Skaneateles Lake Cycle Circle

September 2, 2012 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Finger Lakes Summer

View of the lake from 41A, south of Mandana

Biking around Skaneateles Lake provides vertical challenge with breathtaking views. The 40-mile loop takes you from the lake’s edge in the town of Skaneateles Lake, up, up, up to breath-taking views high above, along rolling hills, covered with farms full of goats, cows, lavender and wildflowers, on the east and west sides, then sends you rocketing to the lake’s edge again at the southern end by Glen Haven.

Finger Lakes Summer

Plenty of parking in downtown Skaneatleles

If you start from the town of Skaneateles, take the West Lake Rd, south out-of-town. Riding along the lake edge, you get a great sampling of the fabulous Victorian architecture found in this picturesque town.

The West lake Rd dumps into 41A at the country club. This road has very wide shoulders for the first 5 miles south. After Mandana, and the turn-off towards Moravia, the traffic thins (as do the shoulders).

Finger Lakes Summer

Lavender Farm, 8am

To avoid 41A between Mandana and New Hope, I took Old Salt Rd . It was paved with rough stone, but was much less trafficked. Whether you take 41A or another route, this stretch some of the more challenging hill climbs combined with some of the prettiest countryside.

Once you turn on to New Hope Rd/N. Glen Haven Rd. (County RD 66A), you will quickly start heading down hill very steeply. This road takes you to The Glen Haven B&B, and the southern end of the lake. If you like STEEP winding downhills the road from New Hope to Glen Haven is for you. Shady and wooded with 90-degree turns in some spots, you will find yourself at the lake’s edge in just a few minutes.

Finger Lakes Summer

Deer crossing the rd at the southern end of the lake

A short flat ride directly south from the lake edge quickly turns into the steepest uphill climb as you head up to Scott. For an incredibly steep challenge, try taking Vincent Rd up to Rt 41. It’s a much shorter distance than traveling south to Scott, but it’s only for the most rugged riders..

Finger Lakes Summer

View of Lake riding north on RT 41

Once on RT 41 heading north, you’ll be pleased to see that the road is newly paved (while in Cortland County) and has a fairly wide shoulder all the way to town. It feels like a continuous uphill climb until you hit Spafford. At this point you get a some fabulous views of the lake looking north, and you start enjoying some lovely downhill stretches. These thrilling downhills continue, with only gradual uphill climbs, all the way into the town of Skaneateles.

A nice alternate route to take to get off of 41 (full of trucks), might be to take Ripley Hill Rd (also called County Rd 26, continuing on Willowdale and Becker as you wind north.

Skaneateles cycle

This is the route I took. There are lots of great side roads to explore both east and west sides of the lake.

You should bring water as there are only a few pit spots outside of Skaneateles. A gas station in Scott and a nice country store right after Borondino, (Vernak Farms).


Entry filed under: Bed and Breakfasts, Biking, Finger Lakes, New York, Skaneateles, Skaneateles Lake, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

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