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I have to be in Ann Arbor at the beginning of October. If I were to drive via interstates and turnpikes, it would be about a 500 mile ride from my house. If I were to take off from work for the week before I have to be there, I would have seven potential riding days. I have been thinking about whether I could ride my bike one way rather than flying both ways. (When I mentioned this to Mrs. S last night, I got one of those looks that said "You are even crazier that I thought you were.") I easily can get from my house to Cumberland, Maryland, or from my house to points north in Pennsylvania (let's use Carlisle as an example). Anyone have any ideas as to routes for the rest of the trip? This will be a credit card/motel trip with minimal baggage, but I still would like to take the easiest way through the mountains, if possible.
 

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I've seen one or two different books at the local used bookstore I frequent that cover national rail-to-trail routes, that might be a good place to start. In fact I might have to run back over there and see if they still have one or both copies in stock. I'll post back if they do.
 

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Pennsyvania DOT has put out a set of maps.
http://www.dot.state.pa.us/BIKE/WEB/tour_routes.htm
I know of no one that has used them or heard reports on their quality.
Check them out.

Once out of Penn. I would try to hook to Adventure Cycling Northern tier route through Ohio and then cut north on the ACA's Great Lakes.

Another option would be to PM Kerry Irons and tell him you need a route to Michigan. I bet you would get the best route that way.

Scot
 

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Got the book, wanted to get it someday anyway, "700 Great Rail-Trails", ISBN 0-925794-11-2, pub./(c)1995.

Following the mapquest routing as a general guide, the book shows the following:

For PA it shows at least 25 rail-trail sections, but some are only a mile or two in length, others are over 50 miles. Lists over 50 sections for the whole state.

For Ohio it shows about 13 that might be of some use.

For MI there looks to be 3 or 4 that you might be able to pick up, one is listed for Ann Arbor but only a few miles in length.

The book doesn't really have any maps, just an outline of the state and bullet points with numbers and contact info with no web site links. It does give some cities at each end of the trails and the length and surface material, but being it is from 1995 I'd consider it just a general guide.

I know there was another similar book but didn't see it there today. Might be worth a trip to the library or Amazon/Borders to see what's around.

Looks like the conservancy has a shadow web site as well:
http://www.railtrails.org/index.html
http://www.railstotrails.org/index.html

Not sure which is the current primary site. Both point to the following for mapping:
http://www.traillink.com/
And a live googlemap link: http://www.traillink.com/viewnationalmap.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Scot_Gore said:
Pennsyvania DOT has put out a set of maps.
http://www.dot.state.pa.us/BIKE/WEB/tour_routes.htm
I know of no one that has used them or heard reports on their quality.
Check them out.

Once out of Penn. I would try to hook to Adventure Cycling Northern tier route through Ohio and then cut north on the ACA's Great Lakes.

Another option would be to PM Kerry Irons and tell him you need a route to Michigan. I bet you would get the best route that way.

Scot
Route S on the PaDOT map looks like it would be perfect for where I am going. If I ride north from my house, I can intersect with Route S near Gettysburg, which is just about 50 miles from my front doorstep. I have a vague recollection that MB1 and Miss M did some riding on a Pa trail -- I will have to search the archives (or if MB1 is around maybe he can give me some info).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
MarkS said:
Route S on the PaDOT map looks like it would be perfect for where I am going. If I ride north from my house, I can intersect with Route S near Gettysburg, which is just about 50 miles from my front doorstep. I have a vague recollection that MB1 and Miss M did some riding on a Pa trail -- I will have to search the archives (or if MB1 is around maybe he can give me some info).
Here is the MB1 report about which I was thinking. http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=107111&highlight=pennsylvania+trail I also now realize that MB! and Miss M are off on their ride from Frankfurt to Budapest, so I'll have to repost this in a few weeks when they are back in the US.
 

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Be careful following the Pennsylvania cycling routes. Route L goes right through my main riding area in Chester County and includes some roads I would never ride - high speed, no shoulder type of roads.
 
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