This route starts out at Stella’s Station in Saugerties, a seasonal old-fashioned sports bar/ice cream parlor, which is packed with bikers from Memorial Day through Labor Day. From there, the trail heads west out of town and quickly joins up with the infamous Platte Clove Road, also known as County Route 16. This narrow, twisting, two-lane highway — with no guard rails — climbs 1,200 feet in just 1.4 miles on its way to the top of Platte Clove Mountain and the area known as Devil’s Kitchen. On the way up it borders 12 waterfalls. You have to dismount and hike a bit in order to see them, but it’s worth the effort and you’ll be rewarded with a number of swimming holes. (Extreme caution is advised; accidents do occur.) If you are a fan of the Hudson River School of painting, you may well recognize some of the stunning spots captured by the likes of Thomas Cole.
The road then plateaus on top of the mountain, offering open spaces and beautiful vistas. I cruise through the quaint resort town of Tannersville before heading down the mountain on Route 23A. I stop at both the world-famous Kaaterskill Falls and Haines Falls, home of one the region’s very best swimming holes. I finish the ride at the 1869 Saugerties Lighthouse, where I sit for a moment of contemplation on the banks of the Hudson.
The swimming hole at Haines Falls and the Saugerties Lighthouse are popular tourist spots.