Biking Byways: 4 Scenic Rides Through Hamilton County

"Cycling can be lonely, but in a good way. It gives you a moment to breathe and think, and get away from what you're working on."

-David Byrne

My parents have loved going for scenic drives since I was a kid. I have countless memories of driving around and looking at beautiful scenery, lights decorating homes around holidays, and fall foliage. I figured I would do the same as I grew older, and I was right — except I much prefer perusing the world on two wheels whenever possible. 

Cycling is one of my favorite things to do, hands down. But cycling through Hamilton County is simply divine. The experience is the bee’s knees. The cat’s pajamas. The ant’s pants (apparently that’s a phrase in Australia. I’m a fan). The hills definitely remind you that, why yes, you are cycling through the mountains, but the scenery is worth every ounce of effort. That said, I was not surprised to learn that Hamilton County is home to four state scenic byways.

A man rides his bike along the open road.

What’s a scenic byway? I’m so glad you asked!

There are some road systems that have that "something special." A community can nominate these sections of roads to the state for consideration as an official “state scenic byway.” The NY Department of Transportation states that all nominated roads must contain “multiple occurrences of the corridor’s scenic, natural, recreational, cultural, or historical (including archeological) resources that are of regional significance.” The state scenic byways passing through Hamilton County are filled with sweeping views of natural scenery, ready for your recreation!

These byways range from 40 to 180 miles. Ride as much or as little of each one as you want, and get ready for some glorious views!

Four state scenic byways to ride in Hamilton County

A woman takes her bike off of the roof rack of her car with mountains in the background.

Roosevelt-Marcy Trail Scenic Byway

Total distance: 40 miles

Locations covered: North Creek to Long Lake, traveling through Minerva and Newcomb.

A man wearing a bike helmet smiles.

Southern Adirondack Trail Scenic Byway

Total distance: 112 miles

Locations covered: Herkimer/Little Falls, Speculator, and looping around Piseco Lake.

A group of riders happily climb a hilly road, the lead rider giving a thumbs up.

Central Adirondack Scenic Byway

Total distance: 140 miles

Locations covered: Glenn Falls, Rome, Lake George, North Creek, Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Raquette Lake, Inlet, Old Forge, Alder Creek, Remsen, Barneveld, and Holland Patent.

A paracyclist and her friend bike along a river.

Adirondack Trail Scenic Byway

Total distance: 180 miles

Locations covered: Fonda, Malone, Paul Smiths, Tupper Lake, Long Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Indian Lake, Speculator, Gloversville, and Johnstown.

No matter which scenic byway you choose, be ready to experience a visual feast of Adirondack beauty. With so many miles to explore, stay a while and give yourself the extra days to explore! (And don't worry — we have plenty of delicious food to refuel you for another day of adventure!)