Ride through history!
This fun and challenging ride begins at the birthplace of modern electricity.
How to get there
The ride begins in Ironville, in front of the Penfield Homestead Museum. The museum is located at the intersection of County Route 2 and Whitehead Road. (Coordinates: 43.922429, -73.5359160)
By the numbers
- Level of difficulty: Intermediate for the Out-and-Back and Difficult for the Loop Route length: 19.2 miles (30.9 kilometers) for the out-and-back ride and 17.5 miles (28.2 kilometers) for the loop ride.
- Elevation gain/loss: 1,107 feet (337 meters) for the out-and-back ride and 980 feet (299 meters) for the loop ride
- Road surface includes both smooth and broken pavement as well as both packed and loose gravel and dirt. The loop ride does contain several miles of rough dirt roads that include loose stones.
A hidden historical gem
Even for Adirondackers, Ironville is not well known, but the contributions made here to the modern electric age were as significant as any in the development of the industrial age. It was here in 1833 that the first industrial use of electricity occurred. The electro-magnet used in the Ironville forge was subsequently purchased by Thomas Davenport, an inventor from Vermont, who adapted the technology leading to the invention of the electric motor.
Leaving the picturesque and historic community of Ironville, you immediately head out on a quiet smooth country road that climbs gently. After a few twists and turns, you come upon an opening in the forest and a T-intersection. Turning left you quickly leave the open landscape behind and for the rest of the ride you enter the land of gravel roads. You also enter the land of water. On this ride there seems to be a new stream or wetland around every turn. What’s great about all this water is that it attracts wildlife, so this ride provides opportunities to see wood ducks, beaver, muskrat, deer, great blue herons, and a host of other wonderful species that make the Adirondacks their home.
Once you reach Flemings Pond you can either return to your car following the Intermediate Out-and-Back RideWithGPS route or if you have a fatter tire bike AND a sense for adventure you can push on and ride a very rugged section of Stoney Lonesome Road following the Difficult Loop RideWithGPS route.
Challenging pebbles ahead
What makes this difficult loop more adventurous is not the mileage or elevation, but the road surface. Simply put, it’s a sea of loose golf ball to baseball sized stones that makes riding technically difficult. But the reward for making the loop is that you get to have some Type 2 gravel fun, you get to see a truly impressive beaver dam, and you still get to have a fun downhill along a good gravel road and a bit of pavement down Stoney Lonesome Road. Once back to the car take some time to enjoy the museum grounds and reflect on what a great ride you had.
Ride With GPS Link: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42852981
Due to limited cellular coverage, please be sure to download this route and save for offline use before leaving home.