Touring - 250-350 Mile 7-9 day Kentucky Bluegrass Region route suggestions?
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My wife and I would like to do a 250-350 mile (25-40 miles a day) mile self-supported loop tour in late June. We are thinking that we'd like to do this in the Kentucky Blugrass region. We usually will camp for two nights and then do a B&B or motel for a night - generally repeating for the duration of the tour.
We have hiked in the Red River area and stayed at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (both near Lexington). We drove around a bit between the Shaker Village and Harrodsburg and that is the kind of scenery and terrain that we are generally looking for.
We are looking for some basic route (loop) suggestions - with possible overnight stops suggested (State Parks, Private Campgrounds, B&Bs, small-town motels, etc.). We don't mind doing detailed routing between daily stops ourselves - and a lot of times just do this on-route.
We have also posted a similar request on the Bluegrass Cycling Club forum.
Thanks for any help - we really appreciate it.
Steve & Linda
See if these two websites and pdf won't help you.
Thanks - Those are great resources. All of the tours are generally point-to-point tours. I think maybe we could make a loop tour out of bits of them by riding different portions of different ones. Interesting ...
Yea, I think they're a good starting point but one thing I would try to emphasize is that much of the state is quite rural and services can be few and far between. Be prepared to be very self supportive but it is a great place to tour as long as you're not afraid of a loose dog or three :) Also, the area around the Land Between the Lakes is really conducive to a nice tour of that length.
We car-camped (with the dog) at the Nothern end of LBTL a couple of years ago. It may not be ordinary - but the ticks were just terrible there that year (getting on us and the dog). We drove to Shiloh battlefield while there and saw the same problem there. I'm talking - walk 100 feet down a trail in the battlefield and have 10+ ticks from the knees down. I realize that they are out a lot everywhere during the summer - but we've camped other places in most years and have not seen them anywhere near that bad.
05-06-11, 11:12 AM
We car-camped (with the dog) at the Nothern end of LBTL a couple of years ago. It may not be ordinary - but the ticks were just terrieble there that year (getting on us and the dog). We drove to Shiloh battlefield while there and saw the same problem there. I'm talking - walk 100 feet down a trail in the battlefield and have 10+ ticks from the knees down. I realize that they are out a lot everywhere during the summer - but we've camped other places in most years and have not seen them anywhere near that bad.
Yes, ticks are bad in the whole region. They'll even drop on you from trees when your on the road. Use a good repellent.
I guess I take our insect situation here in Southwestern Ohio for granted. When we went North to the U.P. of Michigan we got eaten up by black flies. When we went South and camped at LBTLs a few years ago we got ticked-out. But when we rode from the Ohio river to Lake Erie last summer all we had to deal with were mosquitos.
Thanks for the repellent heads-up. We are pretty sure we'll do a Bluegrass area tour - but at least we'll be prepared.
We got a book at the library, "Backroad Bicycling in Kentucky's Bluegrass", by George Garber, The Countryman Press, 2004.
I think that using two routes in this book:
23. Louisville to Lexington
24. The Transamerica Trail (portion of ACA Transamerica Trail)
... together with some of the routes, at the KY state site, in the links that you provided - we can create a, basically triangular, loop route of about eight days.
As far as the ticks, I hate to say it but the end of June and July can be the worst time for those buggers. Earlier in the year and by late summer and fall there not as much a problem. Riding of course is no problem but just have to watch where you camp.
The 2007 KY pdf's route in northern KY picks a fairly boring route from Crittenden up to Covington. There's at least two or three other routes that would be better, quieter and scenic. You aren't going that way, but don't assume the rest of the routes are optimal.
I haven't ridden south of Cynthiana KY, so I can't help with any route ideas. You could sketch out a route on ridewithgps.com or mapmyride.com and post a link. Someone will have some suggestions, I'm sure.
I've used the "Backroads Bicycling in the Blue Ridge (http://www.amazon.com/Backroad-Bicycling-Ridge-Smoky-Mountains/dp/0881505765/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1304822466&sr=1-1)" from the same "Backroads.." series. I've done 4 or 5 of the routes, and they are all good. So your Backroads KY book is probably good, too.
If you have time, a visit to Madison, IN on the way from Dayton is worth a detour. All the new commercial development is up above the historic river town, so the old Main Street shops and neighborhoods have few modern intrusions.
Thanks for the time-of-year tick pointers, Robow. We are locked in to our date - as my wife teaches and that is our only open window time-wise. Yeah, we probably won't do a lot of hiking while on the bike tour - so we'll have to be vigilant when camping! They don't seem to cling to my wife like they do to me.
Thanks rm -rf* for your comment on the Backroads book series. That's good to know. I know that just because something gets published - that doesn't mean it is good. We used another library route book here in Ohio and had some less-than-perfect days - due to errors in the routing. I've learned to also have a good map along. Thanks also for the suggestion of mapping a route and then posting a link to it. People can probably give much better comments on something specific like that. Thanks also for the heads-up on Madison, IN. I'll check that out on the map.
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