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Author Topic: Catskills Foliage Ride  (Read 172 times)

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Online garry

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Catskills Foliage Ride
« on: October 11, 2020, 09:34:23 AM »
My original plan for the weekend was to head to Sparta for ESTO 2020, but Hurricane Delta decided to head north resulting in both Saturday and Sunday being forecasted as all day rain. I find that riding twisties in the rain is pointless (BTDT), plus I have very little confidence in the wet after my accident (two year anniversary was Wed 7th), so I chose to head north to the Catskills for a fall foliage ride. Hopefully early November will be nice and I can head to Sparta/etc for a twisty fix then.

Sunday looked to be wet in PA (thanks Delta), so I made an 11th hour decision to ride Thursday through Saturday to enjoy some sunshine. Day One would take me to Hancock, NY (site of previous STO gatherings). Hancock is right on the Delaware River, across the border from PA. Day Two would be a nice loop around the Catskills passing by many of the reservoirs in the area. Day Three would head back across northern PA on a different route than the way up. I stayed at the Upper Delaware Inn (formerly Capra Inn Motel). Hancock isn't much of a town, but it's a good location to ride the Catskills from. Here's a screenshot of my planned route:

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I took the usual suspects (286, 219, 879) past Clearfield in order to ride 144 from Snowshoe to Galeton. 144 offers 75 miles of scenic, remote sweepers in the middle of nowhere with Renovo being the only bit of civilization along the way. Here are a couple photos from 144 the first south of Renovo, the second in Tamarack which just north of Renovo:

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Once I got to Galeton, I took "scenic route 6" east for 75 miles to almost Towanda. Route 6 isn't all that scenic and it's kind of boring. It doesn't suck, but I need to choose a better route east for the future. I bypassed downtown Towanda (which is a traffic clusterfuck) to cross the river and made my way to New Milford (409, 706). The last leg of the day zig-zagged to Hancock (492, Fiddle Lake Rd, 171, 370).

The only decent restaurant in Hancock is the "Little Italy II" which was a short walk from the hotel. It was that or the Subway or McDonalds across from the hotel. I ended up eating there both nights. Killed both nights with a few beers while watching "Best of Ancient Aliens". LOL.

Day Two was the "Reservoir Route" that I had done variations of several times before. It's more about scenic sweepers than twisties, but it's still a fun day on the bike. The day started off cold and foggy. I was glad I had heated gear. I started by taking route 10 along the Cannonsville reservoir between Deposit and Walton. Many of the reservoirs are named after the towns that got flooded with they were made. You see signs like "Former Site of Xxxxx" along the way. From Walton, I headed to Downsville to pick up route 30.

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My next stop was the Pepacton reservoir that runs from Downsville to Margaretville. It's a great ride (route 30) that stays continuously curvy with no civilization along the way. Here are a few photos. Note how low the water level is. All the reservoirs were low.

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I then zig-zagged back and forth to/from route 28 (big, boring, busy road) to explore the interior of Catskill Park on some nice back roads. Dry Brook Rd and Todd Mtn Rd made a nice "V" that ends at the Belleayre ski area. A short bit of 28 took me to Big Indian where I took Oliverea Rd and Frost Valley Rd down to the town of Grahamsville (jct 55). I managed this shot of the Rondout reservoir from 55A before heading back north to 28 via Peekamoose Rd.

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Peekamoose is a bit rough in places but has a nice waterfall in the middle. It has several trailheads along it and sees a surprising amount of traffic. The trailheads were all very busy with it being a holiday weekend with peak foliage (Columbus Day / Canadian Thanksgiving).

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I then headed north toward Hunter Mtn via Phonecia and 214. My first lunch stop option in Phonecia was packed so I kept going to try again in Tannersville. Tannersville was also packed as I rolled through town, so no lunch for me. I gassed up and headed down the surprisingly twisty 23A to the bottom of the mountain. I think that was my first time on that bit of road. I took a bunch of county roads to get to the town of Woodstock which was also crazy busy.

I took Ohayo Mtn Rd down to 28 which gets *very* tight and twisty as it heads down the mountain (with some nice views of the Ashokan reservoir). The next target was the very twisty 28A that runs along the Ashokan reservoir. The road has a 35 MPH speed limit and big police headquarters nearby, so don't push it too hard to avoid a roadside chat with The Man. It's hard to get a good view of the large reservoir but I managed this boring photo before heading south on CR-3 to begin the leg back to Hancock. A short bit of 209 south took me to 55.

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Route 55 would take me all way down to the Delaware River at Barryville. It initially runs along the Rondout reservoir (doubling back through Grahamsville) and then on to the Neversink reservoir. Then it leaves the reservoirs and heads south via Liberty down to Barryville. 55 has some nice sections and isn't a bad ride at all.

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The last leg to Hancock was to take 97 north along the Delaware River right into downtown Hancock. I stopped in Callicoon to see if the brewpub was open, but it's now a small distillery that also serves NY microbrews. It (like everything else) was packed, so I turned around and headed for Hancock. A second night of dinner at Little Italy and beers with Ancient Aliens followed...

Saturday morning was supposed to be warm-ish (52) but it was a brisk 39 degrees when I left. Really glad I had the heated gear. I guess it was extra cold in the valley as things warmed up to 50 pretty quickly once I got into PA. I took a slightly more southern route back to Renovo which was quite nice. Lots of 374 past Elk Mtn ski area as well as 87 and 973 to head west. Good stuff.

Pumpkin patch and farm near Elk Mtn on 374:

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Nice farm along 973:

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I decided to stop at the Hyner View overlook and then take 120 west to Sinnemahoning. A traffic free rip on Wykoff Run followed. Wykoff Run is a bit rough, but still worth doing.

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Wykoff Run:

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At that point I decided to improvise my route home and headed back to Clearfield via 879 so that I could hit 453 and 729 which are both nicely twisty and usually traffic free. They didn't disappoint. I finished off the ride by hammering down 219 and  286 to get home.

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All in all it was a fine three days (1085 miles) on the bike. Fall foliage rides are my favorite rides of the year and this one didn't disappoint.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 02:02:19 PM by garry »
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Offline Baxter

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Re: Catskills Foliage Ride
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2020, 10:06:47 AM »
 :thumbsup:
People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.  --Winnie the Pooh

Online viffergyrl

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Re: Catskills Foliage Ride
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2020, 10:40:58 AM »
Time well spent there.... quite beautiful!! Thanks for posting.
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Online tankhead

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Re: Catskills Foliage Ride
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2020, 11:13:40 AM »
Good to hear you took the roads you did as Sue and I were there a couple of weeks ago.  Thanks for posting.  As always.... great photos.

Online Skee

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Re: Catskills Foliage Ride
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2020, 11:43:51 AM »
Thanks for posting - looks like you had a great weekend ride

Makes me think next weekend - if the weather is nice - might be time to scuff-in my new tires up that way.

Looking forward to seeing you & everyone at a meet sometime next year.
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Online kendenton

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Re: Catskills Foliage Ride
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2020, 03:02:24 PM »
Nice photos, upstate NY always a nice low-key ride
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Online Mrs. DantesDame

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Re: Catskills Foliage Ride
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2020, 03:42:28 PM »
And while you regret not riding more in Switzerland, I find it rueful that while I learned to ride in Pennsylvania, I never made it a point to really enjoy what the state has to offer while I lived there. It looks like you had a great ride!
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Online 1KPerDay

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Re: Catskills Foliage Ride
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2020, 10:42:55 AM »
Beautiful. thanks for sharing. 8)
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