Upstate New York Adirondacks
This tour is set almost entirely within New York’s Adirondack Park — the largest publicly protected area in the Lower 48 and greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon national parks combined! On this adventure, we’ll traverse farmlands and historic battlefields, linger in quaint towns, enjoy low-traffic roads, and climb to some of the highest points in the Northeast.
Despite the rural nature of the route, we’ll visit a rich lode of civilized destinations, including Saratoga Springs, famous in horse-racing circles; Lake Placid, site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games; and historic Fort Ticonderoga and Lake Champlain, backed by the Green Mountains of neighboring Vermont. Add to the mix the rugged beauty of the Adirondacks and the camaraderie unique to a self-contained tour, and you have one of the most inviting cycling adventures in North America.
"Our leaders had their 'stuff' together; great organization!"
Day 1. Saratoga Springs, New York, 0 miles
Our group will gather in Saratoga Springs where we'll meet and greet, discuss the Adirondack Park Loop route, pore over our maps, and divide the group gear. We'll then have dinner as a group and retire to our tents. Saratoga Springs hosts many attractions, so you may want to consider arriving a day or two early or remaining after the bike adventure has concluded.
Day 2. Saratoga Springs to Caroga Lake, 45 miles
We'll leave Saratoga Springs but not before hitting up the coffee shop and bakery. Our initial 18 miles are in rolling farm country, and then we'll tackle the first climb of the day just before Galway. Next we'll head down to Broadalbin and Gloversville and then ascend to the Adirondack plateau and the Caroga Lake State Campground, where we officially enter the park -- cause for celebration! Or maybe it's cause for swimming and lounging on the beach! You'll also have a chance to visit the Caroga Historical Museum, where you'll get a glimpse of pioneer life in the southern Adirondacks.
Day 3. Caroga Lake to Speculator, 36 miles
Today we'll spend our day riding through hills and lake country. Our tour will take us through the small towns of Canada Lake, Arietta, Avery's Place, and on to Speculator, home of the King of the Frosties! We'll also cycle by an incredible array of spectacular lakes, including Piseco, Lake Speculator, and Sacandaga. Tonight we'll camp at Moffitt Beach State Campground on Sacandaga Lake.
Day 4. Speculator to Long Lake, 51 miles
Leaving Speculator, you and your trusty metal steed will encounter a few climbs before heading to your campsite at Lake Eaton Campground. If you wish, you can tack a few extra miles onto your day or you could visit the Adirondack Experience, an open-air museum set on 121 acres near Blue Mountain Lake. There you can learn the history of the Adirondacks through all kinds of immersive exhibits.
Day 5. Long Lake to Lake Clear, 40 miles
We'll depart Lake Eaton Campground and pedal through Tupper Lake, Saranac Inn, and on to Charlie's Inn and Campground. Our ride today will highlight many of the lakes for which this region is famous. In Tupper Lake, be sure to visit the Natural History Museum to learn about the flora and fauna of the Adirondacks; it's a great facility.
Day 6. Lake Clear to Lake Placid, 40 miles
Leaving the campground, we'll pass through Bloomingdale and Franklin Falls as we skirt the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness area. After we hit the town of Wilmington, we'll turn onto Route 86 and ride alongside the Ausable River, which will give us a lot of opportunities to stop for waterfalls on the way to Lake Placid.
Day 7. Layover Day in Lake Placid, 0 miles
In Lake Placid, you can ride a real bobsled ("Summer Storm") on an Olympic run, visit the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum, the North Elba Historical Society Museum, or the many shops downtown. We will stay inside at the High Peaks Hostel tonight and enjoy the luxury of real beds!
Day 8. Lake Placid to Crown Point, 50 miles
Leaving Lake Placid, we have just a short climb and then a terrific downhill into Keene and the Keene Valley. Afterward, we'll climb out of this valley and ultimately zoom down into another -- the Lake Champlain Valley -- before cruising into our campsite at Crown Point.
Day 9. Crown Point to Chestertown, 46 miles
Today you will pass through Crown Point, Ticonderoga, Lake George, and Brant Lake, ending in Chestertown. This is a full day, but be sure to hit Fort Ticonderoga, a restored revolutionary fort. The historic structure controls a river portage along the mouth of the La Chute River in the 3.5 miles between Lake Champlain and Lake George that was strategically important during the 18th century colonial conflicts between Great Britain and France.
Day 10. Chestertown to Corinth, 41 miles
We will follow the scenic Schroon River Road (aren't you glad you brought your bathing suit?) to Warrensburg where we will meet up with the Hudson River, following it past Hadley and Lake Luzerne. Tonight we'll camp just south of Corinth, known as the snowshoe capital of the world.
Day 11. Corinth to Saratoga Springs, 20 miles
Our cycling tour will wind up today as we pass through the rolling farm country of Corinth and Wilton before returning to the now familiar Saratoga Springs. You'll pack up and say goodbye to your new friends, but not before promising to exchange lots and lots of photos!