The Last Summer Ride

According to the celestial calendar’s, summer is now over in North America. We know there are plenty of wonderful riding days ahead this year (and more than you’d think if you ride fatbikes) but at least officially, we’ve transitioned to “fall”. To wrap up the summer season, my local club offered some nice scheduled rides and I couldn’t pass up the Letchworth – Arcade ride. It’s an 89 mile hilly route in Western New York starting from Mt. Morris: “The Best Little Town by a Dam Site”.

Yes, Mt. Morris IS little, and IS by a dam … the one that backs up the Genesee River in the Letchworth State Park gorge. Letchworth is touted as New York’s “Grand Canyon of the East”, but so is the Pine River gorge in Pennsylvania, so go ahead bureaucrats – duke it out.

In any case, Letchworth IS a fantastic site (sight) and makes a great start location for this ride. The first part of the ride weaves southbound down the main park road past some spectacular overlooks …

Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park

and exits the park at the Castile entrance. As the route heads south through the park, it begins climbing the Niagara Escarpment, the same geologic structure that creates the Niagara Falls to the west. Once clear of the park and up into the hills, the route reaches the plateau of the escarpment and farm fields abound.

Upstate New York farm
Upstate New York farm

The terrain continues to roll as the route heads west, crossing a series of ridges on the way to Arcade. There’s a huge wind farm near Bliss NY, and I stopped there briefly on top to devour a banana and enjoy the view.

Wind Farm in Bliss NY
Wind Farm in Bliss NY

Once in Arcade, visitors can view, or RIDE the Arcade and Attica steam locomotive …

Arcade Attica Railroad
Arcade Attica Railroad

… or simply enjoy a bite to eat in a quaint downtown devoid of fast-food joints. Turning back east, the route crosses many ridges, one of which is decorated by the Wethersfield wind farm …

Wethersfild Wind Farm
Wethersfild Wind Farm

… the old, but nearly extinct hamlet of Hermitage …

Old Church in Hermitage NY
Old Church in Hermitage NY

 

Really Old!
Really Old!

… and if one was adventuous, a selection of dirt road detours.

Gotta go ... Can't resist!
Gotta go … Can’t resist!

the route swings by Silver Lake where I recharge with a vanilla shake.

Refuel!
Refuel!

Eventually, the ride re-enters Letchworth State Park and again passes by the Mt. Morris Dam …

Mt. Morris Dam
Mt. Morris Dam

… and an optional side trip along the Genesee Valley Greenway into Mt. Morris …

Genesee Valley Greenway
Genesee Valley Greenway

… and past the Livingston county administration buildings.

Yeah ... looks "official"
Yeah … looks “official”

Nice day. Great weather. Summer ends, but Fall Colors Begin!