Adirondack Park Loop

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1. Adirondack Park Loop Albany, NY to Albany, NY 1 Map Set Detail

Due to limited resources, the paper map versions of this route have been discontinued and will no longer be available once sold out. All sections of this route are still available digitally. More info here: Going Digital: App or GPX.

Explore Adirondack Park by bicycle.

The Adirondack Park Loop is almost entirely within the boundaries of the Adirondack Park. Starting in Albany, New York, 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 Jennings Landing Amphitheatre in the capital city of Albany. You’ll follow the Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway along the Hudson and Mohawk rivers for some traffic-free riding to start the trip. After crossing the river and riding the first thirty-nine miles, you’ll need to decide to ride clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Heading counter-clockwise, cyclists will approach Saratoga Springs, famed for the Saratoga Race Course which is 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 eight times a day in the height of the summer and four times a day in the fall, takes an hour and ten minutes to cross Lake Champlain. It should be noted that the ferry only operates from mid-June until late September.

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 Wild Center, and Blue Mountain Lake is home to Adirondack Experience. 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.

The 32.7-mi. Great Sacandaga Lake Alternate connects Broadalbin and Hadley. This alternate stays within the park and skips Saratoga Springs.

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.

Adirondack Park Loop - Main Route
Section Distance Elevation Total Climb Avg. Climb/mile
Total 431.5 miles Minimum: 0 ft.
Maximum:2,380 ft.
23,835 ft. counterclockwise
23,890 ft. clockwise
55 ft. per mi. counterclockwise
55 ft. per mi. clockwise
Adirondack Park Loop Alternates
Name Section Distance Total Climb Avg. Climb/mi
Whiteface Mountain Alternate 1 23.0 miles 1,860 ft. counterclockwise
1,430 ft. clockwise
81 ft. per mi. counterclockwise
62 ft. per mi. clockwise
Burlington Ferry Spur 1 43.4 miles 3,400 ft. north bound
3,485 ft. south bound
78 ft. per mi. north bound
80 ft. per mi. south bound
Great Sacandaga Lake 1 32.7 miles 1,425 ft. north bound
1,650 ft. south bound
44 ft. per mi. north bound
50 ft. per mi. south bound

This route can be ridden anytime between late spring to mid-fall (typically April to mid-September).

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.

Some campgrounds will charge a cyclist traveling alone less if they have hiker/biker sites, but often they will charge the price of a regular tent or RV site, and that can easily be $10-$30/night. If you’re friendly and ask around, you can often get yourself invited to camp in a yard. Our routes sometimes go through national forests (moreso in the west) and you are allowed to camp anywhere on national forest land as long as you “pack it in, pack it out.” Many city parks are free to camp in.

You may also wish to sign up with Warmshowers, a reciprocal hospitality site for bicycle travelers, for other overnight options.


Route Highlights

Adirondack Park Loop Highlights

  • Adirondack Park
  • Lake Placid
  • John Brown State Historic Area
  • High Falls Gorge

More Route Resources



The Adirondack Park Loop gives an excellent representation of what northern New York has to offer. If you are flying to New York or Vermont to start the ride, the route is accessible from both the Albany and Burlington airports.

The route travels on a combination of lightly trafficked local roads and state highways with good shoulders. The heaviest traffic is generally confined to the areas immediately surrounding towns.

By mid-June, schools are closed in New York signaling the beginning of tourist season in the park. Also, black flies can be nasty in June; be prepared with bug spray.

If you are camping, be sure to call ahead as campgrounds can fill quickly during the end of summer and early fall. Note that some campgrounds close after Labor Day.

Riding out of Albany, the route follows a portion of the Empire State Trail,, locally known as the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail,

Use caution crossing the Mohawk River. There is a bike path on the east side of the bridge. Visit Biketoga at for information about other bicycling opportunities in Saratoga County.

The roads around Lake Placid are some of the most visually rewarding of the route and also the most crowded. SR 73 east of Lake Placid has narrow, curvy sections, and at times can be heavily traveled. The easiest way to beat the crowds is to start riding early in the day. Lake Placid (host of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Games) is a great choice for a layover day, with several bicycle shops, breweries, and restaurants. North of Lake Placid, SR 86 is narrow and curvy in places but it is mostly flat and has a good shoulder.

The 23-mile Whiteface Mountain Alternate provides a gentler route around the mountain instead of over it. Services are scarce.

McMaster Rd. and Forest Home Rd. are winding, so use caution and stay to the right. On SR 30 the curves continue, though there is an excellent shoulder throughout. For more information about cycling in Adirondack Park, be sure to visit

The 32.7-mile Great Sacandaga Alternate provides an option to stay mostly within the Adirondack Park boundary and skip Saratoga Springs. This alternate will work best for cyclists not starting and/or ending the route in Albany.

The 43.4-mile Burlington Ferry Spur deviates from the main route in Port Henry and travels north to Port Kent. From Port Kent, there are opportunities to cross Lake Champlain via ferry to access Burlington and its airport. For schedule and route information see and Additional information about cycling around Lake Champlain can be found at

Near and in any major nature park cyclists will have to contend with higher traffic levels and RV drivers who are inexperienced. To avoid heavy traffic try to ride early in the day and make yourself and your bike visible.

All known Amtrak stations are listed on this map but not all stations provide bicycle service. Check if bicycle service is provided at both the starting and ending stations on your trip using the spreadsheet and other trip planning resources at


The climate of New York State is broadly representative of the humid continental type which prevails in the northeastern U.S. Lengthy periods of either abnormally cold or warm weather result from the movement of great high pressure systems into and through the eastern U.S. The summer climate is generally cool in the higher elevations of the Adirondacks. Micro-climates exist in this region with frost and even snow occurring in the mountains as early as mid-August.

Moisture for precipitation for the state is transported primarily from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean through storm systems. The state has a fairly uniform distribution of precipitation during the year. There are no distinctly dry or wet seasons which are regularly repeated on an annual basis. The prevailing wind is generally from the west, though a southwest component becomes evident in winds during the warmer months.

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

Updates to Recently Released Maps

If you are planning a bike tour, be sure to get the most recent map updates and corrections for your route by selecting the route, and the appropriate section(s), from the drop-down menu below.

Over time maps become less useful because things change. Every year Adventure Cycling’s Routes and Mapping Department create map updates and corrections for every map in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, which now totals 52,047 miles. With the help of touring cyclists like you, we receive updates on routing, services, camping, and contact information. Until we can reprint the map with the new information, we verify the suggested changes and publish corrections and updates here on our website.

PLEASE NOTE: Covid has been particularly hard on the small businesses along our routes. While we do our best to keep the maps and these online updates current, you may encounter more closed businesses and longer stretches with limited or no services.

Refer to these updates for the most current information we have and submit reports of changes to the Route Feedback Form for the cyclists coming after you.

NOTE: Map updates and corrections only pertain to long term changes and updates. For short term road closures, please see the Adventure Cycling’s Routes Temporary Road Closures discussion in our Forums.