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Need a tour suggestion

Old 07-30-18, 07:03 PM
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Need a tour suggestion

Hi
I need suggestion for a tour, about 10 days long. Preferably without very steep climbing, along some trails or good bike friendly roads (not a 45mph road with no shoulder). Camping, maybe some motels. Preferably near New England, not far from me. Past experience: did GAP and C&O last fall in 6 days.
Some options I thought of:
  • Take a bus to Toronto or Buffalo, ride back to Albany via the Erie Canalway Trail. Then proceed to Poughkeepsie (Mills-Norrie state park?) and back to New York. Questions: is it safe to camp there? PTNY lists campsites at some locks with the contact phone numbers. Are there many bike tourists? I have read that there is high crime in upstate NY.
  • Start the GAP at Pittsburgh, ride it to Cumberland, continue on the C&O to Williamsport. Then ride on road to Jim Thorpe, PA. Take the D&L trail via Allentown and Easton to Delaware & Raritan canal towpath, proceed to New Brunswick. I see the map of PA on-road bicycle routes. Are they reasonably safe to take?
Thanks for any help. I am open to suggestions and to relaxing some of the preferences.

Last edited by csport; 07-30-18 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 07-31-18, 02:55 AM
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Mills-Norrie isn't that nice, but it's safe. Make sure you bring a ground sheet/tarp for the tent. One redeeming thing is that if you stay near the registration office there is a pathway in front of the cabins with nice views of the river and monastery across the river when the leaves are not thick. Note that U.S. 9 is extremely busy and the shoulder sucks in places.

BTW...If you want to avoid 45 mph roads with no shoulder either stay out of PA or plan you route really carefully. Personally, I am not put off by roads like that if there is little traffic. And there is a gap in the D&L starting at N. Catawissa that forces you onto some busy roads in the Allentown area.

Not sure if the bridge across the Lehigh at Jim Thorpe has been completed. If not, you are going to have a very hard climb out of town to get back to the D&L. There was a ceremonial bridge opening, but I read that it was going to close again for completion of construction. As a whole. the D&L south of Bowmanstown is a yawner. Between Allentown/Bethlehem and Easton it's hard to follow in places, and there is some single track riding, albeit flat. Here is one example:


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Old 07-31-18, 06:28 AM
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Perhaps the wonderful P'tit Train du Nord rail-trail beginning just north of Montreal, and parts of la Route Verte in southern Quebec near the U.S. border.

https://carto.routeverte.com/en
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Old 07-31-18, 06:31 AM
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Take the GAP, then the C&O to DC. Spend a couple days at museums or take your time getting there. Take the train back to Pittsburgh on the Capitol Limited using their roll on service for bikes.
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Old 07-31-18, 08:35 AM
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Unless you do a guided tour, forget the Erie Canal Trail. I think you will be bored pretty quickly unless you get creative on your own and take the time to explore all the wonderful little towns along the way.

The GAP/C&O is going to be over all a lot prettier. A lot less work than the Eire Canal to make the ride interesting. You can add to it by taking the Montour from the Pittsburgh airport.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:00 AM
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Do a circumnavigation of Lake Champlain.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:35 AM
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I did a nice loop once starting in Providence, RI. We rode to Newport (there is a trail part of the way), then over to New Bedford, MA. Then by ferry to Martha's Vineyard, from there another ferry to Nantucket, then ferry to Hyannis, then up to Provincetown (partially on the Cape Cod rail-trail). We had planned to take the ferry to Boston (we were flying home from there), but a Nor'easter was about to hit so ferry service was suspended, but we were able to take a Peter Pan bus all the way to Logan Airport (Boston) with our bikes.

BTW, there are inexpensive shuttles that cyclists can take on the P'tit Train du Nord, to go with your bike from one terminus to the other. But you can also ride from the northern terminus (Mont Laurier) to Ottawa, then back to Montreal.
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Old 07-31-18, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
Unless you do a guided tour, forget the Erie Canal Trail. I think you will be bored pretty quickly unless you get creative on your own and take the time to explore all the wonderful little towns along the way.
+1. I did the trail between Lockport and somewhere a bit east of Rochester while crossing the country. Aside from staying at SUNY Brockport, the experience was a snoozer. Was happy when we left and headed north up to Lake Ontario.
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Old 07-31-18, 03:05 PM
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No steep hills and New England in the same sentence? Hmmm. Check out the cross NH trail or the cross VT trail.
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Old 08-01-18, 02:51 AM
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One I'd like to do one day ...

La Route verte
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Old 08-01-18, 11:30 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions!
Bob, I cannot go to Europe as my passport is >10 years old, I am getting a new one. I have friends in Germany, maybe I will visit them and tour in Europe next year. I can go to Canada by land though.

Originally Posted by axolotl
Perhaps the wonderful P'tit Train du Nord rail-trail beginning just north of Montreal, and parts of la Route Verte in southern Quebec near the U.S. border.
Originally Posted by axolotl
BTW, there are inexpensive shuttles that cyclists can take on the P'tit Train du Nord, to go with your bike from one terminus to the other. But you can also ride from the northern terminus (Mont Laurier) to Ottawa, then back to Montreal.
Originally Posted by Machka
One I'd like to do one day ...
La Route verte
That is a great route! Prescott-Russell trail (or hwy 148) from Montreal to Ottawa/Gatineau, then véloroute des draveurs and some roads to Mont-Laurier, then le Petit Train path to Montreal. From there take the trail to Granby, then on road to Richford (back to the US) and then Missisquoi Valley Trail to St. Albans. This makes 515 miles. Amtrak has a train from St. Albans to New York with bike racks.
I know it is a stupid question: my co-worker who is from France told me I would not be able to survive in Quebec if I do not speak French. Will I be able to survive? I have been to Montreal about 10 years ago, I think I was OK.
Originally Posted by cyccommute
Do a circumnavigation of Lake Champlain.
Great route! The area seems to have many campgrounds, really nice. Can be joined with the Canadian greenways, I may not have enough time for both of them now.
Originally Posted by spinnaker
Unless you do a guided tour, forget the Erie Canal Trail. I think you will be bored pretty quickly unless you get creative on your own and take the time to explore all the wonderful little towns along the way.

The GAP/C&O is going to be over all a lot prettier. A lot less work than the Eire Canal to make the ride interesting. You can add to it by taking the Montour from the Pittsburgh airport.
Originally Posted by veloz
Take the GAP, then the C&O to DC.
Thanks, will take this into account. I have already done the GAP, maybe I can do a second tour this year (in addition to the one I am planning now) if I get some time around labor day. I should do the Erie Canal at some point to see upstate NY.
The GAP is the first multi day ride I did, I will definitely want to ride it again. Wanted to try something new and maybe more difficult this time.

Originally Posted by indyfabz
BTW...If you want to avoid 45 mph roads with no shoulder either stay out of PA or plan you route really carefully. Personally, I am not put off by roads like that if there is little traffic. And there is a gap in the D&L starting at N. Catawissa that forces you onto some busy roads in the Allentown area.

Not sure if the bridge across the Lehigh at Jim Thorpe has been completed. If not, you are going to have a very hard climb out of town to get back to the D&L. There was a ceremonial bridge opening, but I read that it was going to close again for completion of construction. As a whole. the D&L south of Bowmanstown is a yawner. Between Allentown/Bethlehem and Easton it's hard to follow in places, and there is some single track riding, albeit flat.
I see that my idea of combining the GAP/C&O with the D&L trail is not good at all. I should ride D&L trail and D&R towpath at some point, and I can do it as a separate small tour.

Originally Posted by Leebo
No steep hills and New England in the same sentence? Hmmm. Check out the cross NH trail or the cross VT trail.
I know it sounds stupid. For now I doubt I can handle 4 to 5 thousand feet gain every day.
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Old 08-02-18, 04:40 AM
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Since you are in NYC one thing you might consider is taking Amtrak's Vermonter to some place then riding home. I did that in June. Took the train from Philly to St. Albans, VT and rode home. The route wasn't super hilly. Hilliest day had about 3,600' of climbing. You could do a shorter version. Maybe to Hyde Park and take the Hudson line home, assuming you can take your bike on board. Or somewhere else where the Vermonter stops. You can get on off with a bike at any station. You just need to make advance reservations.

Here is the route I rode:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27849657

There is camping available. I structured the trip to include two days at my high school reunion in Deerfield, MA, but if you alter the days a bit you can camp every night.

Or the Vermonter will take you south to DC for the C&O.

Last edited by indyfabz; 08-02-18 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 08-02-18, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by csport
I know it is a stupid question: my co-worker who is from France told me I would not be able to survive in Quebec if I do not speak French. Will I be able to survive? I have been to Montreal about 10 years ago, I think I was OK.
You'll be fine. Quebec promotes itself as a tourist destination for Americans, and most of the folks you'll meet are very friendly. I do speak French, though I sometimes have a hard time with Quebecois French (and a harder time with Acadian French spoken in the Madeleine Islands & New Brunswick). Just ask politely if the person speaks English, don't assume they do.
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Old 08-02-18, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Do a circumnavigation of Lake Champlain.
+1

Wife and I did this the last week of June, and despite the disgusting food we got at one sub shop in Rouse's Point, it was fabulous. We'd do it again in a heartbeat.
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Old 08-02-18, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
You'll be fine. Quebec promotes itself as a tourist destination for Americans, and most of the folks you'll meet are very friendly. Just ask politely if the person speaks English, don't assume they do.
+1. I did Velo Quebec's Le Grande Tour back in '08. "Merci" is pretty much the limit of my French. While it was a supported tour, I did venture out on my own in some of the towns. Communicating was not a problem.
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Old 08-02-18, 01:05 PM
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Toronto to Mont-Joli is all downhill: QC: https://goo.gl/maps/Hcvz7QS1oA62
Tailwind, well developed cycling routes, history, a different culture, Canada's largest cities followed by small towns and natural scenery. A train station and a pub across the street at the end for an easy return. The train runs 3 times a week east of Quebec City (viarail.ca). You can skip parts if it's too long. I've done this route several times, though never all at once. It's usually 4-7 easy days as first tour in the spring.

For something shorter that skip the large cites and long suburbs: https://goo.gl/maps/F3EnKnmrCQ92 The hills in the middle can be avoided but shouldn't.
You can get to the start by train from Montréal. It's a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. The rail trail is next to the train station an after a little climb, it's all downhill into Quebec City. Take a day ride to Montmorency Falls, then ferry to Lévis and it just gets better and better as you ride east. There's only the bus east of Mont-Joli: https://www.orleansexpress.com/en/ If you want a taste of the Gaspésie hills, the next bus is in Grande-Vallée.

Just ask if you have any questions.

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Old 08-03-18, 07:08 AM
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..subscribing. Some wonderful tours suggested here.

Given the first-person touring population on the Touring forum, it would be great if BF had a sticky or indexed list of great tour suggestions.
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Old 08-03-18, 11:40 AM
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Unlike the east coast , the Oregon coast has a summer Mostly dry stason ..

Fog, a little drizzle, but no flooding.. here..
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