Category Archives: bike trips

Tourissimo Unveils NEW Cycling Tour Exploring Prosecco Wine Region of Italy

Veneto, Italy: the landscape vineyards in “Duca Di Dolle” farmstead. Tourissimo, is introducing a NEW 7-day “Grappa and Prosecco” cycling tour of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco wine making area of Italy.

(Bridgewater, MA) — Tourissimo, a leader in active travel to Italy, is introducing a NEW 7-day “Grappa and Prosecco” cycling tour of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco wine making area of Italy. Guests will learn about the ancient origins of wine making and how the reputation and qualities of the wine have evolved throughout the centuries. The cycling is just as varied and dramatic as the Vento region’s history, ranging from a challenging climb up Mount Grappa to the hilly terrain of Prosecco.

The tour includes multiple wine tastings, dining at a MICHELIN-starred restaurant, exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, overnighting at 4 and 5-star hotels, and cycling one of Italy’s most beautiful regions. Prices start at $4,695 per person double. Venice is only one hour away and makes for a great add-on to the tour.

“For the Prosecco wine lover, this is an absolute dream vacation,” said Tourissimo Co-Founder and Managing Director, Beppe Salerno. “The tour is rich in history, and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular with panoramic vistas and patchwork landscape of steep terraced hills, woodlands, and meadows. The cycling is absolutely amazing, and the food, wine, and accommodations are as good as it gets.” 

The Prosecco area is wedged between mountains and the plain before the Adriatic Sea. It is extremely hilly, with grapes growing at 150 to 1,600 ft above sea level. A route between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene has been named the Strada del Prosecco (“Prosecco Wine Route”), and it’s the perfect riding playground for wine lovers. 

The landscape is characterized by ‘hogback’ hills, ciglioni – small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces – forests, small villages and farmland. Since the 17th century, the use of ciglioni has created a particular chequerboard landscape consisting of rows of vines parallel and vertical to the slopes. 

“One goal with this tour, in addition to cycling some of the most beautiful terrain in Italy, is to educate guests about why a Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is a superior product, why it is worth spending more for a quality sparkling wine,” said Salerno. “Because DOCG producers—with the limited growing area, lower yields and extremely high cost of production—can not compete with DOC on price, more and more of them are seeking to explore the particularities of their diverse growing area and long viticultural tradition, and find new ways of expressing them in their wines.”

Tour Highlights:

  • Walking the walls of medieval Cittadella
  • Exploring the hills of Prosecco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Having coffee in Piazza degli Scacchi in Marostica  
  • Cycling along rolling roads surrounded by vineyards
  • Experiencing a Grappa tasting at a famous grappa produce
  • Soaking up the village of Asolo      
  • Enjoying multiple wine tastings at Prosecco Superiore DOCG producers  
  • Picnicing at mulino della Croda
  • Learning Monte Grappa WWI history and visiting the memorial-museum

What’s Included:

  • Two professional tour guides throughout the program
  • All accommodations in 4-star hotels (one 5-star)
  • All breakfasts, all lunches, and all dinners
  • Wine and beer with meals, coffee, cappuccino, and gelato stops
  • Two wine tastings
  • Logistical support during the tour and luggage transfer
  • Guided tour of Bassano and grappa tasting
  • Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour
  • Bianchi bike rental
  • GPS navigation and maps

For more information, visit https://www.tourissimo.travel/bike-tour-prosecco.

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8 Fall Vacations for Foliage, Fewer Crowds & Stunning Scenery

Ziplining at the Red Reflet Ranch, Ten Sleep, Wyoming, just one of the activities at the all-inclusive guest ranch (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Cool weather, brightly colored foliage, and destinations largely free from crowds make fall the perfect time to travel. Here are eight vacation ideas for the months ahead, ranging from the mountains of Montana to the Natchez Trace and even the Galapagos Islands

1. Pacific Coast Cycling: The Pacific Coast Route is one of America’s premier cycling routes and autumn is an optimal time to avoid heavy tourist traffic. Pedal south through the lush forests of western Washington before following the Columbia River to the Oregon coast, then enter California and encounter massive redwoods coastal headlands and sandy beaches with bike paths. Ride the route on your own with maps from Adventure Cycling Association, or join other on a tour.
 
2. Fall Under the Big Sky: A visit to Big Sky, Montana, and stay at The Wilson Hotel offers the opportunity for fall adventures in Yellowstone country, as elk bugle and pockets of aspen trees turn golden against the backdrop of the green forest. Hike and mountain bike trails surrounding town, fish the famed Gallatin River or take one last tour of Yellowstone National Park’s natural wonders and wildlife before roads close for the season.
 
3. Traffic-Free Natchez Trace: The Natchez Trace is a historic travel corridor through Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi used by American Indians, settlers, soldiers and future presidents. And with no commercial traffic, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a cyclist’s dream come true. Join Cycle of Life Adventures for a fall tour to enjoy the changing colors of maple, hickory, oak and other hardwood trees, milder temperatures and overnight accommodations in small towns along the parkway.
 
4. National Parks RV Trip: National parks saw record crowds over the summer, but now that fall is here it’s a great time to visit for fewer crowds, less traffic and pleasant temperatures. Blacksford rents fully stocked Mercedes-Benz Sprinter overland adventure vehicles from Winnebago with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, kitchen and bath supplies, free Wi-Fi, a free annual pass to the national parks and 24-hour roadside assistance.
 
5. Arizona + Black Canyon Mountain Biking: Explore all the Sonoran Desert has to offer with the Best of Phoenix and Black Canyon Trail Mountain Biking Tour from Escape Adventures. This trip is ideal for close groups of biking friends looking for a warm fall or winter excursion. Highlights include exploring the 21,099-acre McDowell Mountain regional park, riding conservancy lands and ripping more than 40-miles of fast and flowy singletrack.
 
6. Jackson Hole Glamping: Wyoming’s Fireside Resort offers 25 pint-sized, luxuriously outfitted tiny house rental units designed by Wheelhaus. The resort is located a short distance from Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole ski slopes, making it the perfect place to post up for a fall getaway or winter ski trip.
 
7. Play Cowboy at a Dude Ranch: Red Reflet Ranch is a 28,000-acre luxury resort and working ranch on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, just three hours from Yellowstone National Park. Guests stay in private chalets and enjoy family-friendly activities like horseback riding, ATVing, ziplining, swimming, hiking, fishing, shooting and feasting on farm-to-table cuisine.
 
8. Autumn Galapagos Adventure: Fall is one of the best times of year to visit Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, particularly when it comes to wildlife and weather. The Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel has joined forces with Scalesia Galapagos Lodge to offer a new weeklong program that includes day trips aboard Yacht Sea Lion, glamping in luxury tents on Isabela Island and visits to remote and mysterious places that illustrate the incredible diversity of the archipelago.

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Escape Adventures’ Top Fall/Winter USA Cycling Tours

Biking Death Valley © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Fall already?! The leaves are changing and everything is becoming either pumpkin-flavored or knitwear. But don’t plan your hibernation just yet. There are still adventures to be had and plenty of time for a last minute family getaway. Grab your bike buddies, and check out Escape Adventures’ top 3 picks for fall/winter cycling tours. 

1. Arizona – Best of Phoenix, Black CanyonExplore all the Sonoran Desert has to offer with the Best of Phoenix and Black Canyon Trail (BCT) Mountain Biking Tour. This trip is ideal for close groups of biking friends looking for a warm winter excursion. Highlights include exploring McDowell Mountain (a 21,099-acre regional park), riding conservancy lands, and ripping more than 40-miles of fast and flowy singletrack. 

2. Utah – Best of Moab: Best of Moab is less of a winter trip, and more of a fall mountain biking escape. Plan on getting out there sometime in September or October, but not after Halloween. About 245-miles south of Salt Lake City, Moab and its dramatic surroundings have served as the backdrop for many Western movie classics. Now, it is on every mountain biker’s “bike-it list.” While the beauty of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park has drawn nature-lovers for generations, it’s the land surrounding the parks that defines Moab. With Escape Adventures, you’ll experience the best hits and hidden treasures of this world-class adventure travel destination. 

3. California/Nevada – Death Valley & Red Rock: While big swathes of North America deal with snow and icy roads, we consider it a great fortune to offer an exemplary outdoor wintertime cycling adventure in the heart of the Mojave Desert, from Death Valley National Park to Red Rock Canyon. The wild beauty of Death Valley is too hot to handle during the summer months, but come winter, it’s juuuuust right! We promise amazing cycling, eyefuls of arid majesty, glittering salt flats, gypsum-colored sand dunes, and ghost towns! 

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Escape Adventures Introduces 5-Day Mountain Biking Tour Across Bears Ears National Monument

Escape Adventures is introducing a 5-day mountain biking tour across the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument.

(Moab, Utah) — Escape Adventures is introducing a 5-day mountain biking tour across the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument.

The trip starts at Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding, Utah, a 19th century Mormon settlement, and climbs high into the Abajo Mountains. Highlights include an array of archaeological sites and ruins, The Notch, Duck Lake, Sego Flat, Reef of Rocks, Maverick Point Overlook, Skull and Crossbones, The Causeway, and Jackson Ridge. Wildlife is abundant, and views atop the Abajo Mountains extend for 75-miles in all directions. This first-class camping tour starts at $1,299 per person. For more info, visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/bears-ears-mountain-bike-tour/. View the full itinerary here

“This roughly 80-mile mountain biking tour covers a broad expanse of red rock, juniper forests and high plateau, while exposing riders to early human and Native American historical artifacts,” said Escape Adventures Director, Jared Fisher. 

Named after a pair of monumental 2,000-ft twin buttes, Bears Ears National Monument is a remarkable remnant of 200-million year old sand dunes. Capped in shades of pale orange to light red sandstone, the Bears Ears formation is so distinctive it can be seen, even at great distance, from nearly every direction. Framed by Dark Canyon Wilderness and the Beef Basin to the west, Comb Ridge on the east, the Grand Gulch Plateau and Cedar Mesa to the south and Canyonlands National Park to the north, this mountain bike tour takes riders through the most unique and historical landmarks southeast Utah has to offer. 

All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of the tour, including all transportation, food preparation, meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with at least two professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle(s). Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.

More information at https://escapeadventures.com/

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Registration for Aug 22 NYC’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour Extended

Cyclists will again take over New York City’s roads and bridges, for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, taking place August 22, 2021 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Registration for Bike New York’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour has been extended and will now close at 11:59 PM EDT on SUNDAY, 8/15.

The event offers an unmatched opportunity to ride 40 miles through New York City’s five boroughs car free, in a festival atmosphere. Though typically the event hosts 32,000 riders, this year, registration is capped at 20,000 (more room to ride).

Here’s a sneak peek 👀 at what you can expect on event day this year:

Fully supported rest areas with bike maintenance and medical care ⚕️

Snow cone trucks at three rest areas: FDR, ConEd, and Commodore Barry 🍧

Numerous cooling stations to help you beat the August heat ☀️

Entertainment stops with local musicians and performers. )Check out one of the performers, Music With a Message, here🎤

Brand new Finish Festival location at Empire Outlets in Staten Island, conveniently located next to the ferry (don’t forget to bring your cycling shoe covers with you to the Finish Fest!) 🎉

Stress-free bike parking located at the Finish Fest 🚲

Celebrate your achievement with an ice-cold beer! Food and New Belgium beer will be sold at the Clinton Hall Beer Garden on Level 4 at the Finish Fest. Make sure to bring your ID and cash or card! 🍺

10-minute post-Tour Guided Stretching Sessions led by Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Sports Health experts at NYU Langone Health, from 11am-3:30pm 🤸

Frozen treats courtesy of our partners at TD Bank 🍨

Fix-a-Flat competition with Trek Bicycle 🔧

Plus activities with partners at Primal WearNesquikChameleon Coffee🤩

REGISTER NOW »

If you have already registered you can visit the Tour website for updates on how the tour is responding to NYC’s COVID-19 mandates, details on Packet Pickup, the 2021 Tour Route map

For info: https://www.bike.nyc/events/td-five-boro-bike-tour/

See past coverage:

32,000 CYCLISTS TAKE OVER NYC STREETS FOR 41ST TD FIVE BORO BIKE TOUR

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Adventure Travel Rebound: 9 Trip Ideas for 2021

Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers.

Adventure travel is expected to recover about three to four years before mass travel – and grow more rapidly, according to a recent report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) at the first-ever Adventure Travel Xpo,. In fact, tourism ministers and secretaries around the world have identified adventure and nature travel as leading segments in the travel industry’s restart.

Here are nine adventure travel vacation ideas for 2021. 
 
1. Ecuadorian Amazon Adventure: Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers. It features luxury accommodations, first-class meals and expert native guides. Step into the heart of the animal and bird kingdom, home to eight species of monkeys, 50 species of bats, anteaters, three-toed sloths, ocelots, and birds of more colors than you could ever imagine. https://www.sachalodge.com/

2. MTB Hut System in Southern Utah: The new Aquarius Trail Hut System offers a backcountry mountain biking experience like no other in the region. A system of five huts furnished with beds, a bathroom and a fully stocked kitchen has been strategically placed along a 190-mile route through some of Utah’s most scenic backcountry.  https://aquariustrail.com/

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com/

4. Ride the Mighty Mississippi: Join Cycle of Life Adventures on a 2,057-mile bike tour from the humble headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota’s Lake Itasca to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans. Along the way, pass Minnesota’s many lakes, the metropolises of Minneapolis, St. Louis and Memphis, the rolling farmlands of Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, and the levees of Louisiana. And while the tour is southbound, it isn’t all downhill. Take on the entire 33-day trek or any one of four shorter stages. https://cycleoflifeadventures.com/

5. City Slicker Dude Ranch Retreat: At Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, guests stay in fully stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. https://red-reflet-ranch.net/

6. Galapagos Glamping: Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is situated in the highlands of Isabela Island on the slopes of a volcano, about 20 minutes from the town of Puerto Villamil. The modern, luxurious, safari-style tent resort is in the middle of a magical forest with a spectacular view of the coast of Isabela Island, the Pacific Ocean, and other islands of the Galapagos archipelago dotting the horizon. http://www.scalesialodge.com/

7. Tiny House Basecamp: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/

8. Cycle Across the USA: Plan an epic bike tour or bikepacking trip of your own with the assistance of the Adventure Cycling Association. To help riders find their way, the organization offers maps for 50,000 miles of bike routes through the U.S. and into Canada, the Bicycle Route Navigator app and other resources. Cross the country on the TransAmerica Trail, ride the Rockies on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route or try a shorter adventure in between. https://www.adventurecycling.org/

9. Yellowstone Adventure: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity for outdoor adventures in the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of the world’s first national park. https://thewilsonhotel.com/

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TD Five Boro Bike Tour is Back in NYC, Aug 22

Cyclists will again take over New York City’s roads and bridges, for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, taking place August 22, 2021 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is back! Bike New York and its city government partners announce that the popular ride will once again welcome bike lovers from across New York and around the country on its new date of Sunday, August 22, 2021.

“Preparations are underway for the 43rd edition of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “We’re thrilled and so grateful that we can once again host our celebrated car-free ride this year—and what better time to announce it than during Bike Month.”

The event, which typically has drawn up to 32,000 riders annually and opens 40 miles of NYC’s busiest roadways for cyclists, returns to a city energized by cycling thanks to the 2020 bike boom and an increased demand for Open Streets across the five boroughs.

“New York City is proud to celebrate the cycling boom—and the return of iconic events that highlight great neighborhoods in all five boroughs—by welcoming the TD Five Boro Bike Tour this summer,” said New York City Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo. “We look forward to welcoming locals and tourists alike to enjoy a safe, exciting event this year.”

“Given the pivotal role that bikes have played in protecting the health, wellness, and safety of New Yorkers through the pandemic—especially for essential workers commuting to their jobs—it feels right that bikes will also play a part in powering New York City’s economic revitalization,” Podziba remarked. “The Tour has been a landmark event for NYC for decades, and it’s a true highlight for international tourism. We hope our ride will continue to support the city we call home as we all strive to come back strong from these hardships.”

“Now more than ever, New Yorkers need a safe and welcoming space to reconnect, to celebrate,” he added. “Bike New York is hard at work making the 2021 Tour into the joyful and safe day of community fun that cycling enthusiasts have treasured for nearly half a century.”

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is a fundraising event for Bike New York, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to provide free bike education opportunities to New Yorkers. Proceeds from the ride fund public classes that reach over 25,000 children and adults each year, with special focus given to improving cycling access and resources to residents of neighborhoods historically overlooked in infrastructure improvements. In addition to free classes held at Community Bike Education Centers located in all five boroughs, Bike New York has introduced bike safety education programs into area middle schools, co-developed a job training and placement program for bike mechanics with Brooklyn’s One Community, and helped pilot a free bike rental system in Shirley Chisholm State Park. 

Though the organization’s 2020 education and events calendar was suspended in response to the pandemic, Bike New York introduced virtual programming to inform new bike boom cyclists and keep seasoned members of the city’s cycling community engaged and connected. The 2021 TD Five Boro Bike Tour will support the return of Bike New York’s in-person classes while sustaining their online offerings, which reached more than 30,000 viewers worldwide in 2020.

Details about the August 22 event, including registration information, total number of participants, and changes to the event format, will be released in the coming weeks. “With the safety and well-being of participants being our highest priority, we will continue working with our government partners to monitor the changing Covid-19 climate and will adapt the Tour to satisfy all requirements that may be in place at any given time until ride day,” Podziba confirmed.

Riders are advised to subscribe to Bike New York’s newsletter and social media for the latest updates about the 2021 TD Five Boro Bike Tour.

For info: https://www.bike.nyc/events/td-five-boro-bike-tour/

See:

32,000 Cyclists Take Over NYC Streets for 41st TD Five Boro Bike Tour

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Explore Idaho by Bike, Soak in Natural Hot Springs & Cycle Highest Highway in Northwest on New Escape Adventures Tour

Hell Roaring Lake Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Escape Adventures is introducing a multi-day cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most rejuvenating natural hot springs.

(Las Vegas, NV) – Escape Adventures is introducing a multi-day cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most rejuvenating natural hot springs. The tour includes five days of road rides (190-265 miles total), remote natural hot springs, wild rivers, colorful mining towns, and cycling the highest paved road in the American Northwest. Offered June-September with first-class camping accommodations or casual inns, the price per person double starts at $1,399.

“Picture yourself cycling through Idaho’s breathtaking Sawtooth Range, sleeping under the stars, and soaking in some of the world’s most beautiful and rejuvenating natural hot springs,” said Escape Adventures Director Jared Fisher. “It does not get much better than that.”

The Sawtooth Range and Wilderness are home to nearly 400 lakes created by receding alpine glaciers, and there are 57 peaks with an elevation over 10,000 feet. This striking mountain landscape was a favorite playground of Ernest Hemingway, who is buried in the Ketchum, ID area.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Day 1-2: Sweep through scenic Boise and cycle to the Lucky Peak Reservoir beneath steep columns of basalt up to Idaho City.  As you leave Idaho City, climb for 13 miles (2,500 feet) to Banner Ridge where views are nothing short of phenomenal! Enjoy a wonderful soak in Kirkham Hot Springs nestled on the South Fork of the Payette River.

Day 3-4: Continue through untamed Idaho high country, routing toward Red Fish Lake and sweeping up 30 miles to Banner Summit. Beyond Stanley, buckle up for one of one of the most stunning wilderness areas in the Intermountain West: The Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Next, climb toward Galena Summit, the highest paved road in the Northwest. Then, a brisk 30-mile downhill leads to Sun Valley.

Day 5: Spend an enjoyable morning in Sun Valley, interpreting the historic sites, and then head to Hailey – “Idaho’s hometown.” Finish the day at the gloriously picturesque Silver Creek Preserve. Have lunch here amidst the great splendor. Shuttle back to Boise.

All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of this tour. This means from the time Escape Adventures picks you up, all transportation, food preparation, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included.

Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle. Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.

For more information, visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/sawtooth-mountains-idaho-road-bike-tour.

Since 1992, Escape Adventures has organized adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Building on over 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active traveler, respective to fitness level and activity type, and from road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast, and from first timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels.  https://escapeadventures.com/

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NYS Launches ‘Empire State Trail Challenge’ on New 750-Mile Recreation Trail

Set A Goal To Run, Walk, or Bicycle the New 750-Mile Recreation Trail This Spring

Registration Is Now Open Here For Four-Month Challenge

Biking over the Rosendale Trestle, 150 feet above the Rondout Creek, on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, part of the 750-mile New York Empire State Trail network. The Empire State Trail has formed a partnership with the nationally-known Boilermaker race to create the “Empire State Trail Challenge” – a four-month virtual race where participants can register and log their miles to reach milestones tied to virtual progress along the Empire State Trail.  
© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Empire State Trail has formed a partnership with the nationally-known Boilermaker race to create the “Empire State Trail Challenge” – a four-month virtual race where participants can register and log their miles to reach milestones tied to virtual progress along the Empire State Trail.  

Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced completion of the Trail, now the nation’s longest multi-use state trail. Following New York’s historic canal systems and rail trails, the new recreational trail spans the state from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo, and gives bicyclists, hikers, runners, cross-country skiers, snowshoers and others a safe and scenic pathway to experience New York State’s incredibly diverse landscapes.

“The Empire State Trail Challenge brings together two giants of outdoor recreation in New York State – our new 750-mile Empire State Trail and Utica’s classic Boilermaker race,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we continue to come back from the COVID-19 health crisis, the challenge is a great way to show how we can have fun and be New York Tough at the same time. I encourage any interested New Yorkers to participate in this exciting event on our incredible new statewide trail.” 

The Boilermaker organization has held a 15-kilometer running race in Utica since 1978, which has grown into one of the largest 15K races in the country, attracting 10,000 to 15,000 participants annually. With the Boilermaker and most in-person races postponed due to COVID, the virtual Empire State Trail Challenge initiative will engage participants and provide a unique race experience throughout the spring season. 

“Creating opportunities for healthy activity and lifestyles lies at the core of the Boilermaker mission,” Boilermaker Marketing Director Jordan Peters said. “So it was a natural fit to work in concert with New York State to provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to get outside and participate in a safe and healthy endeavor while highlighting the features of the Empire State Trail.”

The Boilermaker Empire State Trail Challenge is a four-month virtual race through July 31. Participants can register now and begin logging their miles walking, running or cycling on Friday, April 9. Participants would complete the mileage of at least one leg of the Empire State Trail: either the Hudson Valley Trail: 210 miles (New York City to Albany); the Erie Canalway Trail: 350 miles (Albany to Buffalo); or the Champlain Valley: 190 miles (Albany to Canada Border at Rouses Point). Participants can sign up as teams or individuals. For more information or to register, visit the website.

Although people are encouraged to the explore the actual Empire State Trail, participants can run, walk, or ride anywhere geographically, on local trails and running/bicycling routes near where they live to log and complete the challenge.

Each entrant would receive a t-shirt with their $25 entrance fee for a single leg of the trail. If interested, participants can register for additional legs at the time of registration or any time during the race period at $5 per leg. Challenge participants will enter their mileage on an online platform over the duration of the race window, reaching milestones tied to virtual progress along the Empire State Trail, and have the ability to share their experiences on social media.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The Empire State Trail Challenge is one of the ways we are building back better at our state parks and trails. Our parks and trails have been safe and healthy outlets for everyone during the pandemic. Whether enjoying a fun nature break with friends and family, or truly testing their limits, the Empire State Trail Challenge offers participants of all ages and abilities a rewarding and socially distanced opportunity to enjoy New York’s outdoors.”

“The partnership with the Boilermaker is a great way to introduce the Empire State Trail to those across New York State and the nation who take part in the storied race every year,” Empire State Trail Director Andy Beers said. “The Empire State Trail is an ideal pathway for runners, bicyclists, and walkers to get outside and exercise, while learning about the iconic landscapes, local communities, and historic and cultural attractions along the 750-mile trail. 

Director of the New York State Canal Corporation Brian U. Stratton said, “This exciting new partnership will offer thousands of New Yorkers and Boilermaker runners from around the country a chance to see the very best of our state, encouraging safe and responsible outdoor recreation along the lengths of the Empire State Trail. Governor Cuomo’s ongoing Reimagine the Canals program is based on forward-looking partnerships like this, which bring together communities and New Yorkers to lift up local economies and showcase the exceptional history of the Erie Canal, as well as the tremendous upgrades and new attractions being constructed along its banks.”

“The Empire State Trail is the newest jewel in New York State’s tourism crown and the Challenge is an opportunity to promote the trail to those looking for unique ways to experience the great outdoors,” New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said. “We hope that events like the Empire State Trail Challenge inspire more people to utilize the trail as a centerpiece of a getaway to the many the communities it touches across the state.”

The Empire State Trail website provides quick and easy access to trail information along the 750-mile route including segment descriptions and an on-line map identifying off-road trails connecting on-road sections, trail distances, designated parking areas, restrooms, and nearby amenities and attractions.

See also:

Cycle the Erie 8-Day, 400-Mile Bike Adventure Registration Now Open for Limited 350 Spots

NEW YORK’S EMPIRE STATE TRAIL COMES TOGETHER: BIKING THE WALLKILL VALLEY RAIL TRAIL IN HUDSON VALLEY

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6 Post Vaccination Vacations

Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences.

President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that the United States will have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults by the end of May – two months earlier than previously thought – is promising news for travelers. Precautions will still need to be taken, of course, but domestic travel is likely to be popular again this summer, highlighted by national parks, active trips and travel where physical distancing is possible. Here are six dream vacations to take this summer once you’ve gotten your shots.

1. Long-Weekend Cycling: Adventure Cycling Association is offering a new collection of long-weekend tours close metropolitan areas to make it easy to give bike travel a try. Options include taking in the crisp mountain air and stunning vistas while cycling around the stunning Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, or leaving behind the hustle and bustle of New York City to bike up the Hudson River valley and visit peaceful state parks. https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/long-weekend-tours/

2. Greater Yellowstone Adventures: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity to explore the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking at Big Sky Resort, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of Yellowstone. https://thewilsonhotel.com/

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com  

4. Channel Your Inner Cowboy: “Yellowstone,” the wildly popular cable television series starring Kevin Costner, has sparked newfound interest in luxury dude ranch vacations. Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, has experienced a surge of guests booking five-figure vacations because of their love for the series. Guests stay in fully-stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. https://red-reflet-ranch.net/

5. Idaho Hot Springs, Camping and Cycling: Escape Adventures is excited to offer a multiday cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most scenic natural hot springs. The tour includes five days of transfixing road rides – including over the highest paved road in the American Northwest – colorful mining towns, wild rivers and remote natural hot springs. https://escapeadventures.com/tour/sawtooth-mountains-idaho-road-bike-tour

6. Retreat to a Teton Tiny House: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort is Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s most innovative take on resort town lodging. The resort embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/

For more travel features, visit:

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