Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Northeast
Reload this Page >

Best "Destination" Hillclimb in NorthEast?

Notices
Northeast Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New York |Rhode Island | Vermont |

Best "Destination" Hillclimb in NorthEast?

Old 01-25-18, 08:00 AM
  #1  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
Thread Starter
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 32,972

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 462 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12824 Post(s)
Liked 1,806 Times in 957 Posts
Best "Destination" Hillclimb in NorthEast?

I am a hillclimb lover. I am looking for the most epic and long road climb in the region. Open to suggestions, but here are a few thoughts/goals:

1. I know Mt. Washington is epic, but it's off the list. It's only open to cyclists one day/year and you have to pay a princely sum. It's on my bucket list, but NOT for this trip.

2. Climb should be doable on a road bike. No gravel. Should be safe to descend too.

3. Ideally, climb should have good roads to ride on nearby for warmup.

4. Bonus points if the region has non-cycling interesting sites as my spouse may come along, and she is more interested in art galleries, antiques, etc.

5. Closer to the Philadelphia area is better.

So far, it seems the best bet is Whiteface Mountain in New York State. It's 6 hours drive (which is far but tolerable). The area around it seems good and there is Lake Placid etc. nearby.

Any comments, for and/or against? I am open to other suggestions.

BTW the trip will be in May or June, not now when weather is unkind.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 01-25-18, 08:40 AM
  #2  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 27,531
Mentioned: 194 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11754 Post(s)
Liked 3,575 Times in 1,903 Posts
One or more of the gaps in VT. Probably farther than you want to go though.


Six Gaps - NorthEastCycling.com


Burlington is great for non-cyclists. It's like the Berkley of New England.


There is also Mount Greylock, the highest peak in MA:


https://bikenewengland.com/2015/07/2...reylock-climb/


NW Massachusetts is really nice. Lots of art and antiques.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 01-25-18, 09:23 AM
  #3  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,496

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1662 Post(s)
Liked 380 Times in 262 Posts
- Devils Kitchen, Catskills, also known as the Platte Cove Rd. The loop up thru Phoenicia and Woodstock is 42 'ish miles. The climb used to be a stage on the Tour de Dupont/Trump

Woodstock and the area is good and touristy, so start in Woodstock to Saugerties for the warm up.

- Falls Rd. east from Copake Falls, NY up to the Mt. Everett, Ma. area. Tough climb. Berkshires, so pretty area, or stay down in Millerton, NY and warmup/ride the Harlem Valley Rail Trail to Copake.

- Greylock for sure, North Adams and/or the Great Barrington area for the sight seeing.

- Next would be the assorted gaps in Vermont, Brandon-Middlebury-Appalachian gaps. Ton's to do in VT., I'd head there for hill climbs before I'd go to Lake Placid.

Last edited by Steve B.; 01-25-18 at 09:31 AM.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 01-25-18, 02:02 PM
  #4  
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,902

Bikes: 2018 Cannondale CAADX 105 SE, 2016 Richard Sachs, 2010 Carl Strong, 2006 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 459 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
One or more of the gaps in VT. Probably farther than you want to go though.
Six Gaps - NorthEastCycling.com
Came in to post ^^^this. But there's usually more gravel than anyone who specifies "No gravel" would likely appreciate.


Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
There is also Mount Greylock, the highest peak in MA:
https://bikenewengland.com/2015/07/2...reylock-climb/
The usual Berkshires weekend torture-fest for climbaholics is to either A) do Mt Greylock one day and Bash Bish (Route 344) the other, or B) do Mt Greylock north-to-south one day and south-to-north the next.

If it's a long weekend, get four rides out of it:
- Mt. Greylock north-to-south
- Mt. Greylock south-to-north
- Bash Bish east-to-west
- Bash Bish west-to-east
Bob Ross is offline  
Old 01-25-18, 02:53 PM
  #5  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 27,531
Mentioned: 194 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11754 Post(s)
Liked 3,575 Times in 1,903 Posts
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Came in to post ^^^this. But there's usually more gravel than anyone who specifies "No gravel" would likely appreciate.

Interesting. Which ones? I did Brandon west to east (fully loaded) way back in '99. Did Rochester and Middlebury east to west in 2010. Aside from the fact that Middlebury was being resurfaced, I don't remember any dirt. Middlebury under those conditions was a hoot. At the start of the descent there was a section of water mixed with what I think was limestone. It got sprayed all over my bike and then dried during the descent, creating a white cake. Some of the water must have gotten in the wheel valve holes because when I next removed my tires there were a lot of tiny white pieces of hard material inside.


By the way, just this afternoon I was looking at routes home from western Mass. and say Bash-Bish. Looks crazy. Especially the real narrow part. For some reason, RWGPS wasn't letting me plot the Mass. side. I will try again when I get home.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 01-25-18, 03:49 PM
  #6  
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,902

Bikes: 2018 Cannondale CAADX 105 SE, 2016 Richard Sachs, 2010 Carl Strong, 2006 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 459 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Interesting. Which ones?
Either Roxbury or Rochester, I forget which...it's whichever comes first if you start the loop in Waitsfield and go clockwise.
It has been loose gravel on hardpack dirt for the last ~mile going up and at least two or three miles going down every time I've done them, which means 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Bob Ross is offline  
Old 01-25-18, 04:18 PM
  #7  
Champlaincycler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Adirondacks
Posts: 241

Bikes: 2018 Diverge Comp, 2016 Specialized SL4 Comp,

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Whiteface is closed to cyclists, although you can sneak on after they close at 6 or 7 p.m. Its a toll road for cars, like Mt. Washington. Oddly, the Adirondacks don't have a lot of serious climbs for road bikers, most of the high peaks are off road for hikers and mt. bikers. For old guys like me its -plenty challenging but maybe not enough for you.

Vermont Gaps are steep and mostly paved. Appalachian Gap, Middlebury, Brandon and the climb over Bethel mountain are paved. Lincoln Gap has some unpaved surface for short spurts but its packed enough to not matter. I've read that the top of Lincoln Gap is the steepest paved mile in the country. I have to walk it. Middlebury Gap is doable for me west to east, the other direction scares me.
Champlaincycler is offline  
Old 01-25-18, 04:59 PM
  #8  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
Thread Starter
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 32,972

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 462 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12824 Post(s)
Liked 1,806 Times in 957 Posts
Originally Posted by Champlaincycler View Post
Whiteface is closed to cyclists, although you can sneak on after they close at 6 or 7 p.m. Its a toll road for cars, like Mt. Washington. Oddly, the Adirondacks don't have a lot of serious climbs for road bikers, most of the high peaks are off road for hikers and mt. bikers. For old guys like me its -plenty challenging but maybe not enough for you.

Vermont Gaps are steep and mostly paved. Appalachian Gap, Middlebury, Brandon and the climb over Bethel mountain are paved. Lincoln Gap has some unpaved surface for short spurts but its packed enough to not matter. I've read that the top of Lincoln Gap is the steepest paved mile in the country. I have to walk it. Middlebury Gap is doable for me west to east, the other direction scares me.
Really?? I hope that's not true!

If so, my plan is fail.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 01-25-18, 07:06 PM
  #9  
bubbagrannygear
just ride
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 375

Bikes: specialized roubaix, dawes sst ( steel single speed)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Not close to Philly, and not totally epic from a climb perspective, but if you're ok traveling and have lights for your bike, consider a ride up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Watch the sun rise from what they report as the first place in the US that the the sun hits. There is good riding around the island and on packed gravel carriage paths.
bubbagrannygear is offline  
Old 01-25-18, 07:35 PM
  #10  
Champlaincycler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Adirondacks
Posts: 241

Bikes: 2018 Diverge Comp, 2016 Specialized SL4 Comp,

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Whiteface is open for a fee, but it is full of cars. Sorry, I misspoke.

Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway | Whiteface Mountain.

As an aside, Middlebury VT is at the base of the gap roads in VT and its about 1.5 hrs drive to Lake Placid so you could do both, just take a day trip to LP.

Another idea is the Finger Lakes region of NY. They have killer climbs although for shorter length. The lakes were left from the glacial period and have steep entries.
Champlaincycler is offline  
Old 01-26-18, 02:15 PM
  #11  
zacster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brooklyn NY
Posts: 6,957
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 168 Posts
More than 1.5 hours to Lake Placid.

BashBish is a killer, I've held on for dear life going the other way. I know though that NY Cycle Club does a Memorial Day ride that goes that way, or used to anyway. It is hard enough going up that in a car. But it isn't that long or high and would hardly be an entire day without a big loop on the rolling hills around it. The Harlem rail trail is flat though.
zacster is offline  
Old 01-26-18, 07:52 PM
  #12  
springs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 212

Bikes: Emonda SLR, Salsa Warbird carbon

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you want to do a ride in your home state, here's one that I like. Not too many art galleries in the area, but lots of nice hills. This route has 5k' of climbing in 35 miles.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/8160758
springs is offline  
Old 01-26-18, 08:01 PM
  #13  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4361 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 17 Posts
One of my favorites is mt. Graylock in Northwestern Mass. Not the toughest, but a very rewarding climb. Depending on weather, you can get beautiful panoramic views, or end above a low ceiling and look down on the clouds (why it's called Greylock).

BTW - Mt' Greylock has a unique feature that I feel makes it uniquely suited for bicyclists. There are two ways in and out, so you can climb it on one road and descend on the other, getting two views and allowing it to be on the way riding from one side to the other, ie. from Williamstown to Pittsfield.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

Last edited by FBinNY; 01-26-18 at 08:30 PM.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 01-27-18, 08:02 AM
  #14  
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,902

Bikes: 2018 Cannondale CAADX 105 SE, 2016 Richard Sachs, 2010 Carl Strong, 2006 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 459 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by zacster View Post
BashBish is a killer, I've held on for dear life going the other way. I know though that NY Cycle Club does a Memorial Day ride that goes that way, or used to anyway. It is hard enough going up that in a car. But it isn't that long or high and would hardly be an entire day without a big loop on the rolling hills around it.
Yeah, NYCC still does the Memorial Day Weekend shindig. I've gone up there with them to do BashBish 11 out of the past 12 years. It's usually part of an ~80-mile loop, so you definitely get your full day in the saddle, with two other substantial climbs before you even get to BashBish. See https://ridewithgps.com/routes/7955322
Bob Ross is offline  
Old 01-27-18, 05:47 PM
  #15  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
Thread Starter
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 32,972

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 462 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12824 Post(s)
Liked 1,806 Times in 957 Posts
Originally Posted by springs View Post
If you want to do a ride in your home state, here's one that I like. Not too many art galleries in the area, but lots of nice hills. This route has 5k' of climbing in 35 miles.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/8160758
Thanks, that looks interesting and the good part is it's only 3 hours' drive from my house. Will plan to give it a try some time.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 10:16 AM
  #16  
berner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bristol, R. I.
Posts: 4,216

Bikes: Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 608 Post(s)
Liked 407 Times in 256 Posts
I would consider the Shawngunk Mountain on Rt. 299 starting from New Paltz, an exit along the N.Y. State Thruway. It is not super steep, maybe 7% to 8% and 3-4 miles with 1500' elevation gain with fine views into the Wallkill Valley. Total Miles from New Paltz, both ways, about 14. The wife can then head to Woodstock, a funky, arty tourist town that is not that far away. While in the area, a shortish excursion to the walking/bike path over the Hudson River between Highland on the west side to Poughkeepsie on the east, is worth it for the views.
berner is offline  
Old 02-04-18, 07:26 AM
  #17  
dennis336
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 380

Bikes: Trek Domane, Surly Disc Trucker, Canondale Synapse (winter bike)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 108 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 24 Posts
+1 for Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Get up early and ride the Park Road Loop before the car traffic builds up, then up Cadillac Mountain. Beautiful views and very peaceful early in the morning. One of the most beautiful rides in New England - just my opinion!).
dennis336 is offline  
Old 02-04-18, 02:52 PM
  #18  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,496

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1662 Post(s)
Liked 380 Times in 262 Posts
Originally Posted by dennis336 View Post
+1 for Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Get up early and ride the Park Road Loop before the car traffic builds up, then up Cadillac Mountain. Beautiful views and very peaceful early in the morning. One of the most beautiful rides in New England - just my opinion!).
While I agree that Cadillac and Acadia in general is a great cycling destination, the OP stated "5. Closer to the Philadelphia area is better. ". Unfortunately, Mt. Desert Island is near 10-12 hrs. of driving, thus it didn't make my list.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 02-04-18, 09:58 PM
  #19  
mackgoo
Senior Member
 
mackgoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: San Clemente
Posts: 444

Bikes: 87 Bianchi X4, 96 Bianchi Ti Mega Tube, 06 Alan Carbon Cross X33

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 166 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 93 Times in 49 Posts
Ascutney
mackgoo is offline  
Old 02-05-18, 12:42 PM
  #20  
autonomy
Senior Member
 
autonomy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Boston Roads
Posts: 830

Bikes: 2012 Canondale Synapse 105, 2017 REI Co-Op ADV 3.1

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 432 Post(s)
Liked 86 Times in 54 Posts
This may not be quite what you're looking for, but since you mentioned Washington - the Kancamagus is pretty popular, +5.4K ft according to RWGPS
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25466229

https://ridewithgps.com/find#search/...%5Bsort_by%5D=
autonomy is offline  
Old 02-05-18, 07:19 PM
  #21  
mackgoo
Senior Member
 
mackgoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: San Clemente
Posts: 444

Bikes: 87 Bianchi X4, 96 Bianchi Ti Mega Tube, 06 Alan Carbon Cross X33

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 166 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 93 Times in 49 Posts
Mount Ascutney Auto Road in Windsor, VT, United States | MapMyRide
mackgoo is offline  
Old 03-19-18, 07:08 PM
  #22  
RobotGuy
Semi-Pro Bowler
 
RobotGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: New Joisey
Posts: 202

Bikes: ‘02 LeMond Tete De Course Titanium (road), ‘98 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo (mtb), ‘88 GT Mach One (BMX)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 101 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ok, not technically in the NE, but from Phili I’d say it’s closer than VT/NH. Skyline drive in the Shenandoah National Park (Va) Nice climb from the north end, then epic ride south and descent. Lots of non-cycling interests in the area plus tons of local wineries and even a handful of breweries.
RobotGuy is offline  
Old 03-20-18, 11:08 AM
  #23  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 27,531
Mentioned: 194 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11754 Post(s)
Liked 3,575 Times in 1,903 Posts
The Kanc is a nice ride. Did it from Lincoln during an unsupported cross country tour. Then did Bear Notch to Bartlett before heading east to camp in Glen. Cold, rainy day in August of '99.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 07-04-18, 12:50 PM
  #24  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
Thread Starter
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 32,972

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 462 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12824 Post(s)
Liked 1,806 Times in 957 Posts
Bump/update.

The bad news is that spring has passed and we have not been able to make a trip.

The good news is we are tentatively planning a trip for early August. We will stay in Lake Placid and try to climb Whiteface. There are a few of us and we will rent a house in Lake Placid so non-cycling spouses can do something interesting while we go ride. Plan is to spend Friday and Saturday nights, ride will be Saturday with Sunday as a rain date and/or recovery ride.

Any tips or suggestions for Whiteface?? I know there will be cars/traffic but we will deal.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 07-05-18, 11:22 AM
  #25  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 27,531
Mentioned: 194 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11754 Post(s)
Liked 3,575 Times in 1,903 Posts
No advice on the climb, but if you have never driven to the Adirondacks during that time of year, my advice is to hit the road early. Traffic on I-87 can be reduced to a crawl heading north in August. I came south from Plattsburgh one Saturday morning in August after a week-long ride in Quebec. Traffic heading north was creeping for countless miles.
indyfabz is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.