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KenR, October 2004: thoughts on Albany-Rensselaer to Mechanicville section

The one-way route like Oct-03 or Oct-04 below has some good variety: quiet rural, busy city (Troy), paved path (Albany), big uphill, big downhill. Lots of river views. Could be combined with the sights and shops of the city of Albany. Of course if you don't like the miles of riding city streets, or never thought you wanted to visit Troy, then it's not for you.

This is the one section of the Hudson River below Glens Falls for which I do not yet know a loop route that I'd want to ride again.

KenR, October 2004: Rensselaer to Stillwater one-way

I wanted to ride from Albany to Stillwater and see the RPI college campus along the way. Next time I'll try a different route, like Oct-03 below, or reverse the Oct-04 route below.

On a weekday afternoon I rode from the Dunn Memorial Bridge across the Hudson river from Albany into Rensselaer, then east up Third Ave - Rt 151, which also has some New York State bicycle route signs for Bicycle Rt 5. It's a rather steep hill, and not short (Bicycle Route 5 turned off somewhere in the middle).

Then I turned onto Rt 4 North. Mostly had a reasonable shoulder, but lots of vehicle traffic. Lots of shopping centers and stores, especially at first. When it curved left down the hill to meet the Hudson river at Troy, in the midst of the downhill I turned right onto Campbell, which climbed back up, but not real steep. After it met Spring St, I found my way onto Rt 66 North, and near where it met Rt 2, I went north up Brunswick Ave (steep), then west to 15th St.

I took 15th St north thru the middle of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) campus. Rode around on the campus sidewalks to the south of 15th St. It's an OK northeastern campus, nicer than some, but didn't seem especially distinctive to make want to come back, and I didn't see how it linked well to the kind of bicycling I enjoy.

I continued north on 15th St to its end, then continued north on state Rt 40. Mostly reasonable shoulder, but sometimes rough or coarse-stone. Lots of vehicle traffic -- it was rush hour. Not many stores. Turned left onto Calhoun - county Rt 122 which was quiet and pretty, west down the hill to river, then north on Rt 121 along the Hudson River, quiet and pretty. When it ended at Hemstreet Park, I crossed the bridge into Mechanicville, right on Rt 67, then north on Rt 4 - Rt 32 to Stillwater (reasonable traffic lane width, and usually some shoulder often not real wide).

KenR, October 2004: Stillwater to Albany one-way

On a mid-week day, I started from the Hudson River bridge at Stillwater, first south on Rt 4 - Rt 32 (reasonable traffic lane width, and usually some shoulder often not wide, sometimes rough).

Turned left on Rt 67 into Mechanicville and continued on Main St south past the bridge, further south past the shops -- seems like less action on Main St than on Rt 4.  Then turned right opposite Underwood Av to go underneath the railroad tracks, then immediate left to go south on Ellsworth Av (a bit rough) to its end where it meets Rt 4 - South Central Av.

A pleasant stop for raspberry pie and coffee at Bubbles Restaurant & Ice Cream (which seemed to be the most distinctive snack stop of the choices around there on Rt 4). When she saw that I was on skates, a waitress told me that she used to do competitive dancing on rollerskates.

Back north on the Ellsworth Av and Main St, then east on Rt 67 across the bridge into Hemstreet Park. Immediate sharp Right onto Hudson St (starts with a very rough downhill which is also short) some pleasant homes beside the river (I'd skate it again), then at its end Left up away from the river on Locust St to its end.

South on county Rt 121 (River Rd?): smooth pavement and pleasant, not much traffic. Lots of chances to see the River. A good number of low-key residences along the way, but seemed like only two or three farms. Then turn East rather steep and not short climbing up from the River, some nice homes and farms, and additional climbing on Rt 122 - Calhoun Dr up to Rt 40.

Rt 40 South had mostly smooth shoulders at least 2-feet wide until Irish Rd. I decided to try continuing further south on Rt 40 with the idea of connecting to the Rail Trail. But the shoulder got narrower in places, and pretty rough for like 50 meters, and there was too much traffic to make me feel like it was worth staying on it for the longer distance it would require to get to the Rail Trail. So I turned around and went back to Irish Rd.

I descended west and south on Irish Rd -- a long way down, mostly moderate, but one substantial mod-steep and one substantial steep section. Those steeper sections mostly had grass alongside which I could have used to walk down, but I was able to use various skate-braking techniques to get down on the pavement. There were also at least three short steep uphills. I think later the road name becomes Haughney Rd - county Rt 124, or River Rd.

Entering the north end of Troy (Lansingburgh), some food stores, and by the bridge I joined Rt 4 South. Not heavy traffic in this section, some cracks and rough spots, but I was happy to skate on it.

I decided to try a side-trip -- a loop across the Mohawk River on five bridges (sort of "around" Peebles Island) 

I turned Right on 112th St and went west on this across several bridges and islands. Then Rt 32 North, at first skating on the sidewalk, which was very rough until the bridge over the Mohawk River (not that exciting) near its entry into the Hudson River. The sidewalk got better, and then the traffic lane was wide enough so I felt good skating it.

Just before Waterford, turned Right onto Burton Av down and east to its end, Left on Mohawk Av north and curve up and over a narrow bridge into the village, Right on Broad St (several snack shops) east to the Rt 4 bridge. Looked at an information kiosk near the bridge, and the photo on the lower right of people on the street of Waterford back in 1920 showed two bicyclists -- and one woman who looked like she might be skating (or maybe running? but two-wheel inline skates were already being sold in 1899, at least in Europe). Across the bridge east back into north Troy / Lansingburgh.

Next I thought I'd still try that Rail Trail in Troy, so I went east up 125th St, bear Left onto Northern -- substantial non-gentle climbing required, one narrow part. Easily saw the north end of the Rail Trail. Pavement quality varied from reasonably good to OK to some short very bad parts. Despite being on a hillside, no real views -- too many trees blocking. Several street crossings. Next time I'd skip the rail trail and do something like my Oct-03 tour below. West on Middleburgh St down moderate hill.

Then south into downtown Troy. Wandered around on various streets, stopped for a pleasant snack at the Daily Grind on Broadway. The woman in the store told me I was the first skater she'd seen around there other than herself.

Skated west across the River on sidewalk of the Congress St bridge, which was higher, steeper, and longer than the Green Island bridge I skated last time. Next time I might go back to the Green Island, since it's less up-and-down and it connects on the west side to a lower-traffic road.

South on Broadway (some traffic / parked-car stuff to deal with in the section where it becomes Rt 32, otherwise nice). Follow Bicycle Route signs to turn Left to go down underneath the expressway to the River (not the half-right which stays on the west side of 787 expressway to go to some parking lot).

Trailway goes south into the Corning Preserve. Sign at north end said "Closed in 2 miles". But that turned out not to be true. Instead after the first section most of the rest was freshly paved smooth, delightful to skate on (but one short section covered with dirt, and of course must be careful of fallen leaves and sticks, etc.) Nice views of the River and various trees and fields. Took this all the way into Albany and the Dunn Memorial Bridge.

KenR, October 2004: Lake George to Stillwater one-way

I started in Lake George on a weekday morning, and found the Warren County bicycle trail just east from Fort William Henry at the south end of the lake. It was on my inline skates, and it was slippery in places with dripping from the trees and wet slick stuff on the trail (though on a bicycle it would not have been a problem). Later this bicycle route goes on the shoulders on some roads, and it crosses several roads along the way.

After I was a ways into the city of Glens Falls, I exited from the trailway and headed for the center of town with the statue and the bridge across the Hudson River. I found a couple of nice coffee shops and chose one for a snack. I partly walked down (on my skates in the grass alongside the east sidewalk) the steep-ish hill to the bridge. Then took county Rt 28 to its end (mostly reasonable pavement and not a lot of vehicle traffic).

Right on Rt 197 (high-traffic) then immediate Left on Saratoga County Rt 29 South, which I took to its end at Rt 32 (a pretty farm or two, flat for a long ways, then a moderate climb, then several more farms and small climbs).

Left on Rt 32 South -- moderate downhill at first, then steep down to the side of the Hudson river. I walked down part of the hill in my skates on the gravel-dirt-grass on the northeast side of the road. This joins Rt 4 South, and (with a side trip to take pictures of Champlain Canal Lock 5) I continued on that into Schuylerville.

After a pleasant coffee and pastry at "General Schuyler's Pantry", I turned Left on Rt 29 and crossed the Hudson River (much easier bridges than the Rt 4 bridge). Right on county Rt 113 South (mostly good pavement, some pretty farms, big views of fields and trees, occasional good views of the River) (Rt 113 has some moderate hills, so it's more work than Rt 4 on the other side of the River thru this section, but otherwise superior for skating or bicycling -- I'll be glad to do it again).

Just before its south end this road becomes Rennselaer county Rt 120. Next to a pretty sod farm, I turned Right and skated west across the bridge into the Stillwater, then skated a little south to the historic "blockhouse" with some pretty views of ducks and geese out in the River.

I would do the whole thing again -- except change one thing:  I fought against a 15 mph wind the whole way. Next time I want less wind. Or different wind.

KenR, October 2004: Stillwater - Schuylerville - Ft Edward - Argyle - Greenwich - Schaghticoke loop (something like 75 miles)

Sharon and I did a mostly-delightful loop on both sides of the Hudson river on a blue-sky Sunday. On the West side we stayed right next to the River, but on the East side we stayed away from the River, where we found lots of pretty roads and several nice snacking places along the way. Actually we started in the middle near Schuylerville, but I'll describe the route from the south end.

From Stillwater, Rt 4 North to Schuylerville (mostly wide shoulder, sometimes rough, not too many interesting views -- marked as NY state Bicycle route 9 -- but next time for this section we'd ride the east side of the River instead). Good coffee and muffin at "General Schuyler's Pantry" in Schuylerville. Visited canal Lock 5 just north of town, lock has some pretty-color paint and flowers. But the old bridge over the main Hudson River near there is closed with a barricade.

To avoid the steep climb up Rt 32 North, we turned around back to Schuylerville and took Rt 32 South, which I'd guess is the gentlest climb up on the west side, then sharp right onto some road whose name I don't remember that went north to the Saratoga battlefield cemetery with that obelisk "needle" tower. From there northwest a little on Rt 338 to NY State Rt 29.

(Next time try something different for that section -- the gentleness didn't have enough interesting to be worth the extra miles it took us. When we checked later after the ride, Burgoyne Rd going West is a steep climb, but NY State Rt 29 West up from Schuylerville didn't seem so steep, and though it had lots of car and some truck traffic, it also had mostly reasonable traffic lane width and shoulder. Rt 32 North has less traffic, but one rather steep uphill section.)

(NY state Bicycle Rt 9 avoids all those climbs by continueing north from Schuylerville on Rt 4 and crossing over to the east side of the Hudson River on the Rt 4 bridge, which has a "steel deck" open grate roadway on the two narrow traffic lanes, with no sidewalk)

From NY State Rt 29, north on Grange Hall Rd (pretty), and across Rt 32 to continue north on Saratoga County Rt 29 and took that all the way north to its end.

In the beginning, several nice farms and views of distant hills. Then down alongside the River -- nice to see the water, but it goes on for a long ways before we got to some other nice farms. We'd gladly ride that section again.

Right on Rt 197, across the Hudson River into Fort Edward (food at Stewart's). Left on Rt 4 North, Right on East St past the Amtrak railroad station, and continue East on Mahaffy Rd (rather pretty farms and views), just as reach a serious hill, turn Right on Hinds Rd to its end, Left on Rt 197 and climb south on that to the village of Argyle, with several food options.

Left on Rt 40 North, Right on McEachron Hill Rd (mostly good pavement, but had a couple of steep sections -- perhaps next time try county Rt 47 instead?).

Left on County Rt 47 and curve right to stay on it.  Right on Lake Rd to head south.  Left on East Lake Road to go on the east side of Cossayuna Lake which was pretty. Right on Rt 338 - Rt 49 (pass by Bunker Hill Rd), and soon we found a pleasant country store on the left side and stopped for a dish of chili.

Left on North Rd, which starts with a steep climb, but it's worth it. Just before another hill climb, Right on Richards Rd (unsigned) to its end. Left on Spraguetown,  Left on county Rt 52 (some rough pavement), Left on Rt 29 into Greenwich, with several nice-looking coffee shops, (but not all of them open on a Sunday afternoon).

East a little further on Rt 372 - Eddy St across the creek then turn Right onto county Rt 74 South, which after an initial dip turned into a long very gentle climb that got gentler, entered Rensselaer county where it becomes Rt 114 and aims more west toward the river and gets hilly -- but with nice views across the Hoosic River valley. Joins Rt 67 and soon comes into the village of Schaghticoke, with several food options. We tried taking Rt 40 South (which is also Rt 67) down to the bridge over the Hoosic River (some interesting rapids), and had some ice cream at the "Conehead".

We then turned around (instead of continuing on Rt 67 west to Hemstreet Park and Mechanicville) and climbed back up north, then turned west onto Stillwater Bridge Rd, and took that across the Hudson River into the village of Stillwater (two food options), and went a ways south to the bridge to see the historic "blockhouse" with a pleasant view alongside the river.

KenR, August 2004: Farthest North, to Upper Works

I started by Rt 28N and after riding both the Rt 75 and Rt 2 connector sections (like 5 miles east on Rt 28N from the town hall of Newcomb, somewhere near Tahawus), rode my road bike all the way the north end of the road at Upper Works, the main parking lot and trailhead for Adirondacks High Peaks hiking and climbing from the southwest. 

The odometer on my bicycle measure at least 12 miles to Upper Works from Rt 28N. The last 2-3 miles was on packed dirt and stones.  There were some rough areas in the pavement before then, but much of the pavement was good. Some views of the Hudson river, but mostly lots of trees, typical or Adirondack riding.

It would certainly be possible to ride further north and to higher altitude on the dirt hiking trails, but as far as I know this is not legal.  So I stopped there, took some pictures, and turned around and rode back south to Rt 28N.

KenR, August 2004: North Creek to The Glen and back.

Starting from the business section of North Creek, I took River Rd down the west side of the Hudson River.  It started paved, offered a short look at the Hudson River, then turned to dirt for a long ways.  There was lots of fresh sand on it the day I rode it.  After a long ways, Left on River Rd Cut-off down a hill on dirt to its end, Left on Rt 8 East (well-paved) to a new wide bridge over the Hudson River at Riparius and the Riverside (former) train station.

South on Riverside Station Rd, paved at first, then dirt, later goes alongside a creek.  At its end, Left on Harrington Rd with a lot of rough pavement.  Some rapids on the River far below.  Ends at Rt 28, then I went southeast on Rt 28 and crossed the Hudson River at The Glen, then immediate Left on the road to Friends Lake, at first north alongside the River, then climbs away, with more ups and downs to its end at Atateka Rd.  Left (North) to intersection with Rt 8 + Rt 9.  Left to go West on Rt 8 (which is also Rt 9 North here), past two lobes of Loon Lake.  Where Rt 9 turns right, bear Left to continue on Rt 8 West (toward Wevertown).

Before reaching Hudson River, turn Right on Vanderwalker Rd (lots of rough pavement) going north to its end.  Left for a ways northwest with hills, then Left onto Bird Pond Rd going west with more hills, to its end.  Left on Rt 28N into the North Creek business district.

Reflections:  All the roads on the east side of the River were hilly, without delivering much in return for the extra work.  The road to Friends Lake goes a long ways away from the River.  If I road thru this section again going one-way, I might just stay mostly on Rt 28, perhaps take the side trip on Harrington Rd to see the rapids (if I thought they would have a lot of water and I might want to try to hike down to them) and a visit to Riparius. 

KenR, August 2004: The Glen / Corinth / Glens Falls / Lake George

I started in Lake George before 9 a.m. on a weekday morning, rode 9N north to Diamond Point (some views of the Lake, a fair amount of vehicle traffic.  Then turned Left to go West to Northway exit 23.  Long hill-climb, sometimes steep.  Went past the Northway, joined Rt 9 into Warrensburg.  At the traffic light for Horicon Rd, turned Left (? onto Elm St ?), then straight across Rt 481 (? onto Elm St ?), then West and North on Hudson St (which the map says later becomes Golf Course Rd).  Good pavement, and some nice views of the River.  Then northwest and north on Rt 28 West.  

Cross the Hudson River at The Glen, and an immediate Left onto Glen Athol Rd.  Soon turn Left onto River Rd.  It was marked closed.  We tried riding it and ran into several work parties making repairs of the road at places where it crosses railroad tracks.  I was able to walk my bike around the work parties.  Some nice views of the River from this road.  Some rough sections.  Nears its end, bear Left at its junction with Bowen Hill Rd. 

At the bridge for Rt 481 at Thurman, continue south along the west side of the River.  Some nice views, but not as many as before.  Snack stop at Stony Creek.  Road south to Hadley was nice to ride, but not much view of the River. Crossed East over the River into Luzerne, then Bay St and across Rt 9N onto East River Dr to go south down the east side of the River to Corinth, with some views. 

Go west across over River into Corinth.  Left on 9N a block or so, then continue south up the hill after Rt 9N turns right. Left onto Palmer Av, which later becomes Spier Falls Rd, with some big hills and views of the River.  then Left onto Potter Rd (North), Right Butler Rd (East across Northway), rather rough (next time I might just stay on Spier Falls Rd), to its end.  Left on Rt 9 - Saratoga Rd, then tried various side trips to get close to the Hudson River.  At Main St, cross over onto 5th Av, then bear Right onto Ferry Blvd and Harrison St (with a side trip or two) to Hudson Falls Rd, and east on this across the River (not much interesting to see).

South into Fort Edwards with several side trips which did not yield any views -- until I got to River St, which had a nice view south to Rogers Island.  Then Broadway to the Rt 197 Bridge west to Rogers Island, with some views, then continue to intersection with West River Rd - Rt 29 which we had previously skated. Turn around and go back to Fort Edwards, followed signs to Amtrak railroad station.  Then more little streets, at railroad yard, bear left onto a road marked as dead end which is Tow Path Rd which goes a ways.  After the pavement stops, can follow the unpaved but fine-grain gravel on the tow path going north-northeast.  Turn Left onto another tow path -- the feeder tow path which goes west and northwest into Hudson Falls, on fine-grained gravel.  It soon reaches some pretty locks with live water thru them, creating several small waterfalls which are interesting to see.

I liked the Feeder Tow Path.  At its end there were signs for how to get to the Rail Trail.  A few blocks West on the Rail Trail, then south to Warren St, then Left onto Oakland Ave to go down by the River, then across Main St to check out another section of the Feeder Tow Path (again fine-grained gravel) which is west from the Main St bridge.  Up the hill north on Main St past the Civic Center, and soon found a nice coffee shop where I stopped for a snack.

After that it started pouring rain, so I got on the Rail Trail at Dix St and took that north back to Lake George, and it was paved, and many sections were pretty nice.

Reflections:  My favorite section was the Hudson River south of the Glen, on the roads nearby on both sides of the River.  Except for River St in Fort Edward, most of the side trips I tried did not seem worth it.

KenR, October 2003:

Albany to Lake George one-way

Inspired by Amit's adventure back in May, I tried this on inline skates on a beautiful weekday, and it worked out well for me. 

I tried to follow mostly quiet roads and rail trails, and I thought it was an outstanding tour.  Lots of pretty farms and animals, lots of pleasant rolling alongside the Hudson river, lots of smooth pavement.  (Sorry, no photos -- I didn't bring my camera -- but I came to wish I had)

I suggest choosing a day that does not have an unfavorable wind direction -- I was lucky to have it following me from the south.

Here's the route I took:

Started at the Amtrak train station in Rensselaer.  A little south on Broadway to find the Bike Route 9 sign for the sidewalk of the Dunn Memorial Bridge to cross the Hudson River into Albany. 

Once on the west side, at the bottom of the sidewalk ramp, I turned east toward the river and crossed the highway lane onto a paved path -- I think called the Corning Fitness Trail (it's shown on the JIMAPCO Capital District SuperMap).  I headed north on this all the way to its end near 4th St and Broadway at the southern part of Watervliet. 

Unlike any of the roads that day, sections of this trail was still wet and slick from some rain showers the day before.  And some sections had rough pavement.  

North on Broadway thru Watervliet, then find the Green Island Bridge to cross the river into Troy.  North on Rt 4 thru Troy and Lansingburgh worked fine for me on skates -- not as much traffic as I expected, and I had a rear-view mirror that allowed me to see well in advance when some vehicles were overtaking on my side.

I've heard there is an off-road trailway partway through northern Troy and Lansingburgh.  It is shown on the JIMAPCO Capital District SuperMap, and there it looks to me like its south end is just north of Middleburgh St, near Ingalls Ave and 8th St -- and from that map it looks to me like its northern end is near Northern Dr / Rt 142 and Oil Mill Hill Rd. 

I continued straight north and northeast on 2nd Ave or something that eventually joined Rt 124 or something (though Rt 4 and Bike Rt 9 turned West to the other side of the river) -- the name changes to Haughney Rd and Irish Rd.   Long climb on Rt 124 to reach Rt 40 -- but it was worth it for what it got me.  Left on Rt 40 North for about a mile (mostly reasonable shoulder, but not real wide). 

Right on Calhoun Rd / Rt 122.  Long gentle down at first past a pretty farm or two.  Then a steep down with a curve -- I did not try to skate down this on the pavement -- instead walked on the grass and dirt along the left side.  Good thing, since the road made a sharp turn at the bottom.  Then gently north a long ways on smooth pavement next to the east bank of the Hudson River -- perhaps the road number changes to Rt 121.

At Hemstreet Park I crossed the river to Mechanicville.  I toured the town center a little but it didn't catch my interest.  North on Rt 4 / 32 to Stillwater.  Some rough pavement, not such pleasant skating.  Stopped for a snack at conveniece store, then at the north end of Stillwater crossed the River and turned left onto Rensselaer County Rt 120 North, which soon becomes Washington County Rt 113. 

Another wonderful roll along the east side of the Hudson river with more pretty farms.  When I reached Rt 29, I decided to continue straight north all the way to Rt 4 (see discussion below of possible alternate at this point).  The next section on Rt 113 was again nice.  But then I turned left to go South on Rt 4 to cross the Hudson River, and had to walk across the longest steel deck bridge I've ever seen -- in a narrow vehicle lane because there was no sidewalk -- good thing there was so little traffic and the few drivers were nice to me.  Didn't find any food looking a little south, so I headed north on Rt 32 and up a rather steep medium-size hill to get to Rt 29.

Alternate:  I wonder if it might have been better to cross the River further south on Rt 29 to Schuylerville -- perhaps more food possibilities, and maybe a less-steep hill-climb?  But it seemed like a lot of traffic on that part of Rt 29. 

This section of Rt 29 North started wonderfully past some farms, then down along the west bank of the river -- which was easy and flat, but not as interesting.  It finished with an uphill to end at Rt 197. 

I made a right and then an immediate left to continue north through the interior on County Rt 28 -- a shortcut to Glens Falls that bypasses Fort Edwards and Hudson Falls.  (I hadn't heard of a pleasant way thru those towns).  Rt 28 was pleasant with nice pavement and mostly reasonable shoulder and not much vehicle traffic.  It had a long gentle climb, and then I stopped for a snack a convenience store in South Glens Falls. 

Down a hill not too steep to the Hudson River.  The bridge was under construction, with rough pavement in the lanes, but a sidewalk open on the west side.  After crossing into Glens Falls, I turned Right onto the first street to go east a ways, then north -- looking for the Glens Falls - Lake George Trailway. 

Turns out I could have continued further east on Warren St, then north on Platt St a block to the southeast end of the trailway near Maple St.  Other places to find the trailway could have been north on Keenan to Leonard St, or north on Culvert or Oak to Walnut or Cooper (my mistake was trying for Cherry St).  Or if all else fails, the trailway crosses Rt 9L / Ridge Rd at Sanford St.

Once on the trailway, I followed the signs all the way to Lake George.  This requires crossing public vehicle roads many times, and the signs directed me back out onto roads for several sections where the trailway is missing.  Also there is a long climb in the north-bound direction, though not real steep.  But overall it worked fine.

The village of Lake George was virtually shut down by mid-October, but the McDonalds was still open for some food, and I found the hardware store with the Adirondack Trailways bus stop, though I found the off-season schedule was not so convenient.  And the day was still pleasant to to take a seat and enjoy the views thru the window and allow motor power to take me back to Albany.

A very satisfying tour which I hope to do again on some pleasant sunny day with favorable wind.

KenR, September 2003:

Saw a report in the Poughkeepsie Journal newspaper by Pete Colazzo about how Nick Lamando and Bill Ring rode from Hyde Park to Lake George in one day.  The article said that starting near Troy they took Route 4, and finished on the Glens Falls - Lake George bike path.

KenR, September 2003

One day of Labor Day weekend, Sharon and I rode the hilly 80-mile loop around the northern section of the Hudson river -- but without the side trip to Tahawus and the Upper Works.

We started at North Creek, took Rt 28 West to North River, Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake; then Rt 28N / 30 North to Long Lake, then Rt 28N West thru Newcomb, then south on Rt 28N thru Aiden Lair, Minerva, and back to North Creek.

There was lots of motor vehicle traffic until Blue Mountain Lake, and still a fair amount until Long Lake.  But we found reasonable shoulders, and it was interesting enough going thru different villages past different lakes.

But that's only the first half.  After Long Lake most of what we saw were trees and trees and trees.  There was a food stop in Newcomb.  We did remember the crossing of the Hudson River.  But it went on too long for us after that -- we were pretty sore when we got back to North Creek.

There is a similar route described in the book, 25 Bicycle Tours in the Adirondacks by Bill McKibben and others, 1995.

Amit Mehta, May 2003

Many thanks for your help with the route. I followed much of it in the opposite direction, it turns out. Rain fell on Monday, from daybreak to my ending, at the Saratoga Springs train station in the afternoon. However, rain skating can be good for the soul. It just takes a few more minutes for your body to warm up and adjust after you stop.

From Albany, I took Broadway/32 up, with a detour through Troy (crosses at the Congress St and Green Island bridges). In Cohoes, I detoured a bit: Central Ave to Garner to Vliet to N Mohawk St, then up N Mohawk St, which turns into Cohoes Crescent Rd, to route 9. I wouldn't recommend Cohoes Crescent Road to most people--the pavement is not well maintained and the skating is technical, especially with traffic. I crossed the Mohawk River/Erie Canal on 9 before making an immediate right on Church Hill Rd, continuing onto Brookwood Rd to 32/4, where I rejoined your route going north.

Your comments on 4/32 were on the mark: there was just sufficient shoulder space for skating, although I often had to use underpushing to minimize lateral space. It was a nice road, with good views. I crossed to the east bank at Stillwater, taking 120/113 up to Schuylerville. Traffic was just about nonexistant on 113, as you mentioned on the phone. I crossed over onto 4 and the east bank at Schuylerville, heading north on 32 (up the sweet hill) to 29. I then took 29 north to 197 and crosse east to Fort Edward Road/28. Shoulder space was lacking inside Fort Edwards. However, there was enough interstitial space to get by, only somewhat more challenging than Manhattan. With some detours onto smaller roads (Park, Allen, Sumpter, Bridge, Depot), I took something like 4 up to 254/32b, then 254 west to 32, which I followed into Glens Falls.

The route to Lake George was somewhat tricky. Inside Glens Falls, there is plenty of shoulder space/parking space on route 9 north. Outside Glens Falls, this fades away. Additionally, owing to surprisingly good weather late Sunday, the route was packed with fast traffic. I used a combination of sidewalks and occasional lunges on the road to reach Pond Road (59), beyond which I took the bike path up to Beach Road/51, reaching Lake George 7 minutes before the 6:30 boat tour of the lake took off from the south shore.

The rains fell on Monday. I followed 9 to 9N along the lake shore to Bolton. The views were obscured due to weather, so I backtracked to Diamond Point and took 35 west, up the longest hill of the trip. (cross streets like "Journey's End Road" seemed oddly named...). From 35, I took 418 through Warrensburg to Stony Creek Road (2). I followed 2 south to 3, catching some unique Hudson River views. With a shunt on Grist Mill Road to 12, I followed 12 and then 1 (Stony Creek Road, still) south, past the hilly banks of a surprisingly lean and rapid river, by my standards, which are based on the Hudson south of Albany. I crossed ito Lake Luzerne on Shore Road beofre taking East River Dr (16) south to Corinth. Then 24 east (with a shunt on Folts Rd), past some more nice riverbank areas and Moreau Lake State Park, to Fortsville Road (31). I took 31 south to Palmer Ridge Road to to Dimmick to Gurn Spring. The last four were all relatively traffic free with nice spring scenery and nearby farms. Following this, things changed as I approached Saratoga Springs: Traver to Pine to Carr to Jones to Excelsior into town. The last five roads had heavier traffic and little shoulder; I often had to step off the road and received many an aggressive horn.

KenR, May 2003

One rainy day back in 2001 when we were driving home from a few day in the Adirondacks, Sharon and I checked out some ideas for riding on bridge-to-bridge loops around both sides of the Hudson River.  We didn't find much for loops, and I misplaced my notes -- but when Amit got interested in a one-way tour, I decided to write down what I could remember.  So here it is, 

from North to South: 

  • north of Minerva:  We didn't check all of Rt 28N, but the section that we did check seemed like a reasonable possibility, especially south-bound (downhill).  A few days before, we drove 28N from Long Lake to the Tahawus road (and that seemed to ridable for us) and we drove north through Tahawus to the west trailhead for the Flowed Lands, Lake Colden, and the Adirondack High Peaks (and that seemed ridable).  We think of that trailhead as the "farthest north" up the Hudson River you can ride on roads. 

  • North River to North Creek:  Perhaps the prettiest section, since Rt 28 runs right along the West side of the Hudson River.  But it does not connect to Rt 28N north of Minerva.  I don't have any memory of it being a bad road for bicycling, but nor do I remember it having real good riding conditions either.  On a one-way River tour, could consider doing it as an out-and-back side-trip from North Creek.

Loop route:  We have considered riding the (hilly) loop from North Creek, Rt 28 West to North River, Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake; then Rt 28N / 30 North to Long Lake, then Rt 28N West thru Newcomb to the turn-off for Tahawus, side-trip to the "farthest north" trailhead, then continue on Rt 28N South thru Aiden Lair, Minerva and back to North Creek.  Not many "through roads" in the Adirondacks, so there could be substantial high-speed traffic on this route, but the main roads in the Adirondacks tend to have reasonable lane width, often with some sort of shoulder.  But we haven't checked it out yet. 

  • Minerva to North Creek:  Riding South on Rt 28N seemed like a reasonable possibility.  

  • North Creek to The Glen (where Rt 28 crosses Hudson River).  The roads alongside the River on the West side were dirt and rough.  The roads on the East side seemed mostly reasonable with mostly not much traffic, but not very close to the River.  Rt 28 is the shortest, but not very close to the River. 

  • The Glen to Rt 418 south of Warrensburg:  River Rd on the West side seemed like a reasonable possibility.  Rt 418 might be a possible way to connect with food and lodging in Warrensburg.  I forget what the East side was like. 

  • Rt 418 near Warrensburg to Lake Luzerne:  West side seemed like a reasonable possibility.  East side has no continuous road that stays anywhere near the River. 

  • Lake Luzerne to Corinth:  East side seemed like a reasonable possibility.  Rt 9N on the West side seemed to have more traffic.

  • Corinth to Glens Falls:  the River turns East (even a little North) through here.  The North side road seemed to have a lot of traffic -- perhaps because it's the shortest way between Corinth / 9N and an exit on the Northway / Rt 87 -- and we didn't find much scenery to repay dealing with the traffic.  We rode some of the South side roads on a Mohawk-Hudson club weekend a few years ago, and remember less trafffic and some river views along Spier Falls Rd, but then a steep hill before getting to Rt 9.  (possible side trip to Moreau Lake State Park).  Not sure how to get closer to the River into Glens Falls from Rt 9, since we instead rode east on Reservoir Rd and rejoined the River running south from Fort Edwards.

  • Glens Falls to Hudson Falls and Fort Edward:  We have not explored this section. 

  • Fort Edwards to Northumberland:  A few years ago we rode most or all of the West side on Rt 29 / River Rd, and that was mostly reasonable -- though not many exciting views.  

  • Northumberland to Schuylerville:  From a few years ago, I remember the riding on the West side being hillier and trickier thru here.  

  • Schuylerville to Stillwater:  ?? We did not explore this section.

  • Stillwater to Mechanicville:   ??

  • Mechanicville to Waterford:  ??

  • Waterford to Troy:  ??

  • Troy to Albany / Rensselaer:  ?? We did not explore this section.

Hannah and some others took their bicycles on the Amtrak train to Montreal, and then rode back south -- not just to Albany, but all the way to New York City.  See 

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