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I am in the process of planning a camping/ touring trip this summer with a couple of friends. We have the equipment and are all in excellent shape, but we don't know where to go. We all live in North East Ohio. We are looking to do about 60-90 miles a day and camping in between. So far, we have not been able to find anywhere with campsites or hostels 60-90 miles apart. We are wiling to drive up to about 200 miles (sounds stupid, driving to ride). Does anyone have any ideas on where to go?
 

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Well there are buckets of good riding in Western Pennsylvania and Western NY.

Finger Lakes, Erie Canal, Allegheny State Park (NY), Allegheny National Forest (PA) and all the PA State Forests around St. Marys.

So many choices the mind boggles.
 

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Downhill Juggernaut
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Leave from your front door.

Don't limit yourself to campsites. We also called small town Chamber of Commerce's and got permission to camp in city parks, or behind churches. There's more of that available than you might think.

Even had someone let us stay the night in their house. We met them over dinner, talked for hours, played some chickenfoot... was a fun time actually.

One other place we stayed was an RV park. The owner let us set up our tents there in an empty spot towards the back. 3 bucks and change well spent.

Even when we were making last minute changes and miles away from where we wanted to be, there was always a place for us to stay. Which actually surprised me. I'm one of those anal planners that likes the security of having things set up in advance. Nothing went according to that plan.
 

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Places may not be 60-90 miles apart in straight line distance, but you can easily pad mileage by taking "the long way around." I grew up in western NY and there are hundreds of small paved farm roads that can get you between towns.

Old route 20 follows the Lake Erie shore through northwest PA. Presque Isle State Park is a pretty cool place. Old route 17 roughly follows the "Southern Tier" along the NY/PA border. In some places it is a designated bike route (Chautauqua Lake area). I've often thought it would be cool to take it as far east as practical.

Get some good road maps. If you plan routes on Google or some such site, you can often get decent bike route if you select "avoid highways" option. Try searching for bike clubs and bike shops in the areas you are interested. They are good sources for routes.
 

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Or you could ride GOBA (or TRIRI) and let them carry all of your gear. That's my kind of touring, although I can appreciate the attraction of going it alone. BTW, Kentucky supposedly has some of the best state parks in the US and looks like it would be a great place to cycle, tho I haven't ridden there.
 

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ts103706 said:
I am in the process of planning a camping/ touring trip this summer with a couple of friends. We have the equipment and are all in excellent shape, but we don't know where to go. We all live in North East Ohio. We are looking to do about 60-90 miles a day and camping in between. So far, we have not been able to find anywhere with campsites or hostels 60-90 miles apart. We are wiling to drive up to about 200 miles (sounds stupid, driving to ride). Does anyone have any ideas on where to go?
Lake Erie Circle Tour
Using a combination of

and this

You can find an index for the maps here:
https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/index.cfm

Adventure Cycling maps mark campsites and other lodging opportunities. From those you should be able to assemble a route that get's you around Erie and finds you places to stay. Remember, you need your passport now.

Have Fun
Scot
 

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It may sound weird, but graveyards are great places to set up camp. I'm talking about the huge fields near the graveyards. People won't come late or early to bother you, and if you do see someone ask them if it's ok and they generally say yes. And I'm sure you could find a graveyard every 60-90 miles.
 

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More Adventure Cycling

Scot_Gore said:
Lake Erie Circle Tour. Adventure Cycling maps mark campsites and other lodging opportunities. From those you should be able to assemble a route that get's you around Erie and finds you places to stay. Remember, you need your passport now.
Also, from NE Ohio the OP is not far from the Adventure Cycling Underground Railroad and Northern Tier routes. They join together near Ashtabula. The Northern Tier route follows the southern shore of Lake Erie from Sandusky to Niagra Falls. The Underground Railroad route continues north into Canada, and if you head south, it eventually reaches Cincinatti and then a bit east and crosses into KY. All Adventure Cycling route maps list camping options all along the routes.
 

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The Finger Lakes region in western NY has lots of nice cycling, either up high in the farmlands, down low along lake shores, or lots of climbing in between. Seems that most of the lakes had a least a few state parks along their shores, and I assume many offer camping. Plus nice waterfall hikes (and swimming holes!) plus regular opportunities to dip in the lakes too. And with all the small towns and farms and vineyards, you're likely to sleep for free if you're gregarious.

From what I recall it was about 95 miles to circumnavigate Cayuga Lake. You could split that into a couple nice days.

You might check online for the Finger Lakes Tour. Can't recall the exact name, but it's a multi day event and may give you ideas for routes that are bike friendly...
 

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tarwheel2 said:
Or you could ride GOBA (or TRIRI) and let them carry all of your gear. That's my kind of touring, although I can appreciate the attraction of going it alone. BTW, Kentucky supposedly has some of the best state parks in the US and looks like it would be a great place to cycle, tho I haven't ridden there.
There are a lot of good state parks in ky. But, as I understand things, kentucky road quality sucks compared to other states. Be prepared for heat and humidity and I wouldn't want to depend on a tent for protection during a ky storm. Transamerica tourers seem to have some of their worst dog experiences in ky for some reason.

definitely check out these journals: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/locales/?geoname_id=227&doctype=journal
 
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