13 mile beginner route (includes ferry ride)
Starts in Lower Manhattan ends at the St. George Terminal, SI.
A- Whitehall Terminal
B- St. George Ferry Terminal
D- Ralph's Famous Italian Ices
E- 777 Front Street
F- Von Brieson Park
G- Alice Austen House
H- Flagship Brewery
This 13 mile route is great for a beginner, taking you on some low stress streets in Staten Island. First, you have to get to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, how you get there is up to you. If coming by bike from Brooklyn or Queens, take the East River Greenway from any of the East River bridges. The East River Greenway is a great piece of bicycle infrastructure which is completely separated from car traffic, just watch out for some of the parts which are already eroding into the East River! You can also get to the ferry terminal by train, or by another connecting ferry to Pier 1. Once at the Ferry Terminal, make sure to enter the bicycle waiting area at the bottom, then hop on the Staten Island ferry. The ferry comes every 30 minutes, and the best part is, it is free! I love soaking in the view from the ferry, I suggest locking up your bike at one of the bike racks located on the first floor of the ferry and then walking up to the upper decks. There are usually enough people there with bikes that you don't need to worry about your bicycle being stolen or messed with (it would also be very difficult for someone to try to steal your bicycle on a boat). Enjoy the 20 minutes or so of the breeze in your face, and apply your sunblock for your ride!
The first stop on your ride is Staten Island's Little Sri Lanka, a small strip of Sri Lankan restaurants, in a neighborhood that is home to over 5,000 people of Sri Lankan descent! I ate at Lakruwana, and I definitely suggest it. I had a delicious and filling lunch of a variety of curries wrapped up in a banana leaf. They had a cute outdoor setup, though I was sad to miss eating inside where there are walls full of murals and sculptures (I recommend asking to use the bathroom to at least get a peak at it). Leave some room, because your next stop on the route is Ralph's Italian Ice's for a frosty treat! Ralph's was started in 1928 by an Italian immigrant to Staten Island, with the first brick and mortar location opened in Port Richmond in 1949. This Italian Ice is a piece of Staten Island history!
On my ride, I was able to book a kayak tour with Kayak Staten Island. They are working with the Gowanus Dredgers and Staten Island MakerSpace to provide free kayaking on the North Shore. It's worth checking out there Facebook page before you go to see if they have any tours available, and sign up in advance!
For the next stops on your route, I suggest stopping by the Alice Austen House and Von Brieson Park. Alice Austen was one of the first female photographers to work outside of a studio, and according to the website, she rode her photography equipment around on a bicycle(!!) and took pictures of NYC street life. The museum was closed when I was there, but even the grounds of the house were worth checking out and offer some great views of the Manhattan skyline.
Von Brieson Park was also beautiful, and again, offers great views of Lower Manhattan as well as of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Fort Wadsworth. I also enjoyed the view of all the boats that passed by! Robert Moses was responsible for turning this former estate land of Arthur Von Brieson into a park, after demolishing the remaining structures. It's worth a visit, as it is very serene, but full of large trees and a walking path that loops around the whole park. After that, you can continue your exploration of the North Shore, or head back in the direction of the ferry terminal. Before you head back on the ferry (or to a different part of Staten Island if that is your home borough), I recommend a stop by the Flagship Brewing Company.
Hi! I'm Rachel.
I'm creating curated bike routes in all 5 boroughs of NYC. Routes include downloadable route map, descriptions of the bicycle infrastructure, and suggestions on places to eat and things to see. Enjoy!