The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has announced the route for Cycle Adirondacks — a week-long road bike tour through the Adirondack Park scheduled to take place August 20–27, 2016. This will be the tour’s second year; registration is now open.
The 2016 route starts and ends in Hadley-Lake Luzerne, NY, and includes overnight stops in Ticonderoga, Keeseville, Saranac Lake, Indian Lake and Northville. There will be a “layover day” in Saranac Lake where riders can pedal an optional route that tours Lake Placid or take a day off the bike to enjoy the amenities available in the Olympic Region.
Besides the standard week-long route, 3-day and 4-day options are available, beginning in Hadley-Lake Luzerne and ending in Saranac Lake, with transportation provided back to the start. There is also a program for non-cyclists called Cycle Adirondacks Adventure Travelers, where participants enjoy outdoor activities and wildlife interpretation each day and rejoin the cyclists in camp each evening.
Like the 2015 event, the 2016 route will feature rides set against the backdrop of the forests, lakes, streams and abundant wildlife habitat of the famed Adirondack region. Local wildlife experts will be on hand all week to provide information on wildlife and other natural history along the route, on stage each evening in camp, and in informal small-group “round table” discussions.
“Communities are the heart of Cycle Adirondacks,” Zoe Smith, Director of WCS’s Adirondack Program, said in a statement to the press. “Our inaugural event in August was a resounding success because every community welcomed our cyclists as family. That is not something you can script into a cycling tour. It was genuine and is what will continue to make Cycle Adirondacks special.”
According to WCS, the 2015 event attracted riders from 29 states and two Canadian provinces, and in post-event surveys, 99 percent of riders rated the event highly positively and would recommend it to others; 98 percent said they are likely to visit the Adirondacks again, and 100 percent will tell others to visit. Roughly half the participants had never visited the Adirondack Park before the 2015 tour.
According to WCS’s press release, they created this eco-tourism event to provide a world-class, fully supported cycling adventure that gives hundreds of riders the opportunity to enjoy the Adirondack Park’s natural and recreational resources. Reaction locally has been positive with communities on the route rallying around Cycle Adirondacks events.
“Cycle Adirondacks had such a positive influence,” Mark Hall, former town supervisor of Fine, told the press. “Economically it was a real boost, but even more important was that it brought our community together in a way that nothing else has – it galvanized our pride in where we live, and that effect has lasted beyond the event.”
Cycle Adirondacks brings up to several hundred riders and dozens of event volunteers to each town. Cycle Adirondacks also enlists local volunteer groups to help stage the event in each community, offering “community grants” as a fundraiser for each organization involved. WCS distributed nearly $50,000 in community grants in 2015.
In 2014 WCS received a marketing grant from I Love New York through the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council to help build and promote Cycle Adirondacks. While camping and meals are included in the event registration, riders are encouraged to stay in local lodging and patronize local businesses along the way.
Registration for Cycle Adirondacks includes three catered meals daily, fully stocked rest stops, prime camping spots, hot showers, baggage service, on-course safety support, a wellness tent, and a beer/wine garden and live entertainment that are both open to the public. Total mileage for the week will be 350-425 miles, depending on options, with daily routes ranging from 53 to 69 miles. The event features a special price for the 7-day tour of $1,295 through December 31st. The price of a 3-day/4-day tour option is $645.
A video from last year’s event is online.
Photos: Riders starting Day 1 of 2015 Cycle Adirondacks by pedaling through downtown Saranac Lake; Riders sent off by locals in Long Lake on Day 7 in August of 2015 (Left Eye Images photos provided by Cycle Adirondacks); map of the route provided by Cycle Adirondacks.