“Experts only on this half-mile trail that features challenging rock gardens and steep climbs.
— Christopher Trombley
Upper Rough Ryder is named after a Victorian era roller-coaster that once stood in the park. As the name implies, it's also a challenging gateway to the south trails at Highbridge.
There are some small drops and jumps right alongside the 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 in both directions, and either way, it starts with a fun descent, followed by some tech-y climbing.
From the north, it branches off of the Speedway
loop behind the ballfields, 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 as it works through a technical climb at the top.
From the south, you can enter slightly downhill off the paved path at 191st street for a fast, straight-ish descent that resembles an enduro track all the way to the rock garden section followed by the more-challenging steep climb up the switchbacks to the top.
The trails and dirt jumps at Highbridge Park are maintained by the NYCMTB. They are looking for volunteers to help build and maintain trails during regular weekly trail days throughout 2017 and beyond. To find out more and get involved, click here