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A driving plus riding tour to all 50 states

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A driving plus riding tour to all 50 states

Old 02-20-21, 12:20 PM
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DXchulo
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A driving plus riding tour to all 50 states


https://mapq.st/3rMhPVu

Not sure if this fits here or not. This is a driving route, not a cycling route, but I'm stopping to ride in all 48 states. (I'll add AK and HI, restrictions permitting.) I'm wondering if you had suggestions about where to ride along this route, or maybe suggestions to alter the route. It's not ideal in all areas, as there has to be some kind of compromise between total driving distance and picking nice places to ride.

It's about 8,000 miles of driving and it averages 3 hours of driving per day, with a few 4-5 hour days for the western states. I can give the city itinerary if anyone is interested.

Also, if anyone is interested in joining, let me know. I have a van, so I could bring a few extra people. One state per day, starting in mid to late June.
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Old 02-20-21, 12:57 PM
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That is a very ambitious itinerary begging for twice the length of time if you are going to bike. You don't say what type of biking you are after.
I can make one suggestion for Ohio. Your path on the Tollway crosses the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. If you get off at exit 173 or 181 you can proceed to the town of Peninsula, a touristy area to begin your ride on the Ohio to Eire Canal Towpath trail. the trail runs either direction you care to go. There is a scenic railroad train with bike racks to bring you back to your vehicle with bike racks for your bikes. Well worth the stop. Bikes can be rented or you can bring your own. Get back on the Tollway eastbound at exit 181 Route 8.
Your other possibility for Ohio is to get off the Exit for Port Clinton and proceed to the north tip of Catawba Island and take the Miller Ferry to South Bass Island/ Put in bay in Lake Erie. Very much a tourist place laden with bicycles and golf carts. Doable in half a day.
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Old 02-20-21, 01:18 PM
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What time of year would you go? That is going to affect where it is most comfortable and when. For a number of the states, you are barely in the corners, so I would mostly just get out and ride most of those spots.

For what it is worth, I have a variation on your theme in my consideration at some point. A rough cycle touring route that visits all 48 of the continental US state capitols. There is some attempt to strike a compromise between a shorter (traveling salesman problem) route as well as avoid some of the worst weather extremes. The distances and days visited are mostly intended as approximates to start planning and not intended to be exact dates for visits. Averaged out over a calendar year, slightly less than 40 miles/day so this leaves some margin to make variations or adjust distances/destinations along the way particularly to wait out weather, take slightly better routes or sometimes advance things covering more distance early to avoid colder weather later.

It is a little cold to start off trying to cycle to Kansas in January so extra margin needed there in particular to wait out worst weather conditions [or not go as far north and come back and pick up KS/MO on the way back around in the summer] but avoids Atlantic hurricane season and tries to pick OK but not ideal times for rest of the route.


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Old 02-20-21, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
For what it is worth, I have a variation on your theme in my consideration at some point. A rough cycle touring route that visits all 48 of the continental US state capitols.
Interesting. It would be quite the challenge to find the shortest bike route that would visit all of the lower 48. The shortest driving route is under 7,000 miles, but a good bike route would have to be longer. I wonder how much longer. I don't think I have enough time to ride something that long this summer, but it's fun to think about. I might do some mapping just for fun.
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Old 02-20-21, 05:50 PM
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Oh man...
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Old 02-20-21, 09:50 PM
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I really like that Mev.

I was thinking for my first big tour trying to hit all the states I've never been to. Mostly SE/NE/Atlantic. I like your timetable/route, not too interested in hitting the capitols but still neat for planning.
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Old 02-21-21, 11:36 AM
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What kind of riding are you looking for? Here near Tallahassee there is the St Marks Trail if you want a rail trail. it is a 30 ish mile round trip that has some options that can be extended. The Riverside Cafe is a good lunch spot at the turn around. There is some nice mountain biking at Munson Hills accessed from the same parking area as the St Marks trail. There are some nice country roads with surprisingly rolling hills outside Tallahassee if that is what you are looking for. I could provide more details on the latter if you need them.

A route like that will compromise the quality of the locales visited in the interest of just hitting all the states, It wouldn't appeal to me in that format.
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Old 02-21-21, 11:56 AM
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Mapquest? How quaint.

I canít get the link to work, but if the route passes through the Missoula, MT area there is a 40+ mile, paved trail to Hamilton with some nice views of the Bitterroots. The Hiawatha Trail between Taft, MT and the Avery, ID area is a must if you are near. Mickelson Trail in SD. (Both are unpaved.) Spearfish Canyon in SD is also quite nice. If you will have a driver you could start at the top and ride down to Spearfish, or start in town, climb to the top and then ride back down. Spearfish has a great municipal campground and a few motels. Touristy Deadwood is not a far drive.
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Old 02-21-21, 12:04 PM
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In that general area of PA, the Allegheny River Trail south of Franklin is paved and quite nice. The NJ side of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area/Worthington State Forest (Old Mine Rd., NPS 615, etc.) is really nice, especially during foliage season. The southern end is easily accessible from I-80 on the southern end and U.S. 209 at Port Jervis, NY at the northern end.
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Old 02-21-21, 12:11 PM
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I would think about doing something along these lines post retirement when I could spent a few months on the road.

To the OP: your proposed trip takes you through SE MN and SW WI. There are some very fine bike paths in that area as well as just fine riding. Check out the Root River trail in SE MN. I'd also check out some of the paths and rides on the MS river. That's beautiful country.

In western SD there is the George Mickelson trail in the Black Hills. I haven't been but it's on my list of places to explore. If you head south into NE you can follow some of the smaller roads in northern NE and check ot the cowboy trail. That will take you through the sandhill region of NE.
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Old 02-21-21, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post

To the OP: your proposed trip takes you through SE MN and SW WI. There are some very fine bike paths in that area as well as just fine riding. Check out the Root River trail in SE MN.
Another vote for the Root River trail! It was part of a 300K brevet that I did 2 years ago. I hope to get back in that area to ride it again.
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Old 02-21-21, 01:30 PM
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OP - re: Illinois - I absolutely would NOT go through downtown Chicago. Take I-80 west to I-39 instead. You can ride the I&M Canal trail from Joliet out to Morris. Exit Hollywood Rd in Joliet and head south to a nice parking area:
Lower Rock Run Preserve - I&M Canal Access
1966 Hollywood Rd
Joliet, IL 60436
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Old 02-21-21, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by KPREN View Post
I can make one suggestion for Ohio. Your path on the Tollway crosses the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. If you get off at exit 173 or 181 you can proceed to the town of Peninsula, a touristy area to begin your ride on the Ohio to Eire Canal Towpath trail. the trail runs either direction you care to go. There is a scenic railroad train with bike racks to bring you back to your vehicle with bike racks for your bikes.
Just as a caveat regarding the train (CVSR's Bike Aboard program) - it did not run during 2020 due to Covid, and its status for 2021 is questionable.

However, the suggestion of CVNP is enthusiastically seconded! Putting in at Peninsula puts you close to a few decent grub hubs (Winking Lizard, Fisher's), as well as a bike shop (Century Cycles). Depending on ability and time constraints, you can actually ride the Towpath north out of the National Park all the way into Downtown Cleveland, or south through Akron.

For a first time trip, I'd probably recommend riding north from Lock 29 in Peninsula up to Brecksville Dam, then turn south and ride to Botzum Trailhead, then back to Lock 29. That's about 27 miles, routed here: https://goo.gl/maps/EE44SZGpUKCd12VQ6
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Old 02-21-21, 01:56 PM
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Western MI is pretty and so is Lake Superior. I'd be tempted to head north in WI and pick up some rides along Lake Superior. Lake Superior is beautiful. That way you completely avoid Chicago. I like Chicago a lot but agree with GadgetGirlIL about not driving through it. You won't be disappointed by meandering along the Great Lakes.
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Old 02-21-21, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Mapquest? How quaint.

I canít get the link to work, but if the route passes through the Missoula, MT area there is a 40+ mile, paved trail to Hamilton with some nice views of the Bitterroots. The Hiawatha Trail between Taft, MT and the Avery, ID area is a must if you are near. Mickelson Trail in SD. (Both are unpaved.) Spearfish Canyon in SD is also quite nice. If you will have a driver you could start at the top and ride down to Spearfish, or start in town, climb to the top and then ride back down. Spearfish has a great municipal campground and a few motels. Touristy Deadwood is not a far drive.
I had more than 40 waypoints. Mapquest handled that better, believe it or not. I do all of my planning on Google Maps.

I plan on riding in Butte, MT, if you have any suggestions there. That one is a difficult destination to change while keeping the maximum driving at 5 hours.

Spearfish is on my list, for sure. I've ridden portions of the Mickelson Trail in the past.
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Old 02-21-21, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by GadgetGirlIL View Post
Another vote for the Root River trail! It was part of a 300K brevet that I did 2 years ago. I hope to get back in that area to ride it again.
Thanks, guys. I'll look into the Root River Trail.
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Old 02-21-21, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by GadgetGirlIL View Post
OP - re: Illinois - I absolutely would NOT go through downtown Chicago. Take I-80 west to I-39 instead. You can ride the I&M Canal trail from Joliet out to Morris. Exit Hollywood Rd in Joliet and head south to a nice parking area:
Lower Rock Run Preserve - I&M Canal Access
1966 Hollywood Rd
Joliet, IL 60436
Yeah, I drove through Chicago 2 years ago and (a) it sucked and (b) there were a lot of tolls.

I plan on staying somewhere near Rockford.
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Old 02-21-21, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
I had more than 40 waypoints. Mapquest handled that better, believe it or not. I do all of my planning on Google Maps.

I plan on riding in Butte, MT, if you have any suggestions there. That one is a difficult destination to change while keeping the maximum driving at 5 hours.

Spearfish is on my list, for sure. I've ridden portions of the Mickelson Trail in the past.
The motor lodge portion of the Hotel Finlen is a good value in Butte. Make sure to look around the main hotel. Take a walk to Casagrandaís for a good steak. As for riding, Pipestone Pass is ok, although the east slope is more scenic. IIRC, take Rte. 387 to get to MT 2 for the start of the climb. Another nice ride in the area is MT 2 along the river passed Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. Keep your eyes open for the American White Pelican. Second largest wingspan in the country behind the California condor.

Will you be in/near Missoula and be able to some dirt? If so, Rock Creek Rd. just east of Clinton is really nice. In that direction, the first 10 miles are paved, then it turns to dirt. And if you fish, you could do a helluva lot worse.

Skalkaho Pass (MT 38) from Hamilton, MT really nice. Paved then turns to dirt. Really cool waterfall before the pass in that direction.

BTW...Check our Ride With GPS for mapping.

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Old 02-21-21, 04:02 PM
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In DE, thereís a nice bike path from the downtown Wilmington riverfront south to New Castle, or you could do a road ride near Newark (DE not NJ) and hit DE, PA and MD in one ride
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Old 02-22-21, 08:00 AM
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You probably already noticed that you'll pass a section of the Great Allegheny Passage trail in the Cumberland/Frostburg area of Maryland. That's also an area where you can hit two or three states in one ride if you so desire. It also looks like you're missing VT?
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Old 02-22-21, 08:43 AM
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Now that I can see the map in greater detail...

On I-90 in ID you will be paralleling the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes for a while (at least in the Kellogg to Mulan area. I have only ridden if the eastern 7 miles, between Wallace and Mulan. Not much to write home about. Wallace has lots of services, including a motel and campground.

You will also be passing through Taft, MT. From the exist there it's a short drive up to the East Portal Trailhead of the Hiawatha Trail. As I wrote above, it's a must ride. Lots of tunnels and several high trestles through the Bitteroot Mountains. You can park at East Portal. From there, the trail starts with the 1.66 mile long St. Paul Pass Tunnel that takes you into ID. There is no lighting in the tunnel. I recommend at least a 500 lumen front light. Trail rules require at least 350 lumens. Then it's all down hill from there for another 13 miles to the Pearson Trailhead. There, you can catch a shuttle back to the ID side of the St. Paul Pass Tunnel, ride through it again and be back at your car.

Exit 126 of I-90 east of Clinton is the exit for Rock Creek Rd. that I mentioned above. I'd drive the paved part, park when the dirt picks up and then start riding. It's more scenic. There is an outfitter/real estate place along the paved portion. It's called Trout Bum. Good coffee, and they might let you park there.
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Old 02-22-21, 12:25 PM
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Here's the itinerary because the map is slightly off.
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Old 02-22-21, 01:09 PM
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Be mindful in Bennington, VT. It has a relatively bad opioid addiction problem, like many towns in VT. When I pulled into Brattleboro in 2018 during a two-week, unsupported tour I rode up to a couple sitting outside a vacant storefront to ask if there was an outdoor store near by. They were both stoned. Somehow the subject of camping came up. I told them I was heading to the nearby state park. The woman blurted out "Do you have an RV?"
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Old 02-22-21, 01:36 PM
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Frederick Md to Wilmington De is about 125 miles, which is a good bit longer than 1.25 h drive, especially if you pass Baltimore anywhere near rush hour, which I only mention because it might mean that some of your other driving time estimates are off.
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Old 02-22-21, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
Frederick Md to Wilmington De is about 125 miles, which is a good bit longer than 1.25 h drive, especially if you pass Baltimore anywhere near rush hour, which I only mention because it might mean that some of your other driving time estimates are off.
That one must have been a typo because I had the distance correct in the spreadsheet. I think I was going for 2.25 there. Thanks for catching it. I've updated my spreadsheet.
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