The Elm Ridge Trail
System is a welcome addition to the mountain bike scene in the northern Catskills thanks to the Windham Area Recreation Foundation. This is cross-country singletrack at its finest with sinuous curves, banked switchbacks, and a few solid climbs. The trails are all well-marked and maps are posted throughout so it's nearly impossible to get lost.
Mountain biking is prohibited on the Windham High Peak Trail past the Lean-to, this area is NYSDEC Wilderness classified land.
Park on Route 23 at the Elm Ridge Wild Forest Parking area. Begin all rides by crossing 23 and taking a left at the Trail Sign-in Kiosk.
For an easy spin, stick to the Fun Loops in the lower elevation.
To extend your ride so that it includes more miles, climbs, and challenging terrain, follow Trail #6
and turn left onto the Escarpment Trail
. After a few switchbacks, you'll reach the top of the ridge, and will find the East Gauntlet trail on your right just before the fork with the Elm Ridge Trail
(which leads to Peck Road) and the Windham High Peak Trail (no bikes).
Ride the various loops on top of the ridge and descend partway down the south side using the Mid Mountain trail. After you climb back up to the main intersection, you can descend the Escarpment Trail
and turn right on Trail #6
back to the Fun Loops.
I don't recommend taking the Escarpment Trail
below the intersection with Levitate
and Trail #6
because it is popular with hikers and rocky in a not-so-fun way.