Keeseville-Port Henry Bicycling along the Lakes to Locks Passage
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The 39 miles along the Keeseville-Port Henry segment of the Lakes to Locks Passage follows scenic Lake Champlain for much of the way. Between Keeseville and Port Henry are the communities of Port Douglas, pharm Willsboro, Essex, Whallonsburg, Wadhams and Westport.
See the Lakes to Locks Passage website for all the details about this exciting All American Road, a designation given to those roads having features that do not exist elsewhere and are scenic enough to be tourist destinations unto themselves. The Lakes to Locks Passage website Biking page has information and links for the popular Lake Champlain Bikeways, along with a wide variety of other bike routes, bicycle paths and towpath trails along the 225-mile Lakes to Locks Passage.
Near Keeseville is Port Kent on Lake Champlain with its ferry dock and Amtrak platform on the Adirondack Line between New York City and Montreal. The ferry runs seasonally between Port Kent and Burlington, Vermont. The Amtrak platform is seasonal as well, with the train stopping only on dates of ferry operation. Check the Lake Champlain Transportation Company for ferry schedules.
Road Bike Opportunities
There are a number of on-road rides and loops along this segment of the Lakes to Locks Passage. A few suggestions include:
Family Ride – Willsboro to Willsboro Point, referred to as the Surrounded by Water ride, one of the 14 rides featured in the Adirondack Coast Bikeways publication. It is a 14-mile loop from Willsboro out to the end of Willsboro Point, although a shorter inner loop of 5 miles can be done without going out to the end of the point.
Moderate Rides – The Essex-Whallonsburg Loop is a 35-mile loop through farmlands and rural hamlets in the Champlain Valley starting just south of Keeseville. One of the many quiet, blacktop loops that can be found throughout the Champlain Valley and offering scenic views of lakes, rivers and both the Adirondack and Green Mountains.
- Also try Keeseville-Plattsburgh Loop, a 30-mile loop between Keeseville and Plattsburgh, with almost half the ride near the shore of Lake Champlain. The Plattsburgh segment has a bike path for a portion of the ride.
- Head out along the river on the Keeseville-Ausable Forks Loop, a 30-mile loop between Keeseville and Ausable Forks, all along back roads, with almost half the ride along the Ausable River.
Training Rides – Iron to Iron – 26 miles from Port Henry to Ironville and back. Mostly paved with two unpaved stretches, one less than a mile and the other about 2 miles. Very hilly with limited services. The Penfield Homestead Museum is near Ironville. One of the 14 rides featured in the Adirondack Coast Bikeways publication, available online.
State Bicycle Route 9 is on or near the Lakes to Locks Passage. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) developed this and other statewide routes to assist experienced cyclists in planning long-distance bicycle trips. There are maps, mileage charts and service summaries posted online at Bicycling in New York State.
For the Lake Champlain area, check out these other road bike resources:
- 25 Bicycle Tours in the Lake Champlain Region
- Road Rides near Lake Champlain
- Lakes to Locks Passage Bike Links
- Lake Champlain Bikeways
- Adirondack Coast Bikeways
- Northern Adirondack Coast Bikeways
- NYS DOT – State Bicycle Route 9
Mountain Bike Opportunities
There is a wide variety of mountain biking opportunities along this segment of the Lakes to Locks Passage. Always dress for the weather and carry water, snacks, map, repair kit and cell phone. There are well-equipped bike shops in Plattsburgh and in Lake Placid that can provide maps and advice on mountain bike rides in the area.
In the Port Henry area, check out:
- Johnson Pond-Paradox Ironville Tour – North Hudson and Ironville. Mountain bike tour, combining history, scenery and solitude, located near North Hudson, Ironville and Paradox in Essex County. There is a 22-mile loop from Johnson Pond and a 17-mile loop from Paradox to Ironville. Mostly dirt and gravel roads through open and wooded terrain with marshes, ponds, streams. Technical difficulty is moderate, due to length – hilly backcountry with gradual climbs. Mountain bikers share use with hikers, and avoid during wet season or after heavy rains.
For the Adirondack region, check out these other mountain bike resources:
- Adirondack Park Mountain Bike Atlas
- Bike Kinetix – Adirondack Mountain Bike Rides
Not to Miss
- Ausable Chasm – Exposed Potsdam sandstone dating back 500 million years, views of the chasm available from the Route 9 bridge near Keeseville.
- Port Henry Beaches – Take a swim or a walk on the pier to enjoy the view of Lake Champlain.
- Enjoy the Historic Architecture of Keeseville, Willsboro, Essex, Westport and Port Henry.
- The Iron Center, Port Henry – Offers railroad and mining history exhibits in a restored carriage house.
also see Lakes to Locks Passage for many more points of interest along this route.
Bike Events in the Area
- Wilmington/Whiteface Bike Fest, Wilmington, 3rd weekend in June
- Ford Ironman Lake Placid,Lake Placid, 4th Sunday in July
- Pat Stratton Memorial Bicycle Ride, Saranac Lake, last Saturday in August
also see the complete list of bike events for the region.
Bike Shops Nearby
- High Peaks Cyclery, Lake Placid
- Maui North, Lake Placid
- Placid Planet Bicycles, Lake Placid
- Gear-To-Go Tandems, Saranac Lake
- Maui North, Plattsburgh
- The Wooden Ski & Wheel, Plattsburgh
- Viking Ski Shop, Plattsburgh
also see the complete list of bike shops for the region
- Adirondack Regional Tourism Council
- Clinton County
- Essex County-Lake Placid
- Franklin County
- Saranac Lake
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, instead of using the “back” arrow).