Schroon's Starring Role in Cycle Adirondacks

By Doug Haney, Co-Director, Cycle Adirondacks   

Those familiar with road cycling in the Schroon Lake region know all about the incredible 1-Eye Classic fall tour, the challenge and beauty of the Grand Loop, and, of course, the countless routes that link with Brant Lake’s own “The Hub” bike shop and bar.

Yep, the area has all that and then some. But this summer, the “then some” includes none other than one of North America’s premier cycling tours – Cycle Adirondacks.

Celebrating Schroon Lake

Known as the ultimate cycling vacation, Cycle Adirondacks is an award-winning, fully supported, road-cycling tour that has quickly become a national leader in bicycle tourism. Why?

Simple. With Cycle Adirondacks, it’s all about the communities. And that’s exactly why the 2017 tour is spending two consecutive nights in each of three overnight host communities. The first two, August 19 and 20, are right here in Schroon Lake.

For those two days, the Schroon Lake Central School athletic fields will become a tent city filled with cyclists arriving from over 35 different states and provinces, many of which will utilize local lodging while in town.

But remember when I said it’s all about community? Both evenings will feature free live community entertainment on the Schroon Lake waterfront thanks to the wonderful owners of the Wood’s Lodge property. The venue is complete with a wine and beer garden showcasing fine New York craft beer from Good Nature Farm Brewery and local favorite Paradox Brewery.

Local Scene, Local Fun

We know our cyclists are going to have a great time on the roads, but we also know that the best connections and memories happen through conversations with the great people of places like Schroon Lake. Especially when there’s a beer garden.

The beer garden opens each day at 3 p.m., but things really kick into action at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 19, when the Willie Playmore Band takes the stage for a two-hour set loaded with all of your sing-out-loud classic rock favorites. These guys played for Cycle Adirondacks in a torrential downpour last summer during an overnight in Ticonderoga, but that didn’t stop the crowd from puddle stomping up some Smoke on the Water.

The free community entertainment continues on Sunday, August 20, at 7 p.m. with New York state school superintendent by day turned physical comedian and juggler by night Stephen Gratto. His performances are fast-paced and exciting displays of juggling, unicycling, rope walking, object balancing, and many other feats of daring, bravery, and “side-splitting foolishness.”

My family has seen Stephen and his sons — Schuyler (17), Gabriel (14), and Christian (11) — perform numerous times at Saranac Lake’s annual New Year’s Eve Celebration. We can testify to witnessing all of the above, even the bravery.

Now, are you ready for the coolest element of Cycle Adirondacks? Good. I thought so.

The event is designed to give back to each of its host communities. In Schroon Lake, we’re helping our camp (AKA Schroon Lake Central School) create a farm-to-table program complete with chicken coop and garden beds.

But What About The Cycling?

Oh right, the cycling. So, here’s the thing about Cycle Adirondacks. It’s basically a cruise ship for people who love to ride bicycles. When they say “fully supported,” they really mean it. The only thing Cycle Adirondacks guests are responsible for is riding their bikes and having fun, which is very easy to do when riding a bike. Plus these amazing amenities:

  • Three locally sourced gourmet meals each day
  • Complete route support
  • Daily entertainment
  • Mechanical and medical team
  • As few as three or as many as six incredible riding days
  • Wellness services (massage therapy and yoga)
  • Hot showers and clean restrooms
  • Unique interactive science program
  • And surprises! 

When they say surprises, they mean…wait a tick. Let’s not give too much away. What I can do is show you our cycling routes in and around Schroon Lake. Check out these gems. 

From Schroon Lake, the tour rolls northward to the heart of the Adirondack High Peaks in Keene Valley and onward to the birthplace of Cycle Adirondacks, also known as Saranac Lake, before the tour returns to Schroon Lake. But remember, every single night of the tour features free public entertainment, so whether you’re cycling with the tour or not, you can still be a part of the show. 

Cycle Adirondacks' mission is to grow and support bicycle tourism in New York’s Adirondacks. Its flagship event is an annual award winning, fully supported, weeklong road cycling tour. The 2017 weeklong tour is scheduled for August 19-25, with a start and finish location of Schroon Lake and overnight stops in Keene Valley and Saranac Lake. Now in its third year, the event is recognized as one of the most well organized, most amenity-rich, all-inclusive, fun, and relaxing bicycle tours in North America.

Not staying in the tent city? Here's local lodging. Here's our range of dining. Take a bike ride!

Great Bike Rides In and Around Schroon

Natural Stone Brideg and caves: A  fun place to cool off and enjoy nature's air conditioning. There are self-guided tours, swimming, and a well-stocked rock shop. There are several miles of hiking paths, too, all included in the admission

Natural Stone Brideg and caves: A  fun place to cool off and enjoy nature's air conditioning. There are self-guided tours, swimming, and a well-stocked rock shop. There are several miles of hiking paths, too, all included in the admission

 By Pamela Merritt 

Blog Post Courtesy of the Schroon Lake Region

The Schroon Lake Region has lots of lovely places to go for a bike ride. Whether you like road or mountain biking, there's the right mix of terrain for any age or skill level.
The abundance of lovely lakes has another advantage for those who like their routes a bit on the flat side, while our rugged ranges add spice to mountain biking trails. Here are some fine choices for that next trek.

Follow the route of the Adirondack Marathon Trail for the "most beautiful run in the world." That goes for bikes, too.
The route is all paved and mostly flat or gently rolling. There is a hilly section between miles 4 and 12, with minimal traffic.

This famous marathon run was laid out in 1997 to take full advantage of the many scenic views there. Most of the route has a view of Schroon Lake, while the northern end has lovely forest views.
Much of the west side of the course runs along the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area, where there are 50 miles of trails. Choose from mountain climbs like Pharaoh or Treadway, or visit the many waterbodies like Berrymill Pond, Rock Pond, Gull Pond, Goose Pond, Crab Pond, and Clear Pond, along with Pharaoh Lake and Grizzle Ocean.

Lots of stops are built in for coffee and lunch, such as the town beach and downtown Schroon Lake. At the southern end, near Pottersville, it's a short detour to a popular cave attraction, Natural Stone Bridge & Caves.

This is a fun place to cool off and enjoy nature's air conditioning. There are self-guided tours, swimming, and a well-stocked rock shop. There are several miles of hiking paths, too, all included in the admission.

We have lots of little seasonal roads that are low traffic and high adventure. One of the most popular is the Newcomb Lake Road, which was once a carriage route for the inhabitants of Great Camp Santanoni. Now, motorized vehicles are prohibited. To get there in summer, many like to bike it.

This 5 mile route (one way) out of Newcomb is cool under the trees and ends at the buildings of this unique Great Camp, which is of great architectural interest.

The 12,900 acre complex has over 45 buildings to view, and lots of places to explore. In July and August there are onsite interpreters available for information and discussion. 

Another fine choice is Crane Pond Road. This area has many seasonal, somewhat maintained, roads which are very scenic mountain bike routes.

This is the canoe launch to Crane Pond (photo courtesy of In turn, these lead to trails with wonderful forest views, as in the video above.
Crane Pond Road itself is 2 miles to Crane Pond, but look for the trailhead for Goose Pond at the 0.9 mile mark. At 1.6 miles watch out for flooding from the northeast end of Alder Pond. The Long Swing Trail is at 1.7 miles, on the left. Reach the west end of Crane Pond at 2 miles. This is also how to reach the trailhead for the Pharaoh Mountain Trail.

For a long and lovely trek, the Grand Loop is 56 miles of stunning scenery. It is popular as a scenic drive and it's also a famous motorcycle loop, but the traffic is usually not that busy and it is so quiet we can hear it coming.
A must-not-miss part of it is the Blue Ridge Road. There's also Blue Ridge Falls, which is a roadside stop and a short hike along a rocky river, with lots of stunning views.

There's a little parking area with a trail along the river with many interesting vantage points and photo opportunities.
There's also the Adirondack Buffalo Company. Our own herd of bison!

The mountains are a perfect backdrop to the bison in their territory. We can also visit the store, which has a wonderful selection of snacks and beverages, along with their own gourmet foods, baked goods, and local crafts.
It's a great place to get a break, a snack, and a handmade throw pillow or peach pie. The proprietors have a lot of Native American themed items, as the bison are an important animal to Native Americans. While not native to the Adirondacks, the bison love it here, as so many do.

Find out more about this fascinating place in our blog post, Where the buffalo roam.
These are just a few of the enjoyable bike routes we offer, because it's all about the journey.
Choose a charming place to stay. Find some tasty dining. Explore more biking.