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Onondaga Lake Bike Trail Adventures

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It takes two to tango… or fall off a tandem bike. Which is why we chose the more stable, and yet still as fun, alternative option. Check out these bad boys: four-wheel, two-person, canvas covered bikes that you can cruise around in with style. In fact, and I quote, according to Jordan (who loves when I drag her out of the house for my blogs), our bike adventure was “way more fun than she thought it was going to be.” K thanks for always being super supportive and believing in my ideas, glad you had fun anyway.

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We got to the park around 5 p.m., just when the crowd of what I would say your typical park-goers arrives. Even pulling into the parking lot we were met with bicyclists and roller-bladers galore, and now with the park’s new bike-sharing program, you can get in on the fun without having to own one yourself! Such a great idea, especially for college students like myself who might be from out of the area and haven’t brought their bike to school with them.

The bike and other equipment rental office is located near the south end of Onondaga Lake Park, near the Griffin Visitor Center, to the left of the parking lot and very easy to find! Fall hours are Monday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., giving you plenty of time to get out and enjoy the cooler weather and fall foliage.

From the rental shop, we took off along the bike trail, casually ignoring the stares we got from several individuals who clearly don’t have nearly the sense of adventure we do. Yes, my bike has a steering wheel and a striped canopy and yes, I know I look a little bit like a fool. We opted for a half hour trip, but you can rent out for as long as you’d like. What we rode was known as a “Surrey Quadricycle,” and it costs $15 for a half hour, $20 for the full hour to rent. (Tandem bikes ring in at $15/hour and single person bikes $8 an hour. You can also rent skates and MY PERSONAL FAV, the 7 person conference bike. TOO COOL.)

If you’re familiar with Lights on the Lake, then you know the bike trail path already. A very strategic use of space for the different seasons, I must say. Beautifully laid out, with a grass median separating the trails for walkers/runners and bikers, it circles the entire lake… we even had a conversation with a man who had rode past the amphitheater on the other side! It’s an incredibly different vantage point of the city, one you can’t get from anywhere else, and one I’ve truthfully never noticed before, even after living here for 21 years. While it’s a bummer that the lake still isn’t swimmable (I don’t care what anybody says, I am not stepping foot in that water), the houses surrounding it are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and views of the water, especially as the sun is setting, make for a very peaceful ride.

If you’re looking for something different to do to take advantage of the still beautiful weather and love being outdoors as much as I do, head to the park! Bikes aren’t the only thing it offers, there are plenty of volleyball courts, open fields, a playground and places to have a picnic. The opportunities are endless!

For more information on the park and rentals, visit:

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