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Old 06-15-2009, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,536 posts, read 8,122,888 times
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A nice Rails to Trails conversion in my town is the American Tobacco Trail. It is still a work in progress, though many are now using it as a bike commute route from central Durham to the employment center of Research Triangle Park. The American Tobacco Trail

One of my favorite rail conversions is the Virgina Creeper Trail in SW Virgina. It is steep, but can be ridden from top to bottom with a shuttle for either drop-off or return. It takes you right through the great little town of Damascus, VA. Virginia Creeper Trail Guide - Virginia's Premiere Mountain Biking Experience
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
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Thanks so much about reminding me of the Virginia Creeper Trail...not too far from home for a long weekend.

My postal carrier and his family went there a few years ago to do the trail and he raved about it! I like your top to bottom recommendation!
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:43 PM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,267,066 times
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The 62-mile Silver Comet Trail was an abandoned CSX rail line that was transformed as a rails-to-trails project by the Georgia PATH Foundation. It begins just outside of Atlanta and goes west to connect with Alabama's Chief Ladiga Trail to form a continuous 94 miles of trails.

Silver Comet Trail
PATH Foundation (http://www.pathfoundation.org/index.cfm - broken link)
Cobb County Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs


Silver Comet Trail Georgia-Alabama Gateway on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecosdesign/2949520563/ - broken link) 2007-05-25-21 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/teoi143/517161237/in/set-72157600275052354/ - broken link)



STA50177.JPG on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/xiccarph/360179154/ - broken link) DSCN2785 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphaspoke/307878340/ - broken link)
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:44 AM
 
4,247 posts, read 9,712,249 times
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Allegheny Trail Alliance - Maps and text describing a trail system that will connect Pittsburgh PA with Washington DC - a popular set of trails crossing the Eastern Continental Divide

Allegheny Valley Trails Association (AVTA) - a great set of trails centering on Franklin PA, very interesting and mostly PAVED (my wife likes that)

Pine Creek Valley.com, plain text links for the Pine Creek Rail Trail section on Pine Creek Valley.com, Pine Creek Valley Pennsylvania (http://pinecreekvalley.com/Pine-Creek-Valley-Pine-Creek-Rail-Trail.asp - broken link) - a long trail in the northern "PA Wilds"

The Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois have quite an interesting bike path system - see map here: http://www.qcbc.org/bikemap.pdf (broken link) - where I-80 crosses the Mississippi River so a nice break from driving cross country.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
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Is it just my imagination, or does Pennsylvania seem to have a lot of bicycle trails? I know Philadelphia seems to emphasize bike trails and shutting off car traffic on certain days..which is really cool. Is there a bike lobby there that's helped this to happen??
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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It's not your imagination. The PA state government has been much more aggressive at promoting and funding rail trails than others.

A big component of the funding is through "transportation enhancement" money that's been a percentage of the last few federal highway bills. Rail trails have been a lot higher on PA's priority list for these TE funds than for other states.

Many more trails than mentioned here so far, are listed on Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources - Rails To Trails (http://www.gis.dcnr.state.pa.us/railtrails/ - broken link)

(Of course PA's "rust belt" status has given it a good bit of abandoned railroads per capita too...)

By comparison, NY State sends its TE funds share largely into other projects, so some pretty obvious ideas such as a rail trail from Ithaca out to Taughannock Falls have gone nowhere past concept stage. http://blackdiamondtrail.org/ It's remarkable to me to see the effort that's gone into planning resulting in no significant action.

There's been a fenced off bridge from nowhere to nowhere at the south city limits of Ithaca for about a decade - a new, and deliberate, replacement for an old railroad bridge casualty of road widening, but the trail it was supposed to connect hasn't proceeded one foot in the interim. (Plus the next overpass over on the old RR bed is gone too.)
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,371 posts, read 9,859,230 times
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Thanks for the interesting explanation of why PA's filled with great bicycle trails.

As I do some work in tourism/travel, I'm wondering if PA's ever undertaken a campaign to position themselves as a "bicycle mecca' for tourism and even bicycle-loving re-locators? Seems an economically viable thing to do...active tourism, 'green travel,' and active retirees and active families could all be interested in a state that focuses on providing a wide array of trails both challenging and gentle...

Just a thought! Remember, you heard it here first, from Little Dolphin, Pennsylvania-born. My dream job, after being a vacation-surrogate (for those too busy to take their own vacations) would be as a bicycle trail-tester...
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,482,290 times
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I have a question for anyone that can answer it.

Does North Carolina have any of these paved trails that are being built in the USA? I know about the American Tabacco Trail but is that it, and is it even paved?

NC would seem like a state that would have extensive paved trails, but I don't see much info or interest on the subject.

One of my major requirements for a retirement locale, will be that the area has extensive paved trails for biking or brisk walking. Thanks.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,482,290 times
Reputation: 8712
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
The 62-mile Silver Comet Trail was an abandoned CSX rail line that was transformed as a rails-to-trails project by the Georgia PATH Foundation. It begins just outside of Atlanta and goes west to connect with Alabama's Chief Ladiga Trail to form a continuous 94 miles of trails.

Silver Comet Trail
PATH Foundation (http://www.pathfoundation.org/index.cfm - broken link)
Cobb County Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs


Silver Comet Trail Georgia-Alabama Gateway on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecosdesign/2949520563/ - broken link) 2007-05-25-21 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/teoi143/517161237/in/set-72157600275052354/ - broken link)


STA50177.JPG on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/xiccarph/360179154/ - broken link) DSCN2785 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphaspoke/307878340/ - broken link)
These are exactly the type of trails I am looking for but in North Carolina. With my luck there are none or they are far and few between.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:33 PM
 
56,569 posts, read 80,847,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garmin239 View Post
In Rochester, for road riding there are a couple of paved trails that go along the Erie Canal and Genesee River which are scenic. For trail riding there is a park that is on the edge of the city/beginning of suburbs that is great. Steep hills, very technical trails. Lots of obstacles. For the advanced rider. Its a park that the city kinda forgot about so the mountain bikers built lots of interesting trails and obstacles. You go in through a city neighborhood but the trails can take you along an outlet to Lake Ontario which is very scenic.
Same here in Syracuse. There are some trails along the Erie Canal and in Onondaga Lake Park and Long Branch Park in Liverpool.
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