Tag Archives: bike tours

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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Discovery Bicycle Tours Introduces 6-Day Ride on New Empire State Trail from NYC to Albany

Riding over the iconic Rosendale Trestle on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail portion of the Empire State Trail © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Here is what well may be the first bike touring company to come out with a guided, inn-to-inn trip along the recently completed Empire State Trail in New York State:  Discovery Bicycle Tours’ has introduced a six-day itinerary that rides from the very tip of Manhattan, to Albany.

The six-day trip rides 200 miles of the newly completed Empire State Trail, which actually extends 750 miles from Manhattan to Canada and from Buffalo to Albany.

The Discovery Bicycle Tour goes through a wide variety of landscapes in New York State. Cycle passed the Freedom Tower and Manhattan skyscrapers, through forests, along lakes and rivers, with a triumphant finish in Albany, the state capital. You can be one of the first to enjoy this full section of the newly finished Empire State Trail, which allows cyclists to traverse the state almost entirely on dedicated hike/bike paths and routes.

Cycle up the west side of Manhattan Island on the Hudson River Greenway and see the waterfront and famous buildings. Spin along the Hudson with views of the towering cliffs known as the Palisades, into historic villages and through forests and farmland. Then leave the bustle of suburbia behind as you enter rural lands and farm country.

Many miles are on dedicated rail-trail. And the riding is fairly flat with gentle hills. Look for vistas of the Catskill and Shawangunk mountains as you follow the gorgeous Hudson River Valley — favorite subject of Romantic landscape painters in the mid-1800s. As a bonus, you cycle across the Walkway Over the Hudson, the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge, and the iconic Rosendale Trestle.

Visit the villages of Rhinebeck, Hudson and Mahopac and the town of New Paltz — with chances to enjoy fascinating history, architecture and stunning scenery.

You can take advantage of optional leader-led segments through the urban areas of New York City and the outskirts of Albany — or ride them on your own. At the finish, you can explore Albany itself or continue your travels home by air or train from there. Or let us give you a lift back to your car at the start.

Start with a Sunday morning spin up the west side of Manhattan — with thrilling views on both sides of the Hudson River. You can choose to ride the city stretches with the leader or on your own.

Then continue north to visit historic villages on newly paved bike paths and quiet roads. Many miles are on dedicated rail-trail. And the riding is fairly flat with gentle hills. Look for vistas of the Catskill and Shawangunk mountains as you follow the gorgeous Hudson River Valley — favorite subject of Romantic landscape painters in the mid-1800s. As a bonus, you cycle across the Walkway Over the Hudson, the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. 

Rated Level 1 (easier), daily cycling mileage ranges from 28 to 47 miles.

Accommodations are in casual and historic inns and a stylish boutique bed-and-breakfast.

The tour includes: 5 nights’ lodging, 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners (you are on your own for 1 dinner in Rhinebeck), cycling routes with detailed maps and/or app-based navigation for those interested, plus bicycle, helmet, tour guides and van support, free week-long parking for guest cars in Hawthorne, NY. Free transfer on final day to either the Rensselaer Train Station (Albany) or take the van transit back to Hawthorne.

The trip is scheduled June 6-11, July 25-30, Aug. 1-6, Aug. 29-Sept. and Oct. 3-8, and is priced at $2,495; https://discoverybicycletours.com/empire-state-trail-bike-tour..

Discovery Bicycle Tours, Woodstock, VT., 800-257-2226, info@discoverybicycletours.com,  www.discoverybicycletours.com.

See:

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

NEW YORK’S 750-MILE EMPIRE STATE TRAIL, LONGEST MULTI-USE STATE TRAIL IN NATION, OFFICIALLY OPENED!

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Adventure Cycling Association Offers Biking Trips to the Islands

Biking the Shining Sea trail, Cape Cod © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

MISSOULA, MT- Because of limited access, biking in an island destination can be the perfect getaway. In 2021, Adventure Cycling Association is offering active tours to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket (https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/self-contained-tours/cape-cod-the-islands/), the San Juan Islands, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Of the four itineraries, only Cape Cod and the Islands still has availability. Spend a week cycling along the beautiful Atlantic Ocean shoreline, viewing seaports, glacially formed kettle ponds, and lighthouses of southeastern Massachusetts, visiting historic sites from the days of colonial America, and exploring quaint shops on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Attractions of special interest include Cape Cod National Seashore; a full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower; the preserved village of New Bedford, once the whaling capital of the world; and the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center. Every day on this tour is spent within 15 miles of the Atlantic, and each night close to a large body of freshwater or saltwater.

This level 1 tour is suitable for all riders and is a great choice for anyone looking to learn the basics of self-contained touring, or for an experienced bicycle traveler looking for a week of relaxed cycling. The riding is relaxed, services are plentiful, and the campgrounds are outstanding. (Sept 11-18, 2021 8 days, $1349, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/self-contained-tours/cape-cod-the-islands/)

The other tours have waiting lists:

Puerto Rico, Inn to Inn: The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is characterized by a mist-shrouded interior mountain range, long stretches of sand beaches, and numerous forest reserves, including El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System. The route we’ll follow focuses on coastal towns and the regions encircling the central highlands with side excursions to interior sites and small neighboring islands. This tropical adventure begins and ends in San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico, founded in 1521 by the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Travel back 500 years to Spanish colonial times by strolling down cobblestone streets, admiring ancient architecture and visiting museums, fortresses, and churches. The tour circumnavigates the island on a 339-mile journey visiting beaches, snorkeling, enjoying local cuisine, and appreciating the beauty of this tropical paradise. (Dec 5-16, 12 days, $3599, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/inn-to-inn-tours/puerto-rico-inn-to-inn/)

Washington’s San Juan Islands, Inn to Inn: This weeklong inn-to-inn tour weaves along the glorious northwestern coastline of Washington’s Puget Sound and through its famous San Juan Islands, offering an irresistible combination of manageable daily mileages and world-class scenery. The tour spends days leisurely pedaling the waterfront, spinning inland through fertile farmlands and scenic villages full of interesting shops and top-notch seafood restaurants. On several days, cycling is broken up by ferry rides, with a chance to spot orca whales, seals, and bald eagles.  (Level 3, 8 days, Sept 4-11, $2699, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/inn-to-inn-tours/wa-san-juan-islands-inn-to-inn/

Hawaii-3 Island Inn to Inn features Maui, Molokai, and Lanai, three of Hawaii’s most beautiful islands. On Maui, ride along stunning coastal roads and make an epic climb from sea level to the top of the Haleakala volcano at 10,000 feet — one of the world’s longest paved climbs! A small plane takes cyclists and bikes on the short 15-minute flight to Molokai for three days of cycling on quiet roads with views of gorgeous valleys and the world’s tallest sea cliffs. A ferry takes the group out on the ocean, past migrating humpback whales to Lanai for a day of exploration by bike or shuttle van, or with snorkel and fins, before returning to Maui. The inn-to-inn format means restaurant meals, overnight accommodations at hotels and inns and riding lightly loaded bikes while experiencing a tropical paradise. (Level 4, 11 days, $4,999, Dec 3-13, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/inn-to-inn-tours/hawaii-3-island-inn-to-inn/)

Adventure Cycling Association, with 52,000 members and 50,000 miles of mapped routes, has great articles on trip planning at its site (www.adventurecycling.org, 800-755-2453).

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Explore Ohiopyle State Park & the Great Allegheny Passage by Bike… Virtually!

Cucumber Falls, Ohiopyle State Park, one of the many highlights of the bike tour along the Great Allegheny Passage. Wilderness Voyageurs is offering a virtual tour as well as a painting class online (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

If you can’t get out of your house right now, Wilderness Voyageurs has the solution for your cabin fever! Join Colleen from Wilderness Voyageurs Headquarters for a virtual tour of Ohiopyle and the Great Allegheny Passage by bike.  You’ll explore all the iconic spots in Ohiopyle State Park, ride on the GAP, a rail trail system that links Maryland and Pennsylvania, and check out some spring blooms.  You can also join her on Facebook or Instagram forlive painting of Cucumber Falls, a favorite Ohiopyle landmark, on April 24 at 4PM EST. Then send in a photo of your finished masterpiece and it will be posted on Instagram for the world to admire!

Wilderness Voyageurs has also partnered up with Mountain Khakis to say an extra special thank you!  Now through April 20, every person who purchases a Wilderness Voyageurs gift card will be automatically entered to win a $100 Mountain Khakis gift card.  Mountain Khakis is a small business with only 20 full-time office employees so they understand the importance of shopping small and local and they want to support their retailers.(Your chances of winning are looking good!)

The winner for the drawing will be randomly chosen at the end of the promotional period (April 20).

“We feel honored during these uncertain times to have such supportive customers and to work with brands that support small business, environmental stewardship, and a quality product,” writes Eric Martin, Wilderness Voyageurs owner. 

Support Small Business with Online Shopping – “During this difficult time we are offering 20% OFF site wide and free shipping on orders over $30! Even though our brick and mortar store is temporarily closed, you can still gear up for those future adventures in our online shop. Your support means the world to our small, family owned business.”

LIVE Painting of Cucumber Falls: 4/24
Savage River Releases: 7/5, 9/26
Stonycreek Rafting: 6/30, 7/14, 8/25 
Colorful Colorado Bike Tour: 9/20
Georgia Gold Coast Bike Tour: 10/6, 10/12, 10/18
Kentucky Bike and Bourbon: 10/5, 10/12, 10/18
Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bike Tour: 10/6, 10/11, 10/18

Wilderness Voyageurs started out as a rafting adventures company 50 years ago, but has developed into a wide-ranging outdoors company with an extensive catalog of biking, rafting, fishing and outdoor adventures throughout the US and even Cuba, many guided and self-guided bike itineraries built around rail trails like the Eric Canal in New York, Great Allegheny Passage in Pennsylvania, and Katy Trail in Missouri.

Wilderness Voyageurs, 103 Garrett St., Ohiopyle, PA 15470, 800-272-4141, bike@Wilderness-Voyageurs.com, Wilderness-Voyageurs.com

See our series on the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Sojourn on the Great Allegheny Passage, operated by Wilderness Voyageurs and our series on Wilderness Voyageurs six-day “Badlands and Mickelson Trail” bike tour of South Dakota at www.goingplacesfarandnear.com.

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Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Urges Congress to Pass ‘Connecting America’s Active Transportation System’ Act

Biking the 109-mile long Mickelson Trail, a centerpiece of Wilderness Voyageurs’ South Dakota bike tour, is one of 30 rail-trails to have been named to the Hall of Fame by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

A new bill in Congress will, if passed, enable communities across America to connect their trails, sidewalks and bikeways to the places that people want to go – by bike or walking – within and between communities.

But our U.S. Representatives need to hear from us to make it happen.

Tell the Congressmembers to support trails, walking and biking by signing on in support of the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act.

The Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act, co-sponsored by Reps. Jared Huffman (Calif.-2), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.-3) and Chris Pappas (N.H.-1), will provide $500 million in direct funding annually to help communities and regions across the country build connected active-transportation systems to ensure people can get where they want to go safely by foot, bike or wheelchair.

This proposal, coupled with increases in funding for Transportation Alternatives and the Recreational Trails Program, would provide critical resources for communities to build safe, convenient and accessible places for people to walk, bike and roll.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s top policy priority is to create this game-changing opportunity to build a trail and active transportation system to serve the nation.

“Our research has found that wise investments in connecting trails, sidewalks, bikeways and other active transportation systems are creating returns of more than $34 billion in health, environmental and economic benefits around the country,” said Kevin Mills, Rails-to-Trails Vice President of Policy. “And that return could even be quadrupled as more communities have the opportunity to connect their active transportation systems.

“People across the country want to be able to safely walk and bike where they need to go. The Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act is a major leap forward because it would reshape federal transportation law to recognize that communities nationwide need safe, connected trail and active-transportation networks.

“Urge your representative to sign on to the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act.”

See more at railstotrails.org.

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Grasshopper Adventures Introduces 9-Day Taiwan-By-Bike Trip

A new Grasshopper Adventures biking tour of Taiwan goes through the UNESCO Heritage-listed Taroko Gorge © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Bangkok, Thailand) — On this new cycling tour of Taiwan, Grasshopper Adventures guests will bike the length of the country, from the northern capital, Taipei, to the southern tip.  Bikers will ride past emerald-colored rice paddies and Taoist temples dedicated to the sea-god Matsu. Along the way, they’ll take in the sheer beauty of Eastern Taiwan’s rugged Pacific Coast, with pristine beaches, exotic hot springs, and gorgeous valleys, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Taroko Gorge. The 9 Day/8 Night tour starts at $3,150 and covers 355-435 km. The terrain varies from gently undulating to steep ascents and descents over the coastal mountain range. Pedal assist E-bikes are available for $495 surcharge. For more information, visit https://www.grasshopperadventures.com/multi-day-cycling-tours/bike-taiwan-tour/.

“This classic cycling route takes us from Taroko Gorge down along the coast and into the lush East Rift Valley before we re-emerge on the rugged Pacific East Coast,” said Adam Platt-Hepworth, CEO of Grasshopper Adventures.  “Along the way, we’ll hike to the beautiful Shakadang Stream, cycle narrow paths through banana palms to the coast for a beach-side rest stop, and pedal into the little-visited East Rift Valley full of vibrant rice paddies and small communities.”

Offering unparalleled scenery and challenging terrain, Taiwan draws more and more visitors from across the globe each year. Riders will visit the striking Saoba Monuments and hike along the Walami Trail to spot wildlife. They’ll take a rest day to enjoy the beach of Dulan before the final leg of the ride along the dramatic coastal cliffs and then inland across the mountains to Kenting in the tropical south.

“Whether marveling at the sheer power of the Pacific Ocean, soaking away the stresses of life in one of the island’s numerous hot springs, or slurping down a hearty bowl of delicious noodles, Taiwan assaults the senses and leaves guests hungry for more,” said Platt-Hepworth.

Tour Highlights:

Cycling through the dramatic Taroko Gorge on part of the famous King of the Mountain route

Viewing monkeys, deer, eagles and Formosan black bears on a hike into the Central Mountain Range on the Walami Trail

Pedaling through the lush East Rift Valley into the jungle then past gorgeous beaches to Dulan

Soaking up the sun and swimming in the bright blue waters of the Pacific Ocean

Grasshopper Adventures is a cycling and active travel specialist, headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. They host more than 25,000 travelers of all ages and abilities, on tours ranging from one day to two weeks in Japan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Uzbekistan, Taiwan, Bhutan & Myanmar. https://www.grasshopperadventures.com

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Ride & Seek Organizes Marco Polo Cycling Expedition

Ride & Seek adventure cycling company has introduced the first two stages of The Marco Polo Expedition, cycling 1900 km from Venice to Athens.

(Provence, France) — Ride & Seek, an adventure cycling company offering itineraries that follow in the footsteps of historical figures, is thrilled to announce its most ambitious project to date: The Marco Polo Expedition. The goal of this newly created tour is to cycle from Venice, Italy to Beijing, China in seven distinct stages. The first two stages are scheduled to run in September 17 – October 14, 2020, leading riders 1,900 km from Venice to Athens, Greece over 26 days.

Guests will bike down the coast from Italy through Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece, riding from harbor to harbor.  Accommodations range from charming Soviet-style hotels to agriturismos and modern boutique hotels. Fine wine and gourmet food will be featured throughout the trip. This epic excursion ranges from $5,260 USD to $11,248 USD per person.

 “Our Epic Adventures are all created with a sense of discovery at their core, and this tour fulfills that in abundance,” said Ride & Seek Founder Dylan Reynolds. “Marco Polo is one of the great travelers in history and in many ways, he embodies the spirit of the tours we run.”

Polo was a Venetian merchant who journeyed across Asia at the height of the Mongol Empire. He first set out at age 17 with his father and uncle, travelling overland along what later became known as the Silk Road. Upon reaching China, Marco Polo entered the court of powerful Mongol ruler Kublai Khan, who dispatched him on trips to help administer the realm. Marco Polo remained abroad for 24 years.

STAGE 1 – Venice to Dubrovnik
Leaving Venice by boat, the first stage of The Marco Polo Expedition embraces the essence of island-hopping, which lies at the heart of this tour. We negotiate our way down the stunning Dalmatian coast via Marco Polo’s alleged birthplace of Korcula and take in such jewels as Hvar and Split on our way to the enchanting city of Dubrovnik. 12-days/11-nights, 738 km, September 17-29 2020

STAGE 2 – Dubrovnik to Athens
Leaving Dubrovnik, riders quickly enter the beguiling country of Montenegro before jumping on to the road-less-traveled through fascinating Albania, a true tour highlight and phenomenal cycling destination. The final week take guests first to Corfu, before heading inland towards Athens. 16-days/15-nights, 1,050 km, September 29 – October 14, 2020

For more information, visit https://www.rideandseek.com/tour/marco-polo/.


Ride & Seek is a worldwide adventure cycling company offering unique historical itineraries with quality lodging, fine gastronomy, and cultural immersion. Cyclists can not only ride some of the greatest roads in Europe but also visit some of the most spectacular sites as well. Providing a cultural insight into the areas visited both historically and gastronomically is central. Historical journeys and cultural adventures are the company’s specialties. https://rideandseek.com

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Parks & Trails NY Gets Set for 21st Annual Cycle the Erie Tour; Advocates for Trails Across NY

Parks & Trails NY is hosting the 21st annual Cycle the Erie ride, along the 360-mile scenic and historic Erie Canalway © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

One of the best bike tours on the planet is in our own backyard: the annual Parks & Trails NY Cycle the Erie Canal ride, eight-days, 400-miles and 400 years of history, from Buffalo to Albany, a fully supported biking and camping trip (you can even hire Comfy Campers to set up your tent).

The ride raises money and awareness for advocacy for new trail development and this year’s ride will highlight new trails that take the riders off the roadway – this year, cyclists will ride a new stretch west of Lockport in the town of Pendleton and a gorgeous new trail between Amsterdam and Pattersonville (so you no longer bike on the highway).  Some 550 riders are expected  this year, its 21st annual Cycle the Erie ride, taking place , July 7-14; Parks & Trails NY is still accepting registrations ($925/adult, 6-17 $545, 5-and under $280, ptny.org)

The organization’s key focus now is to build upon the state’s plan for 750-miles of off-road recreational trails – the 360-mile long Erie Canalway, plus Empire State Trail, north-south mixed-use, off-road trail system that will fully connect New York City to Canada.

The plans are already in place for the Empire State Trail to be completed by the end of 2020. In 2019, PTNY launched Trails Across New York Campaign, to build off the momentum of the Empire State Trail’s planned completion in 2020 and support ways to turn the statewide trail system into a true network, connecting local trails with the main spine of the Empire State Trail, including Long Island, “and cementing New York’s position as the nation’s leader in multi-use trails.”

Legislation is currently pending in the NYS Assembly (A. 5035B) (S.4416B has already passed the NYS Senate) would create a statewide multi-use trails plan. This important bill would direct the state to come up with a blueprint for future trails development, helping to turn our local trails across the state into a unified network of trails with major spines and connecting routes, ensuring all parts of the state have access to quality outdoor active recreation on trails.

The Senate version has already passed; the Assembly version is in Ways & Means, which directs the State Parks department to strategize and prioritize filling in the trail gaps. Though it was considered possible for the Assembly to pass its version by the June 19th close of session, if it languishes to the next session, progress will not be lost. Parks & Trails was urging people to contact their state legislator to ask them to cosponsor the legislation and to make sure that the legislation is brought up for a vote before the legislature adjourns for the year.

“Trails Across New York envisions a future in which all New Yorkers will be located only minutes from a trail and ideally will be able to access that trail easily and safely by walking or bicycling. Throughout the state, trails, bicycle boulevards, and Complete Streets will be acknowledged as essential and mainstream elements of community infrastructure, much as utility lines and sidewalks are thought of today.”

PTNY notes that New York State’s trail-rich and trail-friendly reputation will attract visitors from across the nation and abroad to experience the historic communities and varied and beautiful landscapes accessible through the state’s trail network.

Trails offer a wide range of benefits, including stimulating local economies, PTNY notes. The Erie Canalway Trail alone has an estimated annual impact of more than $250 million, and has created close to 3,500 jobs. New York’s outdoor recreation economy annually generates $41.8 billion in consumer spending and supports 313,000 jobs.

See Cycle the Erie series on goingplacesfarandnear.com:

Cycle the Erie: 400 Miles & 400 Years of History Flow By on Canalway Bike Tour Across New York State

Cycle the Erie, Day 1: In Lockport, See Erie Canal Engineering Marvel, ‘Flight of Five’, Cruise Thru Double Locks, and Go Underground to Fathom Rise of Industrial Revolution

Cycle the Erie, Day 2-3: A Sequence of Charming Canaltowns, Pastoral Landscapes, Punctuated by City Birthed by ‘Mother of Cities’

Cycle the Erie, Day 4: Seneca Falls to Syracuse, Crossing Halfway Mark of 400-Mile Biketour

Cycle the Erie, Day 5: Deep Dive into The Erie Canal: ‘Mother of Cities’, Empire Builder, Wonder of the World

Cycle the Erie: At Fort Stanwix, Rome, Time Travel Back to America’s Colonial, Native American Past

Cycle the Erie, Days 6-7: Erie Canal Spurs Rise of America as Global Industrial Power

Cycle the Erie, Days 7-8: Schoharie Crossing, Mabee Farm, Cohoes Falls to Finish Line in Albany of 400-Mile BikeTour

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Tourissimo and Ride & Seek Announce New Cycling Tour Exploring Italy’s ‘Boot’ – Puglia

A new cycling tour being offered by Tourissimo and Ride & Seek as part of their PLUS Tours series highlights two UNESCO sites – Alberobello and Matera

(Turin, Italy) – Situated between the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea and the forests and mountains of Basilicata, Puglia offers a landscape of beguiling views, ancient olive groves, and UNESCO sites. This new cycling tour being offered by Tourissimo and Ride & Seek as part of their PLUS Tours series highlights two of these UNESCO sites – Alberobello and Matera. The former is known for its trulli, whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs, whilst the latter for its cave dwellings built into the calcareous rock. Guests will cycle the road-less-traveled with average daily rides of 40 km, and spend evenings dining on gourmet cuisine and fine wines.


“From the Adriatic Sea to the stones of Matera, this Puglia tour explores the most beautiful riding destinations in Southern Italy,” said Ride & Seek Founder Dylan Reynolds. “We will cycle rolling landscapes carpeted with olive groves, vineyards, whitewashed hill towns, fishing villages, and thousands of trulli.”

The trip starts in Savelletri with fig trees, blooming cacti, and herb gardens offering delightful fragrances. Guests will ride through one of the gems of Puglia: the Valle D’Itria. Its wooded slopes, vineyards, and endless olive groves are punctuated by the coned roofs of trulli.

“While many regions of Italy boast of having the best food in the world, Puglia could claim this title due its simple preparations that allow the true flavors of the food to stand out,” said Beppe Salerno, Co-Founder of Tourissimo. “But the charm of Puglia is rooted in the people themselves. Their hospitality is renowned throughout Italy.”

Tour Highlights:

  • Touring Matera where the 2016 remake of Ben-Hur was filmed
  • Discovering the white-washed town of Ostuni and the beaches near the fishing village of Savelletri
  • Visiting two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Alberobello & Matera
  • Riding among the orchards and trulli of Valle d’Itria
  • Attending a demonstration by a master cheese maker
  • Exploring the Greek Ruins of Egnazia 
  • Lodging in the award-winning Sextantio Hotel 

The trip is scheduled for October 10-17, 2019 and starts at $4,195.

For more info, visit  https://www.rideandseek.com/tour/puglia-the-best-of-southern-italy/.

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Explore Laos by Bicycle with Grasshopper Adventures

On Grasshopper Adventures’ 8-day cycling tour, guests pedal past karst mountains, alongside rivers, and through remote hill tribe villages.

(Bangkok, Thailand) — With its dense forests, limestone caves and seemingly endless waterways, Laos is a dream destination for intrepid travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-track corner of Asia. On Grasshopper Adventures’ 8-day cycling tour, guests pedal past karst mountains, alongside rivers, and through remote hill tribe villages. They boat down the Mekong River, hang out with Buddhist  monks, take cooking lessons, learn about rice wine making, and visit both bear and elephant conservation sanctuaries.

“This tour gets people away from the large infrastructure works that are being undertaken throughout much of the country and closer to what Laos is all about, the villages, the tribes and the natural environment,” said Grasshopper Adventures founder Adam Platt-Hepworth.

The cycling offers nice variety, including back roads and quiet highways. There are some short, manageable climbs, but the stunning views and Hmong village scenery are ample rewards for the effort.  Most days include undulating terrain, with a fair share of flat pedaling along winding river roads.

“When not exploring by bike, we make use of boats for some added variety,” said Platt-Hepworth. “There is a good mix of on and off-bike activities with a number of free afternoons to spend at your leisure, be it enjoying some R&R or delving deeper into the environment.”

Tour highlights:

  • Exploring Mekong Elephant Park
  • Taking Laotian cooking lessons
  • Boating down the Mekong River to see river/village life
  • Touring sacred Pak Ou caves filled with thousands of Buddha relics
  • Experiencing the traditional Monks Alms ceremony in Luang Prabang
  • Cycling to Wat Xieng Thong, one of Laos’ most important monasteries
  • Seeing how silk is made at Ock Pop Tock
  • Learning about rice wine making
  • Visiting the Free the Bears enclosure
  • Partaking in massage and yoga a luxurious resorts

The trips starts at $2,600 per person double and include 195 km of moderate cycling from Muang Xa to Luang Prabang. For more information, visit https://www.grasshopperadventures.com/en/scheduled-tours/lao-lao.html.

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