If you’re looking for the perfect outdoor activity that will help your entire family soak up summer, why not consider bicycling? There are a slew of family-friendly trails in the Tri-State area that are sure to appeal to parents and kids alike. Before embarking on a trip, you’ll need a way to transport your bikes (we love this Thule Bike Rack). If you don’t have bikes, simply opt for a trail that offers bike rentals. Parents of young kids might also want to pack the Topeak Bike Seat, which is easy to take on and off and will keep your little one safe and comfortable throughout the entire ride.

Here are some of the best options for rides in and outside of New York City.


Governor’s Island

There are plenty of great biking options on Governors Island, which you can reach by ferry. Bike rental is available on Governors Island from Blazing Saddles including a bike surrey that will hold the whole family. There are great views to take in of New York City and you can explore the landscape of Governor’s Island. 


Sandy Hook Bike Path

There are about 8 miles of paved pathway at the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area. The stunning scenery includes the remains of a fort, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and beaches. You can take the Seastreak Ferry with your bike from New York right to Sandy Hook, which makes it a great option if you don’t have a car. 

North and South County Trails

These car-free bike trails located in New York City and Westchester were formerly part of a railroad. There are many different options for where to start and stop as well as ample parking along the way. One good option is to park in Pleasantville and do a round trip ride North from there. The North County Rail Trail connects to the South County Rail trail that ends in the Bronx. The North County Rail Trail also connects to the Putnam County Trailway going further Northward. It’s one of the best car-free options near New York City and is about 36 miles in total. More info can be found here.


D&R Canal Rail Trail

This flat ride is great for all skill levels along the Delaware River. The entire path is over 70 miles long, so choosing one area to explore works well. A great option is to start at New Hope and head north towards Frenchtown before looping back towards New Hope via Lambertsville. There are lots of shops and restaurants in both New Hope and Frenchtown that make it a really interesting area to explore.

Pequannock Valley Greenway (Housatonic Valley Rail Trail)

This is a 5.2 mile car-free bike trail near Trumbull, Connecticut that passes through some really nice scenery and features easy to moderate riding. Parking is available at The Tait Road Parking Lot.


Harlem Valley Rail Trail

This is a great family-friendly rail trail that starts in Wassaic and ends in Millerton. Make sure to take some time to explore the charming town of Millerton that features restaurants and shops including Harney & Sons Tea and Irving Farm New York. There are 10.5 miles of paved trail from Wassaic to Millerton with construction on new additions to the trail going north in process. A trail overview can be found here.

Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

This 54-mile trail starts in New Haven and goes North all the way towards the Massachusetts border. There are north and south sections of the trail and ample parking in various lots along the trail. Try this parking lot in Hamden near Sleeping Giant State Park for a convenient place to park near some of the scenic trail areas.


Dutchess Rail Trail

This 13-mile trail starts at the former Hopewell Junction train depot and continues north to the Poughkeepsie entrance of the Walkway over the Hudson. Bikes are allowed on the Walkway over the Hudson which is another 1.6 miles.


Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail

This 20-mile trail has mostly paved sections that are great for families and runs north-south from Cold Spring Harbor to the Massapequa Preserve. Try parking in Plainview and ride south into the Massapequa Preserve.



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