Senior Cycling

2024 Bike Tours

Hudson Valley - Saratoga Springs to West Point

Cycle Route with evening layovers

* Male Roommate Wanted *

New York's Hudson River Valley is a beautiful and dramatic region rich in history, arts and culture. When fall foliage transforms the hills and valleys framing the majestic river into mosaics of red, yellow, orange, and gold, the landscape is breathtaking. Last year's first-ever offering of this tour was a sellout and a huge success, but we're making a few changes to provide an even better all-around experience in 2024. 

To begin with, Saratoga Springs is such a destination spot that we'll begin by staying two nights there, with the first day entirely yours/on your own to explore and enjoy it. (If you rent a bike from us, you can use it to cover more ground!)  The city is home to Skidmore College and known for world-class horse racing, renowned performing arts and natural springs spas, plus 13 golf courses, 10 museums, a historic battlefield, fabulous boutiques, antiques and restaurants. The Empire State also has one of the best paved rail-trail networks in the country, and we'll traverse well over 100 miles of them (of the 168 total miles of cycling) as we explore farmland, forests, and wetlands, crossing the Hudson four times including on several spectacular bridges that endure as engineering marvels of their day.  We'll stay overnight in the state capital of Albany, followed by the quaint villages of Hudson, Kington and Fishkill.  The tour features a timed-entry tour of the Olana Historic Site, the home and studio of renowned 19th century painter Frederic Edwin Church, the first student of Thomas Cole of the Hudson River School of landscape painting.  We'll also visit wineries, breweries, farmstands, and ice cream shops, stay in historic inns and B&Bs, and enjoy some fabulous cuisine. We finish up with a quick tour of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, founded in 1802. Check out the detailed day-by-day itinerary below.

Tour Leaders: owner Ned Raynolds and Mike Hicks

Included

  • About 168 miles of riding over 5 days
  • 6 nights lodging in 3 and 4 star accommodations including 5 nights in charming local inns/B&Bs/unique hotels, 1 nights in Hampton Inn (Albany) 
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Sag support, cold drinks & snacks, baggage transfer

Itinerary

  • Day 1 -Friday

    Arrive in Saratoga Springs where the Tour will begin on Sunday; our first two nights' lodging is at the historic Inn at Saratoga, steeped in Victorian charm and rich with local history. Check-in is at 3 p.m, then head out and explore the town and have dinner. If you're renting a bike from us, you can get it right away, or anytime on Saturday.

  • Day 2 - Saturday

    This is a day to explore the wonderful small city of Saratoga Springs on your own, by foot, bike, or whatever transportation you can find. Horse racing, history, winetasting ... Do some research in advance, perhaps get tickets to a tour or a show, or just play it by ear according to the weather. Be back to the Inn at Saratoga by 5:00 p.m. though, for our meet & orientation meeting, and a group dinner right there in the Inn's Side Room restaurant.

  • Day 3 - Sunday

    41 miles -- We'll make our way out of Saratoga Springs to Ballston Spa via mix of paved bike paths and local roads. At Ballston Spa we'll pick up the Zim Smith Mid-County Trail for 11.5 miles down to the outskirts of Mechanicsville, on the Hudson River, where we'll have lunch at a classic local diner called The Ugly Rooster. Then we'll head south toward Albany, connecting with the Champlain Canalway Trail into Waterford, where the Mohawk River meets the Hudson, and the eastern terminus of the Erie Canal. After a rest stop to check out some of the historical markers, we'll follow the Empire State Trail, much of it right along the banks of the Hudson, into downtown Albany for our night's rest. Dinner is on your own at one of many restaurants or breweries within walking distance.

  • Day 4 - Monday

    39 mi. -- Today we'll ride right out from the Hampton Inn downtown Albany make our way over the Hudson River on marked bike paths, and jump on the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail. The AHET follows a 36-mile course through the former Albany-Hudson Electric Trolley corridor from Hudson to Rensselaer. The electric trolley ran for 30 years before closing in 1929. The corridor is now owned by National Grid, which gave permission to the Hudson River Valley Greenway to construct and maintain the trail. The journey includes passage through Hudson Valley's farmlands and orchards, access to a handful of charming communities in Rensselaer and Columbia Counties, and multiple crossings of the Valatie Kill, a picturesque stream. We'll ride right to our historic boutique hotel just south of downtown, The Wick (once a candle factory from the 1860s) with some time to relax and then explore the town and find a place for dinner on your own.

  • Day 5 - Tuesday

    37 mi. A good portion of today's ride is on-road following the NY State-designated Empire State Bike Trail. We'll make an early stop just 5 miles into our ride at the Olana Historic Site, for a guided tour of the home of famed Hudson River landscape artist Frederic Edwin Church, and then continue along the quiet state road that parallels the Hudson, stopping in the cute town of Tivoli for lunch of your choosing. We'll continue south across the campus of Bard College and then cross high above the Hudson on the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge to head into Kingston. Our lodging tonight is at the unique Hutton Brickyards Riverfront Hotel & Venue. After we've had a chance to relax & refesh we'll walk or cycle the mile into town for dinner at the riverfront Old Savannah Southern Table & Bar.

  • Day 6 - Wednesday

    37 miles - We'll make our way to the gorgeous Walkill Valley Rail Trail which takes us through quiet forests and farmland. Then in New Paltz we'll connect to the Empire State Trail, crossing the spectacular Walkway Over the Hudson, a steel cantilever bridge spanning the river between Poughkeepsie on the east and Highland on the west. Built as a double track railroad bridge, it was completed in 1889 and formed part of the Maybrook Railroad Line of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Taken out of service in 1974 after it was damaged by fire, It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2009. It was reopened in October 2009, as a pedestrian walkway - the world's longest elevated pedestrian bridge (bikes are allowed too :)). In Poughkeepsie we'll pick up the William R. Steinhaus Duchess Rail Trail for 13.1 miles of smooth, paved riding into Hopewell Junction. There's we'll load into the van for a short 4.6 mile ride to our night's lodging at the historic, luxurious Brinckerhoff Inn in Fishkill, where we'll enjoy a barbecue dinner.

  • Day 7 - Thursday

    23.3 miles. On our last day we'll be only on local roads as we once again cross the Hudson (this time alongside 1-84 on the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge Pedestrian & Bike Trail) and then head south along the riverfront to Newburgh to Washington's Headquarters State Park, where the strategy that brought the Revolutionary War to its successful conclusion was devised. Riders can explore the small park while we load the bikes into the trailer for transport down to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. We'll go through security and take a 5.5 mile tour on our bikes, then get some lunch, and then load into the van for our ride back up to Saratoga Springs (a 2:15 ride). Plan to arrive back in Saratoga Springs for the conclusion of the tour around 4:30. It will also be possible for us to drop you off at Albany Airport, or the Albany Amtrak station, if that's how you arrived.


Difficulty Level: Advanced

Due to the distances of several days' rides and the substantial amount of on-road riding in this tour, it's rated Advanced. You must be comfortable with riding on the shoulder and able to tackle moderate elevation changes, all as part of the distances involved.  NOTE: While Senior Cycling does not yet rent E-bikes, your own E-bikes are welcome on the Tour, and as always, the Senior Cycling support van is always close by and is available if you've reached your cycling limit for the day!

Suggested bicycle: Touring bikes, road bikes, hybrids

Suggested tire size for this tour: 25mm – 35mm 


Pricing

$2,950 per person (based on double occupancy)

$860 – Single Supplement (extra price to have your own room)

$150 – Bike Rental (helmet and bike bag included)


Your Travel Plans

Check-in at the Inn at Saratoga as early as 3:00 pm on Friday, Sept. 27 or Oct. 4th 2023. The trip ends on Thursday, Oct. 3rd or 10th upon our return to Saratoga.

If you're driving to Saratoga, we'll facilitate getting your cars parked at the Saratoga City Center garage while we're on the ride. Albany International Airport, just 26.5 miles south of Saratoga Springs, is served by United, American, Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, and Allegiant. Saratoga Springs is also served by Amtrak from NY's Penn Station. Plan that we'll arrive back in Saratoga Springs for the conclusion of the tour around 4:30 on Thursday afternoon.  It would also be possible for us to drop you off at Albany Airport, or the Albany Amtrak station, on way back north from West Point to Saratoga Springs, if that's how you arrived. 


* Male Roommate Wanted *

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IMPORTANT NOTE regarding Registration and Credit Card fees:  Senior Cycling is adopting WeTravel as our payment platform in order to enable us and our customers to avoid the cost of credit card processing fees, which can amount to $100 or more on just the single rider cost of a trip. When you get to "Payment Method", if you choose "U.S. Checking Account", you'll avoid the 3% credit card processing fee.