The Route

One of the many things that makes the AIDS Red Ribbon Ride such a unique and special event is the scenic route that takes us through the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Along the route you will find stunning views, historic destinations, and beautifully groomed vineyards.

There are five days of riding, and each day is different. You’ll ride an average of 80 miles a day, over varying terrain. One day, you’ll be riding a flat route along the coast of a Finger Lake and through Amish and Mennonite farm fields, the next you might be riding through historic villages and wineries. The course is designed to be challenging but completely doable, so be sure to train well in order to fully enjoy your week. No matter what, you can count on the constant presence of our SAG crew on the route, who help keep everyone safe, sound and smiling. We are serious about safety and do everything possible to ensure your happiness and well-being during the 5 days of riding.

Day 1

The opening ceremony and ride will start in Rochester and travel to Cobbs Hill Reservoir high above the surrounding area with an amazing view overlooking Rochester, NY. The cyclists will travel South out of the city through Penfield, East Rochester and Fairport a historic village on the Erie Canal. The ride will then head along the coast of the first Finger Lake of the trip, Canandaigua Lake!  Next it’s time to head East to beautiful Senaca Lake where you will pass right by the Belhurst Castle, and through historic Senaca Falls, home to the National Women’s Rights Museum. The opening day will end at camp on the north end of Cayuga Lake in Camp Cayuga Lake State Park.

Ascent 2270’ 84.93 miles

Day 2
Starts off with a gentle ride through the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and the east shore of Cayuga Lake.  Pass by the Victorians and old brick homes in Cayuga and Union Springs . A slight climb across Amish countryside will bring you to Owasco Lake with a great stretch along the coast to the North end at Melrose Park. A short trip east over moderate rolling hills will bring you to Skaneateles Lake, the cleanest of the Finger Lakes. Its water is so pure that the city of Syracuse and other municipalities use it unfiltered . At the South end of Skaneateles lake the first great climb of the ride will border Bear Swamp State Forest. Once the climb is over it’s all downhill to Moravia and camp at Fillmore Glen State Park.

Ascent 3264’ 79 miles

Day 3
Head back west towards the south end of Cayuga Lake. The riders will pass through three parks; Stewart Park, Cass Park and Alan Treman State Marine Park before exiting Ithaca and heading North along Cayuga Lake. After entering Taughannock Falls State Park you will climb along the river gorge into historic Trumansburg. Next you’ll be rewarded with a great downhill through the Finger Lakes National Forest all the way to the east side of Senaca Lake. Then it’s a trip South along the lake through Lakeside Park and into Watkins Glen, well known for it’s breathtaking gorge and its racetrack. Camp will be a short climb into Watkins Glen State Park.

Ascent 3560’ 73.1 miles

Day 4
The day will start off with a wonderful trip North along Senaca Lake and through Glenora, well known for the wine produced at the Glenora Winery. Wind over to the charming village of Penn Yan with it’s quaint shops and the Oliver House Museum. The ride continues to the lakeshore of Keuka Lake gently making it’s way to Hammondsport. The town square, gazebo, boutique shops, and old time ice cream parlor hearken back to the early days of America’s history. The ride then turns North along the West branch of Keuka Lake and toward camp in Keuka Lake State Park.

Ascent 2861’ 86 miles

Day 5
Start off the day with a challenging climb to the quaint mountain top hamlet of Italy Hill. Then it’s downhill to Naples and then to the South end of Canandaigua lake. Next wind along the deep woods of the Bristol Valley and then to Honeoye at the North end of Honeoye Lake. Loop around the beautiful waterfront of Conesus Lake through the village of Cedarcrest and Maple Beach. The ride begins to flatten out for the home stretch as you travel West through the college town of Geneseo overlooking the Genesee River Valley. Soon thereafter the ride will merge with the cyclists from the 1 Day AIDS Red Ribbon Ride and both rides take the same route along the Genesee River toward Genesee Valley Park for a parade lap, dinner and awards ceremony!

Ascent 3570’ miles 99.5