Hudson River Valley Biking Tour Itinerary
SUNDAY | Arrival Day | Distance: 10 miles | Terrain: Easier | Beekman Arms
Your tour begins on Sunday with a short warm up ride starting at 2 pm. You can drive directly to the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck and leave your car there for the duration of the tour. This tour is also easily accessed from New York City – just take the 11:20 am Amtrak from Penn Station on Sunday morning and our leaders will be happy to meet you at 1:00 at the station in Rhinecliff. Check in is at the Beekman Arms, considered to be America’s oldest continually operating inn in America. The inn still retains the original wide plank floors, overhead beams and huge stone hearth that once greeted such luminaries as George Washington, Benedict Arnold and Alexander Hamilton. After your ride and settling into your lovely spacious room in the new “Courtyard” addition, you will want to take a leisurely stroll around the charming village of Rhinebeck, famous for its tree-lined streets, Victorian, Colonial and Greek revival buildings, boutique stores and gourmet restaurants. An always popular sight is the delightful 1844 Henry Delamater House, a quintessential example of American Gothic whose exuberant gingerbread woodwork makes it seem like something out of an ancient fairy tale. Our evening begins with a wonderful dinner at the Beekman Arms followed by a get-together to go over the plans for the rest of your tour. Perhaps you will want to enjoy a nightcap in the Colonial Tap Room, a handsome pub that has been serving thirsty travelers for over 200 years.
MONDAY | Distance: 24 or 34 miles | Terrain: Easier with an Intermediate option | Beekman Arms
After breakfast in the inn’s beautiful greenhouse, we begin by riding westerly along peaceful River Road to the shores of the Hudson and the hamlet of Rhinecliff. We take a loop to explore the campus of Bard College (a sister to Columbia University) whose 600-acre campus is a collection of several former grand estates and whose centerpiece is Frank Gehry’s acclaimed architectural sensation, the 110,000 square foot Richard B Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. From here we follow country roads through the sleepy hamlets of Tivoli, Annandale-on-Hudson and Red Hook. A leisurely lunch in Red Hook is followed by several more miles of peaceful country riding before we loop back into Rhinebeck in time for you to take in some more sites while deciding on which of the many excellent restaurants you will choose for dinner.
TUESDAY | Distance: 20 or 26 miles | Terrain: Easier with an Intermediate option | Buttermilk Falls
Today we follow another great breakfast with visits to some of the most acclaimed sites along the Hudson. We start in the Village of Hyde Park, stopping first at the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, a wonderful example of a country palace of the Gilded Age. The 54-room beaux arts palace was built in 1898 by Frederick Vanderbilt, grandson of railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, certainly the richest American family of the 19th century. From here we transfer to the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, also known as Springwood. FDR grew up in this Georgian colonial house, and he, along with Eleanor and his dogs, Fala and Chief are all buried here. The house and library are filled with Roosevelt memorabilia and you will find the guided tour a fascinating glimpse into the day to day life of this prestigious family.
Your visits to the Vanderbilt Mansion and Springwood end in time for lunch at a popular local restaurant. As an added bonus, on tours after August 23, we include a fabulous lunch at the Culinary Institute of America in one of the famed restaurants with your meal prepared by some of CIA’s super talented students and graduates.
Following lunch you are treated to a lovely 20-mile ride on the Dutchess Rail Trail culminating in crossing high over the Hudson on a 1.3-mile bike/walkway that is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. The day ends with a short transfer, or beautiful optional ride, to our inn for the next two nights, the elegant Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa. This is a place you may never want to leave! This 75-acre eighteenth-century estate has been transformed into one of the most attractive and prestigious luxury inns along the Hudson. Meander along the paths that lead to waterfall vistas, lush gardens and secluded wooded alcoves before being treated to a delightful dinner at their “Henry’s At The Farm” restaurant, featuring fresh seasonal produce directly from the Buttermilk Falls gardens.
WEDNESDAY | Distance: 27 or 34 miles | Terrain: Easier with an Intermediate option | Buttermilk Falls
Wednesday’s ride takes us on the Wallkill Rail Trail and along quiet country roads, passing miles and miles of fenced-in horse farms, apple orchards and vineyards. Among this valley’s many attributes, it is the oldest wine producing area in the country, and we treat you to a wine tasting and lovely picnic at the local family-owned Robibero Winery. Our ride then leads us along the foothills of Shawangunks Ridge. Also known as “the Gunks,” these 300-foot high cliffs rate as one of the nation’s most popular rock-climbing areas, and the area gets much of its vitality from the hordes of (mostly) youthful rock climbers who come to test their skills here. Arriving in New Paltz we have time to explore this fun college town whose claim to fame is the Huguenot Street National Historic Landmark District, a street boasting six fascinating restored houses dating from 1692. On the way back to our inn we will stop at Dubois Farm and perhaps sample their cider or pick some fresh apples, plums or pears to take back with us.
Our farewell dinner tonight is a fun celebration at the fabulous “Henry’s At The Farm” restaurant.
THURSDAY | Distance: 11 miles | Terrain: Easier
Thursday morning can be as leisurely or energetic as you wish. You can enjoy an easy pace, taking the chance to start the day off slowly and treating yourself to a fabulous country breakfast. Or, if you have more get up and go, our tour guides will lead you on a beautiful early morning bike ride through neighboring horse farms and apple orchards. All this is perfectly timed for you to get back to your room to shower before we say our goodbyes and transfer those returning to New York City to the Poughkeepsie train station, and all others back to the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck.