The Allegheny Mountains Loop offers a wide variety of riding types from pavement to gravel, from gentle grades along river valleys to steep, muscle burning climbs and fast descents over ridges, and from busy U.S. highways to lightly trafficked county roads and rail trails where no cars are allowed. Besides the 395.5-mile main route there are 4 options which give the cyclist choices in the mileage they choose to ride. The route begins and ends in Blacksburg, VA, and crosses back and forth between Virginia and West Virginia several times. Highlights along the route include the Humpback Covered Bridge, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, and excursion train rides from the town of Durbin.
Current Printed Version: 2011
Reviewed by: Michael Dubovsky 9/4/09
Chose for ACA to print maps for me. Paper quality not as durable as the longer route maps (i.e. TransAm, Pacific Coast) and found myself having to baby them a bit more than other's i've used. Also, it takes a few times of reading the map to understand how all the panels flow. This is due to the route being a circle and some panels overlapping, etc. But once read it a few times you realize how well it flows and easy it is to read. I found the elevation profile to be very helpful in planning out each day since there are some BIG climbs scattered throughout the route. All and all the route does a good job in avoiding long stretches of some of the busy roads (i.e. 460 down near Blacksburg....don't bike on it!) I did the route in a clockwise direction and found towns to be spread out at just the right distances. Overall, a great route and highly recommend. Maps were very accurate in displaying towns, camp sites, mileage, etc.
Reviewed by: A customer from Right coast, VA 10/31/12
The gps file combined with these maps, was really all the information I needed for my ride of the AML. The "paper" that these maps are printed on was plenty durable, but the ink had smeared a little bit by the 4th day and final day. This may not be an issue for most since it rained straight for 2.5 days. Paper is stiff, but I could tri-fold it to fit in my bar bag. Not sure I'd fold it much more than that, though. I rode clockwise, and all info was accurate.
Reviewed by: Jeff Mullen 11/1/12
I used the maps while "racing" in the AML bikepacking race that was held over Columbus Day weekend. I may have been the only one not using a GPS and I was relying solely on the maps (as I was unfamiliar with the area and the course). The cues were excellent and I had no problems staying on course (even during the return into Blacksburg, VA in the dark). The maps were also invaluable in helping me find needed services (food, camping, etc.) and the maps held up perfectly despite the rain that we had. My second time using ACA maps and I love them.