Ride Day 3, Tuesday 8/22
Out-and-Back routes from Keene Valley
WELCOME TO THE HIGH PEAKS!
There’s something about waking up in the mountains that’s just…well, you’ll see. Keene Valley, Jay and Au Sable Forks are three quintessential Adirondack communities, each with its own character and charm. There are many jumping-off points for access to wilderness areas in the Adirondacks, but Keene Valley is clearly the king, being within a stone’s throw from the Great Range and New York’s tallest alpine peaks. Au Sable Forks is just about at the mid-point for today’s ride and a great place to take a break, enjoy the quiet, small-town feel and maybe take a dip in the river (who knows, you may even see our Sign Team volunteers if you do…they have been known to take swimming breaks). The East and West Branches of the Ausable River meet in Au Sable Forks, making it an attractive stop for anglers. The Ausable is renowned for its brown trout and rainbows are also present. Although today’s route will allow you to rack up a good amount of ascent, the riding mostly traverses short, manageable climbs and rolling hills. There are two considerable inclines on the long route and one on the short route. Either way, you’ll be treated to a nice descent back into Keene Valley to cool those legs and get ready to party…or relax…or whatever you choose. For those of you who love to chew up some vertical, today will be the day we offer the optional Whiteface Hill Climb. Veteran’s Memorial Highway is a grueling, constant climb to the top of Whiteface Mountain. It’s not for the weary, it’s steep and winding, but the pavement is brand new, traffic is usually light and the views are simply stunning. We’ll have shuttle service again. But for those of you who want to score huge bonus points, the ride from Keene Valley to Whiteface and back is pretty manageable. This is the heart of the Adirondack High Peaks, enjoy!
Please be aware that routes are subject to change and that digital downloads are meant to supplement pavement markings and cue sheets. If you’re planning to download routes to your mobile device you’ll want to wait until August 1st to ensure you have the most current daily routes.
Some other things to do in Keene Valley…
Go Fly Fishing
Both Adirondack Rock & River and Alpine Adventures are also leading fly fishing guides. The bonus being that the world famous Ausable River flows directly down the middle of Keene Valley.
Keene Valley has no shortage of incredible swimming holes just a short walk from Cycle Adirondacks camp. Some will be easy to find. Others, just ask a one of the friendly locals. They’ll point you in the right direction.
Hike Rooster Comb
Keene Valley is literally the alpine base camp of the Adirondacks. There are any number of hikes you can take directly from Cycle Adirondacks camp, including Rooster Comb mountain, whose trailhead IS at Cycle Adirondacks camp. But, if you’d like to get a little adventurous, Keene Valley is also home to numerous guide services including Adirondack Rock & River and Alpine Adventures.
Whiteface Hill Climb
Back by popular demand, Cycle Adirondacks 2017 will feature a chance to ride your bike to the summit of Whiteface mountain. Details on signing up will be available soon.
Ride Day 4, Wednesday 8/23
Point-to-Point ride to Saranac Lake
THE ADIRONDACKS’ COOLEST PLACE
After two wonderful days in Keene Valley we’re on the move again, eventually arriving in Saranac Lake, the hometown of Cycle Adirondacks and the WCS Adirondack Program. But first we’ve got some riding to do. This is our backyard and if you haven’t ridden with us before, today you’ll learn why we say that this is truly the finest place on Earth! As we ride out of Keene Valley in the morning, the Sentinel Range will be to the west, providing views towards Pitchoff Mountain, Notch Mountain and the Barkeater Cliffs, all popular ice and rock climbing destinations. You’ll also catch views of several of the “lower” Adirondack peaks that top out just below the 4,000’ elevation required to be called a “High Peak”. Nonetheless, the views in the first half of today’s ride are amazing and the riding is quiet and peaceful with good pavement and a smooth shoulder. At nearly the 15 mile mark, we turn west and start our approach to Saranac Lake. The road gets smaller and quieter as you head towards Wilmington, home of Whiteface, the alpine ski venue in the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games. Our path to Saranac Lake will take us around the back side of Whiteface (a.k.a. “to Saranac Lake, the good way”) into familiar territory for our 2016 guests. Remember that beautiful little water stop on Franklin Falls Reservoir? We do too. We can’t guarantee another Bald Eagle sighting but we can tell you that we’re excited to ride these locally popular roads again. Welcome to our home, we’re so glad you’re here!
Some other things to do in Saranac Lake…
Explore the Lakes
Saranac Lake is home to some of the most incredible canoeing and kayaking in the Adirondacks. It’s also home to some fantastic local outfitters who know the water well. If you want to get out on the water, call Adirondack Lakes and Trails or St. Regis Canoe Outfitters.
Historic Saranac Lake
Find and intriguing look into the storied history of Saranac Lake at the Saranac Laboratory Museum in Downtown Saranac Lake. It’s open Tuesday – Friday, 10:00 – 4:00. Admission is $5. Visitors typically spend 30 minutes to one hour exploring the museum.
Ride the Adirondack Carousel
In 1999-2000, local Saranac Lake wood carver Karen Loffler, while working on a master’s degree in creative studies, came across an article in a woodcarving magazine that showed a small children’s carousel fitted with woodland animals. The combination of a creative approach to problem solving, her love of woodcarving, and a desire to foster imagination and strengthen her local community, inspired Karen’s dream. The result: the Adirondack Carousel is now complete in Saranac Lake with hand-carved figures of animals indigenous to the Adirondack Mt. area.