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Experts only on this half-mile trail that features challenging rock gardens and step climbs.”
— Christopher Trombley
Volunteers needed to clear downed trees requiring walk around.
Upper Rough Ryder is named after a Victorian era roller-coaster that once stood in the park and as the name implies, is a challenging gateway to the south trails at Highbridge. There are some small drops and jumps right alongside trail if you know where to look, but much of the trail's charm is found in the many off-camber sections which are bench cut into very steep terrain. The sheer exposure to the dramatic topography of this area, combined with wild descents and brutal climbs will probably require a few attempts to ride cleanly through.
The trail can be ridden both directions, and either way, it starts with a fun descent, followed by some techy climbing. From the North, it branches off of the speedway loop behind the ballfeilds, and drops down into a bowl via rocky switchbacks to the gnarly rock gardens in the basin. From there, stay right at the fork for a gradual climb through one of the oldest remaining sycamore groves on the Island of Manhattan. The trail becomes increasingly steeper to a technical climbing section at the top.
From the South, you can enter slightly downhill off the paved path at 191st street for a fast, straightish descent that resembles an enduro track all the way to the rock garden section, and then the more-challenging step climbs up the switchbacks to the top.