Adirondack Park Loop

Adirondack Park Loop
Albany, NY to Albany, NY
1 Map Set (394.0 mi.)
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1. Albany, NY to Albany, NY (394 mi.) Detail |Addenda

Downloadable Map

When you purchase the downloadable Adirondack Park Loop map, you will be sent an email that includes a link allowing you to download the Adobe PDF file. You will need an up-to-date version of Adobe Acrobat to open and view the file.

Explore Adirondack Park by bicycle.

The Adirondack Park Loop is almost entirely within the boundaries of the Adirondack Park. Starting just outside of Schenectady, New York, in Niskayuna, the route travels north through Saratoga Springs before crossing the “Blue Line," the term that many locals and frequent visitors use for crossing the boundary into the park. Adirondack Park is the largest publicly protected area in the lower forty-eight states, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon national parks combined.

The loop gives an excellent representation of what northern New York has to offer. There is no shortage of beautiful scenery along the route as it travels mostly on roads with very little traffic. The route passes over rolling hills of rural farmland and historic battlefields, through quaint towns, and climbs to some of the highest elevation points in the state.

This loop begins and ends at Lyons Park in the town of Niskayuna. You’ll follow the Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway along the Mohawk River for some traffic-free riding to start the trip. After crossing the river and riding the first twenty-one miles, you’ll need to decide to ride clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Heading counter-clockwise, the bicycle enthusiast might get excited about riding through Saratoga Springs, which is the home of the Serotta Bicycle Factory. Tours available from 9:00 to 5:00, Monday through Friday. The other claim to fame for Saratoga Springs is the Saratoga Race Course, said to be the oldest continually operational sports venue of any kind in the country. Directly across the street from the race track is the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, located at 191 Union Ave. There you can learn about stories like how the legendary Man O’ War lost the only race of his career to a horse named “Upset.”

Continuing north from Saratoga Springs, it’s a short 15 miles before entering the Adirondack Park. Half of the acreage of the park belongs to all of the people of New York State and is constitutionally protected to remain “forever wild.” The remaining half is private land that includes farms, businesses and homes.

Past Ticonderoga, the route starts to hug the shore of Lake Champlain. While there won’t be a notation along the actual roadway, you’ve also just joined up with Adventure Cycling’s Green Mountains Loop. Arriving in Port Henry, there is an optional spur route that continues north along Lake Champlain to Port Kent. Here you can take a ferry to Burlington, Vermont. The ferry, which runs five times a day in the spring and fall and nine times a day in the height of the summer, takes an hour and ten minutes to cross Lake Champlain. It should be noted that the ferry only operates from the end of May until the middle of October.

Staying on the main route, you will soon encounter Lake Placid. Most everyone associates Lake Placid with the Olympics, and for good reason, because the small town of 2,500 people has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. There is a host of activities to see and do around the town that are associated with the Olympics, from watching ski jumpers fly off of ramps into a pool of water, to seeing ice skaters practice pirouettes in the historic ice arenas. Combine all of this with the many hotels, restaurants and coffee shops, and Lake Placid is a great place to spend an extra day or two.

The route continues to travel through smaller towns. And while they might not have the notoriety of Lake Placid, they are quaint, scenic towns in their own right. Tupper Lake is home to the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, and Blue Mountain Lake is home to the Adirondack Museum. Both places are a must see for park enthusiasts.

After leaving the park traffic increases so use caution. Twenty miles or so after Gloversville, you arrive back at the point where you had to choose your direction of travel.

Photo by Dennis Coello

The loop gives an excellent representation of what northern New York has to offer. There is no shortage of beautiful scenery along the route as it travels mostly on roads with very little traffic. The route passes over rolling hills of rural farmland and historic battlefields, through quaint towns, and climbs to some of the highest elevation points in the state.

This route can be ridden anytime between late spring to mid-fall.

Even though the route travels through smaller towns in the park, there are a plethora of services that cater to tourists. Some cyclists may want to do this route during the colors of autumn. If you do, call ahead to verify campgrounds because many close after Labor Day. If staying indoors, or at campgrounds, advance reservations are recommended, especially on weekends.



  • Adirondack Park
  • Serotta Bicycle Factory
  • Lake Placid

 

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