Author Topic: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty  (Read 5329 times)

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Offline rcrampton

Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« on: July 08, 2009, 10:12:28 am »
My brother and I are looking to do a self-supported tour this fall and the Adirondack Loop cams up as an idea. We're both more rails to trails type guys, we don't really enjoy climbing mountains all day, but road tours with some traffic don't bother us any. How would you rate the Adirondack Park Loop route from a difficulty perspective?

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 10:44:42 am »
I have not ridden the route, although I hope to ride part of it next summer. However, I have driven much of it many times, when I lived in New York. I told the folks at ACA that the climb from Keene to Lake Placid, if you are going counter-clockwise on the loop, (Map Panel 6) is going to be a BEAR. (It would be a wonderful glide downhill though, the other way!) It is scenic (even beautiful) but it is an arduous climb, 13 miles uphill, on a very narrow, heavily traveled road. There are only three main ways into Placid, and Hwy 73 is the busiest, most direct route coming from the Northway, and ultimately Albany and NYC. Taking 9N to Wilmington would eliminate much of the climb, if I remember right, but it would also eliminate Lake Placid unless you double back.

I keep hoping someone will ride the entire loop and either post up here or have an article published in Adventure Cyclist. That would give us all a better idea about the joys and rigors of the route.

Ride safe,
Hans
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 10:49:36 am by Trailpatrol »
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Offline JayH

Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 11:27:00 am »
Ditto what Hans said about the climb up Rt 73 from Keene. As an alternative, you can ride up 9N towards Upper Jay and Jay and eventually Wilmington to get to 86 which will take you to Lake Placid. There are back ways to shorten the trip if you so feel like and there is a short cut that avoids going into downtown Lake Placid that brings you back to 73...

Springfield and Fox Farm road can be used to shorten the route to LP (there are a few steep hills on Springfield and somewhat narrow roads).


There are still hills but not like the one out of Keene... The ironman triathlon route goes down that hill to Keene and then north on 9N to get to 86 in Wilmington..

Jay

Offline danacf

Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 10:50:20 pm »
The difficulty rating of climbs is all relative, but I respectfully disagree with the "bear" label of the climb from Keene Valley to Lake Placid.  The climb is 1200 vertical feet over quite a few miles.  It's a climb and work is required, but there are many climbs in the Rockies and in Vermont and New Hampshire that are much more difficult.  Some sections of the climb have a third passing lane which makes it easy to stay out of traffic.  One notable very steep hill on the ACA route is just west of Wilmington.  The road runs up toward the back side of Whiteface.  The road to the summit of Whiteface splits off from the ACA route about where you crest the hill.  The good news is that it is not that long, my recollection being about 1 1/2 miles.  I have not ridden the entire route, but have ridden many sections at one time or another.  It is in the Adirondack Mountains, but it's very doable if you are in decent shape and have proper gearing.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 12:59:14 am »
When I grew up, lived in and loved the Adirondack Mountains (?) I was a backpacker and a SAR volunteer. Now I live in Minnesota, where it is not nearly as hilly. I started riding as an adult here, about 16 years ago. I have ridden MTB in the Old Forge area's TOBIE trails, and some of my old haunts when I was there about 4 years ago. For me, a mere mortal, that hill would be a mean ol' grizzly BEAR. But then again, I plan to ride the Lolo Trail from Powell to Kamiah some day on the Lewis and Clark. A "bear and a half" with real ones thrown in for good measure, but I digress.

Part of the problem with the Hwy. 73 hill is not just the elevation gain, but as I stated, the narrow mountain road and heavy traffic. All in all, not a great combo.

Ride safe,
Hans
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Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 07:15:46 am »
... there are many climbs in the Rockies and in Vermont and New Hampshire that are much more difficult... It is in the Adirondack Mountains, but it's very doable if you are in decent shape and have proper gearing.
Having ridden it more than once, I agree with danacf 100%. I just ran a quick profile off the topo map. The climb starts right out of Keene and rises 1200 feet in 4.5 miles, a 5% grade. So what if it takes you an hour out of a multi-day ride? The gorgeous views as you approach the defile between Cascade and Pitchoff will distract you and once you get there, the Cascade Lakes and cliffs are great.

Fred

Offline JayH

Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 07:16:50 am »
As stated, 73 has a passsing lane, and I wouldn't be too concerned about narrowness, at least IMO. Rt 86 has some narrow and twisty sections too, and 1 less lane going towards lake placid as compared to 73, but it's always good to have alternatives.  I loved the bike along the ausable river between Keene and Upper Jay, it's just a great part to enjoy.    

I hope this doesn't discourage anybody wanting to do ANY route, I wouldn't hesitate to do either section but lets just leave it out there as an alternative or option when riding around the high peaks region of the ADKs.  

Another great section to ride is Rt 30 between Tupper and Long Lake, just nice forests and a nice road...

Jay

Offline rcrampton

Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 09:11:49 am »
Thanks for the feedback guys. It sounds like there's at least a decent grunt of a climb but it's not an overbearing route to ride. If we think we're interested in making the drive up to NY then I'll buy the maps from ACA and get the detailed scoop.

Thanks again,
Ray

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2009, 12:41:12 pm »
Another great section to ride is Rt 30 between Tupper and Long Lake, just nice forests and a nice road... Jay

On that one I totally agree. That was always one of my favorite stretches of road in the 'Dacks, even before I was a cyclist, and I intend to ride it, hopefully in 2010.

Another alternate that I used to love to drive, and may try to ride when I am back east again, is Hwy 28N from Long Lake to Newcomb, and then the Blue Ridge/Boreas Rd. from Newcomb to North Hudson, along the south side of the High Peaks Wilderness. You can also divert and take an out-and-back to Tahawus and the old iron works.

Do they still allow bikes on the road into Santanoni?

Ride safe,
Hans
The Two-Wheeled Explorer: Ride the River
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Offline JayH

Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2009, 03:46:57 pm »
Hans, Re: Santanoni- I think so, I just googled it:

http://www.newcombny.com/newsantanonigreatcamp.html

And it sounds like it is open to bikes in the summer time, probably could XC ski it in winter...   

Yes, the Blue Ridge parkway is excellent for cycling, in fact, I have seen cyclotourists on that road before on the way to Newcomb.     

Jay

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 06:51:28 pm »
Cool! Thank you; It's on my intinerary now.

Hans
The Two-Wheeled Explorer: Ride the River
www.twowheeledexplorer.org
"Every person has a river to ride...you are to Ride the River."--Pr. Larry Christenson

Offline mdunfey

Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2009, 10:20:47 pm »
For those of you who have done this loop, how many days did it take you? If you are an avid road biker, would it be reasonable to complete the ride in 4 days (100 mi./day)?

Offline JayH

Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2009, 07:53:47 am »
Fully Loaded? or CC touring?

I wouldn't ever say anything is impossible, and I don't pretend to have really looked at where the ADK loop goes, but I would suspect with good weather, it is quite possible to average 100m. per day.   Although you'd be either cutting it close or having to miss out on great scenery if you get a bad weather day.  So, I think if you're an avid cyclist, 100 miles per day is certainly doable there. You have all day, is my motto...

Jay