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sprain ridge park

The park’s 278 acres include two picnic areas. The remainder of the park is heavily wooded, with a variety of hiking and mountain bike trails.

Sprain Ridge Park is named for its location on a ridge between the northbound and southbound lanes of the Sprain Brook Parkway. There are several theories as to the origin of the name “Sprain.” It appears in the Greenburgh town records as early as 1743. Some think it is a corruption of the Indian title, “Armenperal” or “Armonsperahin.” Others say it refers to “spraints,” a word for otter dung, as there used to be many otters in the area. Also, to “sprain” is to sow seeds by hand, and possibly the grass around Grassy Sprain had been hand sown.

This land was acquired by the county in 1965 from the Boyce Thompson Institute, a botanical research center. It therefore houses many unusual and exotic woodland plants. The Thompsons were an old Yonkers family that made their fortune in mining.

The park has terrain that will suit the beginner to the advanced rider. It’s an ideal park for Single speed bikes as the elevations are minimal. That’s not to say there aren’t climbs – there are. Some of the most technical riding in Westchester resides in the park thanks to numerous tree falls, rock formations and tight trail layout.

Check out this great video review of Sprain Ridge Park’s trails.

Trail Map provided by Westchester Mountain Bike Association

 

 

Download Trail Map PDF

Stef’s Recommendation

Sprain tends to be ridden by most people, myself included, as an out-and-back loop. The park is divided down the middle by Boyce Thompson Lane (BTL), a former road, now a rocky double-track access trail. The trails to the east side of BTL are far more numerous and extend to the far south end of the park where they meet the Sprain Ridge Shopping Center. On the west side of BTL, the trails all terminate on the double track as you head south about halfway into the park. The map is a bit dated; we mapped the park last fall and uploaded our information to the OpenCycleMap project (along with maps for Graham Hills and Blue Mountain and portions of the Yorktown Trail Network).

I like to start out rides here by warming up on the North Brother’s Loop starting from the south-west corner of the parking lot. You’ll end up at the trail junction at the north-east corner of the main lot at the end of this loop. From here, you can continue a climb up Sprain’s Slick Rock trail. After the steep descent at the end of the Slick Rock trail, you begin the climb up to Erik’s Over the Log. At the access road near the false summit of this climb, you can hang a right and head to some of the switchback trails that parallel the grilling/tent area. If you continue straight, you’ll soon come to another intersection where you can stay left and continue on Erik’s Over the Log, or once again, find one of the trails that now parallel BTL. By staying left, you’ll also have the opportunity to pick up the entrance on the left to the infamous “Sandro’s” trail that, although unapproved by the parks department, continues to be a great and well-ridden trail on the out-of-bounds side of the park.

At the end of Erik’s Over the Log, you’ll end up at the north side of the mid-park bridge on BTL. Heading down into the ravine on the east side will take you down into one of the trails cut for the local NICA and trail-running events, also called the Valley Trail. Getting on BTL and heading south over the bridge, you’ll soon come to the end of the trails on the west side of the park and to the east you’ll see a climb up to the triple-drop feature which also is the start of the Thompson Trail and the fun descent-style connector to the Valley Trail. Both the Thompson Trail and Valley Trail end near the bottom of the Boyce Run trail/loop. Taking this trail will eventually put you on a climb that ends up near the roller that’s in the middle of the South Loop. You can also forego Boyce Run, and just ride BTL to the South Loop entrance at the end of BTL. After completing the South Loop, it’s a climb back up BTL or the Thompson Trail to the south end of the west side trails near the Triple Drop.

Making a left onto the Thruway Trail, you can just continue bearing left and head back to the parking lot area, or bear right shortly after the start of the trail and hop onto the Otter Ramble or the Stone Bridge Trail. If you stay on the Thruway Trail, you can also keep an eye out for a trail that bears off to the left about halfway back to the lot. The “Yokohama” trail, as we like to call it for the series of Yokohama tires at the north end of the trail, is a fun off-camber switchback alternative that meets up with the entrance to Otter Ramble at the closed middle parking lot.