Indian Lake-Northville Bicycling along the Adirondack Trail
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Bicycling the 54-mile Indian Lake-Northville segment of the Adirondack Trail is a great Adirondack experience as you cross from the Hudson River drainage to that of the Sacandaga. The Sacandaga is a beautiful river with many hidden gems and those who take the time to explore it come back with tales to tell. This segment of the Adirondack Trail might also be called the Waterfall Route because of the numerous and beautiful waterfalls in the Speculator-Wells area. Communities along this segment between Indian Lake and Northville include Speculator, Piesco (just off the route), Wells and Hope.
Road Biking Opportunities
As with most of Route 30, wide shoulders – six feet and more – and great surface quality add that extra comfort factor along this popular highway route. Get out on the road early and you’ll have many stretches all to yourself. There are a number of NYSDEC campgrounds and a nice variety of beaches for a cool dip on a hot day. Plan for a swim at Wells or Speculator – or both.
The many lakeshore communities along the way offering opportunities for food, shopping and other relaxation. Before you leave Indian Lake you might want to stoke the boiler with some of the best BBQ found this side of the Mason-Dixon Line. There are not one but two ice cream stands in Speculator, so plan accordingly.
Rides and loops in the area include:
Family Ride – Portions of the Outer Loop of the Speculator Loop Trails, 14 miles of packed dirt roads.
Moderate Ride – There are 10-mile loop rides around Lake Pleasant at Speculator and Piseco Lake a few miles to the west.
Training Ride – Along the Sacandaga Loop, a 78-mile loop through Speculator, Indian Lake and North Creek, as described in Bill McKibben’s book, 25 Bicycle Tours in the Adirondacks. This is also the route of the ididaride! Adirondack Bike Tour.
The Wells-Sacandaga River Loop is a nice 8-mile loop out of Wells that could serve as a family ride – with older children or with younger children on trail-a-bikes. Its a pleasant river-side ride for anyone wanting to go for a cruise on the bike. One-half of the route is on wide shoulders on State Route 30, going north out of Wells, while the return is on a quiet blacktop road – County Route 8. The Sacandaga River flows between the two segments. Start and end at Wells Public Beach on Lake Algonquin, a great place for a swim on a hot day. Ride can be extended north on Route 8 towards Bakers Mills, and about 3 miles north along that stretch is a short section of gravel road leading to Griffin Gorge and Waterfalls, with a nice view from a bridge there.
Mountain Bike Opportunities
The Speculator Loop Trails consist of two bike loops. The larger Outer Loop is 13.7 miles long and is rated easy on packed dirt roads, and the shorter “Kunjamuk Cave” Inner Loop is 7.2 miles long and rated as easy to advanced because of a section on the highway. All trail signs make reference to the Speculator ball field, in both directions of travel. The larger loop is accessed from all parking lots, which have informational kiosks where you may obtain detailed trail maps and information regarding the trails. The trails are open from May 15th to October 12th and are free. Some in your party may be happy to see the occasional signs noting “Cell Phones Work Here. see also: Bike Kinetix, Hamilton County Tourism, Adirondack Scenic Byways, BikeAdirondacks
Not to Miss
- Speculator Loop Bike Trails
- Lake Pleasant Beach
- Griffin Gorge and Waterfall
- Wells Beach
- Downtown Northville and Museums
see Adirondack Scenic Byways.org for many more points of interest along this route.
Biking Events in the Area
- Black Fly Challenge – Indian Lake and Inlet, 2nd Saturday in June
- ididaride! Adirondack Bike Tour – North Creek, 3rd Sunday in August
also see the complete list of bike events in the region
Bike Shops Nearby
- High Peaks Cyclery, Lake Placid
- Placid Planet Bicycles, Lake Placid
- The Source, North Creek
- The Bike Works, Johnstown, 518-762-1342
also see the complete list of bike shops in the region
- Adirondack Regional Tourism Council
- Hamilton County Visitor Information
- Indian Lake – Blue Mountain Lake Area
- Speculator-Piseco area
- Fulton County Tourism
- Saratoga County Tourism
also see the complete list of visitor information resources for the region
Check in with Chamber offices, bike shops and other sports shops in the area to get the latest information and review your route with someone knowledgeable of the area. When biking, dress for the weather and carry water, snacks, map, repair kit and cell phone. When biking in rural areas, services could be few and far between, and cell phone service may not always be available. See the Before You Ride notices in the bottom section of this website, as well as the Disclaimer notice.
Below are some of the sights along the way – scroll over an image to see its title, or click an image to enlarge it and then move through the entire gallery (click on one of the large images to return here).