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Old 10-23-12, 02:49 PM   #1
nancy sv
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Best one week tour routes in the USA?

Somebody has asked me to do a post about the best places for families to take a bike touring vacation for a week. I'm thinking of suggesting the Oregon coast, KATY trail, somewhere in southern Utah, and I'm not sure where else. Suggestions?
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Old 10-23-12, 04:10 PM   #2
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GAP Trail + C&O Canal from Pittsburgh to DC, or vice versa.
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Old 10-23-12, 04:12 PM   #3
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also RAGBRAI
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Old 10-23-12, 04:53 PM   #4
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I forgot about the C & O trail! Great idea. I will certainly mention the state rides - there are LOTS of those!

Can you tell me more about the GAP trail? I'm not familiar with that one.
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Old 10-23-12, 04:57 PM   #5
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Have a look through the Short Tours thread and see where people have gone ...

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ur-Short-Tours
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Old 10-23-12, 05:00 PM   #6
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Can you tell me more about the GAP trail? I'm not familiar with that one.
GAP = Great Allegheny Passage, a wonderful rail-trail between Pittsburgh & Cumberland, MD (a terminus of the C&O Canal).
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Old 10-23-12, 05:06 PM   #7
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You might also have a browse through my Travelling through the US thread where I've asked the question about good places to see and good places to cycle in the US.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Through-the-US
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Old 10-23-12, 05:10 PM   #8
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Excellent. I'll search. I tried searching "one week tours" and didn't get much, but short tours is a better search term.
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Old 10-23-12, 05:24 PM   #9
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I'm not so sure that the Oregon Coast would be appropriate for a family bike tour. While a fair number of folks have ridden here, I'd be uncomfortable, to say the least, to bring youngsters to ride it. There's just too many places where close encounters of the lethal kind are frequent occurrences.

Then again, by the time anyone takes you up on the recommendation, gasoline prices may rise, which would decrease the danger somewhat.
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Old 10-23-12, 06:10 PM   #10
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Here are 16 links that come up when I search my archive for Tour Planning -> Destinations and United States.

Nine of the links deal specifically with the US and several of those refer to a single place or single state.

The other 7 are not associated with any location (location-less links are found when a specific topic/sub-topic is listed in the search criteria) but still may have some US information in them.

Thanks for taking the effort to create a list that others will find useful.
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Old 10-23-12, 06:14 PM   #11
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You guys are a wealth of information!

As for the Oregon coast, what kind of close encounters are you referring to? We cycled there a few years ago with our children and didn't have any trouble, but I realize everyone's experiences are different.
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Old 10-23-12, 06:33 PM   #12
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One of my favorite trips (perhaps for slightly more adventurous family):
- Fly to Juneau
- Take the Marine Ferry to Haines
- Bicycle up over the coastal range to Haines Junction, Whitehorse and back to Skagway
- Take the Marine Ferry back to Juneau

Beautiful wilderness, not much traffic, ferry/wildlife and dramatic scenery, particularly over coastal range and back.

On the other side of the equation. There are a collection of youth hostels on Cape Cod (Truro, Eastham, Hyannis, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket) that are all ~25-50 miles apart along with nice ferry rides to the Islands and also some stretches of rail trail. These can get strung together in distances not too far apart for an interesting summer trip. [It has been years since I've been there, so perhaps has changed, but I encountered a number of youth groups that did organized trips to Cape Cod for cycling/hosteling].
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Old 10-23-12, 07:00 PM   #13
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Cruise up the west coast of lower Michigan, ending at Mackinaw Island.

Simply spectacular!
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Old 10-23-12, 11:00 PM   #14
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I've heard that Cape Cod is a great place to cycle - never been there, but the whole area is spectacular. I will do some research and see what I can find on it.

And Michigan is lovely!
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Old 10-24-12, 12:33 AM   #15
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If there are any inexperienced riders, then they might feel more comfortable on a bike trail.

There are 4 trails that connect to each other and go from Reedburg, WI to near Winona, MN -- about 100 miles each way. Interesting scenery, tunnels, lots of facilities, and if you want to ride on the road, there are good quiet well paved and pretty roads in that area.

Trails: http://www.bike4trails.com/

Wisconsin bike maps: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/...t/bikemaps.htm

If you don't want to drive, you can check your bikes through to LaCrosse, WI on Amtrak. Amtrak has huge bike boxes, cost is $20 or so to check a bike through.
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Old 10-24-12, 12:38 AM   #16
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I've heard that Cape Cod is a great place to cycle - never been there, but the whole area is spectacular. I will do some research and see what I can find on it.

And Michigan is lovely!
Cape Cod was OK when we toured there around 20+ years ago. We enjoyed the area between Brewster and Provincetown the best. Lots of beaches, we stayed at youth hostels and enjoyed them.

We had a ball in Michigan's UP earlier this summer on a short little trip: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=11056 Great bicycling!
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Old 10-24-12, 12:38 AM   #17
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That sounds awesome! We loved the KATY because for a whole week we were totally away from cars. It was delightful.
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Old 10-24-12, 06:53 AM   #18
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If there are any inexperienced riders, then they might feel more comfortable on a bike trail.

There are 4 trails that connect to each other and go from Reedburg, WI to near Winona, MN -- about 100 miles each way. Interesting scenery, tunnels, lots of facilities, and if you want to ride on the road, there are good quiet well paved and pretty roads in that area.

Trails: http://www.bike4trails.com/

Wisconsin bike maps: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/...t/bikemaps.htm

If you don't want to drive, you can check your bikes through to LaCrosse, WI on Amtrak. Amtrak has huge bike boxes, cost is $20 or so to check a bike through.
Look at Nancy's sign-off before you worry about inexperienced riders in this little group. These guys are the definition of experience.
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Old 10-24-12, 07:14 AM   #19
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I have done the GAP and the C&O twice. It is a great ride with plenty of camping and services along the way. The views from the GAP are very nice as the trail climbs to the continental divide (1-3% grade). The C&O follows the Potomac is full of history and quite serene. The Great Falls outside of DC are an awesome sight as is all of DC. This year we were forced to take shelter across the Potomac in Leesburgh Va, what a nice stop. There is a quaint little hotel right in the middle of town right next to a restaurant, decent place to stay and they even let us wash our bikes.

I just got back from doing a bit of the Erie Canal. The section that we did was a very nicely maintained towpath with plenty of towns, good food and sights along the way. Not to mention cycling up to Niagara Falls was very cool. Next year I intend to do that entire trail.

Both trails sell guide books which are a nice way to help plan the trip.

Last edited by iforgotmename; 10-24-12 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 10-24-12, 07:28 AM   #20
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Micekson Trail south Dakota, 109 miles from Deadwood to Edgemont, camping or lodging, lots of interesting places to stop like crazy horse, off the road on good packed gravel.
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Old 10-24-12, 07:48 AM   #21
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Second the Erie Canal. Minnesota has a pretty good trail network, it sounds like. Maybe something in the San Juan Islands with some ferry-hopping.
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Old 10-24-12, 08:49 AM   #22
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Look at Nancy's sign-off before you worry about inexperienced riders in this little group. These guys are the definition of experience.
Ooops! Sorry about that!

Well, maybe the suggestion about the Wisconsin trails will be of some use to others who are perusing this thread (I'm trying to put a good spin on my mistake).
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Old 10-24-12, 09:02 AM   #23
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http://vimeo.com/9303068

Take a peek at this video of a family that rode the GAP and C&O, to give a better idea of the trail. They've also ridden the Mickelson and Katy trails, but I haven't seen those videos yet.
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Old 10-24-12, 10:15 AM   #24
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I'm not so sure that the Oregon Coast would be appropriate for a family bike tour. While a fair number of folks have ridden here, I'd be uncomfortable, to say the least, to bring youngsters to ride it. There's just too many places where close encounters of the lethal kind are frequent occurrences.

Then again, by the time anyone takes you up on the recommendation, gasoline prices may rise, which would decrease the danger somewhat.
I respectfully disagree with this. It may not be best for families with 4 year olds, it would be suitable for all others. What better place to teach youngsters how to tour, and the towns and facilities along the route are perfect for having a fun and safe tour.
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Old 10-24-12, 01:27 PM   #25
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I have done the GAP and the C&O twice. It is a great ride with plenty of camping and services along the way. The views from the GAP are very nice as the trail climbs to the continental divide (1-3% grade).
Since when is the continental divide on the east coast?


I don't have a family, but if I did have children I would not hesitate to take them down some portion of the pacific coast route.
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