Saranac Lake-Cranberry Lake Bicycling along the Olympic Byway
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The 47 miles along the Saranac Lake-Cranberry Lake segment of the Olympic Byway takes in the central Adirondack Park portion of this ride. Other communities along the ride include Tupper Lake, Piercefield and Childwold. A number of large lakes are on or near the ride, including Lower Saranac Lake, Middle Saranac Lake, Upper Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Cranberry Lake. The Raquette River is crossed at Piercefield.
Saranac Lake has a thriving arts community, with a number of shops and galleries. It is home to the Robert Louis Stevenson cottage and historic Trudeau Saranac Laboratory. Tupper Lake is home to the Wild Center and its interpretation of the Adirondack’s natural resources with displays of otters, fish and a number of other species as well as interpretive trails along the Raquette River. Cranberry Lake offers boat rentals, boat launch, swim beach, lodging and restaurants.
Road Bike Opportunities
There are a number of on-road rides and loops along this segment of the Olympic Byway. Always dress for the weather and carry water, snacks, map, repair kit and cell phone, as well as review your route with someone knowledgeable of the area. This is a predominately rural area so consider that services may be unavailable along your ride.
Family Ride – A family ride destination is the Fish Creek Campground area operated by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation near the north end of Upper Saranac Lake. There is a one-mile section of pathway along the lake shore and miles of paved roads through the campground that can be used with permission and a day-use fee.
- Other destinations for families are the Kushaqua Loop Ride near Onchiota and the Keese Mills-Blue Mountain Road near Paul Smiths. Both are quiet road rides that can be enjoyed in short segments. Longer rides on those roads could involve some dirt sections.
Moderate Ride – Try the Malone–Owls Head Loop, a 40 mile loop around Titus Mountain taking in the scenery along the Salmon River and the lakes at Mountain View.
For information on touring routes in the area, check out 25 Bicycle Tours in the Adirondacks.
Mountain Bike Opportunities
Peavine Swamp Trail – This 4-mile one-way ride follows the course of Peavine Creek in the Cranberry Lake Wild Forest and leads to a lean-to on the Inlet Flow of Cranberry Lake. A highlight of this trail is old-growth timber (found on the half near Inlet Flow) on lands acquired by the State of New York in 1881, including some hemlocks over 40 inches in diameter as well as large spruce and cherry. Moderate difficulty.
Family Fun Mountain Bike Rides – The Bloomingdale Bog Trail follows a former railroad bed, a route that provides a flat ride of up to 10-miles along bogs and wetlands. Great opportunity to see birds or other wildlife, or even a former President – President Bush was spotted biking the Bog trail in 2010. see also BikeKinetix and Placid Planet
Check out these other mountain bike resources covering this segment of the Olympic Byway:
- Adirondack Park Mountain Initiative
- Franklin County – Northern Trails
- Franklin County – Southern Trails
- Mountain Bike Trails in the Adirondack Lakes Region
- Osgood – Jack Rabbit Ride
- Mountain Biking in the Adirondacks, 25 Trail Riding Adventures
- 25 Mountain Bike Tours in the Adirondacks
Not to Miss
- Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage –One of the finest Stevenson collections in the world, housed in the Baker Cottage in Saranac Lake where Stevenson spent the winter of 1887-88, just before he sailed to the south seas.
- Trudeau Saranac Laboratory – Dr. Trudeau came to the Adirondacks in 1873 seriously ill with tuberculosis and here his health improved in the mountain climate. Historic Saranac Lake has restored his laboratory as a museum on Saranac Lake’s unique role in the research and treatment of tuberculosis.
- Wild Center Natural History Museum – With spectacular exhibits of otters and other animals and fish, along with an enjoyable trail system, the Wild Center in Tupper Lake will ignite an enduring passion for the Adirondacks.
- Mt. Arab Fire Tower – The fire tower on the summit of Mt. Arab, erected in 1918 and renovated in 1999, is a short, one-mile, moderately difficult hike.
- Wanakena Suspension Bridge -The Wanakena Footbridge spanning the Oswegatchie River at Wanakena has the distinction of being the largest suspension footbridge in the United States. Built in 1902 by the Rich Lumber Company, this suspension bridge spans 171 feet between the supporting towers.
also see Adirondack Scenic Byways.org for many more points of interest along this route
Bike Events in the Area
- Saranac Lake Tandem Rally, Saranac Lake, June-3rd weekend
- Tupper Lake Tinman Triathlon, Tupper Lake, June-4th Saturday
- Ford Ironman Lake Placid,Lake Placid, July-4th Sunday
- Pat Stratton Memorial Bicycle Ride, Saranac Lake, August-last Saturday
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
- also see the complete list of bike shops for the region
- Adirondack Regional Tourism Council
- Essex County-Lake Placid
- Franklin County
- Saranac Lake
- Tupper Lake
- Cranberry 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).