This Winter when you are staring at your bike and the cold snowy new England Weather... go on a bike trip for your mind... Click a link and see a great adventure... Do some dreaming for the warmer weather.
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So many great stories to read from the riding community.
One thing is for sure, people all over the world love to share their riding stories.
Bend Oregon is called the Mountain Bike Mecca. I have no idea how many thousands of miles of trails they have out there. All I know is I had a friend living in Bend, and I had a 1 week vacation coming up in Early May 2013.
The McKenzie River Route is the EPIC Ride you Seek. This photo shows Clear Lake at the top of the McKenzie River Trail. We watched Fish Swim around the Baited-Hook that you could clearly see while these folks were fishing.
Bend is on the High Desert on the Eastern Side of the Cascade Mountains and is at ~4000 feet elevation. Just as you would expect in a Desert. There are no trees, lots of sand and brush, flat land, and it is very dry. However just 10 miles to the West in the Mountains the Trees are all over 100 feet tall, and forest so thick you have no clear view of any trail. The Western side of the Cascade's is where all the constant and heavy rain falls that Oregon is known for.
On the first outing we kept on the fairly flat land of the Dechutes River Basin. The raging water is an attention getter.
This was a 11 mile out and back (22 Miles) along this incredibly raging river. I have never seen anything like this in our North East. This river had so much energy in the water moving through it, I watched a 30 foot tree fly down the river and smash to splinters when it hit a volcanic rock wall. (Photo 14/26) (See Video below)
To add to the terror of this raging river that sounded like a Jet Engine, we had a Hail Storm our entire ride (Photos 10/26 and 13/26). This river carved itself into Volcanic Rock, so the entire trail was on Dry Lava. If you stray off the worn path, your tires get shredded from the Lava Rock. We were dressed for Winter with Many Layers, would not want to crash on the stuff wearing shorts in the summer.
Very Exciting Ride, left a lasting impression of what a Real River is like.
The next day my friend's wife was nice enough to taxi us up to the top of Kapka Butte (6000+ feet) to the Kapka Peak Snow Park, and YES, snowing it was. (Photo 15 of 26).
Started the ride with a quick descent of 800 feet in the 3" snow before crossing the Highway and climbing again, but no snow on this side at all, not even a hint of it.
By Mile 7, and after a few miles of climbing, it was clear we were on a Down Hill section. By mile 13 it was clear we were on a Down Mountain Section… It was about 8 miles of downhill bombing, screaming loud riders, and holding the handlebars sooo tight, you have to stop and rest your arms. (Yes, I screamed in fear on the way down)
25 miles total, most of it down hill and we rolled right into Downtown Bend. Great Ride, Thanks Alex...!
My friend said the Must See Epic Ride is the McKenzie River Trail.
Starting at Clear Lake on the McKenzie Highway, this is a 40 mile 2000 foot descent on Single-tracks along the purest river water I have ever seen. There are pools of water so clear you can’t see any water even when it is 50 feet deep. (Photos 20/26 + 21/26).
This was a really great ride, Epic..! Starting in a Lava Field and winding your way down from elevation in a forest so thick the only sound you hear is your tires, and your heartbeat.
In all, 5 days of riding at altitude (2 days in Portland for beer infused recovery at sea-level) and over 120 miles traveled in dense dark forest.
A lot of the bicycling clips have disappeared after 10 years, but I think this Video still has a lot of Wow Factor
A great Road ride with long rolling hills and periodic spectacular views of many different lakes. The Saranac Lakes Ride starts at the Mirror Lake location and heads to the town "Saranac Lake" before heading once around the loop and returning to that same town. Nice wide open roads, not a lot of traffic, but there are a lot of Lumber Trucks.
From the Mirror Lake location, there is a great 10 mile MTB ride just around the corner. Great views of the mountains and the Ski Jumps from past Olympic Events.
Hiking in the Adirondacks is not like being in the well marked and maintained trails of NH. The moment you step on a trail in the Adirondacks, you know you are in pure wilderness. Trails are not well marked, and not well maintained. You check in at a Ranger Station, and tell them your Agenda. So stick to that agenda. This was an easy hike with just tons of WOW factor. (Go in the Fall)
This is a great hike on the Western Half of Acadia. A 6+ Mile loop with a few bail-outs if you want a shorter hike.
The first 2 miles are just mountain hiking in foliage brush. Once you get to Acadia Mt Summit you will be able to see most of Somes Sound.
The very first thought you have, the first time you see Somes Sounds is: Gotta Get Me a Kayak...! It is an eye full of views. Nearly 5 miles end-to-end, it has mountains along the shoreline on both sides. The views are incredible and unforgettable.
I would think they call this Flying Mountain because there is always a wind here you can fly-on. On the open ocean of Somes Sound, right below the summit of Flying Mountain, is a sheer cliff where the wind races up and over the summit.
Great place to take an extended rest, maybe some food, and sit overlooking Somes Sound where it meets the open ocean and the Cranberry Islands.
This hike is probably the toughest on the island. Mostly because of the West Face section of this hike.
Take a bus to the Jordan Pond House. If you think you can drive, you will never find a parking spot. Jordan Pond is an amazing view of inner Acadia Park. Directly across the pond are the Bubble Mountains, probably the most photographed feature on the island.
There is no other climb in Acadia that matches this one: Cadillac West Face. It is a 45 degree slope climb of nearly 1 mile. I never recommend descending down West Face... too dangerous. There are a few slick-rock ledge faces that usually are wet from mountain water. This makes them slippery as ice. Any wrong move is a 300 foot drop.
Don't let me scare you, the uphill portion of this hike is well worth it...! A very NH climbing feel to it.
You will kinda feel cheated when you finally get to the Cadillac Mountain Summit and realize there are over 100 other people there. There is an Auto-Road to the top. There's also a store in case you did not pack enough water for your hike.
Plan on an extended stay at the summit before moving on to Dorr Mountain to finish your hike.
Being able to park and hike is a great option for some hikes like this one. The Sargent Mountain hike starts off with a visit to three other peaks before the summit climb.
Once on the summit, you will be able to see most of the inside of Acadia Forest, the West Face of Cadillac and the larger ponds.
Sargent Mountain is a large formation with a great carriage trail that circumvents the entire mountain.
If you rent a bike, this is where you want to ride - on the Carriage Roads of Acadia. The 1 mile climb up is well worth the 2.5 mile downhill on the other side.
At the summit of Cedar Swamp, you have a choice to stay on the prescribed trail, or venture down to the Amphitheater. The visual is well worth it, but once you are down, you will be on a carriage road for the remainder of the hike.
While this is one of the easier hikes, the Wow-Factor is over the top on this one. Using the Island Bus, get yourself dropped off at the Otter Cliffs. It is a 7- mile return hike to Bar Harbor.
Start on the Otter Cliffs Trail, which runs down along the ocean. You may see lots of rock climbers in action. The rugged coastline of Acadia is on full display for this area.
Once you get off the ocean-side trail, you start your climb on Gorham Mountain, a gentle, but steady, climb on bald-face trails. The trail splits at one location near Mile 2, and you want to take the Cadillac Cliffs option. You will see sheer rock faces, caves, and climb over rock formations.
When you tell people you went to Acadia, the first question is: Did you Hike the Beehive? The Beehive, while short on elevation (580 feet), is big on entertainment.
Near Mile 3, this is a near vertical climb on 3 foot wide cliffs that zig-zag back and forth on the way up the mountain. There are metal ladder rungs forced into the rock-face for the areas where it is really tricky. I have seen folks in tears from fear, and I have seen 10 year olds with no fear. This is a climb you will never forget. As seen in the photo, you have a clear view of Sand Beach while you climb.
Happen to find this is a great place for us middle class folks. The town of Riverhead is midway between the North Fork and the South Fork of Long Island.
Riverhead is a middle-class town with accommodations that are familiar to lower cost vacationers. The beach side hotels in the Hamptons are very expensive, and you are isolated from the culture of the area. The Hyatt/Riverhead Marina was fabulous. Surrounded by local culture and direct access to downtown via a 1 mile river-walk. Rt 25N up the North Fork is worth a visit. A lot of this areas fine-eats are on Rt 25 just outside of Riverhead.
PS: Your visit should be before June 25th. Everything else will be booked till October, and you really want to avoid the crowds if you want a peaceful experience. I did see (empty) huge parking lots, many restricted to residents and much bigger than you would expect.
Crowds must be HUGE in the summer.
Anytime I am on a trip, I am always looking for a new park to explore. I found Rocky Point State Park on Long Island. As I have tried to describe this to others, this place is completely flat but with very twisty trails. Almost like Willowdale, but without the rocks. (Rocky Point??) There is an easy 20 miles of trails, along side of 20+ miles of hiking trails. I missed one loop from lack of paying attention. My loop was 16 miles and 2 hours. Did this ride on my fully rigid CX bike with 38mm tires. Had to slow down a bunch of times when traction diminished because of sand/mud mixes. A MTB would be much better, but also take the fun away. I would ride this again.
May need a Free Permit. <Permit Link>
There are a bunch of preserved woodland areas in the Eastern Long island area. Many are littered with hiking trails. Only a few parks allow bikes, including Calverton Pine Barrens State Forest. (shown sideways) 100 Acres of Land with 9 Miles of Singletrack. With the low brush and thin forest, you can see someone that maybe 5 miles ahead of you on the ride while on a trail just 100 feet away. MTB with sand traction tires is best. Once again, I had my CX Bike.
There is only one way to sum-up my visit to Montauk Point. I will never visit Cape Cod again. This one location at the end of the South Fork has more going on than the entire cape.
Just the fact that you can circumvent the entire Montauk Point traversing the shoreline without any private-property restrictions is worth the visit. The towns are untouched by time. This 6 mile Hike I plotted out will take you 6+ hours. Expect 1/2 mile an hour on the rocky shoreline portions. Features 2-1/2 miles of really cool forest scrub trails which feels like a corn maze. (see photo) Many shorter versions can be made. This map shows you what is accessible to any visitor.
Hither Hills State Park was on my list to visit. I found two great adventures to try, but ran short on time.
Plan A: Bike ride on the bike paths. As you can see, the park is littered with trails. Plotted out a 10+ mile Bike loop around the woods and a couple visits to the shoreline. This is a huge park that is all coastline. Maybe next trip...
The Walking Dunes Trail (shown in Red)
Plan B: Would have been another great beach hike to try. I plotted a solid 4+ mile Hike loop that includes the entire Walking Dunes trail and a visit all the way to the end of Goffs Point.
All the folks that manage your 401K from NYC are at the Hamptons all summer. The amount of money put into the properties here is off the scale. Pretty to looks at, but a life style many of us will never see nor understand.
The West Hampton Dunes Road is a great 20+ mile Flat-Ride through nature preserves / quiet fancy towns / and beach-front mega-homes. Have never been on a ride like this. Can be expanded to suit your riding needs. With stops this was a 3+ hour ride, and when the ride is over, you are already at one of the best beaches on the East Coast.
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