Raquette Lake-Forestport Bicycling along the Central Adirondack Trail
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The 48 miles along the Raquette Lake – Forestport segment of the Central Adirondack Trail is often a lakeside ride with the Fulton Chain of Lakes and other lakes near much of the route. After leaving Raquette Lake, the next community is Inlet, with its full-service bike shop. There is a swim beach at Inlet, with nice views of Fourth Lake. Take scenic South Shore Road between Inlet and Old Forge to use the preferred route, as recognized as part of a national bike route. While the shoulders on Route 28 are generally 4 feet, they do narrow in places and the traffic can be very heavy, especially between Old Forge and Inlet. Stop into the Pedals & Petals Bike Shop in Inlet to look at a map and get more information on local conditions.
The Town of Inlet has published a number of mountain bike trail maps – visit their Mt Biking & Cycling webpage for the latest information and links to their maps. Maps also are available at Pedals & Petals or at the Inlet Information Office. Some of the maps include:
- Inlet Area Mountain Bike Trials Guide, lists 16 different rides in the Inlet-Raquette Lake-Old Forge area, along with a map showing their locations.
- Inlet Area Recreational Trail Maps, shows many of the same mountain bike rides on a a more detailed map and has a separate panel showing the Fern Park trails right in Inlet.
Rent or grab your mountain bike and head out to the Moose River Plains from the Inlet side, with its 40 miles of dirt roads and 27 miles of marked trails to explore. That also is the route of the Black Fly Challenge mountain bike race between Inlet and Indian Lake, usually the second Saturday in June. All are welcome – riders, racers, tandems and unicycles – that’s right, a unicycle rider was spotted on the course in 2010.
Along the route, Old Forge offers a variety of shops and eaterys, as well as a bike shop at MountainMan Outdoor Supply Company. Old Forge also offers a variety of biking opportunities, from the TOBIE path that links Thendara, Old Forge, Big Moose, Inlet, Eagle Bay with a combination of path and road riding, to single-track trails and mountain biking at McCauley Mountain ski area. The new Maple Ridge to McCauley Mountain trail begins in Old Forge – see the map available from the Town of Webb. At the Thendara Train Station, Bike-and-Rail packages offered from late June to mid-September let you take your bike on the train north to Carter station and ride back to town along a portion of the Moose River.
After Old Forge are a few small lakeshore communities as Route 28 turns southwest toward Rome. There is a scenic crossing of the South Branch of the Moose River just before Otter Lake. There is an alternate, back-road route from the bridge to Port Leyden and Boonville along the Moose River. The Adirondack Park boundary is crossed north of Woodgate. Forestport is near the junction of Routes 28 and 12, with Route 12 being the continuation of the Scenic Byway. Once outside of the heavily forested Adirondack Park, there is a much greater variety of lightly traveled backroads that provide bicyclists with alternatives to Route 12, a divided highway with heavy traffic.
To view a set of online maps showing on-road bicycling conditions as well as available bike paths along this segment of the Byway, see the Bike Atlas Maps developed by the Herkimer-Oneida Counties Transportation Study.
Road Bike Opportunities
On-road or path rides and loops in the area include:
Family Ride – Ride the paved bike path portions of the TOBIE path in Old Forge. There are also some nice multi-use trails between Old Forge and McCauley Mountain. Maps are available from the Town of Webb.
Moderate Ride – Inlet – Old Forge Loop, A 25-mile loop around First thru Fourth lakes, split between South Shore Road and the much busier State Route 28. Could also be done as an out and back on South Shore Road.
Training Ride – Old Forge to Lyons Falls – A 60-mile out-and-back ride that is half highway, half backroad riding. Uses the Moose River Road from McKeever over to Port Leyden. Scenic views at the Moose River bridge and along the Black River between Port Leyden and Lyons Falls. Take time to check out historic buildings around the abandoned paper mill, especially the Lyons Falls Library, and seek out the remnants of the Black River Canal that ended in Lyons Falls – a lot of history there. See more info on this ride at Pedals & Petals.
Mountain Bike Opportunities
Forested single-track predominates in the Raquette Lake-Old Forge area (see map links above), while in the Forestport-Alder Creek-Boonville area there are some nice rides on canal towpaths, as well as single-track and dirt road riding in some popular trial systems. Options include:
- Sagamore-Uncas Road-Raquette Lake Tour – Highlights of this tour include the village of Raquette Lake and Great Camp Sagamore. Most of this route is along dirt roads, with a portion on the paved shoulders of Route 28. Ride can be extended by 6 miles along a section of the Uncas Road with single-track trails over gently rolling to hilly terrain or the can be broken down into several shorter rides.
- Blackfly Challenge route, Inlet to Indian Lake – A 40-mile course with about 25 miles of truck trail with sandy stretches, and a few hills along the way.
- Fern Park in Inlet – 25 miles of multiple-length loops, with many of the trails more suitable for the adventurous biker; lots of elevation change.
- BREIA Trail System, near Boonville and Alder Creek – The Black River Environmental Improvement Association (BREIA) offers more than 50 kilometers of trails in three diverse landscapes, each providing a distinctive biking experience. Promoted mainly as cross-country ski Trails, mountain biking is permitted on most trail sections, with a few exceptions. For maps see BREIA and the Herkimer-Oneida Bicycle Atlas.
- Boonville-Pixley Falls Black River Canal Trail – A seven-mile rolling grass trail connecting Boonville and beautiful Pixley Falls State Park, part of the BREIA Trail System. For maps see BREIA and the Herkimer-Oneida Bicycle Atlas.
- Black River Feeder Canal Trail – A ten-mile stone-dust trail connecting Boonville to Forestport. Maps available from BREIA and from the Herkimer-Oneida Bicycle Atlas.
Not to Miss
- The TOBIE path, a combination of dedicated path and on-road riding that links Thendara, Eagle Bay, Old Forge and Inlet
- Paved bike path and mountain bike trails linking Old Forge to McCauley Mountain
- The swim beaches and parks in Inlet and Old Forge
- Sagamore Great Camp – Raquette Lake
- Adirondack Museum – Blue Mountain Lake
- Black River Canal Museum – Boonville
- Black River Canal trails and other mountain biking opportunities in the Boonville area
also see Adirondack Scenic Byways.org for many more points of interest along this route
Bike Events in the Area
- Black Fly Challenge, Inlet to Indian Lake the 2nd Saturday in June – The race or ride changes direction every year with the start and finish alternating between Indian Lake and Inlet. Over half of the 40-mile course traverses the Moose River Recreation Area on dirt roads.
also see the complete list of bike events for the region
Bike Shops Nearby
- Pedals & Petals, Inlet
- Mountain Man Outdoor Supply Company, Old Forge
also see the complete list of bike shops for the region
- Adirondack Regional Tourism Council
- Boonville Area Information
- Central Adirondack Trail Scenic Byway
- Hamilton County Tourism Information
- Herkimer County Tourism Information
- Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake Area Information
- Inlet Area Information
- Old Forge Area Information
- Oneida County Tourism Information
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).