Take a ride on the wild side and help Stewart State Forest

New Windsor. Grab your bike and cruise the rolling ridges and country roads at the 20th annual Stewart State Forest Bike Tour on Sunday, June 2.

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The Stewart Park and Reserve Coalition (SPARC) is holding its 20th annual Stewart State Forest Bike Tour on Sunday, June 2.

SPARC has teamed up with the Wheel and Heel Bike Shop, Boy Scout Troop 125, and other area Scouts in presenting this iconic bike tour. Grab your mountain bikes or hybrids and gear up to ride the rolling ridges, old country roads, and forest trails in the 6,700-acre forest.

The ride is a fundraiser for SPARC, which save the forest from development in 2005. Proceeds will help SPARC continue its advocacy for the forest.

A green oasis

This scenic green oasis, just minutes from major highways, is open for all levels of riders, from family to advanced riders. It’s a great opportunity for you to discover the forest if you haven’t been there. If you're an experienced rider it’s a great day to have fun, meet fellow riders, and enjoy great food while enjoying the community spirit.

It's a carefree, make-your-own pace, off-road kind of ride. Feel the rush of cool breezes as you pass ponds and wetlands. You might scoot down well-marked dirt trails beckoning you to explore and get dirty, or splash through streams deep in the cool woodlands. Some of the trails rise above the forest on ridges where you can scour the treetops for hawks and birds or the forest floor for wildlife.

Rides, pies, and massages

The three levels of rides — 8.5 miles, 11 miles, and 19 miles — will be on well-marked trails and old country roads. Registered riders will be provided with maps.

Upon arrival participants can expect fruit, bagels, coffee, and tea. Get your bike a last-minute checkup by the staff of Wheel and Heel if you need it.

When you finish your ride, have lunch featuring pasture-raised beef hamburgers, local farm pie, and ice cream. Get a mini-massage to ease those tired muscles.

There will be a silent auction for a new Trek Mtn Bike, compliments of Wheel and Heel.

Raffle items will be made available by the event's sponsors. There will be a nature table and others with groups that use the forest. Past riders like this tour so much they return year after year.

Essential information

Pre-register online or by mail: go to BikeReg.com/Stewart-State-Forest-Bike-Tour.

The adult preregistration fee is $40 for adults, $15 for youngsters ages 8 to 14, free for children under 8.

The day of registration is $45 for adults.

Start times are 8:30 a.m. for advanced riders, 9 a.m. for families and intermediate-level riders.

To get to Stewart State Forest take Route 17K east from Route 208 (Montgomery) or west from Route 300 (Newburgh). Just west of intersection of Coldenham Road. and 17K, turn south onto Ridge Road for 9/10 of a mile, crossing bridge over I-84. follow signs to registration and staging area at Ridge Road. There will be ample parking at the trail head.

For more information contact Sandra Kissam, President of SPARC, at 845-564-3018, or email sparc@frontiernet.net. Or write to SPARC Bike Tour, P.O. Box 90, Blooming Grove, NY 10914.

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