Author Topic: northern tier route Aug to Oct.  (Read 2093 times)

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Offline lisaj

northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« on: January 09, 2013, 11:16:27 pm »
I am thinking of doing the Northern Tier route from west to east starting in late August.  Has anyone done this?  What are the weather concerns at this time?   Are campgrounds open in New England after Labor Day?  I think it would be great to ride through New England in the Fall.

Offline jamawani

Re: northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 11:29:09 pm »
Lisa -

I've done a couple of fall cross-country trips.
I started both in the Northwest - - BUT I headed southeast.

Already by mid-August the days are getting shorter.
They really get shorter after Labor Day.

Doing the entire Northern Tier in the fall in 10 weeks would be a stretch.
But doing a modified route ending in the Mid Atlantic would be quite possible.

If you wanted to stick exclusively to Adventure Cycling routes - -
How about - Northern Tier, Lewis & Clark, Trans Am?
Plenty of other possibilities.

Offline John Nelson

Re: northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 09:47:07 am »
One advantage is that private campgrounds would tend to be less expensive in the autumn. I passed through New England in August, and the prices were sky high because it was still high season. They were just about to drop, however.

About campgrounds on the Northern Tier, the ACA says, "Some cyclists may want to do the eastern portions of this route during the colors of autumn. If you do, call ahead to verify campgrounds because many close after Labor Day."

As far as weather in New England, use Rochester, VT (on the NT route) as an example. In October 2012, the high for the month was 76, low was 24. Average high was 60, average low was 40. There was no snow there in October 2012, but they got 3 inches in October 2011 (all in one day). Of course, 2011 in New England was a year of record precipitation. It sounds doable to me.

About the Green Mountains Loop in Vermont, the ACA says, "Generally, the cycling season in the region can be extended into mid October as long as you're prepared for cool, crisp mornings and brisk evenings."

I did the NT in 9 weeks, but I had the benefit of long days. Up north, the days before the equinox are longer than down south, but the days after the equinox are shorter. By the end of October, there's only 10 hours between sunrise and sunset in Bar Harbor.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 10:04:06 am by John Nelson »

Offline dkoloko

Re: northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 01:23:27 pm »
I finsihed Northern Tier in Oct, 2003, riding west to east. I finished before maximum fall foliage color. I encounterd hurricane winds, hail, torrential rain, and snow flurries, with temperature down to the 20s. Many campgrounds were closed.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 06:00:01 pm »
I finsihed Northern Tier in Oct, 2003, riding west to east. I finished before maximum fall foliage color. I encounterd hurricane winds, hail, torrential rain, and snow flurries, with temperature down to the 20s. Many campgrounds were closed.

You don't make the NorthEast sound very pleasant for bicycling in the fall.  Personally, I think once you get outside the May-September period, you can easily experience bad weather anywhere in the north half of the country.  May can be wet and cold.  June-July-August can be hot and windy.  But the vast majority of the time the days are pleasant for riding.  I would not plan a vacation of riding in the NE or NW for October.  Or the upper midwest states.

Offline indyfabz

Re: northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 10:28:58 am »
I finsihed Northern Tier in Oct, 2003, riding west to east. I finished before maximum fall foliage color. I encounterd hurricane winds, hail, torrential rain, and snow flurries, with temperature down to the 20s. Many campgrounds were closed.

Yeah. That part of northern New York and New England can go either way at that time. Snow in the Adirondaks is quite possible. We finsihed in August and had cold nights in that area, and many campgrounds start to shut down after Labor Day. And it was very cold and wet crossing Kangamagus.

Offline John Nelson

Re: northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 10:39:43 am »
it was very cold and wet crossing Kangamagus.
For me, it was cold and wet crossing Kancamagus in August.

Offline davidldonaldson

Re: northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 01:38:55 pm »
Living here in an Alaskan rainforest will teach you that what one person considers ride-able is another persons monsoon.  Plan for the worst, hope for the best and go have fun on your bike.

Happy Trails

Offline jimbo

Re: northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 08:33:17 pm »
Lisa,
In 2008 we started in Anacortes 8/20 and finished in Southern ME 10/20. We had very good Fall weather in the East  ( not much rain) but very cold mornings the last few weeks and difficult to find campgrounds that were open after Oct.1 Private campgrounds will be your best bet and depending on the route and how isolated it is you may not find them open either. The potential for misery with camping that  late in the Fall is high. Plan to have options that do not involve camping if you can. NT is a great route and you can shorten it up if need be. Enjoy the trip.

Offline John Nelson