From Otisco Lake to Canandaigua Lake—and everywhere in between—you’ll find the Finger Lakes to be a great place for biking! – provided that you are in moderately good shape and are comfortable sharing the road, of course. During your Finger Lakes cycling voyage, explore beautiful wooded trails, waterfront rides, or the road routes that wind through this incredibly scenic region.
To further explore cycling in the Finger Lakes visit fingerlakescycling.org.
Otisco Lake is a perfect spot for cycling. Otisco Valley Road runs alongside the eastern shores of the lake, and a leisurely ride along this route takes you through Amber, Bay Shore and Williams Grove. Cutting west across Sawmill Road takes you to Spafford Valley, where a right turn on West Valley Road takes you on a northwestern tack back up to the lake, where you can access the Causeway from the western shore of Lake Otisco. Otisco holds bike paths for all levels of riders with the eastern side of the lake being a leisurely pace and the western side being a higher level of difficulty.
The circuit around Owasco Lake is a popular Finger Lakes road cycling route with easy to moderate terrain. Emerson Park is generally the best starting and ending point. Here’s a suggested biking route that covers about 32 miles: follow Route 38 heading south along the west side of the lake all the way to Moravia, where you’ll turn right onto N. Main Street. Enter Fillmore Glen State Park on your left, then when you leave the park, turn right on Route 38 North, continue north on Main Street / Rockefeller Road and follow signs for Route 38A North, which will run along the east side of the lake all the way back to Emerson Park. While a longer ride than most beginners would take on, it is not very difficult terrain and makes for a fun challenge!
The 101-mile circuit around Cayuga Lake is a popular road route for biking, with Ithaca as a logical starting and ending point. This ride hugs the lake for most of the route, giving you great water views for the entire ride. For more experienced cyclists, this Finger Lakes biking route is longer than most of the others but you can do parts of it if you don’t want to bike the whole thing. Some of the hills are quite challenging but there are many stretches of easy terrain to even out your biking experience.
The Seneca Lake Loop is a 77-mile cycling route, with Lakeshore Park in Geneva being the most convenient starting and ending point. It’s a moderate ride, with only one grade to climb coming out of Watkins Glen.
Keuka Lake is especially good for bicyclists. The 44-mile circuit around the lake is a popular route for Finger Lakes cycling, with spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding vineyards. What was once known as the “Crooked Lake Canal,” that linked Keuka Lake to Seneca Lake, has been out of use since 1870, but the path left by the canal is now put to good use by bikers prepared to get off the road. With just enough hills to be interesting, this is known as one of the best medium difficulty rides in the Finger Lakes!
Like most of the Finger Lakes, the area around Skaneateles Lake is good for bicyclists, provided that they are experienced with road riding. There are no marked biking trails on the lake, but the 32-mile circuit around the lake is a popular road route.