Author Topic: Adirondack Cycling  (Read 12230 times)

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Offline brad

Adirondack Cycling
« on: March 09, 2005, 07:33:39 am »
Anyone here toured extensively in the adirondack, finger lakes, and lake champlain area? I thinking of touring there this summer with my theme of reading the leather stocking tales.

just curious on what the conditions might be like. only time i've been that way was to go rock climbing at the 'gunks back in 2001.

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener


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Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2005, 11:30:19 am »
Hi Brad. All three, for many years. Thumbnail descriptions:

Finger Lakes are lovely in summer, easy when riding parallel to the lakes, hard when crossing the grain. If you like wine, allow an extra hour or two each day to visit a winery. Most of them are high on the hillsides, rewarding your climb with a nice view while you sip and talk.

Adirondacks are, perhaps surprisingly, easier cycling than Finger Lakes. Their scenery is more grand, although nothing like the Rockies. Busy with tourists in season, better for cyclists after Labor Day if you can manage it. Even in summer, though, most of the roads have excellent shoulders, many marked as bike lanes. After riding the Northern Tier route there in the summer, I scored northern NY tops for the best cycling roads (Michigan was worst).

The Champlain Valley is the easiest riding of the three. Open to views of the lake, the Adirondacks, and the Green Mountains, especially on the Vermont side, it has the best non-stop scenery of the three. Plan on including a ferry or two in a loop ride. Fares from $2.50 to $5.00 depend on length; the premium trip gets you and your bike a one-hour cruise. Adventure Cycling's Green Mountains Loop map has routes on both sides with the customary useful information. Recommended.


Offline brad

Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2005, 03:39:57 pm »
Thanks for the information, i would really like to ride that area someday soon. How did you the camping? I know in new paltz it was a bit crowded.

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline Peaks

Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2005, 08:29:03 pm »
Well, like Fred, the only real cycling that I have done in this part of the country was when I went through on the Northern Tier last summer.  I have done a lot more hiking and skiing in this area than biking.

My wife and I just signed up for the Bon Ton Roulet (7 days & 350 miles in the finger lakes area (  We are looking forward to that.

We are also thinking about the Green Mountain Loop this summer.  

This is ample good cycling in all of the Northeast states.  There are several outfitters that will do sag or support.  In Vermont, check out inn-to-inn.


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Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2005, 11:13:20 am »
How did you the camping? I know in new paltz it was a bit crowded.
All three areas abound in campgrounds, both private and state park. The popular ADK ones do fill up quickly in season, so call ahead to ask about a site.

Your mention of the 'gunks brought a few memories. I practiced there in the 60s when our aid was--gasp!--pitons.


Offline valygrl

Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2005, 02:34:14 pm »
Fred and Brad - just want to say "hi" from another cyclist/climber....  my first time climbing at the gunks was this last October, after finishing my XC tour.... nice place!  Looking forward to cycling around there some time.  

Anyone ever ride with their climbing gear?

Sorry for the thread hijack...


Offline brad

Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2005, 03:41:01 am »
i am really interested in doing some touring and climbing. i figure a BOB would be perfect for hauling gear using panniers for your camping equipment.
i remember about eight years ago in Climbing Magazine where a couple was crossing the country on a tandem rock climbing in all the states they went through to raise money for the Access Fund. Of course there is also Goran Kropp who cycled from sweden to nepal, solo'd everest and then cycled home.
I would like to do a cycling camping trip but i just don't have the time right now. I have to do one or the other.

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2005, 12:23:03 pm »
Check out for info on both road and mountain biking in the Adirondacks. I'm a park ranger in Minnesota, who can trace my desire to become a ranger back to two summers at a summer camp outside of Old Forge. We used to have a cabin up near North Hudson when I lived in Cortland. I hope to visit the Adirondacks this summer, for the first time in 17 years.

Ride safe,

Hans Erdman, WEMT
Backcountry Trail Patrol-MN
2WX: The Two-Wheeled Explorer
"St. Louis to the Western Sea if nothing prevents."--John Ordway, Corps of Discovery

Offline JayH

Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2005, 11:24:12 am »
Hans, wow, you're in for some changes. 17 years is a lot of time in the ADKs. You'll find a lot more (winter)rules and regulations in the ADKs, a huge bear problem, and a lot of popularity.  But it's still an awesome place. This would be an interesting year for Lake Placid as it's the 25th anniversary, the Miracle on Ice, etc. etc.  

Enjoy the trip!


Offline 'BentRider

Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2005, 06:43:39 am »
I live in the Finger Lakes region.  I'm a bit biassed of course but I think it's one of the best regions for cycling in the United States.  Great scenery, great wine and it's not too flooded with tourists yet.  The hills are usually shortish but very steep if you're going east-west instead of north-south.  Camping is plentiful.

Offline bikesnotcars

Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2005, 11:39:49 pm »
I used to live in Johnstown, its in the foothills of the Adirondacks.  I live in TX now and I go to NY every August for the month and do nothing but ride.  The roads are awesome.  Last August it was cold and I had to wear arm warmers and leg warmers.  It also rained alot.  Rt 30 cuts up the middle of the mountains and has about 3ft to 12ft shoulders.  The town of Mayfield has crappy shoulders for about 2 miles.  Camping is awesome everywhere in the park.  Some campsites can be expensive, but if your tenting it, it will be the cheapest price.  Once your about 20 miles into the mountains from the south watch for racoons and bears they will eat your food.  Speculator has a great pizza place I always stop at.  It's on the corner of Rt 30 and Rt8.  There are some areas you don't want to stray off the beaten path.  It's mostly north of the Sacondoga Lake, near the Conklingville Dam.  The locals let you ride on the main roads but don't go off.  It's like something out of deliverance. The local bike shop in Johnstown is The Bike Works.  518-762-1342.  There's also a shop in lake placid.  As far as the finger lake I've haven't ridden there.  But I do now Rt5 and Rt5s are bike route so traffic and the locals are familiar with cyclists.  Both these roads have good shoulders and go on either side of the Mohawk River.  Any more question feel free to email me.

Offline Luca

Adirondack Cycling
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2005, 06:42:23 am »
Hello Brad. Through the latter half of August into early September of
2004, I rode through the Adirondacks enroute to Atlantic seaboard.
Heading east from Watertown I followed Rte 3 to Saranac Lake; then
Rte 86 as far as the junction of Rte. 9N, which led me through
Elizabethtown and eventually to the south-western shore of Lake
Champlain. Through the journey I free-camped  exclusively -- a two
night stay in an Saranac Lake inn (accommodation here was a room)
being the sole exception.

Here are my impressions
   • I was surprised how cold the nights were in the mountains.
Once I was in the Adirondacks proper temperatures at night dipped to
6 degrees (C). At the time, locals commented on how unseasonably
cool the weather was, so I hesitate to consider these temperatures as
normal. Still, you'd do well to err on the side of prudence and pack that
extra sweater.
   • Heading east from Watertown, I found the scenery pleasant, if
not dramatic, up to the Upper/Lower/Middle Saranac Lake area: then
the natural beauty of the region exhilarated. Generally, the roads were
ideal for cycling: wide shoulders, and recently surfaced (Rte 3).
   • Although, I didn't ride any, there are numerous ATV/
Snowmobile trails which, I assume, make great MTB trails.
   • My ride through spanned from weekend to weekend. This was a
revelation: the discrepancy in the densities of tourists on weekdays as
opposed to weekends was astounding. The town Tupper Lake comes to
mind: on the weekend I pedalled through the place was a zoo. A virtual
armada of RVs had deployed there. (I was almost run over in the
parking lot of Tops supermarket by a befuddled blue-hair at the wheel
of a titanic Winnebago)
   • Off the main routes are you'll find dilapidated mill-towns
(Newton Falls) -- most in extremis. Don't plan on provisioning yourself
among these; you'll be lucky to extract a smile and a friendly wave
from a local.