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Old 09-09-09, 10:52 AM   #1
livestrong2
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RAIL TRAIL BUCKET LIST (top 10)

I plan on riding Rail trails as a vacation next spring. If you were to list your top 5 or 10 must rides what would they be? Thanks
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Old 09-09-09, 11:00 AM   #2
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The Katy Trail

The Greenbrier River Trail

The Viginia Creeper Trail

edit to add http://www.railstotrails.org/index.html

Last edited by BikeWNC; 09-09-09 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:16 AM   #3
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Great Allegheny Passage from Mckeesport, PA to Cumberland, MD - 135 miles. You can take the C & O to DC if you want, but that's not a rail-trail and it's overrated in my opinion.

Pine Creek Trail from Wellsboro to Jersey Shore, PA - 62 miles.

Perkiomen Trail, from Oaks to Green Lane, PA - 21 miles.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:29 AM   #4
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I'd have to vote for the Katy too, since it's the only one I've ever ridden. Problem is, I love to climb and trains don't (or didn't). So that's why I pretty much avoid Rails to Trails.

Maybe there's one that's a trans - Rocky Mountains trail? Trans - Smokey Mountains?

You know . . . something with climbing!

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Old 09-09-09, 11:40 AM   #5
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Well over on the other side of the state (Florida) is the Withalacoochie Trail which goes through Inverness. It is not very busy and you can do a century on it if you throw in a short road loop. In Winter Springs is the West Orange Trail which now goes from just north of Apopka all the way out to Clermont, FL. They are also putting the finishing touches on the Cross Seminole Trail. Of the bunch, I think the Withalacoochie Trail is the best. There are plans of tieing a bunch of the central Florida trails together into a grand network. If you scuba dive or snorkel, you can combine the Withalacoochie Trail ride with an excursion to dive in Crystal River and gawk at manatees.
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Old 09-09-09, 12:02 PM   #6
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I have a friend who is trying to talk me into doing a mountain bike trip - hut to hut around Mt. Hood. It's 4 days, 3 nights, 137 miles with 18,000' of climbing. http://www.cascadehuts.com/

Rick this sounds like your type of ride. It doesn't sound like mine! I want to do it but the climbing is scaring me away plus... we have to be partially self-contained. Ugh! I want someone to carry all my junk! [yes I am whining... if not to you guys who then? ]
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Old 09-09-09, 12:27 PM   #7
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My wife and I rode Elroy to Sparta in Wisconsin last summer. I loved it. My eyes told me it was flat but my legs said that it's up and down 3 hills with a tunnel through the top of each.
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Old 09-09-09, 12:49 PM   #8
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Thanks to Sustrans- we are spoilt for choice on trail rides. You can go North to South or East to west- across England on recognised bike routes. They may involve a bit of road riding but back roads without too much traffic and Well signposted to give car drivers warning that they will meet cyclists on the road.

But the best for me has to be the South Downs Way. 100 miles of offroad that can be done in 3-2 or 1 day. And thanks to being overcrowded compared to the US- You will never be too far from civilisation.
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Old 09-09-09, 03:11 PM   #9
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I have a friend who is trying to talk me into doing a mountain bike trip - hut to hut around Mt. Hood. It's 4 days, 3 nights, 137 miles with 18,000' of climbing. http://www.cascadehuts.com/
Rick this sounds like your type of ride. It doesn't sound like mine! I want to do it but the climbing is scaring me away plus... we have to be partially self-contained. Ugh! I want someone to carry all my junk! [yes I am whining... if not to you guys who then? ]
Yes Pam, you are correct!

It does sound like my kind of ride. I like climbing and I like that area, plus my wife likes that area (climbing, not so much), but I may be able to talk her into it. Neither of our mountain bikes are full suspension (hers: Giant XTC with disc brakes, mine: GT Zaskar LE), however, they might work for this!

We would have to fit rear racks, but we already have the panniers, so no worries!

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Old 09-09-09, 03:29 PM   #10
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Little Miami Scenic trails. About 80 miles of traffic-free (largely) bliss.
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Old 09-09-09, 03:56 PM   #11
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Well over on the other side of the state (Florida) is the Withalacoochie Trail which goes through Inverness. It is not very busy and you can do a century on it if you throw in a short road loop. In Winter Springs is the West Orange Trail which now goes from just north of Apopka all the way out to Clermont, FL. They are also putting the finishing touches on the Cross Seminole Trail. Of the bunch, I think the Withalacoochie Trail is the best. There are plans of tieing a bunch of the central Florida trails together into a grand network. If you scuba dive or snorkel, you can combine the Withalacoochie Trail ride with an excursion to dive in Crystal River and gawk at manatees.
+1 to what Pat has written. I might add the James Van Fleet Trail which is mid way between the West Orange and the Withlacoochee. It runs north and south through the Green Swamp. I ride the Seminole Wekiva most of all because it is just outside my front door. The Pinellas Trail in the Clearwater/St Pete area is not bad but does not compare with Withlacoochee, West Orange, or James Van Fleet. JMHO
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Old 09-09-09, 03:58 PM   #12
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Didn't realize there was a nice trail like that so close to my Mom's house in Bluefield. Hmmm... maybe an excuse to visit more often... lol

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Little Miami Scenic trails. About 80 miles of traffic-free (largely) bliss.
A nice trail... we ride segments of this 2-4 times a WEEK!! Gotta love living close to a great resource like this one!
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Old 09-09-09, 04:20 PM   #13
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Haven't traveled around too much to ride rail trails, but here are some of my favorites (in no particular order)

- Wisconsin has four trails that are connected, with the center one being the Elroy-Sparta trail. The entire length of the trail is just over 100 miles. It is all dirt/packed gravel. My favorite two segments are the ends of the trail. The eastern end is the "400" Trail which runs through beautiful bluffs and wetlands. The western end is the "Great River" Trail which runs through more wetlands and along the Mississippi River into a wonderful National Bird Refuge.

- The Military Ridge Trail from the SE side of Madison up to Mt Horeb, WI is very nice. It goes further, but is not as scenic or as isolated from the road after Mt Horeb.

- The Root River Trail, centered in Lanesboro, MN - which is were I am right now. I've ridden on the trail on 3 of the past 4 days. This one is paved and runs along the Root River and at the foot of the bluffs in this region. Very scenic, nice towns along the trail, good pie & ice cream. Total trail length is around 60 miles.

- The Cannon Valley Trail out of Red Wing, MN. Only a 20 mile trail, but paved and very scenic. Red Wing is a great town to visit tool.

- Can't recall the exact name of it right now, but there is a trail out of Morgantown, WV that runs south along the Monongahela River that has great views of the river and hills. You can ride down to an 18th century fort (Prickett's Fort) just outside of Fairmont, WV. This is a gravel trail. Just north of Morgantown it runs past some old glass factories, through an arboreteum, and towards Pennsylvania.
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Old 09-09-09, 05:45 PM   #14
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I will add that I don't consider my list to be a "bucket" list. Ride my five trails then kick the bucket.
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Old 09-09-09, 06:30 PM   #15
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Kettle Valley Rail Trail in British Columbia gets good reviews in CGOAB journals. There is a segment between Grand Forks and Castlegar that is basically all down hill to Castlegar and is generally just a day trip.
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Old 09-09-09, 06:35 PM   #16
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Favorites I have ridden:

Withlacoochee trail in florida

Katy Trail in Missouri

Favorites I have only read about over on the touring forum:
Allegheny and the C&O

Now that I am reading this post I may have to add a few more to my list
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Old 09-09-09, 07:30 PM   #17
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Not impressed with this one. Pics make it look great. If you're into railroads there are some sights in Marlinton and Cass, but the rest of the trail is pretty bland.

Pine Creek in PA is #1 on my list. Only thing that worries me about that one is that it runs the river valley, and the real sights are on the ridges above.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:37 PM   #18
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Not impressed with this one. Pics make it look great. If you're into railroads there are some sights in Marlinton and Cass, but the rest of the trail is pretty bland.

Pine Creek in PA is #1 on my list. Only thing that worries me about that one is that it runs the river valley, and the real sights are on the ridges above.
Do you mind a hike of, say, a couple of miles mid-ride? Stop at the Turkey Trail on the Pine Creek Trail, park your bikes in the rack, and hike up to the scenic lookout in Leonard Harrison State Park. Much of the hike is on wooden stairs PA DCNR installed because of erosion. The view at the top is spectacular.

There are spots along the trail after it leaves the Gorge to switch over to local roads to get a different view, if you don't mind some hills. From Blackwell, for instance, you can follow Rt 414 for a couple of miles, and get back on the trail at Rattlesnake Rock. From Waterville you can ride south to Jersey Shore on Rt. 44, which is a signed PA Bike Route. (The trail is prettier, in my opinion, and of course car-free.)

While in the Gorge and Canyon, it's true you don't get the full feeling looking up from the bottom. But now that the leaves are beginning to turn, the colors on display offer compensation. And even when the Canyon is two walls of green, it's still pretty nice.

BTW, some of the towns on the Pine Creek Trail are so small they make Little Orleans on the C & O seem like Manhattan.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:53 PM   #19
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kettle valley rail trail in british columbia gets good reviews in cgoab journals. There is a segment between grand forks and castlegar that is basically all down hill to castlegar and is generally just a day trip.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:53 PM   #20
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Pine Creek Trail, PA
Stony Valley Rail Trail, Lebanon County, PA
Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon, VA (excuse to visit sister)
Not a rail trail, but want to ride the trail around the Blue Marsh Lake, Berks County, PA. I hear the back half may be too rough for my trail bike...will see.
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Old 09-10-09, 06:37 AM   #21
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Thanks to Sustrans- we are spoilt for choice on trail rides. You can go North to South or East to west- across England on recognised bike routes. They may involve a bit of road riding but back roads without too much traffic...
I want to visit the UK and ride some Sustrans routes, but I'm confused as to what sort of bike to bring. I know some of the routes are beautiful Macadam paths, but many of the pictures I see posted of Sustran route rides have folks riding in mud or sand or down rocky roads or even crossing fields.

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Old 09-10-09, 01:28 PM   #22
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- The Root River Trail, centered in Lanesboro, MN - which is were I am right now. I've ridden on the trail on 3 of the past 4 days. This one is paved and runs along the Root River and at the foot of the bluffs in this region. Very scenic, nice towns along the trail, good pie & ice cream. Total trail length is around 60 miles.

- The Cannon Valley Trail out of Red Wing, MN. Only a 20 mile trail, but paved and very scenic. Red Wing is a great town to visit tool.
I second these two picks. We rode them frequently when we lived in southern Minnesota.
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Old 09-10-09, 01:43 PM   #23
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I want to visit the UK and ride some Sustrans routes, but I'm confused as to what sort of bike to bring. I know some of the routes are beautiful Macadam paths, but many of the pictures I see posted of Sustran route rides have folks riding in mud or sand or down rocky roads or even crossing fields.

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Most of the Sustrans trails are now a hard surface but may not be smooth. Our local Cuckoo trail is tarmacadam but not very thick and has broken up in a few spots. But there are off road routes aswell so the ride chosen has to be selected.

But like the Trip I met a couple doing last week- Dover to Lands End and about 400 miles- They will be travelling on some trails- some Back roads that are designated as cycle routes and some well used roads. One thing though-The route will be bike safe- even if you have to share with cars on the road aswell.
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Old 09-10-09, 01:43 PM   #24
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Wabash Trace Nature Trail- Iowa

The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a converted railroad right-of-way running over 60 miles through the scenic Southwest Iowa countryside from Council Bluffs to Blanchard on the Iowa/Missouri border. There are numerous small towns with amenities and friendly natives. Crushed limestone but doable on a road bike if need be.


Everyone should do the famous Thursday night Taco Ride at least once.

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Old 09-12-09, 06:51 PM   #25
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Mickelson trail in South Dakota,106 mi long,very scenic.
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