The annual Highlander Cycle Tour consists of several ride options. They are all designed to share common sections and rest stops so that cyclists on different rides can ride together and have common experiences. Tour routes take riders along lake shores, up hill tops with wide vistas, along scenic valleys, and wander through several small towns and hamlets. The Finger Lakes is a wine growing region and the route goes past many vineyards. The Tour is a charity event with proceeds above expenses donated to charities.
SAG stops are frequent and well stocked. Road rides, in addition to detailed maps and cue sheets, are well marked on paved roads with light vehicle traffic and the Mountain bike course has plenty of epic single track with ride guides as well.
Below are brief descriptions of the Highlander Cycle Tour rides with links to more detail.
Highlander Century and Metric Century cut-off
The Highlander Century route for 2020 will take a different direction at the start with several mild climbs in the first 6 miles. Following a nice, flat, scenic jaunt along Honeoye Lake, to warm you up, the now infamous Hickory Bottom will force you out of the saddle for sure. The ride will then visit some familiar friends as it makes it way over to the Eastern side of Canandaigua Lake. It’s been a few years but Sliter is always unforgettable! Follow that with first time ascents of 3-mile long Underwood and the jarring Newell, coming out of Vine Valley. You’ll be treated to the majestic views of Canandaigua Lake as well, but in reverse this time. Stop and savor the flavor at Heron Hill Tasting Room along the way. Lastly, you’ll ascend CR32 for the first time in tour history. With dotted-line options for Metric cut-off or less quad-punishing route-around’s, we believe you’ll again get your money’s worth. Regardless of your fitness or experience, the Highlander will treat you to some of the best riding and vistas in North America. Follow yellow chevrons on the roads (w/ alternate marking for metric and route-arounds using white and yellow mix of chevrons).
This will be our 3rd year of offering a Gravel option. This route will combine some of the Century roads but diverge onto some epic unpaved/gravel/dirt roads in the area. This will include terrain in the Parish Hill and South Hill areas. You’ll want to have at least 28mm wide tires (we recommend 35) and 30 teeth or more on the rear cluster. Tune up on your brakes is also recommended. Follow orange chevrons on the road.
The Lite version of the Highlander will traverse the same early part of the Highlander but turn back for home base in the Naples area for a nice distance of ~35 miles. It avoids most of the steepest hills but still brings enough challenge to reward the rider. Enjoy the site of the annual Grape Festival as you pedal thru Naples! Follow white chevrons on the roads. Note: For families with young riders, there are even shorter options of 11 or 16 miles with less climbing, about 400 and 1000 feet respectively. Please see the ride organizers for suggested routes tailored to your own goals.
For the mountain bike enthusiasts we offer a 40K off-road challenge including climbs up several of the areas 2,000 foot peaks. The ride will NOT BE MARKED and will be self guided but we may have a few group leaders available to ride with you through spectacular single track and the obligatory mud. The course remains the same since 2017 but options abound to the adventurer at heart.
The Highlander prides itself on providing a safe, well run, and accommodating event for all participants. The Highlander staff takes the safety of the riders, the spectators, and the communities through which we ride very seriously. To promote this, each rider should have read and follow the NYS DOT cycling guidelines, found here: