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Vacation Destinations

Old 07-24-17, 07:37 AM
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k0guz
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Vacation Destinations

Roadrunner, my favorite motorcycle magazine, has a trademarked monthly feature called a Shamrock Tour; they find a central location from which they can take three or loop trips through interesting and scenic areas.

Last year, we tried the same concept on my bike - we were looking for a central location so my wife could enjoy herself reading or shopping (she doesn't ride) while I took two or three nearby rail-trails, or bike paths in the town. We picked Mankato, Minnesota, Sparta, Wisconsin and Des Moines, Iowa, alll were good choices since they allowed me to ride during the day and enjoy the afternoon and evening with her.

I've checked the Rails-to-trails conservancy's pages and their Traillink.com online guide, and am looking for suggestions and hints from others of other good places to visit,

Ideas?


High Trestle Trail north of Des Moines P1030217 on Flickr


Sparta-Elroy trail, Wisconsin P1030295 on Flickr

P1030243
Sakatah Springs State Trail, Mankato, Minnesota on Flickr

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Old 07-24-17, 08:49 AM
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This year's annual family reunion will be our second one at Big Bear Lake. I am tempted to bring a bicycle this time.
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Old 07-24-17, 04:12 PM
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Go to Richmond va. You can ride the Va capitol trail from Richmond to Jamestown I think one way is 58 miles. Lots of history along the route especially around richmond and Jamestown. Fairly close to richmond in Farmville there is high bridge trail. A little further out is the tobacco heritage trail.
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Old 07-25-17, 10:20 AM
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My bucket list includes cruising the Danube River bikeway on one of my Viennese bicycles, with a detour to Wallensteinstraße 33 in 1200 Wien (www.capo.at).
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Old 07-25-17, 11:00 AM
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I wouldn't vacation in Iowa. I live here and it isn't all that great.
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Old 07-25-17, 11:52 AM
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You might take a look at far northwest Arkansas in the Fayetteville area. They have the Razorback Greenway which runs from BellaVista down to Fayetteville. There's Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and plenty of shopping in Fayetteville, Rogers, and Bentonville. There are lots of restaurants and overnight accommodations. There are several bike shops and lots of country roads to ride... with hills. There's also the Walmart AMP (Arkansas Music Pavilion) that hosts name-brand entertainment.
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Old 07-25-17, 11:53 AM
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The Black Hills of SD. Maybe Hill City and/or Custer. The shopping isn't great, but you have the Mickelson Trail through both towns. Mt. Rushmore and Keystone (where there is some shopping) is a pretty quick drive from Hill City. From Custer, you can drive the wildlife loop through Custer State Park. And no visit to Custer would be complete without a ride or drive of Needles Highway.


Note that in Hilly City there is a shuttle service that will take you to various points along the trail so you can ride back. One of my favorite sections of the trail is between the Rochford area to Hill City, or even as far north and the Engelwood trailhead. South of Custer is also nice. Between Hill City and Custer is probably the least interesting, although it does pass by the Crazy Horse Memorial.
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Old 07-26-17, 08:21 AM
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Avon, Colorado.

Lots and lots of riding nearby. Trails include Glenwood Canyon, Lake Dillon, Vail Pass, etc...
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Old 07-26-17, 08:54 AM
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Check out Vermont's Green Mountains. Lots of quaint villages up there with little shops that she will love to visit while you're riding around the mountains on the paved roads that many cyclists enjoy. There are B&Bs everywhere. You could stay at a different place every night. She drives to the next stop, shops along the way, and then you meet her at the next stop in the afternoon.

Dan
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Old 07-26-17, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The Black Hills of SD. Maybe Hill City and/or Custer. The shopping isn't great, but you have the Mickelson Trail through both towns. Mt. Rushmore and Keystone (where there is some shopping) is a pretty quick drive from Hill City. From Custer, you can drive the wildlife loop through Custer State Park. And no visit to Custer would be complete without a ride or drive of Needles Highway.


Note that in Hilly City there is a shuttle service that will take you to various points along the trail so you can ride back. One of my favorite sections of the trail is between the Rochford area to Hill City, or even as far north and the Engelwood trailhead. South of Custer is also nice. Between Hill City and Custer is probably the least interesting, although it does pass by the Crazy Horse Memorial.
I rode through there years ago on a tour across the country. Those pigtail turns and tunnels were sweet. Back in the day ... when they used to cut roads to give you the best view possible. Awesome road!
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Old 07-26-17, 09:26 AM
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Probably out of your range, but it's hard to beat the California Central Coast.

I'd suggest centering yourself in Solvang and doing some of the rides out of there. There's plenty of wine tasting, eating, shopping ... even gambling to keep her busy, and you can plan out virtually any kind of ride you want.
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Old 07-27-17, 04:23 PM
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Heck, why leave Grand Junction!! Glenwood Springs has a lot of bike trails but it sounds like you're interested in traveling a little. Isn't there a trail along the Ohio river?? When we did our XC trip last year there were some folks riding a trail that parallels Hwy 20 in Nebraska. Not sure what it is close to. And then there is the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga trail west of Atlanta.
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Old 07-27-17, 08:30 PM
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Old 07-28-17, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
When we did our XC trip last year there were some folks riding a trail that parallels Hwy 20 in Nebraska. Not sure what it is close to.

It's called the Cowboy Trail and it's not close to much of anything:


Cowboy Trail Maps, Businesses, Events, Mileage, and more


Another suggestion: Missoula, MT. There are trails within the city. There is also a 40 mile paved trail SE to Hamilton. Ride there, have he wife meet you in the car and then drive MT 38 up to Skalkaho Falls. Very pretty. You could also ride it if you have the legs, but it becomes dirt before the falls. You could also make the drive west on I-90 to Lookout Pass (which is at the border with Idaho) and ride the Route of the Hiawatha Trail either on your own or via the shuttle. That can also be combined with the NorPac Trail, but requires some climbing.


Finally, there is the Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes, which starts in Mullan, ID (about 7 miles west of Lookout Pass) and runs all the way to Plummer, ID. 72 miles. It's paved. The eastern section is not all that interesting and hugs I-90 in places. In Wallace, where I was last month, it actually runs under I-90 for a bit. The western sections are supposed to be much nicer. Maybe use Coeur d'Alene, ID as a base. Plummer, the western terminus, is only about a 30 min. drive.
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Old 07-28-17, 07:59 AM
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For anyone considering this in Europe, Amsterdam would be the perfect place. Easy access in and out of the city, and plenty enough daytrips from there to keep one happy for a week or better.
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Old 07-28-17, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

Finally, there is the Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes, which starts in Mullan, ID (about 7 miles west of Lookout Pass) and runs all the way to Plummer, ID. 72 miles. It's paved. The eastern section is not all that interesting and hugs I-90 in places. In Wallace, where I was last month, it actually runs under I-90 for a bit. The western sections are supposed to be much nicer. Maybe use Coeur d'Alene, ID as a base. Plummer, the western terminus, is only about a 30 min. drive.

And the Route of the Hiawatha east of Mullan.


There is also Pittsburgh with many trails nearby. There of course is the Great Allegheny Passage, the Montour Trail, Butler / Freeport trail, the Ghost Town Trail, Allegheny River Trail (north of Emmlenton). The Greenbriar Trail is a few hours from Pittsburgh as well as the Pine Creek Trail through the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Pittsburgh also has Bicycle Heaven, the largest bicycle museum in the world, which is right off he Three Rivers Heritage Trail in the city.

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Old 07-28-17, 06:36 PM
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The White Mountains of New Hampshire. I'm from Michigan, I've fallen in love with the Whites. I've cycled there, and though it's a ton of hills, the scenery is just amazing. We have great spots and trails here in Michigan too, upper and lower peninsulas.
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Old 07-28-17, 07:11 PM
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Cloudcroft, NM is a hidden gen no one ever talks about. I would go up there on my sportbike when I lived in El Paso, and I would also stay the weekend with my road bike. Some serious riding, lots of cat 1 and 2 climbs. Check out the routes on map my ride, it's no joke. There's MTB trails as well. Really nice cottages you can rent, beautiful place, it has it all. If something happened and I had no family I would move there.
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Old 07-28-17, 07:25 PM
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Come to Seattle, I'll take you:
1. into Mt. Rainier Natl Park, you pick mileage & elevation.
2. over the American Alps, Hwy 20 east from several possible starting points.
3. Olympic Peninsula
4. San Juan Islands tour
5. gravel = Iron Horse Trail or Snoqualmie Valley Trail
6. Bring a passport and Vancouver or Victoria open up
7. Great paved/gravel from Blaine, WA to Pt Roberts USA, all along a Canadian Bay, includes 4 border 'checks'.

Several of these destinations could each become a week long trip, not just ride and move-on.
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Old 07-28-17, 07:50 PM
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I might be trying to justify something that's not quite "out-the-door" bicycle trips, but how about the north side of San Francisco Bay area. Do the Mt. Diablo climb, take a ride through one of the wine country valleys (Sonoma or Napa), maybe climb Mt. Tamalpias (sp?), or simply ride a commuter bike around San Francisco on the weekend (weekday traffic is he!! in the City!) with a simple 3-mile ride across the Golden Gate bridge. You could stay in the north Oakland/Berkeley area (DO NOT stay in south Oakland!) and do most of these with the aid of the ferries and BART transit lines.
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Old 07-28-17, 11:05 PM
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In my neck of the woods, we have the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Bike & Hike. 110 miles from downtown Cleveland (shopping, Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, assorted touristy stuff) stretching south to New Philadelphia along the Cuyahoga River with several trailheads. Various types of scenic views along the way. Urban to country. There's a couple bike shops at points of the trail as well as other various other touristy type stuff to stop and check out. There's also the "bike aboard" program on the path. Where you can hop on a train for $3 to take you back north. There's also trip planning programs to help you make B&B type accommodations and highlight points of interest. The service includes transporting your luggage to your next destination while you take the trail. Or you can camp along the trail.
Doing the full trail on bike takes about 10 hours or so without too much stopping. Can easily be stretched to a long weekend by stopping and absorbing points of interest.
More info can be found at w w w ohioanderiecanalway dot com/Main/Biking. aspx
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Old 07-29-17, 06:57 AM
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Thanks for the replies, and I hope this thread continues. There are a host of good places to visit, both at home and overseas. Yes, I live in such a destination place; Grand Junction has the under-appreciated Colorado Riverfront Trail from Fruita to Grand Junction and most of the way to Palisade.


Steve Carter, on Flickr


and the Colorado National Monument, which is very bicycle friendly (on Saturday morning you're likely to find more cyclists than cars on the road) and a host of paved county roads which can be really beautiful at the right time of day [i.e. not so much in the late afternoon when it's hot and the schools let out!]. Fruita has successfully positioned itself as Moab East, with a good number of road and mountain biking choices, several good bike shops and restaurants, brewpubs and coffee shops.

Then there's Glenwood Springs, which has two five-star trails, Glenwood Canyon bike path and the Rio Grande Trail which follows the route of the D&RGW to Aspen:


IMG_20170727_144755152 Steve Carter on Flickr

One of the joys of taking my bike has been discovering local gems which the locals don't really appreciate, in places like Iowa, which until now for me has been merely a progression of interchanges on I-80. Who would have imagined, for instance, that the people in Des Moines can enjoy a trip every full moon along the High Trestle Trail with stops at every one of the many trailside taverns along the way?



Steve Carter on Flickr


Please add your own local recommendations to this thread!

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Old 07-29-17, 04:09 PM
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Yes great thread to keep in mind for other possible destinations.
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