Adirondack Park Loop Bicycle Route

Adirondack Park Loop Bicycle Route

The Adventure Cycling Association Adirondack Park Loop Bicycle Route is a 394 mile (634 km) loop that explores the Adirondack Mountains of New York. 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 National Park, Everglades National Park, Glacier National Park and Grand Canyon National Parks combined.

Adirondack Park Loop Bicycle Route

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. Riders follow the Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway along the Mohawk River for some traffic-free riding at the start of the trip. After crossing the river and riding the first twenty-one miles, riders choose to ride the loop clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Heading counter-clockwise, riders pass 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. Visitors to the museum can learn about 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 15 miles to the entrance to the Adirondack Park. Half of the acreage of the park belongs to the state 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, NY, the route starts to hug the shore of Lake Champlain. This portion of the route joins Adventure Cycling’s Green Mountains Loop Bicycle Route. From Port Henry, NY, there is an optional spur route that continues north along Lake Champlain to Port Kent, NY. From there, riders can take the 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. The ferry only operates from the end of May until the middle of October.

Staying on the main route, riders soon be encounter Lake Placid. Lake Placid is mostly associated with the Winter Olympics, and for good reason, because the small town of 2,500 people has twice hosted the event. 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. As a tourist destination, Lake Placid has many hotels, restaurants and coffee shops.

The route continues to travel through smaller towns. A nd 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. Twenty or so miles after Gloversville, riders arrive back at the point where they chose their direction of travel.

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 so, riders should call ahead to verify campgrounds because many close after Labor Day. If staying indoors, or at campgrounds, advance reservations are recommended, especially on weekends.

ee also

*Bicycle touring
*Adventure Cycling Association

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