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Old 08-23-09, 04:20 PM   #1
toolbear
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RAIL TRAILS - Anyone riding them?

I have been having a fun summer riding rail trails from California to Washington. Hope to get off to Idaho to do some more of them next month. These trails are habit-forming.

Wondering if there are others out there with a similar affliction. Compare notes and pix?

These trails are great when you don't want to play in traffic or lack the qualities needed for successful mountain biking (Agility of a gymnast, reflexes of a fighter pilot, wits of a gerbil - I am one for three there. Add ability to heal quickly.)

Check out the Rails to Trails Trail Link web site...

<http://www.traillink.com/home.aspx>
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Old 08-23-09, 04:31 PM   #2
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Our 50+ annual ride will be next Monday - 8?31/2009 - on the Rio Grande Trail, a rail trail from Glenwood Springs to Aspen - 44 miles one way.


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Old 08-23-09, 05:20 PM   #3
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Roughly 95% of my riding is on Wisconsin and Minnesota rail trails. Plan to be in Lanesboro, MN to ride the Root River Trail in a couple of weeks.

I live adjacent to a rail trail, which intersects another trail, for a total length of about 85 miles. They are supposed to link it into two more trails this fall, which will make it about 140-150 miles.
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Old 08-23-09, 05:41 PM   #4
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I agree that riding rail trails is addictive. Most of the trails I have ridden are here in Quebec as well as a few in Ontario and Manitoba. This past weekend I rode the PPJ or the Pontiac Pacific Junction Railway in the Pontiac region of Quebec.

My father and his family all worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway so riding the rails is in my blood. Traveling by train is one of my favourite was to travel and I have traveled across Canada twice by train as well as all over Europe and in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.

So does anyone know which rail trail is the longest?

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Old 08-23-09, 05:43 PM   #5
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When we lived in NJ I loved riding the rails to trails paths. They were great!
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Old 08-23-09, 05:43 PM   #6
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Although San Diego County has grandiose plans for a 43-mile trail parallel to the San Diego Northern Railroad, the project has numerous constraints, including multiple lagoons and rivers to be crossed and a relatively narrow right-of-way, plus the fact that this is the second-busiest rail corridor in the U.S., with almost 50 trains per weekday. (I guess we are a rail plus trail, rather than a rails to trails scenario. )
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Old 08-23-09, 05:58 PM   #7
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I ride them quite a bit. I'm sure that over 50% of my riding is rail trail conversions.

I live about 2 miles from Missouri's Katy Trail. It's over 200 miles long so I can coast down to the trail, ride until I'm halfway tired and ride home. Did I mention it's a downhill coast from my house to the trail?

East of St Louis is Madison County, Illinois. It has a network of blacktop paved rail trail conversions that are great. Whenever I'm not working on a Friday morning I meet with a group of folks (most of whom would qualify for 50+) for a 30 to 40 mile ride.

This summer, my wife and I took a week long tour in Wisconsin. Mostly we bicycled on the road but we did about 70 miles on rail trails which we loved.

Rail trails aren't a panacea. The injuries that I'm recovering from right now occured while bicycling with my grandson on the Katy Trail.
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Old 08-23-09, 06:07 PM   #8
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I ride them quite a bit.......

Rail trails aren't a panacea.
No. They're a pain elbowea! (Sorry Grouch)

N.Y. is a bit behind many other parts of the country in the Rail Trail theater, but our Governors have pretty GF's.

I hope to someday ride some of the Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Illinois trails with my daughter. Meanwhile I'll ride along the lakeshore and on the Erie Canal towpath.
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Old 08-23-09, 06:09 PM   #9
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My wife and I ride the Tammany Trace several times a week. It's 26 miles long. My wife does not like hills so I get to ride around where we live in the hills only when she does not feel like riding.

We plan to ride the Long Leaf Trace in Mississippi later this fall.

Love the rails to trails. Let's get more of them linked up.
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Old 08-23-09, 06:17 PM   #10
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I keep hoping they'll do something with the old Red Car (Pacific Electric) rights-of-way.
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Old 08-23-09, 06:21 PM   #11
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I ride the Withlacootchee trail here in Central florida probably 75% of my riding. I alow enjoy a few other trails. I was in Des Moines Iowa for a week this summer and rode on thier trails also. Iowa has some very nice trails.
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Old 08-23-09, 06:33 PM   #12
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Wisconsin has hundreds of miles of rail trails. Here's a map of them:
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/...indatrail.html

You can click on any trail for more info. I live next to the Badger trail. It's a 12 mile ride from my house to the tunnel shown in the pics of the Badger trail.

There are a number of county trails that aren't shown on this map.
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Old 08-23-09, 06:40 PM   #13
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There don't seem to be many in our neck of the country. Maybe that's because the BNSF hasn't abandoned their rails yet... We get up to 100 trains a day along the Bolin to Needles run. I have no desire to ride along side one of those behemoths either!
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Old 08-23-09, 06:51 PM   #14
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I love riding the trails. We have 323 miles of paved trails in the area and many of them are rails-to-trails.

http://www.miamivalleytrails.org/
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Old 08-23-09, 07:09 PM   #15
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Roughly 95% of my riding is on Wisconsin and Minnesota rail trails. Plan to be in Lanesboro, MN to ride the Root River Trail in a couple of weeks.

I live adjacent to a rail trail, which intersects another trail, for a total length of about 85 miles. They are supposed to link it into two more trails this fall, which will make it about 140-150 miles.
My wife and I were in Lanesboro a couple of weeks ago. We had a very good time on their paved trails. I used to live in Elroy in the 70's and did ride the Elroy-Sparta back then a bit and now live in Menomonie near the Red Cedar Trail.

I do find the unpaved trails to be hard on my wrists and neck so I don't use them often. But Tom, should you be up this way, I would enjoy riding with you.
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Old 08-23-09, 07:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by AdrianL View Post
My wife and I ride the Tammany Trace several times a week. It's 26 miles long. My wife does not like hills so I get to ride around where we live in the hills only when she does not feel like riding.

We plan to ride the Long Leaf Trace in Mississippi later this fall.

Love the rails to trails. Let's get more of them linked up.
We spent a couple nights in Covington, LA earlier this year. We had three couples in our group and all six of us had a great time riding the Tammany Trace. IT IS FLAT. Enjoyable riding experience.
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Old 08-23-09, 07:23 PM   #17
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CT has a reasonably large rail trail/linear park network. Few are paved however. They range from limestone rock dust highways to gravel, mud and traprock surfaces. In many areas there are spurs that are little more than cart tracks. In the vacinity of my home, its common to use parts of these trails to connect paved road sections on a ride. That makes my primary bike a mixed media MTB based hybrid.
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Old 08-23-09, 08:18 PM   #18
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I rode the West Orange Trail near Orlando, Fl, last year. It was the absolute best use of public money I have ever seen. If you go to Disney, look it up. They have bike rentals at the trail head.

It is something like 30+ miles one way, no car traffic, and goes through varied terrain. It is great.
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Old 08-23-09, 08:18 PM   #19
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Rails to Trails is what I do.
I have traveled on wonderful R to T in: Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Florida, Colorado.
There are many more in more States but life is to short to do them all.
BTW, there are great R to T's in Europa also.
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Old 08-23-09, 08:59 PM   #20
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Almost all of the riding my wife & I do is on a rail trail - the Little Miami Scenic Trail. The only real problems I've run into are related to horses and deer; the first is the obvious problem of the evidence they leave behind on the trail The second problem is that the horses are almost always spooked by our recumbent trikes. The only safe way we've found to deal with that is to just stop on the far side of the trail from the horse, unclip and stand up next to the trike and talk to the horse in a soft, soothing tone. Even then, most of the horses are obviously just short of terrified; I guess it takes a long time to convince a horse that something low, quiet and fairly fast isn't a predator!
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Old 08-23-09, 09:03 PM   #21
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In the city of Springfield, IL there is the grand total of 3 trails, one 5 miles long, one 2 miles long and one 7 miles in length. The 2 mile and 7 mile trail join. They are the best places to ride on the weekend; they have shade on those hot days! More bike lanes are being included in new road projects, but will take time to do. To ride any longer trails you have to go out of town. I plan on riding the I & M Canal trail in northern IL one of these days and also in Madison County where they know what strings to pull for trail funding. Local trail development is always on the backburner here. They do have a 38 mile trail in future plans, but who knows when that will happen. Thank goodness for county roads!
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Old 08-23-09, 09:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RepWI View Post
My wife and I were in Lanesboro a couple of weeks ago. We had a very good time on their paved trails. I used to live in Elroy in the 70's and did ride the Elroy-Sparta back then a bit and now live in Menomonie near the Red Cedar Trail.

I do find the unpaved trails to be hard on my wrists and neck so I don't use them often. But Tom, should you be up this way, I would enjoy riding with you.
I was in Lanesboro for 4 days last year and really enjoyed it.

I don't find the unpaved trails to be a problem. But my smallest tire on any bike is 32mm, have 1.5" on my RANS recumbent that I ride the most. That soaks up a lot of the vibration.

Just where is "up this way?"
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Old 08-23-09, 11:30 PM   #23
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I ride the Row River Trail in Cottage Grove, Oregon quite a bit. If you are ever in the southern Willamette Valley don't pass up the opportunity to ride this beautiful trail.

http://www.americantrails.org/nation...wriver-or.html
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Old 08-23-09, 11:45 PM   #24
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An organisation called Sustrans has converted a lot of disused rail lines into MUP's over here and we do have one locally called the Cuckoo Trail. Goes for about 12 miles and good surface- no hills to speak opf and very popular with family groups- dog walkers and cycle commuters. That is the problem- too many users to be completely suitable for cyclists.
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Old 08-24-09, 04:51 AM   #25
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I ride the Gainesville to Hawthorne trail in North Florida quite often. Very, very nice trail..maybe 18 miles long with turn-offs to little stores, side trips out into Paynes wildlife area, some nice small hills..very scenic. Almost for sure you will see a gator or two along with some aggressive geese. It goes right into downtown Gainesville, not too far from some coffee shops.

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