Ever thought about making your leisurely bike ride a little more…intensive?
How about taking your bike cross-country? Start planning now because a coast-to-coast bike trail is in the works. Bike advocacy group and non-profit, Rails-to-Trail Conservancy (RTC) disclosed their part in a project that will connect cyclists to the cities and countryside of America, from Washington DC to Washington State.
Mega trails like this one are not a new idea and can be found in scenic locales such as Switzerland. There’s already a quite arduous one in the States called The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, running from Alberta in Canada down to New Mexico.
What the Great American Rail-Trail proposes to do is to connect close to 4,000 miles of rail-trail and multi-use trails all across the United States. The bike trail is not slated for completion for years yet, but one of the hallmarks of the plan is that bikers will be separated from motor traffic, so the wait is worthwhile.
The 12 existing trails to be connected were also announced. They include: Capital Crescent Trail through DC and Maryland; Panhandle Trail through Pennsylvania and West Virginia; Ohio to Erie Trail; and, Casper Trail through Wyoming.
The idea for the trail was born about 30 years ago; however, it’s been in the last 18 months that RTC’s research and collaberation with state agencies and local partners has resulted in a surge forward towards making the Great American Rail-Trail a reality.
In a statement, RTC president, Keith Laughlin says, “As we embark on the journey to complete the Great American Rail-Trail, we embark on the single greatest trail project in the history of the U.S. One that comes with an important legacy of unity, ambition and access to the outdoors for the nation. One that represents an opportunity to do something big for America.”
The full scope of the trail is promised later Spring 2019. In the meantime, get your bike spiffy and explore some of the country’s existing iconic trails. We have some riding to do.