Bicycling along the Southern Adirondack Trail
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The 112-mile Southern Adirondack Trail links historic Herkimer and Little Falls on the Erie Canal to cozy lakeside villages in the Adirondacks. Some of the gems found along the way include the Herkimer diamond mines, the sparkling waters of West Canada Creek, and several Adirondack Lakes. See the Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor for more information on this Byway.
Family Bike Rides
Along much of the Southern Adirondack Trail is the New York State Canalway Trail System, comprised of a network of more than 260 miles of existing multi-use, recreational trails across upstate New York, with the potential to double that along the 500-mile route of the Erie Canal. The Canalway Trail System is comprised of four major segments: the 100-mile Erie Canal Heritage Trail in Western New York; the 36-mile Old Erie Canal State Park Trail in Central New York; the 60-mile Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway in the eastern Capital Region; and the eight-mile Glens Falls Feeder Canal Heritage Trail in the foothills of the Adirondacks near Lake George. In addition, there are smaller segments of Canalway Trail.
Cycling Along the Canals of New York State (Rossi) is a great guide to this and other canal areas in NY.
Road Biking Opportunities
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.
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
- ididaride! Adirondack Bike Tour – North Creek, 3rd Sunday in August
- Erie Canal Bike Tour
also see the complete list of bike events in the region
Bike Shops Nearby
- Adirondack Regional Tourism Council
- Fulton County Tourism
- Hamilton County Visitor Information
- Herkimer County Tourism Information
- Montgomery County Tourism Information
- Speculator-Piseco area
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.