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Epic Appalachians

Ride Details

Dates: Aug 16- Sep 10, 2020

Distance: Approx 1300 miles total

Cost: $8200

Rider Level: Intermediate- Advanced

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An exclusive challenge offered only by Cycle of Life Adventures!

In 2020, we are reintroducing our Epic Appalachian cycling tour. We have brought back our former version of the Appalachian Trail and combined it with our Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. The entire route is reversed, giving you the ideal end of Summer Epic Holiday. The tour starts in rustic and rural western corner of Maine and parallels the Appalachian Trail on low volume surface streets to our termination point in Pisgah National Forest, just south of Asheville, NC. This is an original route designed by Cycle of Life Adventures. This is a 25 day cycling experience that can be done entirely or in halves. The full experience congratulates you with 1,297 miles of riding and 92,225 feet of elevation gain.

The northern segment will include the wilderness of central Maine, the Green and White Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire. Mt. Washington, the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Red Mountains of Connecticut Mountains of eastern and central PA and New Jersey, The Delaware Gap, The Pocono Mountains, Harper's Ferry National Park.

After our mid-way break near Harpers Ferry, WV, we then have the hills to contend with. Big hills!   But they are beautiful, lush green and at altitude, so the temperatures will be nice for riding.  Many miles of the southern segment will include the full length 105 miles of Skyline Drive National Park and 460 miles of Blue Ridge Parkway National Parkway.

Right out of the starting gate, you get to experience our favorite ride of this trip, The Kancamagus Highway. The  VT and NH roads will be quiet, because we are ahead the “Leaf Peeper” season.  We visit the Robert Frost Museum and Norman Rockwell Museum. Fruit stands will be busy and apple cider will fill the air in Vermont and the rolling countryside orchards of western Pennsylvania and Maryland. In most minds, one thinks of New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts as being nothing but city. Just 50 miles north of NY city we find some charming, small towns with rolling hills, rivers and great scenery and one of the Vanderbilt mansions. Then you have the thrill of riding your bike across the Hudson River on the walkway bridge. Don't blink your eyes or you will miss our tiny crossing through the state of New Jersey. Through most of Pennsylvania, we hug the valleys between Appalachian range, The Poconos and some parts of the Delaware Water Gap. The beautiful capital city of Harrisburg lends to some comfortable scenic bike trails along the Susquehanna River. And with a break day coming up, we have few days take us into some of our country's most well preserved and educational Civil War Battlefields and the historic town of Harper's Ferry.

While here in the West VA triad, take in the views and relax on your off day. We will now take on Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway where we will be picking up a few additional guests cycling just the southern portion of our tour. Don’t get too self-confident. These folks know what they are getting into and will work seamlessly into your peleton.

The southern portion of this epic journey takes us into a couple of wonderful National Park Inns like The Peaks of Otter, and Big Meadows in VA  and Pisgah Inn in NC.  There are beautiful long-range views from nearly 300 hundred overlooks on Skyline and the Parkway.  The road surfaces are perfectly paved, but you will need bright head lamp and flashing tail lamps to find your way through the 27 tunnels that have been carved into the mountainsides along these roadways. Throw in some water shoes, we ride past cool mountain streams, waterfalls and swimming holes.

Small mountain towns of Meadows of Dan, Fancy Gap, Blowing Rock, and Linville to name a few, will be our resting spots nightly before we wrap up our tour near the vibrant small city of Asheville, NC. Think about meeting family and friends after the tour, stay a few extra days to enjoy local beer scene, the River Arts District and The Biltmore Estate.

Visit these sites for more information about the local areas: Bethel Maine  •  Norman Rockwell • Manchester VT •  Jim Thorpe PA • Gettysburg   • Harper's Ferry WV •  Skyine Drive •  Blue Ridge Pkwy


Price:   $8200   Northern Half $4900 / Southern Half $3900 

Dates: Aug16- Sep 10, 2020  (25 days/ 25 nights, Sun- Thurs) 

Single Room Supplement: $1750  

Bike Rental: Road bike $525  Ebike $750

Travel: If flying in, make your reservations to Portland, Maine International Airport. Pick up will be at baggage claim by 1PM. When flying out, drop off will be by 5PM at Asheville,NC. Do not make reservations before 7PM. If you are driving to our starting hotel location, please arrive by 4PM in time for our bike fitting, social hour and orientation dinner.

Included: All Lodging, transfers to and from the airport, all breakfasts, dinners and picnic lunches on riding days, cocktail social hours on the 1st evening of each tour, van support, maps, GPS mapping, mechanic, 2 or more experienced guides

Special Note* This tour has different starting and finishing cities. Please book flights into Portland, ME and returning flights from Asheville, NC 

Please send a ride profile 


Day 1 - Bethel, ME - Conway, NH  (49 miles) 1939 elevation gain

Highlights: White Mountain National Forest scenery, Gorham, NH

Day 2 - Conway - Woodville, NH  (60.1.2 miles) 4027 elevation gain

Highlights: Weather permitting,  views of Mt. Washington.

Day 3 -  Woodville, NH - Woodstock, VT  (57.3 miles) 2868 elevation gain

Highlights: Quechee Gorge, Hanover, NH, Dartmouth College, Lyme and The Connecticut River

Day 4 - Woodstock, VT - Manchester, VT (55.7 miles)  3989 elevation gain

Highlights: Billings Farm Museum, the upscale outlet stores and the Orvis flagship store, fly fishing clinics, and fine dining possibilities, Bromley, Mt. Londonderry, Okemo Forest

Day 5 - Manchester Center, VT - Pittsfield, MA (71.8miles) 3500 in elevation gain

Day 6 - Day off the bikes

Activities could include: tour of Oliver Wendell Holmes home, Hancock Shaker Village, Norman Rockwell Museum, local hikes and mountain bike tours in the Berkshires.

Day 7 - Pittsfield, MA - Sharon, CT (58.4miles) 2189 elevation gain

Highlight: the long scenic riverside ride along the Housatonic River and the lowest points on the Appalachian Trail just steps away from our route

Day 8 - Sharon, CT - New Paltz, NY (52.2 miles) 3353 elevation gain

Highlights:  FDR Historic site, The Vanderbilt Mansion, Rhinebeck and Hyde Park, NY, beautiful towns sitting on the banks of the Hudson River

Day 9 - New Paltz, NY - Milford, PA (64.4 miles) 2882 elevation gain

Highlights: scenic ride along the Neversink and Shawangunk Kill Rivers, the town of Middleton and The Inn at Orchard Heights, a beautiful B&B.

Day 10 Milford, PA – Jim Thorpe, PA (72.2 miles) 4039 elevation gain

Highlights: lush green Pocono Mountains of Eastern PA and the Delaware Water Gap

Day 11 – Jim Thorpe, PA - North Harrisburg, PA (80.7 miles) 3792 elevation gain

Highlights: beautiful rolling farmlands and red barns in the PA Dutch Country

Day 12 - Harrisburg, PA - Gettysburg, PA (51.6 miles) 1935 elevation gain

Highlights: rolling farms south of the state capital of Harrisburg.  Capital City bike trail.

Day 13- Gettysburg, PA - Harpers Ferry, WV (55.9 miles) 2220 elevation gain

Highlights for this day are Boonesboro Battlefield and Gettysburg Battlefield 

 Total Miles for this first segment: 729.5 Total Elevation gain: 36,732 ft

Day 14 - off Bike day

Highlights:  Short day trip into the historic area of Harper’s Ferry, Appalachian Trail and C&O Tow Path and Museums

Day 15 – Harper’s Ferry, WV – Front Royal, VA (48.7 miles) 2504 elevation gain

Highlights: Scenic riding in the valley along  the river in Shenandoah National Park

Day 16 – Front Royal, VA – Big Meadows, Skyline Dr (52.2 miles) 7151 elevation gain

Highlights: Spectacular scenery at numerous overlooks. Great dinner at the National Park Lodge

Day 17 – Big Meadows , VA– Afton, VA (55.3 miles) 4232 elevation gain

Highlights: Numerous crossings of the Appalachian Trail, quiet, and low volume traffic

Day 18 – Blue Ridge Parkway entrance – Buena Vista (45.4 miles) 4921 elevation gain

Highlights: Crabtree Falls, one tunnel and 10 overlooks

Day 19 – Day off bikes

Highlights: The historic town of Lexington, VA. Horse capital of VA, Natural Bridge Park, Washington and Lee University, Virginia Military Institute

Day 20 – Buena Vista , VA– US 460 Peaks of Otter National Park Lodge (60.7 miles) 5810 elevation gain

Highlights: Falling Waters Cascade, 15 overlooks, spectacular lodge setting at The Peaks of Otter National Parks Lodge

Day 21 – Peaks of Otter, VA – Meadows of Dan, VA (71.8 miles) 7828 elevation gain

Highlights: Big climbs out of the Roanoke area of the Blue Ridge Pkwy

Day 22 – Meadows of Dan, VA – Glendale Springs, NC (81.6 miles) 7047 elevation gain

Highlights: Great quiet riding of the VA section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, 18 overlooks. Cross into NC

Day 23 – Glendale Springs, NC – Linville Falls, NC (60.7 miles) 6376 elevation gain

Highlights:  Great riding of the Blue Ridge Pkwy, Linville Falls, Moses Cone Manor Museum, Famous Linn Cove Viaduct

Day 24 – Linville Falls, NC – Asheville, NC (67.7 miles) 7709 elevation gain

Highlights: Blue Ridge cycling, Little Switzerland, Mt Mitchell if you choose. Nice evening out in downtown Asheville

Day 25 – Asheville, NC – Pisgah National Forest, Pisgah Inn (24.8 miles) 4394 elevation gain

Highlights: Blue Ridge Parkway riding, 10 tunnels, beautiful spot atop Pisgah Mountain for lunch at the lodge

Pat yourself on the back! You have just completed 569 miles and 55,493 ft of elevation gain on this southern segment

Total for The Epic Appalachian is 1,297 miles and 92,225 ft of elevation gain

Average daily riding mileage is 58.9. Average elevation gain daily is 4,192