OVERVIEW - finger lakes (New York) BIKE tour
The Finger Lakes region of New York State includes some of the most beautiful and diverse landscape in the Northeastern US. This area is best known for the eleven long, narrow lakes for which it is named, over 100 wineries located in the nearly ideal viticulture climate, numerous waterfalls and gorges, and incredible views while traveling pastoral roads. On this tour we visit all eleven Finger Lakes over six days with rides ranging from 30-60 miles, as well as daily options for additional mileage and views. Stunning scenery with lakes, vineyards, and rolling hills await on this tour through the Finger Lakes region which is extremely popular with wine lovers and cyclists. This is a vacation you won't forget.
Wake-up to look out your hotel as the sun rises on tranquil waters. Then spend your days biking as much or as little as the mood strikes you knowing the van is always available to shuttle you over that big hill or to wherever you choose along the route. Amazing natural beauty abounds and will entice you to continue snapping picture after picture. If you like eating a picnic or catered lunch by the edge of beautiful lakes, we've got that too! You'll visit award-winning wineries to learn how they do it and sample the many varieties available. Enjoy dinners prepared by accomplished chefs while gazing out over the lake, and end each day at carefully selected and highly rated hotels that cater to your every need. Also encompassed in this tour are some of the highest rated State Parks and towns as voted by travelers just like you. This tour is packed with activities and options, yet allows ample time to explore on your own.
Day 1, MONDAY (Meals - lunch, dinner)
We gather in Rochester, NY and use the van to shuttle to the first lake that we'll take in today. Begin your adventure with an easy ride on mostly flat roads around one of the smaller Finger Lakes before heading past the only two lakes that are nearly uninhabited because they are the water supply for nearby Monroe County. Experience the 2015 Best State Park in the US, where breathtaking views of waterfalls and gorges will find you stopping frequently to snap photos while cruising the curving roads to the lunch stop or hiking overlook paths afterward. The day ends at the northern end of Canandaigua Lake where the Inn on the Lake is your accommodation for the first night. A relaxing dinner watching the shimmering water closes out the day.
Day 2, TUESDAY (Meals - all)
Today we begin pedaling along the shores of Canandaigua Lake, passing a mix of new and old lakeshore homes, before climbing to see a beautiful view looking back toward our starting point. This will be a longer day of riding with some challenging hills but your effort is rewarded with magnificent vista's and photo's that will be all the envy. Next we get a view of Keuka Lake (the uniquely Y-shaped lake) along gently rolling roads following the lakeshore, which lead to Hammondsport, voted the #10 Best Small Lake Town in America in June 2017. Lunch will be served at a lakeside park in this charming and friendly village. Our riding ends for the day as we cross from Keuka Lake to Seneca Lake, capturing views of Seneca Lake during the descent from higher elevations into Watkins Glen. After settling in at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel, we set off to tour one of the oldest wineries in the area and enjoy a culinary delight prepared from locally sourced ingredients. The evening concludes with time on your own to walk in the Watkins Glen village, catch a sunset boat cruise, or relax overlooking the water.
Day 3, WEDNESDAY (Meals - all)
If you love waterfalls, today is your day as it starts with a hike at Watkins Glen State Park, another top park in the US, where 19 waterfalls cascade down 500 feet over 1.5 miles. We ride out of Watkins Glen and pass numerous wineries before stopping briefly at a waterfall overlooking Seneca Lake. The route takes us past frequent vineyards and views of patchwork-looking farmland as we leave Seneca Lake behind and begin to see Cayuga Lake in front. After a lakeside lunch, you'll see the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains; even higher than the world-famous Niagara Falls. Continuing south along Cayuga Lake we arrive in Ithaca, a college town known for being the home of Cornell University and nestled at the southern end of the lake where even more waterfalls await in the plentiful ravines and gorges. There is still time to visit a winery before a wonderful gourmet dinner as we watch the sun set over Cayuga Lake, and then head back to Ithaca for the evening.
Day 4, THURSDAY (Meals - breakfast, lunch)
Before departing Ithaca this morning, there is an opportunity to either visit Buttermilk Falls, a waterfall popular with locals, or take a short ride to see the only covered bridge in the area, which was originally built in 1853. Incredible views continue as we head out of Ithaca and begin the journey to Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. We get both a high view from the hills and a shoreline view riding along Owasco Lake before crossing its northern tip. Ascending another ridgeline with fantastic vista's, we find Skaneateles Lake which is often referred to as the cleanest of all Finger Lakes. In the Village of Skaneateles, we'll have lunch as a group at a waterfront park. Then you have the option to stroll through the Village, take a guided boat cruise, or extend your ride time. Dinner tonight is on your own at the many options in Skaneateles before retiring at the Sherwood Inn or Packwood House.
Day 5, FRIDAY (Meals - breakfast, dinner)
Leaving Skaneateles behind, we pedal west along roads that are mostly flat compared to previous days; skimming the northern tip of three Finger Lakes to arrive in Geneva, which is the town of our last overnight stay. There are several options to add extra miles today to see an operating Erie Canal Lock, look for Bald Eagle nests, visit the Harriet Tubman Home, or see the Women's Rights National Historic Park. With several small towns on the route, you will have the chance to explore on your own and find lunch before arriving at Geneva on the Lake. Depending upon the amount of exploring you did this morning, there will be time this afternoon to visit wineries, swim, kayak, walk into town, or just relax as you watch boats pass by. Tonight we dine together at the elegant "farm-to-table" hotel restaurant.
Day 6, SATURDAY (Meals - breakfast, lunch)
On this last day, you have the option of a morning bike ride back to the tour starting point in Rochester or enjoy a more casual start to your day by staying a bit later into the morning and the van will return you back to Rochester. If you elect to bike back, the terrain for today is mostly flat (39 miles) but several options exist if you prefer a more challenging ride or longer ride of up to 60+ miles. We regroup in Rochester where riders can shower and change before one last meal together. You'll have time to catch an afternoon / evening flight out of Rochester, extend your stay in Rochester, or spend the afternoon sightseeing.
To reduce knee, shoulder, back, and neck issues associated with longer riding times, it is highly recommended guests bring their own bicycle. If you need to ship your bicycle, we are able to provide the name of a preferred partner bike shop that will professionally unpack, assemble, prepare your bicycle for the tour, and store the box for use when shipping back home. Bike shops charge a nominal fee to assemble and prepare a bike and a separate fee to break-down and repack a bike for shipment. You might also consider self-assembly and break-down of your bike by shipping to your pre-tour hotel. Most hotels will store the bicycle box during the tour but check beforehand to confirm.
If you prefer to rent a bicycle, please indicate your desire on the reservation form. There will be a charge associated with renting a bicycle that will be determined at the time of your request and dependant upon the equipment selected.
Finger Lakes (NY) BIKE TOUR SUMMARY
Price: $ 2,295 (double occupancy)
Single occupancy option: $695 additional
Length: 6 days / 5 nights
Daily mileage range: 30 - 60
Total tour mileage: 215-255
Daily biking time (est): 2 - 4 hours
Terrain: Rolling hills with several more difficult climbs
Ability level: Casual and above
Start location: Rochester, NY
Ending location: Rochester, NY
Accommodations - 5 nights
Meals - Breakfast (5), Lunch (5), Dinner (4)
Activities - winery tours and tasting, parks, sightseeing
All transportation and luggage transfers during the tour
Ride support and daily, detailed route directions
Mechanical support, snacks, and drinks while riding
Van shuttle back to start location
Gratuities and taxes for accommodations, meals, and included activities
What's not included:
Transportation to starting and from ending location
Accommodations prior to tour Day 1 or after tour Day 5
Gratuities for tour leaders
Alcoholic beverages at meals
Any activities not mentioned above as included