Flat's Where It's At: My 10 Favorite Rail-Trails

December 19, 2011

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. George S. Mickelson Trail, South Dakota; length: 109 miles.

2. Great Allegheny Passage, Maryland-Pennsylvania; length: 141 miles.

3. Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, Idaho; length: 72 miles.

4. Katy Trail State Park, Missouri; length: 238 miles.

5. Paul Bunyan State Trail, Minnesota; length: 111 miles.

6. Raccoon River Valley Trail, Iowa; length: 56 miles.

7. Iron Horse State Park, Washington; length: 100+ miles.

8. Chief Ladiga Trail, Alabama; length: 33 miles.

9. Elroy-Sparta State Trail, Wisconsin; length: 32 miles.

10. Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail, California; length: 25 miles.

What's your favorite rail-trail?

And with that, I bid you a great holiday season, filled with dreams — or actualities — of bicycles and bicycling.

 

Photo by Michael McCoy

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BIKING WITHOUT BORDERS was posted by Michael McCoy, Adventure Cycling’s field editor, highlighting a little bit of this or a little bit of that — just about anything, as long as it related to traveling by bicycle. Mac also compiles the organization's twice-monthly e-newsletter Bike Bits, which goes free-of-charge to over 45,000 readers worldwide.

 

Comments

sosillyano December 20, 2011, 4:25 AM

The Elroy-Sparta trails is part of 101 miles of connected trails which makes it even awesomer. Really love this list. makes me dream. Thanks for putting it together.

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Anonymous December 20, 2011, 11:25 AM

The Little Miami Scenic trail - main section of the trail is 78 miles long and runs parallel the Little Miami River in Southwest Ohio. Thanks for the list.

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trailsnet December 20, 2011, 11:40 PM

Thanks for the great list. I love rail trails, & these are some great ones. As long as you've to the Chief Ladiga on there, let's add the Silver Comet Rail Trail in Georgia. When you connect the two, you get over 100 miles of great, cement bikeway. It's great to ride on a recumbent if you're so inclined.Speaking of connecting trails, add the C & O Canal Towpath to the Great Allegheny Passage & you've got a marvelous trail from Pittsburgh to D.C. For a trail connecting two major urban centers, portions of it are surprisingly remote. It's the best of both worlds.

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trailsnet December 21, 2011, 12:00 AM

By the way, I hope you don't mind that I shared your list on the trailsnet blog at http://trailsnet.com/2011/12/20/rail-trails-top-ten/It's such a good list, I figured the trailsnet readers would enjoy it.

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Mac, Media Specialist December 21, 2011, 2:49 PM

That's great Trailsnet, thanks for sharing the list. I've also ridden the C&O; the only reason I didn't include it is because it's technically not a rail-trail, but I agree it's a real gem. I look forward to checking out the Silver Comet Trail in Georgia. --MM

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Donald Stewart April 21, 2013, 2:35 PM

The Greenbrier River Trail in West Virginia, 78 miles. There are campsites approx. every 10 miles. Quiet and rural, it goes along the river.

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Robert Damora August 6, 2013, 12:48 PM

While reading your postings regarding rail trailsI must say that the state of Texas has no good rail trail.

Texas needs a pro - bicycle attitude adjustment.

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Michael McCoy August 6, 2013, 4:00 PM

Robert, thanks for the comment. I checked out the Rails to Trails Conservancy's website, and they list quite a number of rail trails for Texas. I would think some of them, at least, would be quality trails. Here's the link: http://www.traillink.com/state/tx-trails.aspx Also, check out this Bike Overnights story about the under-development Northeast Texas Trail. The author, Joseph Pitchford, is quite excited about this trail's possibilities. http://bikeovernights.org/post/blazing-the-northeast-texas-trail

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