Just south of the Adirondacks, you’ll find a variety of on- and off-road biking trails that will reward you with their scenic views. Whether you love the leveled ride of a designated biking trail or you prefer the peaks and valleys of a stimulating ride in the woods, there are some biking gems you might not know about close to the Adirondack Park.
Below we’ve highlighted cycling trails, state forests that allow mountain biking, and some worthwhile places to stop along your journey.
Discover Excellent Cycling Trails
Riding on paved trails compared to wooded, mountain trails has its distinct advantages. You have a clean, smooth ride ahead of you, you can go further faster with less energy, and you can use a lighter bike, which will help you get up to speed more quickly.
If paved trail biking or road biking is your jam, you should check out the following trails:
Champlain Canalway Trail
Part of the 750-mile Empire State Trail, which runs north to south from New York City to the Canadian border and east to west from Albany to Buffalo, includes the Champlain Canalway Trail!
A 12-mile segment includes an off-road stone dust trail dedicated to walkers and bicyclists, plus sections on low-traffic local roads as it connects Fort Edward to Fort Ann. With little elevation gain, the trail section is great for bicyclists of all abilities, from children and casual riders, to experienced cyclists.
Bikers can continue on to the rest of the state with a mix of on-road riding and trails that make up the Empire State Trail.
Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail
The Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail starts in South Glens Falls and makes its way through Hudson Falls and Fort Edward. It follows along the Glens Falls Feeder Canal which adds a little something special to the scenic views along your ride. From Overlook Park in South Glens Falls to Fort Edward the entire trail is 9 miles long.
Fun Fact: The canal is the last remaining original canal in New York State, and you can find signage along the way that provides a glimpse into the past of this region!
This trail is connected to the Empire State Trail in Hudson Falls, and the Warren County Bike Trail that ends at the Village of Lake George.
D&H Rail Trail
The D&H Rail Trail connects parts of Vermont with New York in Granville, and down into the Salem area through Vermont. Using the Slate Valley Trails guide, you can pick the length and difficulty of your trek here >>
The trail is 100% offroad from the south end of the D&H Trail in West Rupert to the Village of Granville. While the northern end of the trail is currently under development from Depot Road north, on-road biking will link you to the northern link of the D&H Rail Trail in Poultney.
Head Into the Woods for Off-Road Mountain Biking
Love the thrill of biking on off-road trails and through forests? There are some great forests to bike through just south of the Adirondack Park that you will definitely want to check out.
Please keep in mind trail etiquette when biking on hiking trails. Bikers are generally expected to yield to hikers on the trail – hikers may move aside for you, but allow them to make that call. Be sure to make your presence known if you’re coming up behind people hiking.
If you encounter other bikers, those going uphill get the right of way. And, if you see horseback riders on your travels they get priority over both bikers and hikers. Also, remember that muddy trails are vulnerable to damage. Wait until after the spring mud season to bike on off-road trails.
The following state forests all allow mountain biking and are about 15 minutes east of Cambridge, NY as you head towards the Vermont border:
Goose Egg State Forest & Batten Kill State Forest
The 436-acre Goose Egg State Forest and 535-acre Batten Kill State Forest are adjacent to each other in the towns of Jackson and White Creek. You can find parking in the Batten Kill State Forest parking lot, which provides access to the Folded Rock Trail, or in the Goose Egg State Forest parking lot or Eagleville Road Parking Lot.
The Folded Rock Trail is a five-mile roundtrip trail open to hiking and other recreation. Although just five miles, it offers a good workout and includes a push-up of a 1,000 foot elevation over about half a mile. At the top, you see stunning views of the Battenkill Valley and Eldridge Swamp. See a map of trail and parking areas »
Mount Tom State Forest
Mount Tom State Forest in White Creek is the largest state forest in Washington County at over 1,700 acres. There are several parking lots and pull-off areas around the forest, and inside you’ll find multiple-use trails. Find a map of trails and parking areas »
Eldridge Swamp State Forest
Eldridge Swamp State Forest in Jackson is known for its abundant wildlife and hunting opportunities. There are grassy areas and wetlands within the forest, and farm landscapes bordering the area. While there aren’t official, marked trails within the forest property there is a network of old farm paths and logging trails that are open to hiking and non-motorized recreation. View map of forest and parking areas »
Chestnut Woods State Forest
Chestnut Woods State Forest in White Creek lies right along the Vermont border and is a little over 800 acres. Like the Eldridge Swamp State Forest, this area is also brimming with wildlife and has no official trails. But, there is an extensive network of former logging roads open for biking, hiking, horseback riding, and skiing. Check out the map with parking areas »
Have You Tried These Races and Rides?
Tour of the Battenkill
The Tour of the Battenkill is the biggest biking event in the area. Approximately 3,000 experienced and amateur cyclists compete in this race going over dirt roads, under a covered bridge, and up hills through Washington County.
The event comprises three rides: 75-mile Gran Fondo, 42-mile Medio Fondo, and 26-mile Piccolo Fondo. Riders pick their distance, reserve their spot, and then look forward to being a part of this momentous event.
The Great North
This epic adventure-cycling challenge features dirt, seasonal, and challenging primitive roads in the heart of the Battenkill Valley. Presented by Argyle Brewing Company in Cambridge, riders will start and end the ride at the brewery, where they can enjoy their first Argyle brew and apple pie at the finish!
This non-competitive ride ends in the heart of beautiful Cambridge with food trucks, vendors, music, and more.
Tour De Vine
Enjoy a cycling tour amidst the growing wine, cider, spirits, and craft beer culture of Southern Washington County, the “Tuscany of New York State”! Add tastings at each stop for a complete experience, or take the long route to explore some of the area’s covered bridges along the way.
This casual, fully-supported ride features on-the-road support, aid stations, and a catered, post-tour BBQ at Argyle Brewing Company in Cambridge.
Get Bike Rentals & Gear
Looking to pick up or rent bike gear, or upgrade your own before you hit the trails? Check out the below options:
Johnson and Son Bikeworks
Johnson and Son Bikeworks in Hampton sells new and used bikes and offers bike rentals. This small family-run shop has been in business for over 10 years and also provides free bikes to those in need, free use of tools/shop space, and repair and safe riding classes. They stock mountain bikes, hybrid bikes (work well on paved roads, dirt roads, etc.), adventure bikes, dual sport bikes, and anything else you can think of for your biking needs.
Evergreen Bicycle Works
Just steps from the Empire State Trail and minutes from the Feeder Canal/Champlain Canalway Trail in Fort Edward, Evergreen Bicycle Works is a full-service bicycle shop offering new and used bicycles, gear & apparel, bicycle maintenance & repair, and bicycle rentals. Their location in the Amtrak station makes them the perfect spot to regroup and tune up after your train ride and before hitting one of the area trails.
Battenkill Valley Outdoors
Looking to rent a bike for your adventure? Battenkill Valley Outdoors in Cambridge offers bike rentals. Choose from a solo bike, a tandem bike, or a “rental bike child trailer,” which is a covered pull-behind trailer: They make it easy for biking to be a family activity!
Stop into their location in Granville or shop online for e-bikes, bike parts, accessories, and outdoor sporting goods. New to e-bikes? You can even rent one through bushbustingbikes!
Places to Eat & Things to See Along the Way
You’ve got to grab some grub while you’re out on your biking trip! Below we’ve rounded up some places to get food, cool sights to see, and even unique overnight accommodation options that are close to the aforementioned trails and forests.
Close to the Champlain Canalway Trail
Between Fort Edward and Fort Ann, you’ll discover not only incredible views of the historic canal but great dining and more.
In Fort Edward, you’ll find Slickfin Brewing Company, Stumpy’s Pizza, Mamma’s Cafe, and so much more to start your day right or celebrate the end of a ride. Also in town is the Amtrak station, home to the above-mentioned Evergreen Bicycle Works and fiend coffeeworks, and just a quick ride to the trailhead. Hop off the train with your bike, grab a coffee, then make your way north to Fort Ann!
Walker’s Farm, Home, & Tack
This community staple has everything you could need on the farm, but they carry much more than animal feed and tack! Stop in for unique gifts and home decor, western and casual clothing that can withstand a ride on your bike or on a horse, and more.
Battle Hill Brewing Company
There’s no better place to enjoy a post-ride drink or meal than Battle Hill! Their brews are made with fresh local ingredients and served up with classic pub favorites in a 19th-century building in historic Fort Ann.
Fort Ann Service Center
Hear us out: This service center is not your typical gas station or truck stop. Stop in for high-quality breakfast sandwiches made-to-order, fresh and fun baked goods, and unique lunch items, plus all you’d need for your ride from a traditional gas station.
Along the Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail
The village of Hudson Falls is brimming with culture and worthwhile stores to visit, many of which are centrally located around Juckett Park. See what you can find as you drive down Main Street/Route 4.
Jack & Jill Ice Cream
If you’re craving an ice cream cone after a long day of riding, Jack & Jill Ice Cream in Hudson Falls is where you’ll want to stop. Check out their glowing Facebook reviews for an idea of what to expect from their large servings and friendly staff. The Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail brings you right to their shop!
Craving some breakfast fare before you hit the trails? Time your bike trip around a visit to Sullivan’s Diner on Main Street in Hudson Falls. They’re open 7 AM to 2 PM each day, and until 7 PM on Fridays, with traditional homestyle breakfast served all day, plus lunch items starting at 11 AM and weekly specials!
While traveling along the Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail you can stop to admire the Five Combines, locks in Hudson Falls near Burgoyne Avenue.
Sandy Hill Arts Center
The Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail rail has close proximity to Hudson Falls with its independent restaurants and stores, including the Sandy Hill Arts Center. The building is home to a collection of galleries and shops, art studios, offices, and DeNatale’s Italian restaurant.
Near the D&H Rail Trail
Jen’s Pit Stop
Jen’s Pit Stop in Granville is another great place to grab a bite to eat while you’re out on your adventures. They offer burgers and traditional fast food for lunch and dinner, and they also offer takeout, so if you’re in a hurry to get back on the trail you can grab your food to go.
Slate Valley Museum
Slate Valley Museum in Granville showcases the area’s strong roots in the slate industry, which got its start in the 1800s after slate deposits were discovered in the area running along the New York/Vermont border. Museum admission is just $5 for adults and they’re open year-round Tuesday through Friday, 1pm to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.
Slate Town Brewing Company
The D&H Rail Trail passes through the town of Granville, just a few blocks from Slate Town Brewing Company! Stop in for small-batch beer made with local, seasonal ingredients plus a full kitchen and bar serving New York-made spirits, wines, and other great beverages.
Scarlottas Car Hop
This local favorite is open under new owners, staying true to their family roots: Scarlotta’s Car Hop is owned by the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of the original, namesake owners!
Close to the State Forests
The first hotspot below is located just outside of Batten Kill State Forest, and the next two are just outside of Chestnut Woods State Forest. The next six listed are in Cambridge or close to Cambridge, which is a six-minute drive (or 16-minute bike ride) from Eldridge Swamp State Forest and an 18-minute drive from Mount Tom State Forest.
Make sure to check the following out on a map beforehand and plan your trip accordingly!
Eagleville Covered Bridge
Who doesn’t love a picturesque covered bridge? Eagleville Covered Bridge is on Eagleville Road off Route 313 which goes right by Batten Kill State Forest.
This bridge was built in 1858 and revamped in 2007, and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fun Fact: It’s one of just four covered bridges still standing in Washington County!
Round House Bakery
The Round House Bakery is just outside Cambridge, near Chestnut Woods State Forest. Plan your trip around their weekly curbside pickup for an incredible end to your ride! Round House Bakery offers their well-loved fresh frozen pizzas, plus weekly dinner specials, breads, baked goods, and grocery items for pickup at their farm property.
New Skete Monastery & Hiking Trail
The New Skete Monstery, known for its amazing cheesecakes, is just outside of Chesnut Woods State Forest, although be aware there isn’t a direct route to them; you need to take Chestnut Hill Road to New Skete Road. This is a six-minute car ride or 27-minute bike ride that will be worth the effort.
The churches, gardens, bell tower, and hiking trail are open for self-guided tours Tuesday through Sunday, and you can find downloadable brochures and a hiking trail map on their website. The Monk’s gift shop is open Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 12 PM to 4 PM, or swing into the Nun’s airlock gift shop with cash or a check, which is open from 8 AM to 8 PM every day.
Make the short trip to Cambridge from one of the state forests and fuel up on delicious pizza or a sub with quality Boars Head meat at Clark’s Pizzeria on West Main Street. Or, if you’re looking for a bit more of a fine dining experience after a day of biking, Silvano’s Italian Restaurant is just across the street.
Silvano’s Italian Restaurant
Silvano’s Italian Restaurant is exactly what you’d expect from a renowned Italian eatery, with several chicken dishes like chicken parmigiana and chicken marsala, multiple seafood dishes, sirloin steak, and vegetarian options. This could be a satisfying end to a long day recreating in the woods!
West End Deli Works
Craving a burger or loaded sandwich after some serious bike riding? Stop by West End Deli Works for this classic comfort food, located in Cambridge. They also serve up Ruben sandwiches, deli subs, and other high-quality fare like fresh-cut french fries.
Cambridge Food Co-Op
While in Cambridge, stop by the Cambridge Food Co-op where you’ll find local, natural, and organic produce and products to pick up for your trip home.
Benson’s Family Restaurant and Dairy Bar
Get breakfast, lunch, dinner, or ice cream at Benson’s in Eagle Bridge, which is a 10-minute drive south of Cambridge, or a 23-minute bike ride from Mount Tom State Forest.
Eagle Bridge Antique Center
Also located south of Cambridge is the Eagle Bridge Antique Center is a 23-minute bike ride from Mount Tom State Forest. Browse collectibles and high-quality antiques from lamps to mugs to paintings.