New York: Finger Lakes Wine Country
4 Day Inn Tour
Imagine vistas of sapphire blue lakes between verdant, vineyard-covered hills, quiet roads with smooth, wide shoulders, and village stores selling homemade grape pies. This is New York’s Finger Lakes region. Glacial advances in the Ice Age carved the 11 parallel lakes out of sedimentary rock. Folklore says a giant bear walked among the forests to create the fresh-water fjords. Today the area serves as a backdrop for some wonderful cycling. We consider it the backyard of the WomanTours office, and we’re proud to show you what we think is one of the best-kept cycling secrets in the country.
The first 6 women to sign up receive 5% discounts.
A mix of rolling hills and flat terrain. Moderate cycling level.
3 nights lodging, 3 breakfasts, 2 picnic lunches, 3 dinners, a cheese tasting, snacks, park entrance fee, detailed cue sheets, van support & trained guides.
Fly into and out of the Rochester, NY airport or take Amtrak to the train station. WomanTours will provide an optional shuttle at 12:00noon to the start of the tour for $20 one-way. Or drive to the Inn and leave your car in Seneca Falls for the week.
"This was my first bike tour and I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was fantastic. I was a bit concerned my first day (unprepared for the hills) but the whole group was very supportive and encouraging. I chalk that up to the group being all women. I was prepared for “less nice” so the first night really surprised me – the room was wonderful. "
DAY 1: We meet at the beautifully restored historic Gould Hotel in Seneca Falls, NY. The town is also home to the Women’s Rights Historical Park where Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton began the national crusade for women’s suffrage. Take the time to learn about this fascinating bit of American history at the small museum a block from our hotel. You can also visit the Women’s National Hall of Fame and walk the main street of this cute town that was the inspiration for Bedford Falls in Frank Capra’s movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.
Come dressed and ready to ride for our orientation at 1:00pm. We’ll conduct a rental bike fitting and take our first bike ride down to the water’s edge of Cayuga Lake. The longest of the Finger Lakes, its shores are lined with farms, wineries, and microbreweries. We’ll stop for a cheese tasting along the way at one of the most recognized dairy farms in the country. After a quick shower, we’ll enjoy our first dinner together. 20 miles.
DAY 2: After breakfast at our inn, we will bike over to Seneca Lake and then down its entire length. Named after the Indian tribe that still inhabits the area, Seneca Lake is the deepest of all the Finger Lakes. At more than 600’, it’s used for submarine testing, and the locals joke that whales inhabit it. You’ll pass numerous wineries along the way that have become famous for their award-winning dry Rieslings. You can do a tasting at one of these wineries if you’d like after our picnic lunch.
Today’s ride ends near Watkins Glen State Park for a spectacular hike through the deep narrow gorge. Be sure to bring your camera. The 200’ cliffs surround the rushing stream that falls two miles through the park. The easy path takes us over and under numerous waterfalls and quiet pools. It’s a welcome cool and shady respite from the day’s ride.
We’ll overnight at the very tip of Seneca Lake. If the water is too cold for a dip, you can always swim in the heated indoor pool before dinner. 33 - 48 miles.
DAY 3: Today we cross over to our third Finger Lake, the curiously but naturally Y-shaped Keuka Lake. We’ll bike on some quiet back roads that wind through fertile farmland. You’ll undoubtedly pass a few horse-drawn carriages, as this area is home to many Amish and Mennonite families.
You’ll have a couple ride options, including one that takes you past the historic serene Garrett Chapel. Then we’ll overnight at a beautiful inn. Be sure to take a minute after dinner to sit on the mansion’s grand porch and admire the stunning view of Keuka Lake before you. 36 or 48 miles.
DAY 4: We’ll finish our tour by biking past cabbage fields, apple orchards and more vineyards back to a picnic lunch in Geneva on the shores of Seneca Lake. Then we’ll shuttle you back to our starting hotel or Rochester by 2:00pm and say our good-byes. 25 miles.