Touring - please take a look at my google maps route for my NY tour coming up
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09-30-07, 05:40 PM
Any advice or changes would be greatly appreciated!
EDIT - UPDATED:
and finally up to Lake Placid:
I'll be doing that and coming back the exact same way, except I'll be staying on 22 and then 4 on the way back, going through whitehall, etc.... I think.
09-30-07, 06:26 PM
Early in the route, I recommend taking pleasant back roads, with very little addition to mileage. Specifically, around the Norrie Point turnoff, take the road (Old Post Road?) that goes through Staatsburg and then back to 9. Just a bit north of that, go left on Route 85 and follow through Rhinecliff to Route 103, River Road. Take 103 north, past Bard College, until, at Annandale Road, you're put onto Route 9G. Go north and take a left onto Kidd Rd. Continue to Tivoli, turn left and find Woods Road where you'll go north to Germantown and 9G again. Follow 9G north into Hudson, where you'll rejoin your route on 9.
There's a really nice bike path in the Albany area that you should consider. At the end of Route 9J, cross the Dunn Memorial Bridge into Albany and you'll see the start of the path (in view immediately north of the bridge). I believe that's actually the route your map follows for a short while, but I'm not sure you realize it's a bike path. You could follow it much farther, through Watervliet and Cohoes, and bend westward and pick up Route 9. That would allow you more miles on the path. (It goes all the way, 35 miles, to Rotterdam Junction, fyi.) I can't find my map and don't know Albany that well, but I've ridden that path a few times and think it's worth checking out. A map is available from some agency in Albany, which I can't seem to find via google right now.
IMO, I would try to avoid Route 9 going north from Albany and use the secondary roads just to miss the traffic. Get a DeLorme NY map and see if you can't do better. In case you don't know, there's a bike path from Glens Falls to Lake George Village. I don't know where you pick it up, but it's said to be nice.
I like your route north of Lake George. I've biked some of it (the pull up Tongue Mtn on 9N is a bit of a task, but do it anyway).
On the return trip, you might consider taking Route 73 all the way to its end at the Northway, and picking up Route 9 there (Rt9 traffic is light in that area). It hits Route 74 just north of Schroon Lake, and you can take 74 east to pick up your route at Ticonderoga. I don't see any big hill problems on any of that. If you do this, be sure to stop and have a look at the very pretty Chapel Pond on your right on Route 73, east of Keene Valley. There's a big sign.
Have fun :)
09-30-07, 09:27 PM
Pick up the Albany bike path at Dunn memorial bridge in Albany as Lew mentioned. This link ( http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1357935) will give you a less congested and more scenic route to Lake George where it rejoins your route. It is a combination of bike paths and official state bicycle route(Bike route 9) most of it has a 2' or wider shoulder. It generally follows the Hudson river and has about 2 hills worth remembering. It is an easy day's ride from Albany, there is camping at lock one in Waterford ( see dockmaster) and Schylerville Marina. There are several "mom and pop" motels along the way. If you want to skip Lake George follow US 4 from Fort Edward to Whitehall and then north on NY Rt 22 to Ticonderoga ( very scenic views of the lower Champlain Valley with long hills)
NY Bike route 9 map (pdf map opens in a popup) http://nysl.nysed.gov/uhtbin/cgisirsi/vSgPoB3uE6/NYSL/13930031/523/68956
10-01-07, 08:24 AM
WOW thanks so much for all the great suggestions!! I've never been past the catskills, so most of this will be new to me.
I redid the map at your suggestions, it's GREAT to have the advice of people who know this area. I'm getting so excited! In case you were wondering, I'm taking that rather off route inside of lake george because there's some very nice people in Bolton I'd like to stay with, but I may just continue along the lower champlain area if it's worth it.
I'd like your suggestion on one more thing - I don't think I'll make it that far from poughkeepsie before it gets too dark to keep going, and I estimate I'll be around Germantown at the point that I'd like to set up my first night for camping. Does anyone know of a decent spot or site between Tivoli and Castleton that would be good?
Thanks so much meanderthal and velonomad!
10-01-07, 12:22 PM
Years ago (I'm reading from trip notes) I bivouacked 4 miles north of Castleton just 50 yards up an obscure path on the right, leading off Route 9J. (Photo below) You'll find a large flat area that's elevated, hidden from highway view, and that has a wide view westward across the river. It wasn't posted; it may have once been a quarry. You'll have to watch closely for the path...it's an old rutted access drive that hasn't been used in a long time. It may now not even be visible. It goes right up the hill and is full of weeds, but did show signs of having been driven. I had been looking for places to stealth camp but most property was either posted or developed. That was my one and only chance.
There's a Stewart's in Castleton, btw, so you can eat or stock up just before camping.
If you're making good time and want to go farther, it's less than 5 miles from that camp spot to the start of the Albany bike path (or 9 miles from Castleton). When there, I spied a safe-looking bivouac spot on the path (velonomad may want to correct me re "safety", as my info is 10 years old). At 3.5 miles into the path, it bends to the left, but if you go straight ahead onto a grassy area, its end hooks around and hides a good bivouac spot. There are other treed spaces before and after that, but I thought that one looked pretty promising. They may have built a Starbucks there by now, though, lol.
On the other hand, if Tivoli starts looking like a full-day's run by the time you get to Bard College, you might consider bivouacking somewhere on the forest/meadow walk/bike path that starts from Annandale Road at the north end of the campus and wends its way through nice, quiet space and reconnects with civilization on Kidd Lane. (Then left and onward to Tivoli the next morning.) Be sure you're stocked with dinner stuff, as there's very little on your route north of Hyde Park.
You've probably already though of it, but do ride through the Vanderbilt Mansion grounds on those pretty little roads, rather than riding past the grounds on 9.
Bivouac spot off Route 9J near Castleton NY:
10-01-07, 08:01 PM
I think I know the spot Lew is speaking of just north of Castleton-on-hudson. If you look at this G-map( http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1360299 ) you should see it just after and to the right of the 3mile marker. The spots I know in that area are on Staats Island where I use to ride the trails with a local bike club some years ago. The first bivouac spot may or may not have a bridge there now, the second one is a wildlife preserve on Staats Island road, you aren't supposed to camp there but if you are late in- and early-out you should be ok. If Lew's spot is still there I would pick it over the two I mentioned ( less bugs).
There is some stealth camping opportunities along the Albany bike path. The spot Lew menitioned is a possiblity, there are homeless and druggies around on warm summer nights so be careful. farther up the path you will go under the second highway bridge and up a small hill. just to the right in that patch of woods would be my choice. You are much better off if you can ride 5 miles further to Waterford where you can camp legally and safely in the Canal Park, ( check in with the lock master at the Erie Canal visitor center so the local fuzz won't harass you in the middle of the night)
10-02-07, 08:08 AM
Alright, that was perfect info. If I can't get off work in time to catch the 9:00 a.m. train (in which case I'd make it all the way to waterford), I'm going to be taking the last off peak train, getting to Poughkeepsie at 5:14 p.m., which doesn't give me too much time before it gets dark. If that latter is the case, I think I'm going to either:
A) find the secluded spot by the forest/meadow walk/bike path that starts from Annandale Road at the north end of the Bard campus - which might be somewhere around here: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1361155
B) Go north a little, cross the hudson on 23, and make it to a designated camp site in Catskill, NY
I'm leaning towards the first option... because it's free.
Once I get up the adirondack s.p., I've been told that I can legally camp at any "trailhead" for free. Is this true? Where do I find such trailheads? For what it's worth, I have a small camouflage bivy.
Thanks so much!
10-02-07, 08:59 AM
No - the secluded area (it's some kind of "preserve") is north of Annandale Rd -- north of the last part of Annandale that goes east-west just before it hits 9G. If it's not marked or you don't see it, ask any student about the cutoff to Tivoli. I rode it north to south, starting at Kidd Lane, so am not entirely sure where the path spills out onto Bard's campus, but that's my best recollection. If all else fails, go ahead onto 9G and once you've turned left onto Kidd Lane, you'll find the north entrance to the path on your left some distance down Kidd (but before it turns north to Tivoli). If it's getting dark and you've still not found it, then you might as a last resort stealth-camp at Clermont State Park (and Historic Site). This is a no-camping park, though, so hide well somewhere off the long drive-in approach to the mansion. The park is on the left, off Woods Road north of Tivoli.
If you do Plan B and go to Catskill, it'd still be better to return to the east side of the river the next morning, rather than approaching Albany from the Catskill side. I had lots of trouble finding my way to the bike path when I went that way once, and the urban territory as you near Albany is (or at least was) rather "iffy".
Trailheads in the Adirondacks: my DeLorme map doesn't show them. I guess you'd have to consult a map made for hikers. I think the rules state that you can camp on any state land up there just as long as you're at least 150 feet from the trail and any stream or lake. But note well: trails leading off trailheads seem to go up at first, so finding a level spot to pitch tent may not be easy. The trailheads themselves seldom offer level, hidden space--just parking for cars. In the Adirondacks, don't restrict yourself to trailheads, though--keep watch for likely wooded spots alongside the highway. It's not all that hard to make a safe camp 50 feet off the road. There are also old logging roads and other ancient access paths that should lead to promising ground.
Edit to add: One last thought...on Day 1, when youre going north on River Road (103), it crosses Route 199. Just after that, on your left, is Poet's Walk--a nice, mile-long path into a meadow and eventually into woods. If you're losing light, that's an option that comes well before Bard College. It's a no-camping place too, but in a pinch you could surely find a hideout.
10-02-07, 01:04 PM
one liitle thing, on your route it looks like you are taking dunn memeorial the way a car would which is 1)dangerous and 2)confussing to get to the bike path
left rt 9&20
about 1/5 mile on the left will be a sidewalk that will take you over the bridge and right to the bikpath
10-02-07, 01:25 PM
Thanks for the more detailed information Meanderthal! I think I might be able to make it to Bard, but just in case I can't, it's great to have a contingency plan! You and Velonomad have made me feel so much better about this trip.
Thanks Douglas, I didn't know exactly how the crossing worked by bike, so thanks for explaining it. Google maps won't let me select any other way of crossing it, but when I do it I'll definitely find that sidewalk to the bridge.
10-02-07, 02:00 PM
Douglas - I'm glad to get your bridge info, as I suffered such a crossing and knew there must be a better way. There was lots of broken glass on the bridge when I crossed, in addition to a somewhat scary traffic situation. Thanks...Lew
10-05-07, 06:30 AM
I can get to Dunn Memorial Bridge in 5 or so minutes via bike. (The bike path is my recovery ride route)
12-17-07, 08:56 AM
I just wanted to update this. I had a fantastic tour. That first night, I slept in Poet's Walk, which is illegal but there was no one there. The google maps route I made along with the suggestions of people here made it work really well. I'm especially grateful for the advice about getting onto the bike path into Albany, it went without a hitch. Biking out of Albany takes you through some not-so-nice areas, but once you get a few miles North it's okay. The Adirondacks were amazing. I ended up going into Vermont and up to Canada instead of my original route, but I made it back through the high peaks. Perfect trip really, I just wish it hadn't rained most of the time...
I'd highly recommend this trip for someone from NYC. I'd be happy to answer any questions if someone is thinking of doing something similar.
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