Steep inclines and stellar views

Don’t let the lack of mileage fool you. With a maximum road grade of over 15%, the climbs and descents (not to mention the views) make the effort 100% worth it.

How to get there

The signed trailhead is located at the East Branch Community Trails parking area, which is located on NYS Route 9N, in the Town of Keene, 3.5 miles north of the intersection of NYS Routes 73 and 9N in the Town of Keene. (Coordinates: 44.305097, -73.789526)

By the numbers

  • Level of difficulty: Difficult
  • Route length: 24.6 miles (39.6 kilometers)
  • Elevation gain/loss: 2,900 feet (884 meters)
  • Smooth pavement, gravel, and dirt roads.  Due to rain runoff, and winter road maintenance practices, sand and small stones can be washed over any of these surfaces. While this is most prevalent in the spring and early summer, storm events can deposit debris onto the road surfaces at any time of the year.

Gear up for a challenging bike

Ready for a fun and super scenic challenge? This ride will swiftly satisfy. It begins with a two-mile undulating roll along a state highway that has wide, smooth shoulders. Once you cross the steel truss bridge that carriers you over the East Branch Ausable River you have only a short distance more of smooth pavement before you hit the dirt and begin a near continuous climb of 850 feet over the next four miles. This portion of the ride includes an out-and-back spur up to the end of Hackett Road / Alstead Hill Road and the grassy field surrounding Rock and River Lodge.

Once you get back onto Bartlett Road, you’ll be riding a gravel and dirt road that has hosted a qualifier race for the famous Leadville 100. This winding road is gravel riding at its finest. The surface changes from smooth to rough and soft to firm. It crosses multiple one-lane bridges and includes a nearly 3-mile downhill.

All things do eventually come to an end and Bartlett Road is no exception. From the intersection with Springfield Road there is a short drop to Upper Jay, a very small community along the banks of the East Branch Ausable River. From here you will have your work cut out for you as you ascend 1,000 feet over mostly smooth pavement - with a little bit of steep gravel mixed in just to give you a bit more challenge - to Styles Brook Road.  And once you make it to the top you’ll understand why the route takes you here. The views of the open fields and historic barns backdropped by mountains are simply wonderful. Be sure to stop and savor the view because once you begin to make the final descent back to your car your brain will be fully engaged with speed control down this steep paved road. Be mindful of this descent as it is very steep in sections (more than 15% in one spot).

Ride With GPS Link:


Due to limited cellular coverage, please be sure to download this route and save for offline use before you leave home.


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