As a kid, I loved riding my bike. Mostly, my sister and I rode our bicycles around our yard, pretending they were horses and we were cow girls rounding up cattle. I went off to school and it was many years until I owned a bike again, and that was in New York City.  There are very few safe places in New York and an incident where I was sandwiched between a parked and moving tractor trailer caused me to swear off biking for many years.

The Finger Lakes Region is rich in beautiful and varied bike trails

Now that we’ve moved to the Finger Lakes, we find there are many safe and amazingly beautiful trails for biking here.  One terrific resource for biking in this region is Foot Print Press’ Take Your Bike – Family Rides in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, written by Sue and Rich Freeman. This book maps out 43 different trails ranging from easy flat terrain to rugged hills for mountain biking. The surfaces vary from paved, to hard-packed stone dust, dirt, and mowed-grass.

These bike paths take you on trips…

-to the beautiful shores of several Finger Lakes
– on graveled canal towpaths where you can discover how canals shaped this region’s history
– across rail-trails where steam locomotives once hauled coal from Pennsylvania to ports on Lake Ontario
– for quick urban rides or on jaunts across the pristine countryside
– to places of discovery with waterfalls, sculptures and historic relics
– on explorations of the remains of mills and factories from the 1800s

Each trail is GPS mapped for accuracy, with directions and GPS coordinates for easily locating trailhead parking. This guidebook indicates the length of the ride, difficulty of the terrain, variety of uses allowed, type of trail surface, markings to look for, and even whether your dog is welcome to ride with you!

Take Your Bike – Family Rides in New Yorks’s Finger Lakes Region may be purchased online for $19.95 plus $3.50 shipping and handling (no matter how many books you order, if it’s done online).  This guidebook makes a great gift for the avid biker!

P.S. If you look for outdoor activities in New York State, you may want to subscribe to Sue’s New York Outdoors Blog.