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Plan a Fall Cycling Trip in New York State

by Debra Bokur

Sep 15, 2019

Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Love the crisper weather and long to get outdoors to view the changing colors in the leaves? Check the tires on your bike, grab your helmet, round up your kids and head to upstate New York to enjoy a fall cycling adventure through picturesque towns along the rims of glittering lakes and on trails winding through deep forests.



If you long for wilderness immersion and ancient forests, choose the Ausable Chasm, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks. There’s good reason in the dramatic landscape for the comparison, particularly at natural sites such as the serene Mystic Gorge, Rainbow Falls, Elephant’s Head, Hyde’s Cave and Column Rock. Areas include natural stone walkways and 15 miles of mountain biking trails in the Ausable Chasm Recreation Center that suit all levels of riders. More experienced mountain bikers can opt for challenging trails at Dewey Mountain, Whiteface Mountain and Gore Mountain.

Couple Cycling. Photo: Shannon Fagan | Dreamstime.com


John Boyd Thacher State Park is the perfect destination for wildlife viewing from a bike saddle. Located upon the Helderberg Escarpment, where countless fossils have been discovered, the park has a landscape filled with rocky slopes, cliffs, forest and meadows with views of the Hudson-Mohawk Valleys and the Adirondack and Green Mountains. Try the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, or head over to Daniels Road State Forest for a range of demanding biking trails.


The Catskills

In the Catskills Mountains, the Catskill Scenic Trail Loop provides space to pedal along 19 miles of gorgeous pathways. You can even take advantage of bike lifts that will transport you and your bike to the top of Plattekill Mountain so you can enjoy the downhill rush of cruising back to the trail base at the bottom.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historical Park. Photo: I Love New York, Darren McGee-NYSDED


Finger Lakes

The legendary Finger Lakes region is a cycling paradise. Try the paved Cayuga Waterfront Trail in Ithaca, a 5.5-mile-long biking path that skirts scenic picnic areas perfect for pausing for a snack. Serious mountain bikers can test their skills at Harriet Hollister Spencer Park, Taughannock Falls State Park and Robert H. Treman State Park.


Hudson Valley

The bucolic Hudson Valley has a collection of charming towns linked by soothing landscapes. Gentle rides appropriate for families can be found along the trails in Minnewaska State Park Reserve in Ulster County’s Shawagunk Mountains. Cyclists will be treated to views of multiple waterfalls, plus three sky lakes, streams meandering through dreamy valleys and thick forests of hardwood trees.


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