The Weekend Escape: Four Trailways, Two Days
“After a 30 mile bike ride, we had a big appetite and this place hit the spot. I had the pork loin with rosemary and Cabernet gravy. Truly amazing! Had The Works with cappuccino for dessert and it tasted like heaven!”Michael L.
This is an easy, flat roll along a six-and-a-half-mile stretch from Tarrytown to little Briarcliff Manor’s main street, and a simple, fresh breakfast at one of the outdoor tables of The Patio or, a little further along the main street, Good Food.
Briarcliff Manor is a small village north of Tarrytown, with a small but charming strip of old shops, banks and cafes on Pleasantville Road. At the north end of these shops the bike path cuts through Law Memorial Park, a plush swath of civic green space containing a pond and fountain, a large public library right near the entrance to the trail, and tennis courts and playground.
There are several places to grab a bite in Briarcliff. Rolling out of Law Park and into town, you’ll pass (on your right) the Moonbeam Cafe (1123 Pleasantville Road), a small-town coffee and pastry shop with a welcoming, warm interior and ample porch with tables and wifi. The Patio, housed in an old fire station right next door to Moonbeam, serves diner food for breakfast, lunch and dinner; they’ll happily accommodate your request for fruit instead of potato at breakfast. Get a table outside, if you can, because it’s alway sunny in Briarcliff (at least it seems that way).
For great food, nothing beats Good Food ( ) for lunch or dinner. John, owner and chef, cooks whatever inspires him based on what’s available in the market on that particular day, and it’s never disappointing.
and connected to Tarrytown’s lakes by the Lakes Extension Trail (can we figure out a better name for that lovely waterside path?) and the North County Trailway.
If you’re the average rider, it will take you around 40 minutes to get from the lakes at Tarrytown to Briarcliff Manor’s main business street. You’ll ride entirely on off-road, paved bike path, through a tunnel of green (or yellow, red and orange in the autumn). In summer, the grassy verges next to the trail are pink and purple with summer wildflowers. In the fall, you’ll ride through whiffs of tart wild grapes ripening overhead.
How to Get There
It’s a 40-minute, 6.5-mile ride from Tarrytown to Briarcliff Manor’s old shopping district.
- Start at Tarrytown Lakes parking area on Neperan Road;
- Follow the Tarrytown Lakes Extension path north: cross the street from the parking area to pick up the bike path and travel one mile along the lake’s edge.
- Cross Neperan Road again at the old abandoned stone pump house at the north end of the lakes to pick up the North County Trailway.
- Turn left at the end of a tiny spur of the Trailway (basically an on-ramp to the path), passing old, unused railroad tracks on the left.
- Follow this pathway for about 6 miles until you reach the large, yellow-and-brown tudor structure of the Briarcliff Library on your left. A little off-ramp leads you into the library’s parking lot.
- Ride through the Law Memorial park, a large greenspace with a pathway that will put you up on Pleasantville Road (follow the path around the pond, behind the tennis courts and through the children’s playground where a gate will let you out onto the street). The shops are to the right.
You can make a loop of this adventure by combining the North County Trailway with the Old Croton Aqueduct trail, if you don’t mind an easy on-road route to meet said OCA. Note that the OCA is NOT paved, but the section you’ll ride back to Tarrytown is pretty well-compacted and scenic.
- Once in Briarcliff, continue north on Pleasantville Road (the main street) for a half mile, reaching Poplar Road.
- Turn left onto Poplar and ride for .2 miles, reaching Dalmeny Road.
- Turn left onto Dalmeny Road, and ride for .6 miles.
- The road becomes Scarborough Road, and it’s a pleasant downhill roll to the Old Croton Aqueduct from here.