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Land between the Lakes, KY question

Old 03-27-23, 12:54 PM
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Land between the Lakes, KY question

Anyone familiar with potential road or rail/trail like riding in the Land between the Lakes area of Kentucky? Would like to do some day rides or touring down there but don't mountain bike, and only have available a cycle cross bike with 32mm tires. Thank you for any information you could pass along.
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Old 03-27-23, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by robow
Anyone familiar with potential road or rail/trail like riding in the Land between the Lakes area of Kentucky? Would like to do some day rides or touring down there but don't mountain bike, and only have available a cycle cross bike with 32mm tires. Thank you for any information you could pass along.
many years ago we were driving somewhere and knowing we were passing there we stopped and did a 20 or 30 mile ride. We remember it as on roads and a nice place to cycle. Sorry this is my only experience.
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Old 03-28-23, 04:17 AM
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I rode the Trace Road last October. Also got on a couple of the side roads that were fairly rough gravel. I was riding on Gravel King semi-slick, 32mm tires. It was a very nice ride. the Trace road had not much traffic while I was on it, and the road surface was in fine condition. I wound up with 40 miles. It looks to me like the entirety of the road would make for a longer adventure, or, have options for riding it in sections. I have sister that lives in Cadiz, KY, a short distance from LBTL. There is also a paved path that runs along Hwy. 68 that makes for very nice riding. I look forward to visiting there again, and doing more adventure rides in the area. I think it would be a wonderful place to do a 3-5 day bike packing or credit card ride.<br />My 32mm tire were fine. If I was going to be on the gravel roads more, a wider tire and semi-knobby treads would be considered.
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Old 03-28-23, 07:19 AM
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If memory serves, RJM might be able to offer some advice. I think he's over in that general area of KY, but I could be thinking of someone else.
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Old 03-28-23, 08:28 AM
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I don't know the area. When I'm working on routes in new places, I use a few methods. (I usually want all-day rides on a road bike.)

Strava Heat Map. This is a year of Strava ride recordings, showing popular roads. You need a (free?) strava login to zoom in all the way.
https://www.strava.com/heatmap#8.35/...59475/hot/ride
Click "Labels" to show town and road names.

Gray roads: no activity--usually because they are restricted highways (or dead end roads). Dim red are least popular, white-hot roads are most popular. As you zoom in, it recalibrates the range of colors, since rural areas are way less popular than city areas.
I use this to avoid dim roads that have lots of popular roads nearby--cyclists are avoiding the road.
This includes both road and mountain bike riding, roads and trails.

I see that the Land Between Lakes has a lot of riding (and it appears to be mostly gravel--see below.)
The areas near Paducah KY, Murray KY, and near Hopkinsville KY have many popular roads for such small towns, and the roads are in a grid. Grid road areas tend to spread out traffic, instead of funneling it all to main roads. That's nice for country bike riding.

Ridewithgps heat maps. This is a new feature on rwgps, using their own data. Two years of uploaded ride recordings. They don't have as many recordings as Strava, I think.
https://ridewithgps.com/heatmap Use the location box at the top right to go to your area.
You can use a free login to draw your routes. They have the best route editor: it shows the elevation chart as I draw a route. I can inspect climbs by hovering over it or dragging a section of the elevation chart. I can undo-redo to try out different route choices.

gravelmap.com This is a user edited map of gravel roads and routes. I see someone made a 137 mile(!) route that loops all through the Land Between the Lakes -- lots of gravel roads there.
https://gravelmap.com/#9.17/36.8268/-87.9782
Click on a gravel road to get it's details.

Google Maps: Streetview if it's available. Otherwise I use Satellite View and zoom way in to see if a road is paved--I look for sharp cutoffs on the gravel driveways and look for tar patches on the road. I never use google maps to route my bike rides, it's not always picking the best roads.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-28-23 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 10-07-23, 05:51 PM
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I am visiting a sister in Cadiz, about an hour east. I have gotten in a few rides in great weather. I have been on the Trace Rd, along with a couple of the shorter gravel side roads. Also, I have done quite a bit of the path along Rte 68. and rural roads of the Cadiz area. A lot of good cycling but I have only road miles. I did see a lot of access for off-road cycling, and quite a few off road bikes on vehicles.
The little traffic I have experienced has been bike friendly. One could spend a whole lot of time exploring while enjoying scenic surroundings. Had a great lunch in Grand Rivers, The Lite Side Cafe, including rhubarb-strawberry upside- down cake.
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Old 10-07-23, 07:07 PM
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I biked all the paved roads. There is a bike trail near the northern end of LBL. Many hiking trails and as I recall at least one dedicated ATB trail. Off season it is quite peaceful and very little traffic on the paved roads. I enjoyed all of my time there.
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