Posts tagged ‘Biking’

Skaneateles Lake Cycle Circle

Biking around Skanealteles 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, lavendar 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.

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

Catherine Valley Trail: Bike from Watkins Glen to Horseheads

If you are riding a bike in the Watkins Glen region you can expect hills — lots of hills — unless you ride the Catherine Valley Trail.

The CVT is a converted canal towpath and railroad bed spanning from the edge of Seneca Lake in downtown Watkins Glen, heading south, to Millport. The plan is to eventually continue on through Mark Twain State Park, all the way to Horseheads (15 miles). A new section will open in May of 2012 connecting Millport through Pine Valley to the State Park.

Continue Reading May 13, 2012 at 6:00 am 1 comment

Forever Wild: Finger Lakes National Forest

At the highest spot between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes is a patchwork of 16,212 acres, known as the Finger Lakes National Forest. This area was all farm land 100 years ago and was then bought back by the government early in the 20th century, who returned it into forests and pasture land.

Continue Reading May 5, 2012 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

Keuka Lake BicYcle Ride

View of Keuka Lake from the north end

A sunny and unusually warm spring day creates perfect conditions to bike in the the Finger Lakes region. No throngs of tourist traffic, plus you get a great view of the water, because the leaves are not yet out. I chose to circle Keuka Lake.

Gazebo in the town square, Hammondsport

Keuka in Iroquois means “canoe landing.” It is the most unusually shaped Finger Lake as it resembles the letter “Y.” Keuka has the unique distinction of being the only lake in the US that flows both north and south.

Penn Yan is the largest town, located at the end of the northeastern branch of the lake. Branchport is at the end of the northwestern branch, and at the southern end of the lake, is Hammondsport.

Keuka is a fabulous lake to ride around. The West Lake Road (54A) runs right next to the lake, while the East Lake Road (54), though not quite as scenic, has several great roadside picnic grounds and an unusually wide shoulder. The full circuit is about 46 miles and the hills are not as intense as some of those around the other Finger Lakes.

There was a strong wind coming from the southern end of the lake, so I decided to start my ride in Penn Yan, and take the longest leg first (RT 54).

If you want to get closer to the lake as you ride, try some of the many smaller east lake roads. These roads are paved though rough in spots, but are much quieter. At times these roads become tiny lanes but remain paved. Very nice if you are not in a hurry.

Southern end of Keuka Lake

Route 54 continues along the west side of the lake from Penn Yan to Hammondsport. I take a break in Hammondsport for lunch. There is a nice little lunch spot, a park for picnicking and a grocery store very close to the park.

Shoulder is narrow on the west lake road

For the second leg of the journey I ride north on route 54A. Here I had the best views of Keuka Lake, but there is not much room to ride. The road follows the edge of the lake, making for smaller hills, and with the tail wind it is a very easy ride. I advise making this ride during the off peak season when the road has less traffic.

The road levels as you approach Branchport at the northwest end of the lake, but do not be fooled. As you leave Branchpost you have to go up the longest  incline of the entire loop. Branchport has the “Crooked Lake Mercantile” for snacks.

Rt. 54A turns right at the light and the traffic increases considerably. Fortunately the shoulder is very wide.  Near the top of the climb is a scenic overlook where you can get a nice view of the lake.

Finger Lakes Summer

Map of roads around Keuka lake

Once over the crest you enjoy a long coast down into Penn Yan. If you are looking for a great spot  to eat lunch or dinner, try Lloyd’s Limited in Penn Yan.

More on great bike trails around Penn Yan:  Keuka Outlet Trail, biking the inside of the Y along the lake.

March 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm 3 comments

Webster: Trail all over town

My idea of a GREAT day is to be able to run two hours of solid trail. That’s not always so easy to find in the suburbs, but Webster New York, is definitely Trail Town. A joint effort between Friends of Webster Trails, The Town of Webster, The Genesee Land Trust, and the Monroe County Parks has created a huge network of connected trails and my perfect run

Continue Reading January 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment

Letchworth State Park: Grand Canyon of the East

Letchworth State Park, renowned as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the Finger lakes Region. The park comprises 14,350 acres, along 17 miles of the Genesee River, 35 miles South of Rochester, New York and 55 miles East of Buffalo, New York.

Continue Reading November 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm Leave a comment

Bear Swamp State Forest

Bear Swamp State Forest is located on two state forests of 3,316 acres in Cayuga County. This area is known for the large wetland and creek that bisects the forest. I should have realized that the word “swamp” might be a warning, but I had driven the roads earlier in the summer and thought they would be perfect for a fall bike ride — after the biting bugs died.

Continue Reading November 7, 2011 at 1:01 am Leave a comment

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