CORKSCREW CENTURY TOUR
Suggested Group Start: 7:00 AM
The original Lowlander Century, gained a popular following in the Highlander weekend tour. Renamed the Corkscrew Century last year, it is an incredibly scenic century for the rider who enjoys a challenging long ride but not as much vertical and steep climbing as the Quads Hilla Centuries. The updated Corkscrew Century has nearly 6,000 feet of climbing in 103 miles but eliminates the steepest climbs of the other rides. There are six (6) rest stops/aid stations located about 20 miles apart, well stocked with drinks and quick food, and most have toilet facilities. For those running late or wishing a shorter tour, an optional 70 mile route is marked. All the marked routes are patrolled by SAG wagons in case of mechanical problems.
Designed to emphasize the views and the flats as much as possible, this tour takes riders past three lakes, up hill tops with wide vistas, along scenic valleys, and wanders through several quaint towns and hamlets.
The tour starts south on NY 64 from Bristol Mountain, climbs gently up the valley of West Hollow and down Gulick to Hunt Hollow with a rest stop at 11 miles. Then climbs up French Hill and though a quiet countryside on Garlinghouse to the village of Atlanta. From Atlanta the route follows a fertile valley east toward the Genesee Expresway. This road is quite flat with rare traffic, an ideal section for a fast pace line to make up time, before heading south past Loon Lake, with a rest stop at the 27 mile point on NY 21.
The route continues south, climbing on NY-21, to Neils Creek Road, which follows a gently descending and wandering valley, and recrosses the expresway at the hamlet of Wallace. From Wallace the route continues north on West Creek Rd (County Rd 7) to Prattsburg. Although it is a climb up the creek valley to the highest point on the tour, it is quite gentle over the 10 mile distance except for the last couple miles where you reach the highest point on the route of 2200 ft, before a fast descent into Prattsburg (watch your speed!). At 52 miles, Prattsburg is the next rest stop.
From Prattsburg, the century heads east toward Keuka Lake then north, high above the lake, to Italy Hill Rd and a exhilirating descend on a smooth, recently resurfaced road to Branchport and Keuka Lake. Again, watch your speed as there is a stop sign at the bottom in Branchport. From Branchport the route continues on NY-54 and Pepper Rd to Keuka State Park on the West Branch Keuka Lake and rest stop at the 68 mile point.
Note: If you have the time, a short climb from the park up to Skyline Drive offers a wide vista of Keuka Lake and surrounding hills. A good spot take photos if you brought a camera.
Returning from the rest stop to NY-54, the route heads north on the scenic East Valley road and up Guyanoga valley. After a short steep climb on Friend Hill Rd, the route goes through the hamlet of Friend before heading south and west on Italy Valley Rd. After a rest stop at 86 mile point the route climbs gently to NY-53 followed by the descent to Naples. Watch your speed on NY-53!
From Naples the course climbs up county road 12, the tour's last big climb (400 ft in 0.9 mi.) which is rewarded by the scenic vista of Canandaguia Lake, its valley and surrounding hills, at the last rest stop located on a Scenic Overlook. Another good place to take photos. From the rest stop it is a 5 mile cruise with any friends you met at the stop to Bristol Mountain.
An aerial view of the Corkscrew Century looking south. Click on the image to enlarge.
Optional 70 mile cut
In Prattsburg, you have the option, especially if you are running late, to take a 70 mile cut by picking up NY-53 north which takes you down to Naples. After regaining the height you lost in descending to Prattsburg, it is an exhilirating long coast down, but take care to control your speed, especially at the end, as the road twists approaching Naples and there is traffic.