It feels like the USBRS got an early holiday gift! One new state added to the system and two more routes totaling an additional almost 425 miles! We are so close to crossing over to 19,000 miles – we only need 47 more to get there.
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Arkansas joined the USBRS with a splash by designating the first segment of USBR 80 from West Memphis, Tennessee to Little Rock. While USBR 21 in Tennessee closes a 250 mile gap in that route allowing it to stretch 1,034 miles from Cleveland, Ohio all the way to Atlanta, Georgia.
Additionally, Minnesota, New York and Ohio made adjustments to USBRS routes based on cyclist feedback and infrastructure improvements, enhancing the cycling experience.
Read on for more details of each of these additions!
The first segment of USBR 80 in the country travels west from West Memphis, on the Mississippi River at the Tennessee border, to Little Rock, where the Big Dam Bridge crosses the Arkansas River. Along the way, it passes through rural areas and historical downtowns of the Arkansas Delta, including Marianna, home of the James Beard Award-winning Jones Bar-B-Q Diner, and Stuttgart, known for its waterfowl tourism on the Mississippi Flyway. The route will eventually continue to the Oklahoma border.
USBR 80’s route selection is thanks in part to consulting firm Crafton Tull, which conducted a feasibility study funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention through the University of Arkansas.
“The designation of U.S. Bicycle Route 80 can encourage economic development opportunities in small towns in the Arkansas Delta. Crafton Tull was honored to be a part of the planning effort for a route that will [eventually] connect the east coast of North Carolina through Arkansas into Oklahoma.” Julie Luther Kelso, Crafton Tull.
The second route in the state, USBR 21 begins in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, on the Kentucky border, and travels southwest through the Tennessee River Valley to Chattanooga and the Georgia border. It rounds Norris Lake, visits Knoxville, passes Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and crosses the ridges east of Chickamauga Lake before making its last stop in Chattanooga. With the designation of USBR 21 in Tennessee, the route now links Cleveland, Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia.
Added off-road trails to USBR 41 between Grand Portage State Park, at the Canadian border, and St. Paul, including through Duluth and portions of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail on the north shore of Lake Superior.
Moved the northern end of USBR 11 between Sodus Point and the Pennsylvania border near Lindley from a residential area to Sodus Point Beach, on Lake Ontario.
For more details on each of these routes, see the press release.
Remember: Digital maps for all designated U.S. Bicycle Routes are available on our website.
The USBRS is a developing national network of officially recognized, numbered, and signed bicycle routes, with the goal of 50,000 miles of routes linking every state in the country. All U.S. Bicycle Routes are designated by state departments of transportation and approved by AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials).
Adventure Cycling Association provides national coordination for the USBRS, and partners with AASHTO to ensure states have the resources and expertise needed for successful route designation.