Author Topic: Bicycling from Buffalo NY to Lititz PA - looking for advice on routes  (Read 2783 times)

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Offline SteepJeep

I am planning a two week trip from South Bend IN to Lititz PA, riding across Ontario, crossing the border into Buffalo NY.  I leave home July 5. Google Maps shows very little green in New York, and I'm looking for advice as to the best routes.  I am camping (will motel it when necessary) and will need to be near campgrounds.  I will be glad for any help given.

Offline paddleboy17

I am planning a two week trip from South Bend IN to Lititz PA, riding across Ontario, crossing the border into Buffalo NY.  I leave home July 5. Google Maps shows very little green in New York, and I'm looking for advice as to the best routes.  I am camping (will motel it when necessary) and will need to be near campgrounds.  I will be glad for any help given.

Both New York and Pennsylvania have a set of state sponsored bicycle routes.  From Buffalo, it looks like you could take the Erie Canal route east to Lyons, NY Bike Route 14 south to Emira,  NY Bike Route 17 east to Binghamton,  NY Bike Route 11 south, somehow you have to connect with PA Route L,  and that takes you pretty close to where you want to get.  I have ridden the Erie Canal route and PA Route G.  Both were excellent.  I am sure you can do this.
Danno

indyfabz

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Here is a link to the signed PA bike routes:

http://www.pahighways.com/other/bicyclepa.html

Within each inidivudla route you can click on each segment to get detail.

Unfortunately, the maps don't show mileages or the locations of campgrounds, but you can work around that. In planning trips using Routes S and V, I first mapped them out using an on line proogram (Bikely, MapMyRide, etc.). Once I had the mileages, I searched Google Maps for campgrounds in areas that I thought would be reasonable riding distances each day. You can do this by picking a town and, in Google Maps, searching "campgrounds near [name of town]" Zooming out will expand the search results. Also, where you see a PA state park on the map, you can check the park's web page to see if it offers camping.

One option from Buffalo is to head SW to Erie. From there, it's not too far to PA Route Y, which goes along the northern tier of the state. While it may be out of the way, you could then pick up Route G south and then Route S in Bedford, PA. Route S will take you through Columbia, PA and Lancatser, not too far from Lititz. I found a decent amount of camping on Route S east of Bedford, inlcuding two very nice state parks--Cowan's Gap and Caledonia. One you get to Cowan's Gap, the route east is not all that hilly. Going this way also gives you the opportunity to ride a portion of the abandoned section of the PA Turnpike east from Breezewood. It's a neat ride of about 8.5 miles. Completely car-free. It's got a post-apocalyptic feel to it, which is why it was used in the film "The Road," starring Vigo Mortensen. I saw to walkers when I rode it one weekeday afternoon. The road surface is a little choppy in places, but I had no problem on 32c tires with a full load. The only caveat is that there are two unlit tunnels. Heading east, the first one is about 3,800' in length. The second is about a mile and has a crown closer to the eatsrn portal, which means you literally cannot see the light at the end until you get closer to it. A good light is a must. My 120 lumen head lamp was fine. Surprisingly, there was almost no debris inside the tunnels. You can still see the median stripes so you can just follow them. When you reach the end of the rideable section, not long after the eastern portal of the second tunnel, one left and a short hill climb puts you back on Route S. Going this was avoids a sttep climb out of Brezewood.

Don't know what you plan on averaging a day, but from Bedford you could stay at Cowan's Gap then E. Berlin (campground maybe 3.5 miles off route) and then easily make it Lititz on the third day.

Send me a PM if you would like more info about the Route S option and the turnpike.