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NYC Microadventure

I really enjoy receiving emails from people who have taken on a microadventure of their own.

Marc gave me permission to include his photos here as I loved the progression from wilderness to the very heart of New York City!

He says,

“I spent 6 days (finished last week) hiking and biking (touring) the length of the Hudson River, here in the states. The Hudson is the longest river in New York State and the lifeblood of the state- it gets its source at the beautiful alpine Lake Tear of the Clouds (just shy of the summit of the highest peak in New York’s Adirondack Mtn’s: Mt Marcy) and from there it wends its way through many historical towns, the state’s capital, meets the Eerie Canal and eventually ends at the ocean in Manhattan, by the Statue of Liberty. Not only was I able to follow the whole river from source to sea, but also traveled from the highest point to the lowest point in the state!
I’md love to see other people attempt the same trip (maybe even beat my time?). I have all the directions, campgrounds, etc. saved if people want it.”

Here are some numbers:
-300 miles total, 20 miles hiking and 280 biking
-Avg daily bike mileage: 60
-Total days: 6
-Total days it rained: 6
-Total amt spent on accommodations: 70$
-Total amt spent on whole trip (accommodations, pre-/post-trip transportation, food, gear): 290$.
-Total flat tires: 5
-Spare tires: 2
-Number of patches used: 3
-Elevation loss: 5,344 ft (so many downhills….)

Overall a great trip! Quite the experience from going somewhere as remote as the ADKs (no cell service for 3 days!) to downtown NYC all by your own power…. Definitely worth the celebratory beers at the end.

At Lake Tear of the Clouds, highest source of the Hudson River and just shy of the summit of Mt Marcy, highest point in the Adirondacks/New York State.

My bike and “kit” as you Brits say overlooking the Hudson just South of the town of North Creek (where President Teddy Roosevelt was sworn-in as President!) (It’s actually a great story and worth looking up!)

This was a “Bike Path” as noted by both Google Maps and MapMyRide. The pavement gave out in the middle of nowhere and turned to a flooded dirt road, complete with fallen bridges and miserable push-your-bike-through-it-it’s-so-deep-mud. It started down-pouring shortly after this. Excellent.

This was on the George Washington Bridge in northern Manhattan overlooking the NYC skyline. Home-stretch!

Me bringing the sexy back and showing off my “spantan” in Time Square. I love this picture because 5 days prior to this I was waist-deep in water fording a “trail” in the ADK wilderness with no cell-service and hadn’t seen any people for 2 days.

Marc works for an outdoor company based in Philly and NYC that specializes in day-trips out of the city.

If you like this post you might like this one too about a London commute microadventure.

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  1. I lived in NY state for 5 years for my studies. Adirondacks and Catskills of the state are most beautiful places to bike, pedal and hike in the eastern USA. I did Manhattan from north to south, hiking 12 miles, in 1987. Not a long hike by any means, but most fun oriented one indeed. I remember it like yesterday.

  2. Nice post. I am interested in the exact route you cycled

    • Hey Bart,

      For the hike, I did the Roosevelt-Marcy Memorial Trail from Tahawus Tract/Upper Works Parking Lot and camped out at Herb Brooks Lean-to.

      For the bike I basically cobbled together a route that more-or-less followed Rt 9W/Hudson River as close as I could while avoiding highways. The first leg was a pretty direct route from Mt Marcy through Minerva, North Creek, Warrensburg, to Lake George. From there I followed the East bank of the Hudson through Saratoga to Albany and south of Albany I parralleled or rode Rt 9W on the West bank of the Hudson til Poughkeepsie where I crossed the epically high pedestrian bridge to the East bank. From there I followed/parralleled Rt 9 and the N/S County Bike Bath all the way to Manhattan. Let me know if you’re interested in more specifics- I can send you turn-by-turn directions, campsites, etc…

  3. Hi Marc, Great post! I am currently planning something surprisingly similar but through the Scottish Highlands, 7/8 days with two days of activates such as climbing Ben Nevis. I wonder if my body will be able to handle the consecutive days of mileage.

    I am interested in the full kit you took along as obviously on a bike less is better! That’s the one part I’m struggling with!

    • Hi Gary-

      Sounds like a great trip! In terms of gear, I tried to keep it as simple as possible. For the biking portion I brought 2 shirts, 2 pairs of biking shorts, one pair of “around camp” comfortable shorts, one set of underwear, raincoat, 3 pairs of socks, my clip-in shoes and a pair of sturdy sandals for around town/short hikes/around camp (I have Teva’s). Additionally I had a small first aid kit, toothbrush/toothpaste, cellphone w/ extra battery, headlamp, watch, sunglasses, and map set. I stored all my gear in compressible dry-sacks in my panniers.

      The trickiest part was what to bring in terms of bike repair since the latter part of my trip was going to be pretty rural/limited cell service and bike shops yet I didn’t want to carry too much gear either. I ended up bringing 2 extra tubes and patch kit with 7 patches (ended up using most of them), tire levers, multi-tool and adjustable wrench, hand-pump, bottle of lube/small rag, a few extra rack screws, and a small leatherman with pliers. I brought a few extra spokes and chain links and although I didn’t have the proper tools to replace them I figured it’d help defray some of the costs if I had to have it done at a shop. The one bike shop I did stop at was more than willing to let me borrow some of their tools for free for a quick fix.

      This is kind of a broad overview- let me know if you have any specific questions as well!


      • Hi Marc

        Thanks for the reply, yes that helps with my packing for the trip. Luckily for me I know my route is well ridden as it is part of the John o’ Groats to Landsend pathway but I will be looking to leave the track for some interesting camping locations (inspired by Alastair’s sleeping on a hill).

        I am hoping to add in a bit of canyonning and white water rafting if my legs permit!

        This will be my first and hopefully first of many multiple day rides. Maybe Europe next.

        I also love your handle bare tape!


  4. Sounds like a great trip, Gary! Good Luck and glad I could help. I led a bike touring trip in Europe a few years ago and it’s been one of my favorite trips over the past few years. Highly recommend it and definitely something to look forward to!

  5. Marc I visited New York a couple of years ago and did the tourist thing; taking in the sites such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. I always come away disappointed when I go places as a tourist and your micro adventure exploring the river sounds much more fun and memorable.



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