Hudson Valley cycling WordPress weblog

Ashokan reservoir ride


  When I had taken the UCAT bus to Rosendale in April (2009), I had been thinking of a longer ride starting from the park-n-ride. With Rosendale’s proximity to the Catskill park,it had seemed likely I could ride to the Ashokan reservoir,and back,in about 35-40 miles. To make what had promised to be a very scenic ride even more scenic,I would hold off doing this ride untill the fall.

  I would follow my April route from Rosendale into the town of Marbletown along CR 26,all the way this time,to the intersection with US rt. 209/SR 213 at Ulster Community College. There is a country farm market at this intersection.I would get a soda and some “munchies”,and an Apple from the nearby Stone Ridge orchard, to have with the sandwich I had brought with me, for a leisurely lunch.The next road I would follow,Mill Dam Road,would provide me with my first bit of awesome, with a peek of the very near Catskill mountains.The Catskill park would be only 7 miles away from here.This road also provided me with the second of 2 serious hills from hell for the day,a 16 percent grade.The first being the ride out of Rosendale up the 14 percent CR7 Binewater Rd. grade.

NYC DEP watershed along SR 213 in the town of Olive – Ulster county NY

  Mill Dam road would take me to SR 213/CR 4.After going along some farms,the highway entered a forested section.The highway began a very gradual uphill climb, with an ocasional not so gradual uphill grade to the reservoir.I had stoped to take some pictures when I had spoted a NYC DEP watershed sign across the road.I was still 5 miles away from the Ashokan reservoir.After a few more miles I had entered the Catskill park. The so called “park”, is actualy more like a national forest out west covering a very large area with diferent sections,and diferent jurisdictions.The Ashokan reservoir area is under the jurisidiction of NYC Department of Enviromental Protection.The Ashokan reservoir is part of New York city’s vast reservoir,and aqueduct,system.I had stopped in the tiny mountain village of Olive Bridge to take some pictures (the camera realy slows you down on a ride like this) before continuing another mile to the intersection with SR 28A, where SR 213 ends. The reservoir, as per my map,  should have been near this intersection, but I could not see the reservoir because of the trees. It had seemed that I was in between 2 access points for the NYC DEP road that goes along the top of the dam which would asure me a view of the reservoir. I would turn right going downhill through the forested area that encircles the reservoir. After descending the grade. the 2 lane highway was restricted to a very narrow one lane for construction of a new viaduct under the highway.

  I rode past the DEP NYC Catskill region police HQ-baracks at the end of this construction area. A vertible mini Army base with the increased post 9-11 security. I would stop at the hydro-electric project public area and the base of the dam.I could see the dam road way up. I would have to ride a bit more in the direction I had been going on the state highway to find the NYC DEP road to the top of the dam. I did not have to ride too much farther, just a 1/4 mile.Then a short ride uphill to the top. And there it was before me,the reservoir view I had been expecting,There was a section closed to motor vehicle traffic to my right and I rode onto this section a bit for a much anticipated “photo op”.I would ride back mostly the way I had come along SR213 in order to get back to Rosendale before 4:30 PM.On Sundays,the last bus back to Poughkeepsie leaves at this time. With all the photo stops there was not enough time for exploring an alternate route.

  A spectacular end to a month of fall foilage cycling that began with the grand opening of the Walkway Over the Hudson.

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