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  1. #1
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    Where to find paved, off-road bicycle trails

    My wife and I have road bikes, and share a strong preference for cycling on asphalt rather than cinder or other unpaved surfaces. We've enjoyed the opportunities that we've had on our tours to cycle on off-road trails that are paved, but these trails seem to be in the minority.

    Can I get some recommendations for long-distance trails or networks of paved trails? Trails in North America and Europe would be of interest to us.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fissile's Avatar
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    Saddle River County Park in Bergen County, NJ. The trail starts in Saddle Brook and ends in Ridgewood. If you ride the entire loop(start and end in Saddle Brook), including the side trials, it works out to about 18 miles or so.

    ETA: The Palisades Interstate Park -- it runs from Fort Lee, near the GWB to about Alpine along the Hudson.
    Last edited by Fissile; 09-08-08 at 08:32 AM.
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  3. #3
    sport fanatic
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    Have a look for canal routes, canal tow paths are usually perfect for cycling - flat, little or no traffic, through interesting areas.

    Check out the pictures here for some of the routes I found on my recent tour in France: http://flickr.com/photos/alrocket/se...7606983893187/
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  4. #4
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    This page has 5 links to information about bike paths in a few places. But, the US and Europe are big places. Is there are particular country in Europe or an area of the US you are interested in?

    This page has 21 links to bike routes in the US. A few of them are off-road paths.

    This link lists bike paths in France.

    I suspect that there are other pages in the archive (see my signature) and I'm sure that are other pages on the web that would be helpful to you.

    Ray
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  5. #5
    Senior Member kbabin's Avatar
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    Here is a link to routes in the UK. Not all on trails, but large percentage are... We used part of the system in Northern Ireland.

    http://www.sustrans.org.uk/default.a...=1150370275692

    Kev

  6. #6
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    Little Miami River Trail in Ohio Springfield to Milford (Cincinnati)...75 Miles of some of the nicest paved Rail-Trail you will ride....Make a stop in Yellow Springs For a Coffee!!!

    http://www.miamivalleytrails.org/miami.htm



    Last edited by The Figment; 09-08-08 at 11:11 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybo View Post
    ...the US and Europe are big places. Is there are particular country in Europe or an area of the US you are interested in? Ray
    Thanks for your tips, Ray. We like to take tours of 1-3 weeks, sometimes in the eastern U.S. (where we live), but sometimes farther off. We have toured in Luxembourg/Germany and Sweden/Finland, so we are really interested in any suggestions that would involve long stretches on paved, off-road paths. We are not unwilling to ride on the streets (>99% of our touring miles have been on the roads), but I'm hoping to get some suggestions for bike paths.

  8. #8
    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrocket View Post
    Have a look for canal routes, canal tow paths are usually perfect for cycling - flat, little or no traffic, through interesting areas.

    Check out the pictures here for some of the routes I found on my recent tour in France: http://flickr.com/photos/alrocket/se...7606983893187/

    Forget the D&R Canal Trail, though. I've ridden it over the last few weeks, and the surface is pretty much packed dirt/sand with some areas of crushed rock, and the spillways next to the canal are treacherous! I'm glad I brought my mountain bike!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpelle View Post
    Forget the D&R Canal Trail, though. I've ridden it over the last few weeks, and the surface is pretty much packed dirt/sand with some areas of crushed rock, and the spillways next to the canal are treacherous! I'm glad I brought my mountain bike!
    Is this the feeder canal along the river or the main canal from Trenton to New Brunswick?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    Is this the feeder canal along the river or the main canal from Trenton to New Brunswick?
    Tpelle's description certainly applies to the Trenton-to-New Brunswick section, which my wife and I regularly run on. It's only suitable for mountain bikes. I am less often on the feeder canal along the Delaware River, but my recollection is that the towpath on this section is also unpaved and pretty rough.

  11. #11
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in NJ View Post
    Tpelle's description certainly applies to the Trenton-to-New Brunswick section, which my wife and I regularly run on. It's only suitable for mountain bikes. I am less often on the feeder canal along the Delaware River, but my recollection is that the towpath on this section is also unpaved and pretty rough.
    I'm wondering of the Trenton - Frenchtown section was damaged by the rain of the last few days. the path is mustly gravel with some packed dirt, and it was a good ride on my touring bike with 700 tires.
    Last edited by neilfein; 09-09-08 at 10:37 AM. Reason: typo
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  12. #12
    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    Yes, my description is of the Trenton/New Brunswick section. I rode it a few weeks ago after a rain, and it has some HUGE and slippery puddles. Then I rode it again a week later, when it was dry, and it looked like they had dumped a bunch of crushed stone in the worst of the puddles.

    It was a nice ride, and actually my first experiencing riding a MUP. I live in Northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati, Ohio, and am actually not too far from the Little Miami River Trail mentioned above. I've been thinking about riding that, but I am pretty lucky in that there are lots of low-traffic roads around my home that I can ride.

    I'm not sure I like the MUPs, as there were too many walkers and joggers with iPods, families with kids, etc. I actually feel more safer on the roads at home.
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    Wisconsin has a pretty decent trail network. The Glacial Drumlin, Military Ridge, Badger State, and Capital City trails all kind of connect up with Madison's street and MUP network. You can almost bike from Madison to Milwaukee without using roads. And as of this year, you can bike down into IL without using roads (the Badger State trail now connects to the Jane Addams trail in IL, and that hooks you into the IL route network). You will need a state trail pass to ride on most of these, but you can get them by the day for $4.

    IL and Minnesota both have a fair chunk of trail miles as well, but their websites aren't as helpful.

  14. #14
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    Silver Comet/Chief Ladiga

    Silver Comet/Chief Ladiga Trails

    (somebody tell me why the reply form has a title area to type in that never show up on the thread?)

    This is 100 miles of paved trail from Smyrna, GA to Anniston, AL. A terrific ride. There is a piece closed until this September 27 as they finish the last link, but after that it will be a grand ride.

    I am planning a round trip from the GA end in November. Staying in Cedartown, GA is almost exactly half way. There is a motel near Jacksonville State near the western end of the trail. Haven't work out the details.

    Ohio probably has the most paved trails.

    If you lower your standards a bit, there are a lot of possibilities. Look for trails that have a crushed limestone or pea gravel surface. A little wider tire on a road bike will handle these fine. Some of the big trails in the west are rough with the rails and ties pulled and the ballast graded out. These are best on a mountain bike.
    Last edited by sedges; 09-09-08 at 09:52 PM. Reason: reply titles don't show

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Canal tow paths in the Strasbourg France area:

    http://www.machka.net/pbp2007/2007_Post-PBP_2.htm


  16. #16
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    Besides NYC and the Palisades, Washington DC has well over a 100 miles of paved trails. For a weekend I would suggest staying in Alexandria (Sheraton Suites Old Town is good). The bike trail to Mount Vernon goes right by most of the major hotels. In the opposite direction the same trail will take you are far as Georgetown and connects with many other paved trails

    http://www.waba.org/areabiking/trails/mtvernontrail.php

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