This Tour is an approachable, multi-surface ride based alongside New York’s largest Finger Lake, Seneca Lake. The routes follow a mix of back roads, gravel roads, and rail trails near the Finger Lakes National Forest. We’ll spend all three nights at the Lodge at Grist Iron Brewing Co.
On the Seneca Backroads tour you’ll experience the best of the Finger Lakes region — ride quiet back roads, farms, vineyards, take a sightseeing boat excursion on Seneca Lake, hike to incredible waterfalls, and cap off each day with a fantastic craft brew from Grist Iron.
The route is best suited to a gravel bike (a drop-bar bike with a tire width over 30mm), and is only for riders with intermediate to advanced bike handling skills who have experience on varied surfaces. Due to safety concerns, we do not allow e-bikes on this ride. Thanks for understanding!
Quiet, mixed-surface roads
Vintage boat tour
Stay at Grist Iron Brewing Co
Visit Sunset View Creamery
Lodge at Grist Iron Brewing Company
Meet your guides at The Lodge at Gristiron Brewing Co., which will be our home for the next three nights! We’ll check-in after our ride. Today’s route takes us up and over Satterly Hill and Skyline Drive with their big views of Seneca Lake, then we’ll drop down for a photo op at cascading Shequaga Falls. A short gravel ride to Watkins Glen for lunch on your own. Once refueled, we’ll walk the spectacular Watkins Glen gorge, one of NY States tops attractions. Truly a photographers paradise. A short shuttle returns us to Grist Iron, chill out and meet for a group dinner at Grist Iron. Just in time for sunset.
Today’s 37 mile ride takes us on a mix of some of the best gravel road sections the Finger Lakes has to offer, also some rail trail, and some challenging climbs with big views as rewards. Pet a cow and sample cheeses at our support stop at Sunset View Creamery, a 5th generation dairy farm. We’ll finish in Watkins Glen for a picnic lunch in Clute Park on Seneca Lake. Swimming and a Splash Pad are available for cooling off before we shuttle back to the Hotel. After some relaxing time at Grist Iron we’ll head down to Seneca Lake for an evening cruise on a vintage tour boat before dinner on your own in Watkins Glen.
Today’s ride takes us up and over the backbone of the Finger Lakes to Ithaca NY on Cayuga Lake. We’ll climb the first seven miles through the Finger Lakes National Forest, then descend, mostly, the next twenty-five miles to Ithaca. We’ll ride dirt roads in the forest, pass rolling farmland, cruise through Trumansburg, then descend the shady, eight mile downhill ride on the Black Diamond Trail to Ithaca. Finally we’ll hop on the Waterfront Trail, finishing in Stewart Park before lunch on your own in Ithaca. After lunch, we’ll shuttle back to Grist Iron with stops at the Taughannock Falls overlook and a couple favorite, local microbreweries. Then a bit of a rest before a group dinner!
This morning we’ll have a relaxing breakfast before saying goodbye to the Grist Iron Brewing Co. A short shuttle lifts us to the high point of today’s ride. From there, the route is nearly all downhill! We’ll ride more gravel roads in the Finger Lakes National Forest before popping out into the rolling farmlands of the Northern Finger Lakes area and the cute little town of Ovid. From there, more downhill drops us lakeside for a final picnic lunch at Lodi Park. Afterwards, a 15 minute shuttle returns us to our vehicles for a final goodbye (and maybe one more beer at the Grist Iron)!
3 Breakfasts | 3 Lunches | 2 Dinners
PP Double Occupancy
*This is required if you are traveling solo or if you are traveling with someone but require separate beds.