Walkway over the Hudson | Poughkeepsie, NY

5 Reasons to Cycle the Epic Appalachians

Upper Connecticut River Valley

The Upper Connecticut River Valley includes several small New England towns, which we travel through on our journey south. Hanover, New Hampshire is the home of Dartmouth College, one of the nine oldest universities in the US, having been established in 1769. Robert Frost, Dr. Suess, Nelson Rockefeller, Jake Tapper, and Fred Rogers are alumnus from the smallest of the Ivy League Schools. Hanover has the vibe and energy of a college town and charm and history of a quintessential New England community. (vacationidea.com/new-hampshire-vacation/best-things-to-do-in-hanover-nh.html)

Dartmouth College - Hanover, NH | Cycle of Life Adventures

We ride along the Connecticut and Ottauquechee Rivers and head to Quechee, Vermont, the home of Simon Pearce Glassblowing. It’s worth a short visit to see actual glassblowers demonstrating their skills. The route today travels along and through several covered bridges, quaint farms and historic villages.

Simon Pearce Glassblowing - Quechee, VT

We complete the day in Woodstock, Vermont (this is not the infamous Woodstock from 1969). It is surrounded by covered bridges and beautiful farms. This little colonial enclave cherishes  local artists, craftsmen and farmers, along with a nice selection of local shops and restaurants. (WoodstockVT.com)

Covered Bridge, Woodstock, VT | Cycle of Life Adventures

Walkway Over the Hudson

The Walkway Over the Hudson has spanned the river since it was completed as a steel cantilever railway bridge in 1889. It was closed in 1974, due to a fire, and reopened in 2009 as the world’s longest pedestrian walkway.

The Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge has had several names, but connects Poughkeepsie, NY, to Highlands, NY. It also connects the Hudson Valley Rail Trail to the Dutchess Rail Trail.

The bridge was reinforced in the early 1900’s to handle  heavier freight cars. During WWII, the bridge was a major supply line and was guarded by the US Army as 3,500 cars a day went across the bridge. The bridge is 212 feet tall and over 1.25 miles in length. The walkway attracts nearly 500,000 visitors each year. (Walkway.org)

Walkway Over the Hudson - Poughkeepsie, NY

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Jim Thorpe, PA, is consistently ranked on national media “Best” lists, and recognized among the most fun, most beautiful, most romantic and best adventure towns to visit.

Nestled in the breathtaking Lehigh Gorge, this Victorian town is teeming with history, romance and family fun. You’ll enjoy the walkable downtown accommodations, shops, restaurants, pubs, wine-tastings and live entertainment as well as all the outdoor adventure you’d expect in the Pocono Mountains.

This town is also known as “The Switzerland of America” and “the Gateway to the Poconos.

Jim Thorpe was founded in 1818 as Mauch Chunk. It was a coal mining company town and used railroads and canals to transport coal to neighboring towns. In 1954, Jim Thorpes’s 3rd wife brought his remains to the area and the two boroughs of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk combined resources and became Jim Thorpe. Jim was a student at the Carlisle, PA, Indian Industrial School, 100 miles away.

There is a variety of activities to do in this eastern Pennsylvania borough, including hiking, rafting, mountain biking, sightseeing, exploring architecture and railroad history. See JimThorpe.org for more information.

Jim Thorpe, PA | Cycle of Life Adventures

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg is a small borough, but huge on Civil War History. It is known for its battlefield and the National Park Service Gettysburg National Military Park. There is an excellent tour that shows the locations of each battalion and army of the war’s turning point battle on July 1-3, 1863. It is also the location for Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

We will spend a rest day here to give guests the opportunity to explore the history of this area. Here is a link to a video of 15 must- see spots on the National Military Park: https://youtu.be/5yGYnHmF4aU and a link to Gettysburg, as well: DestinationGettysburg.com.

Gettysburg National Park | Cycle of Life Adventures

Blue Ridge Parkway

America’s Favorite Drive” is also one of America’s best bicycle road riding roads. This 469-mile route connects the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains, with 29 counties in VA and NC.

While many people travel to Europe for great mountain riding, this road, right here in the US, will give you plenty of climbing over a course of 7-10 days.

Did you know the Blue Ridge Mountains are some of the oldest in the world? The New River is also one of the world’s oldest rivers. Pass by Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Linville Gorge is the deepest east of the Grand Canyon. How many shades of blue will you see as you ride along the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains?

Please visit these sites for more information:

Blue Ridge Parkway | Cycle of Life Adventures

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