Railbikes Give a Whole New Meaning to "Rail-Trail"

Add this to your list of one-of-a-kind adventures: Riding the rails by pedal power.

This summer, Rail Explorers launched its inaugural season of tours in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Featuring custom-built track-riding contraptions known as railbikes, the company lets you cruise along 6 miles of railroad line between Saranac Lake and Lake Clear. It's the only thing like it in the country.

Railbike on! Photo: Rail Explorers
Through forest and dale, past lakes and wetlands, the journey tours a sylvan slice of Adirondack scenery—and one that flares brightly as fall foliage blankets the region. (The railbike season was just extended through Columbus Day, October 12.)

Each railbike is custom built. Photo: Rail Explorers

The one-way journey takes about an hour (a shuttle returns you to your starting point). Tour prices are per railbike, with a 2-seater running $50 and 4-seater $100.

As an enthusiastic member of the pedaltariat, I always love to see new and inventive ways to turn pedal power into adventure. Plus railbiking adds yet another distinct opportunity and enticement to visit the region. (I'm still itching to take a ride on the Lake Placid bobsled run.)

I hope to make it soon, especially since the track may be converted to a more traditional rail-trail in the coming years. You can learn more about railbiking—and the future of this track—in this recent New York Times article.

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.