Easy Rides: Five Summer Bike Tour Favorites
It’s tough for our tour leaders to pick favorites rides from among all the great rides they lead however these five rides rank highly among their top easier rides of our summer bike tours. The criteria for selection as a favorite summer ride: great scenery, compelling points of interest, unique routing, and – naturally – gentle terrain.
Picking a favorite ride in gorgeous Acadia National Park isn’t easy however this ride is one of the most scenic and geographically diverse of all the spectacular rides we do in the park. Beginning in the town of Bar Harbor, the route begins along 10-miles of peaceful and vehicle-free carriage roads that pass by lakes, through woodlands, and over one of the park’s iconic granite bridges before arriving in small village of Northeast Harbor. After pausing to view harbor, follow the shore past the classic summer “cottages” leading to Somes Sound, a fjord-like body of water plied by sailboats and lobster fishermen alike. The Atlantic Brewing Company is a great place to relax over a blueberry shake or a cold beer before circling back to the inn in Bar Harbor. 20 or 37 miles
The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a popular cycling route but it’s where the trail ends that the real fun begins. One of our favorite rides begins in the town of Eastham and includes an easy spin along the last five miles of the rail trail (yes, it’s all paved) before arriving at a fantastic boulangerie where we like to stop for an espresso or latte. After our little morning break, it’s off along the winding back roads and through the fishing village of Wellfleet then into the rolling dunes of the Outer Cape. Our tour here on Cape Cod stops for a picnic lunch on the lawn of Truro Vineyards before continuing along the bay and into funky Provincetown. Ride right through the heart of town, past galleries and the Pilgrim Monument to our lux accommodations on a high point overlooking the harbor in the well-heeled West End. 25 or 33 miles
Up-state New York isn’t known for its level terrain however the first couple of days of our Finger Lakes bike tour offer a couple of easier rides. After following the Erie Canal the morning of the first day, we spin south along a ridge high above Seneca Lake on the second. What we love about this ride are the expansive views and well-kept farms of the Mennonites who settled here. And, since most of the Mennonites either ride bicycles or drive horse-drawn buggies, there are very few motorized vehicles on the country roads. Toward the southern end of Seneca Lake, vineyards become more prevalent and small wineries begin to appear. We stop for lunch at a long established family winery with beautiful views over the lake. Dropping downhill into Watkins Glen in mid-afternoon allows for time to climb the 800 stone steps up the narrow gorge that features several beautiful waterfalls. 37 miles
We went for rural beauty and quiet country roads through a World Biosphere Reserve as our favorite ride in Canada’s top wine-growing region. A mix of farmland, orchards, and vineyards, the ride circles atop the Niagara Escarpment – where views extend to Lake Ontario and beyond – before dropping to “the bench.” In early summer, blossoming fruit trees add color and fragrance to the pastoral green landscape. This is a foodie region and our lunch stop at a favorite winery includes a selection of local products. Winding along quiet country roads, we might stop to pick cherries as we make our way back to the charming small town of Jordan which is surrounded by vineyards and farms. A short spur ride leads to one of Canada’s most esteemed estate cheesemakers. We like to finish the ride on the terrace of the local coffee shop right next to our inn. 25 miles
You may not think of biking into one of the world’s largest cities as a top ride but we’d like to convince you otherwise. One of our favorite summer rides is from the little town of Hudson, Quebec into the city of Montreal. This ride is the last full day of cycling on our Ottawa to Montreal tour and it ranks as one of our favorites. Leaving this charming little village, we follow the shore of the Ottawa River then ride through lovely neighborhoods along the Saint Lawrence River. A mix of bike paths and bike lanes, the route follows the river past beautiful homes and parks to the Lachine Canal, once part of an active trade route with the Far East. A fabulous bike path along the canal leads nearly to the doorstep of our favorite boutique hotel in Old Montreal where the bellman will take your bike and you can head to the bar to toast a great ride. 36 miles
Sojourn’s easier tours include easier rides during each day of the trips while intermediate tours include easier rides (or easier ride options) on some days. Call our office and we’ll help you determine which trips are best suited to your interests and ability. Summer’s almost here, it’s time to add some of our favorite rides to your bucket list.