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Cunningham Park

Consensus:    (details)
 4.5 from 4 votes
  Intermediate from 2 votes
Rank: #4 in the New York City area
#6 in New York
#427 Overall
Condition:
Apr 4 Dry - Dry
Featured Ride near Bellerose village,  area, 
“Fast singletrack and dirt jumping awesomeness, ranging from absolute beginners to skilled XC/FR.”
Marcus Skala on Apr 4, 2013
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4.47.2 milesKilometers 202’62 m Ascent 100’31 m High 1.7% Avg Grade
90% Singletrack -205’-62 m Descent 57’17 m Low 3.1% Max Grade
Restrictions
Open from dawn to sunset.
Overview
A true local favorite, Cunningham is a fast, switchback heavy, log-over heaven. With recent storms there came a lot of hard clean up resulting in a few new technical features and cut outs.

It has it all, for riders ranging from absolute beginners to skilled XC’ers in search of a challenge. The trails range from super fast XC, cramped and/or generous switchbacks, technical singletrack, rolling rock gardens and crazy log-overs. There is a center ring trail that is rated green for the first timers out on a MTB. That trail is smooth and wide. The clover leaf outskirt trials feature fast and fun singletrack.

Unlike other NYC trails, Cunningham is flat. There is only one climb worth mentioning but is still trivial. The total elevation difference in the park is only 40 feet, making the trails perfect for single-speeders. Cunningham provides a great workout with constant speed-ups and slow-downs and short and sharp power climbs.

Within the park are also 3 dirt jump "mini parks" for the free-riders. The only drawbacks in the past have been erosion due to snow and rainfall. Being in the center of a large metropolitan area means these trails see a lot of traffic, rain or shine. During these times, you will see a lot of eroded tracks and water pits. The guys at "CLIMB" work their hardest to keep it in top riding condition.
Need To Know
There are east/west sections of Cunningham. You can access the west section off of 73rd ave east of the hwy, but there is also an overpass just for the riders to access the west section from the east end. The official trailhead is at 67th ave and 210th st in Queens. Free street parking is available (and plentiful) on 210th st. You can also take the F train to the last Jamaica stop and ride from there.
Description
Official trail map

Starting out from the trailhead at 67th Ave and 210th St, veer left on the green trail until you hit the entrance of "Teepee" on your right.

Teepee is a mash of fast switchbacks and log-overs. Midway through you can open up with some fast singletrack and quick ascents/descents. This section connects to the inner Green trail again before hitting "Thrilla" on the left.

Thrilla is an up and down delight. Very quick, fun and as technical as you want to make it. The first half of this section features a few log balances and multiple dirt jump opportunities with banked turns. About midway into the section you will see access on the left to the West side of the park (via an overpass across Clearview Expressway). Once across, you will start out on "Green Apple."

Green Apple is a combination of fast singletrack, switchbacks, rock gardens and flowing SS masher climbs. The Black portion of this Blue section of Cunningham has a few technical large log-overs, rock gardens and tight twisty turns. Once you exit the Black onto the Blue again, you will open up to fast XC riding. At the end of this section, you should keep left on the trail (past the well marked sign for the Green trail) heading down a short passage, turn right and enter "Viper."

Viper is a great Black trail section that starts out on a narrow path on the side of a steep hillside (might be an overstatement, its only about a 12ft' slope off the side), followed by a couple nice short climbs and log piles. The second half is a much less technical yet fast XC hard pack. You'll get in a longer climb and realize that it will be over before you know it. (this entire trail is pretty flat) After the climb, keep right for another short section of switchbacks and log-overs.

Out of Viper puts you on the Green trail leading to the first half of "Ringer". The entrance is on the left after a small concrete section of trail. It's not well marked but you'll see it if you pass it. It begins mostly with a fast singletrack and then darts off to the left. Once past the log-over you will be challenged with a few steep climbs and larger downed trees and roots. After a fast downhill section (with a log-over that is cursed by many- you will see offerings scattered about), keep right just before going up a steep rock face. There is a small section of trail that has great switchbacks and log-overs.

You will then end up on the green trail and can either turn left toward the overpass or continue strait to the second section of "Ringer". Most XC riders skip this section since is predominately a free-ride park, but you can defiantly check it out and explore around. If you continue down the Green, you will end up at the overpass on the left just before the start of Green Apple.

Back on the East side of Cunningham, keep left and enter the second half of "Thrilla". This is a favorite of most riders. It's fast and technical and can be as much or as little as you want. There are many climbs and jumps followed by a free-ride area off the trail path. Continue on to the Green (which the Thrilla section just transitions into) until you hit the only real "climb" in the park. At the top, keep left (straight ahead actually) and you start the section "IMBA."

IMBA starts out at the top of the mtn with a large log-over followed by a fast, twisty descent. You continue on this singletrack section, crossing over the Green a few times so make sure you keep an eye out for the exits/entrances (they are well marked on this side). Once you cross over the Green, the last section at Cunningham is "Iguana"

Iguana is the fastest section of Cunningham where you have long straights and only a couple of technical spots. Get your cadence up!! Once you pass under a large fallen tree at the top of a hill, you wind up on the final Green path leading back to the trailhead on the left.
History & Background
Cunningham was created in association with NYC Parks and CLIMB
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COMMENTS
OTHER RIDES NEAR HERE
4.0 (2)
A 1-2 hour ride starting from Ryerson Middle School.
near Ringwood borough, NJ

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PHOTOS of Cunningham Park
 3.0 from 3 votes
Second half of "Thrilla", dirt jumping! (Bellerose village, NY)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Fast descent (Bellerose village, NY)
 3.0 from 3 votes
End of the "Green Apple" section, fast single track (Bellerose village, NY)
 3.0 from 3 votes
"Green Apple" at Cunningham. Short twisty switchbacks. (Bellerose village, NY)
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