Some advice would be appreciated. We are two adults and an 11 year old from Australia hoping to do some bicycle touring around New England at the end of September/Early October 2013.
We are travelling on Bike Fridays, my husband and son on a tandem and myself on a tourer. We are coming to ‘leaf peep’ as it has been on my list since I cycled from Banff to Jasper many years ago. In the USA we cycled the Katy trail in Sep ’10.
There is so much good information on the web that now I find myself quite confused and was hoping some fellow cyclists may help me.
Our ideal ride is not too hilly (some are okay) and around 35-55 miles per day, a few either side is fine especially if it’s good surface and flattish we can add extra. We have only around 10-12 days to cycle as are hoping to visit Washington, New York, Lancaster area and Boston as well in our 3 week trip.
Logistics of course is the other issue as we will be reliant on transport to these places.
I have looked at the Lake Champlain area of Vermont and this has a lot of appeal, thinking of starting in Burlington, going across the lake to Grand Isle (should we go up to Isle La Motte or North Hero?), across to Plattsburg and back across at Essex or Port Kent then heading west to some of the small towns, which ones? I have looked at Vergennes, Shelburne, Brandon, Middlebury, Stowe, Smugglers Notch (my son thinks there are some really cool things to do there and we could always walk the hill I guess.) to name a few but we can’t do all of them in the time allotted and perhaps there are other towns that should be on the must do list. We were thinking around 6 days in this area. Suggestions would be very welcome.
This leaves us with another 5 or so days of cycling and we have looked at a couple of other options but I want to make a more educated decision than guesswork. I have looked at the Acadia National Park in Maine, thinking a ride from Portland or close by to Bar Harbor but logistics could be an issue with a longish drive from Maine assuming we get a rental car and would then have to do a circuit or find a solution to get us back to Portland but it does look like a lovely area although October may be dodgy weather wise?
I have also looked at the Erie Canal, it would be great to see Niagara Falls so we could do something from Buffalo teaming it up with Lake Champlain. We don’t have time to do the whole 400 miles sadly but would happily look at the best sectors and use Amtrak in between or some other form of transport, at a loss for what but perhaps those from around these parts may know.
I also saw the Great Allegheny Passage and C & O Canal and the Pine Creek Rail Trail in Pennsylvania but am concerned about the surface. We cycled the Canal Du Midi in France and it was pretty rough going so we are not afraid of being off tarmac but don’t want the arms still shaking at the end of the day. It also made for slow going. We want to see the fall foliage but also like to have small towns enroute. My son loved our last canal trip because he found the locks and boats interesting and a good distraction.
Think I have said enough, would be great to hear from some of you and appreciate your help.