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Nassau County Bike Trails: Off-Road Cycling Adventure for Every Rider

Nassau County features a remarkably diverse network of off-road cycling trails, accommodating riders of all experience levels. Whether you’re a seasoned mountain biker seeking challenging single tracks or a casual rider on a leisurely family outing, there are a host of Nassau County bike trails waiting for you. The county’s extensive network of routes encompasses boardwalks, paved shared-use paths, and dedicated mountain bike trails, each offering unique experiences.

Beach Bike Adventures

We can’t talk about Nassau County bike trails without mentioning the many beach-side rides. Cruise along the iconic Jones Beach or Long Beach boardwalks, feeling the refreshing ocean spray on your face as you ride along the vast expanse of the Atlantic. These flat, smooth paths are perfect for a relaxing ride with incredible panoramas. Pack a picnic and make a day of it – both boardwalks offer year-round access and nearby amenities.

  • Jones Beach Boardwalk: This 2-mile boardwalk charges a parking fee during the summer season; restrooms are open year-round.
  • The Jones Beach Bikeway runs for 9.2 miles along the Wantagh Parkway from Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh to Jones Beach Field 6. Parking and bathrooms are available at both ends and parking fees apply during the season. There are plenty of water views and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • The Jones Beach West End Extension runs for 2 miles from the end of the boardwalk to the West End 2 beach. Along the route you’ll pass the new Jones Beach Nature & Education Center, open year-round with interactive activities for children. There are bathrooms and showers at Jones Beach West End 2. Parking fees apply during the season. Look out for the spur trail by the Coast Guard station that leads to Shell Beach!
  • Long Beach Boardwalk: Similar in length at 2 miles, Long Beach provides free access to the boardwalk itself and year-round restrooms.
  • The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway is a 3.5-mile path along the north side of Ocean Parkway, leading towards Tobay Beach. For a more challenging ride, continue 10 additional miles to Captree Beach, but be aware that prevailing westerly winds can make the return trip difficult.
  • Wantagh Park features a scenic 2.5-mile paved path with stunning bay views. Parking fees apply during the season.

Casual Cycling Through the Woods

For a more secluded experience away from traffic, explore the numerous shared-use paths that wind through Nassau County’s parks and green spaces. These are mostly paved paths that are a great place for families looking for longer adventures.

  • The Bethpage Bikeway is one of the more well known Nassau County bike trails, taking riders on a 13-mile journey through the Bethpage State Park woods from Woodbury to Massapequa. The bikeway offers scenic, flat stretches alongside Massapequa Lake and hillier sections on the northern trails for those seeking a bit more exertion. Parking is available at both ends of the path and along its length on local streets. Bethpage State Park offers a large parking lot with year-round restrooms, but charges seasonal fees for parking.
  • The Hempstead to Eisenhower Parkway Path offers a scenic route for walking, biking, or jogging. It follows the park’s perimeter, with additional paths venturing deeper inside Eisenhower Park. The paved path stretches nearly two miles north from the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Merrick Avenue to Old Country Road. Here, the path transitions onto Old Country Road and heads east for a more beautiful 3.5-mile section alongside Salisbury Park Drive, ending at Carmen Avenue. This eastern portion boasts picturesque views of the park’s golf course. Parking is available at the dog park on Salisbury Park Drive and within various locations throughout Eisenhower Park. Keep in mind that restrooms are only accessible within the park itself.
  • Garvies Point Esplanade is a 1-mile paved path that runs along Glen Cove Creek and offers stunning water vistas of Hempstead Harbor. Playgrounds, bathrooms and food are nearby. Parking is available along Garvies Point Road.
  • Hempstead Lake State Park offers a network of newly renovated wide gravel paths, perfect for exploring the lake and its surrounding beauty. There are about 7 miles of trails here and restrooms are open year-round. The park entrance is off Eagle Ave on the Southern State Parkway; there are seasonal fees for parking.
  • Valley Stream State Park offers a scenic 2-mile path through a wooded area and around Valley Stream Pond, with trails extending into the adjacent Hendrickson Park. Parking fees apply during the season.

Sharing the Road

Nassau County offers a variety of shared-use trails, perfect for cyclists who prefer a more relaxed ride alongside cars and pedestrians. These paths provide excellent opportunities for scenic exploration and leisurely trips while safely sharing space with motor vehicles.

  • The Mitchel Field Shared-Use Path is a 2-mile route for cyclists and pedestrians that runs along the north side of Hempstead Turnpike and connects Eisenhower Park with Hofstra University. A branch path near the Nassau Coliseum leads through the Mitchell Field Complex, which includes the Museum Mile, the Cradle of Aviation, and other science museums. This loop adds approximately 6 miles to the main path but requires navigating several street crossings.
  • The Plainview Gravel Path is a 2-mile loop featuring a wide, well-maintained gravel path with occasional hills. The route runs alongside the Country Point Estates housing development and a shopping center, offering a glimpse into the surrounding suburban landscape. Access the path via a designated connection point on the Bethpage Bikeway near Old Country Road.
  • The Nassau Expressway Shared-Use Path is a 1-mile stretch from Broadway to the Atlantic Beach Bridge.
  • The Greenbelt Trail is a 32-mile path from Heckscher State Park on the south shore to Sunken Meadow State Park on the north. The entire Greenbelt Trail is a multi-day adventure for hikers. Typically tackled in three 10-mile sections, this southernmost portion is marked by white blazes on trees, signposts, and even utility poles. Keep an eye out – a single blaze means you’re on the right track, while a double blaze signals a turn coming up. The trail winds through a delightful mix of parks and woodlands, occasionally connecting through residential streets with designated pedestrian walkways (and sometimes even lights!) for safe passage.

Mountain Bike Trails: Gearing Up for Challenges

For those seeking a more challenging experience, explore over 200 miles of mountain bike trails maintained by Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists (CLIMB). These Nassau County  bike trails are off- road, narrow dirt paths, mostly single track, that have roots, rocks and the occasional log or two to roll over. Remember to prioritize safety, wear a helmet, and choose trails that match your skill level.

  • Bethpage State Park offers some of the easiest trails in Nassau County. While mostly flat with few hills, there can be occasional challenging sections. This wooded park offers roughly 14 miles of trails with plenty of intersections. Don’t worry if you get lost initially– the trails loop back, and you’ll eventually find your way back to the parking lot. The trails are marked with colored blazes to help you navigate. Additionally, some advanced trails have markers indicating difficulty levels. Remember, these are two-way trails. Be sure to ring a bell or call out before rounding blind corners to avoid collisions with oncoming riders or walkers.

If you’re looking for company, CLIMB hosts a group ride at the park every first Sunday of the month at 8:45 AM. Bethpage State Park also connects to Trail View State Park along its northern border. From Trail View, you can continue north for roughly 8 miles to reach Stillwell Woods in Syosset.

  • Trail View State Park’s 8-mile trail offers scenic adventures for all. Hike or bike the hilly terrain north of Jericho Turnpike for a challenge, or enjoy a relaxing ride on the flat, beginner-friendly southern route between Manetto Hills Preserve and Bethpage State Park. Remember to park at Jericho Turnpike (west of Woodbury Rd), Executive Drive (by Washington Ave), or E Bethpage Rd (north of Old Country Rd), and call out or ring a bell before rounding blind corners on these two-way trails.
  • Hempstead Harbor Woods in Port Washington has only 7 miles of trails but feels like 20 miles; it’s the most difficult trail in Nassau County. All trails are marked for ability levels. The green circle trail is only about 1.2 miles long and even though it’s considered to be the easiest, it’s still pretty demanding. Be prepared for anything and brush up on your biking skills ahead of your ride.
  • Manetto Hills Preserve features 5 miles of moderate hills with optional climbs, making it a great place to add mileage to your ride, especially when connecting to Trail View State Park or riding as a standalone trail. Ample parking is available on the wide shoulders of Washington Ave in Plainview.
  • Stillwell Woods Preserve offers nearly 7 miles of both advanced-rider and beginner-friendly trails. The 1.2-mile loop is perfect for those starting out, while the other trails in the preserve are very hilly. Be sure to work your way up to the challenge of riding the other trails. Many of the trails are marked for ability levels such as green circle, blue square and black diamond, similar to ski resorts.

Know before you go! There are numerous Nassau County bike trails to choose from, so check out the CLIMB website for maps and take a screenshot to take with you. All these trails can also be found on an app called Trailforks, which shows you where the parking areas are and your location on the map as a blue dot. It even works without cell service! The trails are also color-coded by ability level: purple for paved paths or forest roads, green/white for boardwalks, green for easiest trails, blue for intermediate trails, black for black diamonds, and red for double black diamonds (experts only). CLIMB members get a discount on the app’s pro version, but there’s a free version as well.

Did you love finding adventure-by-bike on our trails? Share your pics with @VisitNassauCountyLI and be entered to win some Nassau County faves!

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