age and experience gather at the store to tour the roads of Pawling. The group rides have been steadily expanding in popularity as a great way to foster friendship and enhance biking skills. For more competitive bikers, the Pawling Cycle Team, sponsored by many local businesses takes part in a series of races held weekly in Connecticut, NY and NJ. See below for some related resources:
Pawling Cycle & Sport
Fats in the Cats (mountain biking)
Local Road Rides
bike tours in dutchess county
see below for parks friendly to mountain bikes:
The Ninham Mountain summit may be it's focal point, but this 1,023-acre park has miles of over 15 miles of trails for exploration. The trails are suitable for both hiking and biking, so it is very popular with mountain bikers who have few alternatives in the area. This park is also heavily used by hunters in season. Sachem Daniel Ninham and his Wappinger Munsee people owned this land. In 1756 refugees from various tribes joined with Daniel Ninham and the camp moved to the Housatonic Valley, then to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Ninham tried to use the courts to get his Putnam land back, but the courts were biased and Ninham lost his case. The west side, the mountain itself, also was farmed, mostly by members of the Smalley family, which is why on old maps the mountain is called Smalleys Hill. The fire tower was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
google map of trailhead
Michael Ciaiola Conservation Area
Previously known as Merritt Park (and also sometimes known as Haviland Hollow or Cranberry Mountain), this conservation area consists of over 800 acres and is Putnam County's largest. Wildlife abounds in this conservation area. One may see deer, turkey, bobcat, bear, along with various songbirds and small mammals. One of the most popular spots is the Great Gorge Waterfall just north of the old Merritt campsite. Bring a lunch and enjoy a picnic on one of the many flat boulders with a great view to admire.
mountain biking info