UGRR Pittsburgh Spur

UGRR Pittsburgh Spur Pittsburgh, PA to Erie, PA 1 Map Set GPX Data | Overview | Buy | Mobile App
1. PITT SPUR - Pittsburgh, PA to Erie, PA Detail

Due to limited resources, the paper map versions of some sections of this route have been discontinued and will no longer be available once sold out. All sections of this route are still available digitally. More info here: Going Digital: App or GPX.

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The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR) memorializes the Underground Railroad, a network of clandestine routes by which African freedom seekers attempted to escape slavery before and during the Civil War. This page describes the Underground Railroad Pittsburgh Spur, which runs between Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania. You may also be interested in the main Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR) and the UGRR Detroit Alternate, or the day-trip rides in Ripley, Ohio (PDF).

Explore Pittsburgh’s vital role in the Underground Railroad.

Pittsburgh played a vital role in Underground Railroad history. Due to the many roads leading in and out of the area and the rivers which represented natural landmarks to follow to freedom, the city became an important stop for freedom seekers making their way north. It was also a stronghold for the abolitionist movement and Blacks themselves became active in securing the freedom for enslaved Africans. The route begins at the Senator John Heinz History Center where travelers can view the Underground Railroad exhibit and African American collections before crossing the Allegheny River and following the 3.5 mile North Shore Trail, a portion of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Point State Park, the tip of Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle” where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join, can been seen as cyclists follow the shores of the Ohio River. The route crosses the Ohio River three times before reaching Monaca then heads north, following the Beaver River through the community of Beaver Falls toward Mercer.

Photo by Dennis Coello

Though you will be riding in several river valleys the terrain in western Pennsylvania is hilly so expect many short and steep climbs and descents.

UGRR Pittsburgh Spur - Main Route
Section Distance Elevation Total Climb Avg. Climb/mile
Total 153.0 miles Minimum: 645 ft.
Maximum:1,545 ft.
8,195 ft. north bound
8,185 ft. south bound
54 ft. per mi. north bound
53 ft. per mi. south bound

This route can be ridden anytime from late spring to mid-fall (typically April to October). In places, this spur coincides with stretches of BicyclePA Routes A and Z. Both routes are marked on the map and well signed on the road. Note that road signage along the entire length of the route is sporadic and at times inconsistent.

Roads will have high traffic levels in Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities as you leave downtown. The farther north you ride the more rural the are becomes and services are farther apart. Campgrounds are mostly off route. Traffic volumes will increase as you approach Erie, especially during commuting hours.

Some campgrounds will charge a cyclist traveling alone less if they have hiker/biker sites, but often they will charge the price of a regular tent or RV site, and that can easily be $10-$30/night. The maps list churches that have opened their doors to cyclists, but they aren’t all that closely spaced. If you’re friendly and ask around, you can often get yourself invited to camp in a yard. Our routes sometimes go through national forests (more so in the west) and you are allowed to camp anywhere on national forest land as long as you “pack it in, pack it out.” Many city parks are free to camp in.

You may also wish to sign up with Warmshowers, a reciprocal hospitality site for bicycle travelers, for other overnight options.

Route Highlights

UGRR Route Highlights – Pittsburgh Spur

Pittsburgh, PA

  • Senator John Heinz History Center has an African American collection and an Underground Railroad exhibit that highlights Pittsburgh’s role in the Underground Railroad and abolitionist movements.
  • Martin Delany Plaque. Martin R. Delany was a writer, scientist, army officer and physician, who founded Pittsburgh’s first African American newspaper, The Mystery (1843 – 1847). He was the first black Major in the U.S. Army and among the first African Americans admitted to Harvard Medical School. He was instrumental in helping Pittsburgh during the Cholera outbreak in 1854.
  • John B. Vashon’s Barbershop and City Baths. In its day, Vashon’s shop served as a hub for the latest news relating to the many issues of abolition and slavery.
  • John Peck’s Oyster House. Peck was a central character in Pittsburgh’s Underground Railroad movement.
  • Monogahela House was a prominent hotel during the turn of the century but is now the home of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. This hotel employed over 300 blacks who aided slaves accompanying their visiting masters, occasionally helping them escape on the Underground Railroad.
  • Avery College once existed on Nash St. and Avery St., now a plaque recognizes the college. Also known as Allegheny Institute and Mission Church, it was founded by Charles Avery, a wealthy Pittsburgh entrepreneur and ardent abolitionist, as a vocational school open to blacks in the mid 19th century. The church was reported to have a tunnel which led to a canal on the Allegheny River to help escaping slaves on their journey to freedom.
  • Thomas Bigham House on Mt. Washington Rd. and Olympia Rd. was a safe house for freedom seekers and was part of one of America’s oldest planned communities called Chatham Village. Having served in the state Legislature, Bigham was known as the “Sage of Mount Washington,” and reputedly helped escaping slaves, thanks partly to an African-American family nurse who kept a lookout for runaways.
  • Soldiers and Sailors Military Museum. Exhibit that focuses on 19th century Africans escaping enslavement and finding sanctuary in Pittsburgh and other areas of Pennsylvania.
  • Bethel AME Church was the first African American church west of the Allegheny Mountains and the first Pastor was Rev. Lewis Woodson, a well-known abolitionist.
  • Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church was ministered by Henry Highland Garnet, a well-known abolitionist who spoke in New York after the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation. Today, a society works to honor and preserve his name.
  • The North Side*, which was known as Allegheny City, was a significant stop on the Underground Railroad. The mansion of Felix Brunot, where “[r]emains of the old tunnels and entrances [could] still be seen” a century later resided here before being torn down.

Washington County, PA

  • Washington County Historical Society/LeMoyne House* Pennsylvania’s first National Historic Landmark of the Underground Railroad, LeMoyne House is one of only seven such sites in the U.S. Stories include anecdotes of slaves hiding in a dumbwaiter, or beneath the bed of Madeline LeMoyne, who “feigned illness to prevent slave catchers from searching the room.” The stately stone house in Washington County is open for tours.

New Castle, PA

  • Freedom’s Call Standing Exhibit at the Lawrence County Historical Society features the history of the Underground Railroad in Lawrence Co. and the abolitionist movement. Also includes a civil war display.

Mercer, PA

  • Mercer County Historical Society administers numerous Underground Railroad sites in and around Mercer.
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd Walking Tour of Mercer’s Historic Underground Railroad and Abolitionist Era Sites and the Underground Railroad Driving Tour. Highlights include: Hanna and Small Houses, a passageway was uncovered under the Hanna house that is believed to have hidden freedom seekers. The Hanna and Small families were ardent abolitionists and close friends. Magoffin House was a site of Underground Railroad activity and during the Civil War, Magoffin was considered a “copperhead” or peace democrat; Old Mercer Graveyard is where James Kilgore and other Underground Railroad conductors are buried; Bethany Presbyterian Church where Rev. William Taggart McAdam lectured on the Civil War; Mercer Co. Courthouse and Civil War Monument; and White Chapel Church at Indian Run was led by ardent abolitionist John Young. This area was originally called Pandenarium and was formed when wealthy slave owner from Virginia, Dr. Charles Everett, upon his death, provided his newly freed slaves with a small plot of land and money to settle. Most of the inhabitants couldn’t sustain a living here and they all eventually left the site.

Sandy Lake, PA

  • Freedom Road Cemetery Historic Marker located across from the main gate at the Stoneboro Fairgrounds, US 62, southwest of Sandy Lake is all that remains of Liberia, a fugitive slave town established by the Travis family, free African Americans.

Meadville, PA

  • Bethel AME Church was organized in 1849 and many of its members and trustees were active in the UGRR.

New Richmond, PA

  • John Brown Farm and Tannery Museum. Brown aided an estimated 2,500 slaves and his farm was a major stop, marking its place in history from 1825 to 1835. Interpretive displays tell the story of his role in the national events leading up to the Civil War.


* Denotes a site not listed on the map.

More Route Resources

Roots of the Underground Railroad Route

The project was born in 2004 when Adventure Cycling began a partnership with the Center for  Health Equity at the University of Pittsburgh to further encourage people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds to explore America’s landscapes and history by bicycle. Combined with the nation’s burgeoning health crisis, Adventure Cycling and the Center for Health Equity saw a natural alliance with common goals.

Adventure Cycling contacted historians, preservationists, and researchers and asked: “How do you pick a single route that represents thousands of escape routes?”

During this period of slavery, the tribal custom of creating songs to transmit information was used to communicate between slaves from plantation to plantation. Adventure Cycling chose to map the first part of the route guided by the song, “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” This song refers to following the North Star and waterways to the Ohio River — in essence, it describes an escape route from Alabama and Mississippi. Upon reaching the Ohio River, Adventure Cycling relied on the knowledge and efforts of members and outside experts to steer the route to rich historic destinations while maintaining Adventure Cycling’s standards of great cycling roads and paths.

Successfully meeting the goals of the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route continues to depend upon the contribution of volunteers, members, Underground Railroad enthusiasts, historians, health advocates and more.

Core Planning Team

Mario Browne, MPH, CHES; Chuck Harmon; Anthony Ratajczak; Todd Scott; Stephen Thomas PhD


Note that there are no bike shops on the route north of Mobile, AL.

Ride defensively in Mobile and stay on the route leaving downtown. Bicyclists are prohibited in the Bankhead and George C. Wallace tunnels, so you must loop northward over the Cochrane-Africatown Bridge. Northbound cyclists should take care not to follow the big ramp that is the Truck Route 90/98 when crossing under I-10 before Mobile Bay, this will lead you onto the interstate. Follow the road to the right to ride across Mobile Bay on U.S. 90/98.

Between Spanish Fort and Grove Hill, the highways are good for bicyclists, but note that there are few services.

SR 12/U.S. 84 between Perdue Hill and Grove Hill carries a fair amount of traffic, including logging trucks. There is a 3-foot shoulder, though 2 feet of it has a rumble strip. Stay alert on this section and ride defensively. We recommend that you do not ride SR 12/U.S. 84 between Grove Hill and Coffeeville due to the lack of shoulders.

Between Grove Hill and Jackson, there is an alternate that is 12.4 miles shorter than the main route, but it contains a 1.5 mile section of gravel. The roadbed is a combination of dirt/clay and gravel, and when dry, is an acceptable road for touring bikes. If it is wet, loaded bikes can be difficult to maneuver.

From Jackson north, the roadways are a mixture of rural county roads and state highways, with intermittent traffic. South of Coatopa, use caution as SR 8/U.S. 80 join the route for 5.6 miles and there can be heavy traffic.

In Mississippi the route is on mainly state highways with intermittent traffic and good surfaces. Use caution when riding through Columbus, especially during commuting hours. From Columbus to West Point, SR 50 has little to no shoulders, and traffic is heavy. Make sure that vehicles can see you. Between West Point and Aberdeen, pavement on the county roads has deteriorated. Expect sections of gravel. Riding north into Amory, use caution as U.S. 278 joins the route for 5.5 miles and carries truck traffic.


In broad terms, the climate of Alabama and Mississippi is determined by the huge land mass to the north, the subtropical latitude, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. The summers are long, hot and humid, with little day-to-day temperature changes. The high humidity, combined with hot days and nights, produces discomfort at times.

Prevailing southerly winds provide a moist, semitropical climate, with conditions often favorable for afternoon thunderstorms. These thunderstorms, which can be accompanied by locally violent and destructive winds, can provide a nice respite from the oppressive heat. Thunderstorms occur approximately a third of the evenings from late June through the middle of August.

Both Mississippi and Alabama are occasionally in the path of tropical storms or hurricanes during the time period from June through November.

Updated: Sep 28, 2020


While much of this route follows the Tennessee and Ohio rivers, expect to climb and descend often on roller coaster hills. The services between “all service” towns are limited and many of the grocery stores you’ll encounter are more of the convenience store variety. Stock up on food and water when you can, and beware of loose dogs.

Riding north out of Fulton, MS, the roads are hilly, winding, narrow and lightly traveled to where the route joins the Natchez Trace Parkway for 10 miles. The Shiloh National Military Parkhas a Visitor Center relating the battle history of this site.

North of Pineview, TN, the route follows a section of back roads with little or no shoulder. However, the hilly and winding nature of them keeps the posted speeds lower and traffic light. Many of these roads are unsigned but you are likely to spot sign posts where they used to be named. The surface of Cuba Landing Rd. is in poor condition, watch for potholes.

Services between Crump and Waverly are sparse so stock up on food and water when you can.

Traveling southbound, there are several signs for Old SR 76 making it difficult to find. You’ll want to watch your mileages closely to find the right one. Throughout Kentucky, roads will have rumble strips on the shoulders reducing room to ride. Use caution when taking the lane on these roads. U.S. 79 west of Dover has wide paved shoulders and heavy traffic. Many of the services for Dover can be found within a mile or two of the junction of U.S. 79 and The Trace Road.

The Trace Road through the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area (LBTL) is a two-lane road with no shoulders and light to moderate traffic. No commercial vehicles are allowed and a 45 mph speed limit is strictly enforced.

Campgrounds in the LBTL are on a first come, first served basis and fill quickly on summer weekends, you will want to check availability at the North or South Welcome Center when entering. Recreational traffic increases from the North Welcome Center through Grand Rivers to south of I-24.

For cyclists traveling southbound, the hill on McMurray Rd./SR 763 is a very steep downhill from McGrew Rd. to the junction with River Rd./SR 137. Use extra caution. From the LBTL to Henderson, KY, the roads continue to be narrow, winding and sometimes hilly. Watch for the occasional stretch of rumble strips along the shoulders. If camping at J.J. Audobon State Park in Henderson, be extremely careful on the 0.5 mi. of busy, truck-laden U.S. 41 you need to ride to reach the entrance.

While the route from Henderson to Owensboro has a lot of twists and turns, we recommend it over U.S. 60 due to U.S. 60’s rumble strips, lack of shoulders and moderate to high traffic volume.


Though this region is continental in character, systems from the Gulf of Mexico provide moist tropical air which contributes to high humidity throughout the summer months. Temperatures drop as elevation increases. Afternoon summer thunderstorms are typical and are sometimes accompanied by high winds and hail. Most of this area lies in the Mississippi River drainage except for northern Kentucky.

Updated: Dec 22, 2017


The backroads on this section tend to be hilly, and in some instances, can be quite steep. Also note that many of the roads in Kentucky have rumble strips cut into the shoulder, so ride with caution. We have heard reports that encounters with dogs in Kentucky can be a frequent occurance. Be prepared. You may wish to read a blog post on the topic, How to Deal with Dog Encounters at Services are sporadic along the entire route; buy supplies when available.

As you ride northward from Owensboro to Brandenburg, the route closely follows the scenic Ohio River much of the time. When riding northbound into New Albany, Indiana there are several steep downgrades. (Conversely, when traveling southbound, these are steep uphills that may need to be walked.) Once on 10th St., be sure to notice the view across the Ohio River of Louisville, Kentucky. Buoys in the water help distinguish where freedom seekers might have crossed on their way to freedom. Leaving town will be up and over the flood wall along the river. If you wish to visit Louisville, The Big Four Pedestrian Bridge with access from Riverside Dr. and Mulberry St., is a good way to do so.

The roads from New Albany to Hanover first follow the river then head inland to the countryside before returning to the river. They tend to be pleasant though narrow and a bit winding. Traffic volume is generally low except for commuters in the morning and late afternoon.

Madison, Indiana is a historic river town with a trolley system for touring the city. The route from Madison to Williamsburg, OH continues to be on small, winding roads with mostly light traffic. The roads tend to follow ridgelines affording scenic views along the way. Maysville, Kentucky is another hilly river town with some “seriously steep” sections. The bridge crossing the Ohio River to Aberdeen, Ohio has a pedestrian sidewalk on the west side. It is adviseable to walk your bike across using it.

The 16.2-mile Cincinnati Spur brings you to the heart of the city and the front doors of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “Post and ring” bicycle parking is available on both the east and west sides of the building. The routing in and out of the city varies slightly to take advantage of the pleasant riding through Eden Park. You will also find access to the Purple People Bicycle Pedestrian bridge through the riverfront parks. If you ride to the center of the bridge, you will be rewarded with expansive views of the city.


Kentucky is in the path of rains originating in the western Gulf and as such can be wet from spring to fall. Spring is typically the wettest season in both Indiana and Ohio though the fall tends to be drier. Summer along the Ohio River in Indiana can include high temperatures with high relative humidity. Weather patterns in Ohio are continental in nature producing warm, humid summers.

Updated: Apr 4, 2019


The majority of the route on this section follows the Ohio to Erie Trail (OTET), a primarily off-street recreational trail that mostly follows lands formerly owned by railroads and canals. The OTET is also known as Route 1 in Ohio and is signed as such. Our routing follows the OTET from Milford to Peninsula, with the exception of several miles in Columbus where it deviates. Signage for the trail is spotty. See for maps and more information.

The OTET is comprised of many different trails, including the Little Miami Scenic Trail, Prairie Grass Trail, Roberts Pass Trail, Camp Chase Trail, Scioto Greenway, Heart of Ohio Trail, Kokosing Gap Trail, Mohican Valley Trail, Holmes County Trail, Sippo Valley Trail, and the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. These are all paved paths, with the exception of portions of the Sippo Valley Trail and the Ohio to Erie Canal Towpath Trail that are crushed stone. These trails have multiple users, and can be busy on weekends. Trail etiquette dictates that you should show courtesy to other trail users at all times. As a cyclist, you should yield to pedestrians, give an audible warning when passing pedestrians or other bicyclists, ride at a safe speed, and if traveling with others, slow down and form a single file in congested conditions.

West of Corwin, the 9.9-mile Springboro Spur is an easy side trip to many Underground Railroad sites of interest.

At Xenia Station in Xenia there are restrooms and vending machines. You can access restaurants by heading 0.5-mile northwest on the Creekside Trail. Here’s a link to a bike map for the Great Miami Riverway Alternate,, which forms a loop with the route joining Corwin, Springboro, Dayton, and Xenia.

In Columbus, the route deviates from the OTET to follow the Olentangy Trail,, which was recommended by several local cyclists.

There are several areas where the recreational trails that make up the OTET are interrupted, requiring some cycling on city streets or local highways. Most notable are the 10 miles between Sunbury and Centerburg, the 8 miles between Glenmont and Killbuck, and the 17 miles between Fredericksburg and Dalton.

The route leaves the OTET in Peninsula and heads northeast through small towns and rural farmland on back roads. You’ll approach Ashtabula on the Western Reserve Greenway,, a paved rail trail through farmland and forest.

Leaving Ashtabula, you will cycle alongside Lake Erie. SR 531 has minimal to no shoulders, but carries only local traffic. Ashtabula and Conneaut are easy towns to cycle through.

In Pennsylvania the route follows a signed bike route using SR 5. Many services are located in the towns on U.S. 20 which parallels SR 5. Traffic increases when approaching Erie.

U.S. Bicycle Route (USBR) 30 in Ohio is pending for designation in summer 2021. Our routing is concurrent with it from Ashtabula to Erie. After designation, more information and maps will be available at: In Pennsylvania, USBR 30 is designated and also follows signed BicyclePA Z. For more information and maps see:

All known Amtrak stations are listed on this map but not all stations provide bicycle service. Check if bicycle service is provided at both the starting and ending stations on your trip using the spreadsheet and other trip planning resources at


Located west of the Appalachians, Ohio has a climate essentially continental in nature, characterized by moderate extremes of heat and cold, and wetness and dryness. Summers are moderately warm and humid, with occasional days when temperatures exceed 100 degrees; winters are reasonably cold; and autumns are predominately cool, dry, and invigorating.

Precipitation is well distributed, though with peaks in early spring and summer. Rainfall varies considerably in amount and seasonal distribution. This is accounted for not only by the presence of Lake Erie to the north, but also by topography and proximity to rain producing storm paths. The southern half of the state is visited more frequently by productive rainstorms which, together with the general roughness of terrain, accounts for the larger total precipitation.

Climate information from Weather America, A Thirty Year Summary of Statistical Weather Data and Rankings,2001, 2nd edition,Grey House Publishing, Millerton, NY.

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


The route through Erie is on less-traveled city streets, but traffic increases east of the city. Note that many services are actually located in the towns on US 20, which parallels SR 5. A fruit and wine region begins east of Erie and stretches past Silver Creek, New York. Wineries also exist in the area to the east and west of St. Catharines, Ontario. Almost all of the state and US highways and many county roads in New York have wide paved shoulders, so riding will be pleasant. The route into downtown Buffalo is fairly direct, but expect urban conditions and ride defensively. The 0.6-mile Michigan Ave. Spur goes to some Underground Railroad sites. A nicely paved but poorly signed bike path extends from the Buffalo Naval Park to the Peace Bridge and into Canada. Use caution when approaching the bridge from either direction. Due to construction, bike traffic rules on the bridge keep changing so please check with a bridge or customs official before riding on it.

From Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake the route mainly uses the Niagara River Recreation Trail and short portions of the Niagara Parkway along the scenic Niagara River. Use the Trail where possible for safety. The route near the Falls is extremely busy in summer, but all traffic and pedestrians are moving slowly, so you will be also. Walk your bike in the Falls area if necessary, and remember to lock your bike if leaving it unattended. Throughout Ontario the route will be traversing the Niagara Escarpment, so expect climbs and descents. This will provide a challenge for the fully loaded cyclist, especially when going off route for services or exploration. Traffic will increase in towns and the larger cities, so ride defensively.

Between Georgetown and Orangeville you can choose to ride a 5.5-mile section of the Caledon Trailway,, an unpaved rail trail that can be muddy when wet.

Between Orangeville and Collingwood services are minimal. Most roads have small shoulders with light to moderate levels of traffic.

Beginning in Collingwood the route uses a 9-mile stretch of the Georgian Trail, It is hard compacted stone dust and can be ridden with any tires. The Trail parallels PR 26, a highly trafficked road with little or no shoulders, so use the Trail for safety, especially in summer.

The 31.1-mile Murphy Orchards Spur crosses the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge back into the U.S. Use caution when approaching the bridge from either direction. Since the bridge was rebuilt in 2006 bicycles now cross in the car lanes. We suggest you check with a bridge or customs official before riding onto it for instructions.

All known Amtrak stations are listed on this map but not all stations provide bicycle service. Check if bicycle service is provided at both the starting and ending stations on your trip using the spreadsheet and other trip planning resources at


The weather of western Pennsylvania and New York originates in the interior of the continent, then rides over this area on prevailing winds. The results are “moderate extremes” of heat and cold, dryness, and wetness.

In southern Ontario, the climate is highly modified by the influence of the Great Lakes. Spring brings the beginning of the tornado season. In summer, thunderstorms can produce heavy downpours, hail, damaging winds and occasional tornadoes.

Updated: Mar 26, 2021


Many Underground Railroad activities historically took place in what were then villages and small towns, which became large cities. Due to this growth, the route passes through several major metropolitan areas and involves serious urban cycling. They are generally devoid of campgrounds.

The route in Ohio makes use of two paved rail trails: the Northcoast Inland Trail between Oberlin and Kipton, and again between Clyde and Elmore, and the University Trail in the suburbs of Toledo. These trails are shorter and safer than adjacent highways.

After crossing the Maumee River into Toledo, cyclists immediately ride onto busy urban streets. During periods of heavy traffic, rather than using the left turn lane from Cherry St. onto N. Superior St., it may be advisable to make the turn as a pedestrian using the crosswalks.

The route changes dramatically from urban to rural at the Ohio/Michigan state line. Cyclists are advised to stay on the marked route in rural Michigan as there are many unpaved secondary roads. Also, the state and U.S. highways carry considerable truck traffic and do not have paved shoulders. The route uses the Kiwanis Trail between Adrian and Tecumseh. The roads and highways between Ypsilanti and Detroit are busy suburban arterials and require caution. In Detroit, bicycles are not allowed on the Ambassador Bridge or in the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel.

Michigan does not allow left turns at signalized intersections from a highway having a center median. Instead, left turning traffic proceeds a couple hundred yards beyond the intersection and then makes a U-turn at a sometimes-signalized crossover. Cyclists should make left turns as a pedestrian. The route attempts to avoid such highways.

The ferry between Algonac, MI and Walpole Island, ON operates from 7 A.M. to 10 P.M. For details go to or call 519-627-7978.

The 14.8-mile Sandusky Spur is the connection to the ferry across Lake Erie to Ontario, Canada, and the Windsor Option on the Detroit Alternate, Section 2. For schedules call 519-326-2154 or 519-733-4474 or go to

Sandusky is home to Cedar Point, one of the largest amusement parks in the country, and is therefore a busy summer tourist destination. Bicycles are not allowed on the Cedar Point Causeway and Bridge.

The route avoids highways with tourist traffic. Do not use SR 2 as a shortcut between Sandusky and Toledo. Cyclists are advised to make accommodation reservations in Sandusky.

All known Amtrak stations are listed on this map but not all stations provide bicycle service. Check if bicycle service is provided at both the starting and ending stations on your trip using the spreadsheet and other trip planning resources at


Located west of the Appalachians, Ohio has a climate essentially continental in nature, characterized by moderate heat and humidity near the lake in the summer. Rainfall varies considerably in amount and distribution, with many afternoon thunderstorms in the summer. This is accounted for not only by the presence of Lake Erie to the north, but also by topography and proximity to rain producing storm paths.

During the summer months in Michigan, winds are predominantly from the southwest. While prevailing winds are generally light, Lake Erie’s and Lake St. Clair’s shore area frequently develops a localized wind pattern known as the “lake breeze,” which may extend inland for a few miles. Summer precipitation falls primarily in the form of showers or thunderstorms. Humidity can be high year-round, peaking in the summer, when temperatures reach the mid-eighties. Temperatures tend to be more moderate along the lakes and warmer inland.

Climate information from Weather America, A Thirty Year Summary of Statistical Weather Data and Rankings, 2001, 2nd edition, Grey House Publishing, Millerton, NY.

Updated: Nov 9, 2020


Although none of the major highways in Ontario have paved shoulders, the speed limit outside of urban areas is 80 km/hr (50 mph) and motorists generally abide by that limit.

Rural secondary roads throughout southwest Ontario are often gravel. The route has been carefully researched to avoid those roads. What may look like a tempting shortcut down a paved road may become a miserable ride on a gravel road. Cyclists are advised to stay on the route.

It is worthwhile to spend a few minutes in Sarnia at the park under the Blue Water Bridge connecting Canada and the United States. This is where all of the water from the upper Great Lakes funnels into the narrow St. Clair River. Bicycles are not allowed on the Blue Water Bridge.

North of Sarnia the route goes inland to avoid the relatively heavy vehicle and truck traffic on PR 21. This highway is the major tourist and commercial route between Sarnia and Owen Sound. The consequence of this routing is that there are few on-route services outside of towns and cities. Cyclists wishing to use services on PR 21 should return to the route to continue their trip and not use PR 21 as a shortcut.

Southwest of Port Elgin the 0.75-mile unpaved Rotary Way Trail,, can be ridden through varied forest and wetland habitat.

The 162.1-mile Windsor Option follows the coastline of Lake Erie and provides views of the lake and especially the Detroit River. You need to consult the ferry schedule,, before crossing Lake Erie as the schedule varies by month and day of the week. Ferries arrive and depart from Kingsville or Leamington at different times of the year. All ferries to Canada from Sandusky, Ohio, shown on the Underground Railroad Detroit Alternate section 1 map, stop at Pelee Island which is the Port of Entry/Customs to Canada. Sandusky is the Port of Entry/Customs to the United States.

In Windsor, the multi-use path between the Ambassador Bridge and the north side of the city is embedded in a riverfront park and is very pleasant cycling. The Underground Railroad Monument is situated in a small park set back from the river on Pitt St. E. and is best accessed by exiting the multi-use path at Ouellette Ave. The section of Riverside Dr. between McDougall St. and Isabella Pl. is heavily trafficked, but has low speed limits. For a bike map of Windsor, see

Bicycles are not allowed on the Ambassador Bridge or in the Detroit Windsor Tunnel. Transit Windsor operates a cross-border service through the Windsor Detroit Tunnel, seven days a week. Read the restrictions here:

You’ll also ride the Ganatchio Trail,, and the Waterfront Trail,

The route along the St. Clair Parkway is immediately adjacent to the St. Clair River and affords views of ocean and lake freighters on the St. Clair River. The Windsor Option rejoins the main route at Sombra.


In southern Ontario, the climate is highly modified by the influence of the Great Lakes, and is often the battle zone between cold air from the north and warm, moist air from southern regions; hence, air is channelled east-west.

Spring brings the beginning of the tornado season. In summer, thunderstorms can produce heavy downpours, hail, damaging winds and occasional tornadoes.

Updated: Jan 2, 2019


This spur begins in downtown Pittsburgh and becomes progressively more rural as the miles pass until you arrive in Erie.

If you are flying in or out of Pittsburgh International Airport, there is an online map that shows the Montour Trail Airport Connector. The Montour Trail will take you to the route in Coraopolis, connector.htm.

After crossing the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, the route follows the North Shore Trail, an urban, sometimes busy path for cyclists and walkers that offers wide views of the city and its industry — old and new.

In places, this spur coincides with stretches of Bicycle Pennsylvania Routes A and Z. Route A is well signed on the road.

When traveling southbound through Rochester toward Monaca and before crossing the Ohio River, be sure to study the ramp structure. If you miss the ramp onto SR 18, you will ride onto SR 51/65 without an opportunity to rejoin the route until east of the bridge.

South of Ellwood City, River Rd. has some potholes and occasional errant golf balls from the nearby course. SR 65 from Ellwood City to Energy has a rumble strip installed on the white line and no shoulder—ride with caution.SR 65 from Ellwood City to New Castle has good shoulders, moderate hills and a 45 mph speed limit. North of New Castle, River Rd. has some potholes and little to no shoulders in places.

Northwest of Meadville, SR 98 carries very little traffic and is rural in nature with few services. Between Meadville and Fairview, there are few services. Traffic volumes increase as you approach Erie, especially during commuting hours.

Road signage the entire length of the Pittsburgh Spur route is sporadic and at times inconsistent.


Though most of the state is influenced to some degree by the humid continental climate effect, the western third of Pennsylvania where this route is located is a distinct geographical region and experiences this effect in a fairly typical fashion.

Precipitation is greatest in spring and summer with thunderstorms responsible for the numerous, oftentimes brief, summertime rain showers. Daily temperature ranges can be wide.

While tornadoes are only an occasional event, the state experiences 5-6 a year, they occur most frequently in the far northwest corner and most often in June.

The Lake Erie Plain near the end of the route is influenced by Lake Erie with slightly less rain and smaller daily temperature ranges.

Updated: Dec 29, 2017

Updates to Recently Released Maps

If you are planning a bike tour, be sure to get the most recent map updates and corrections for your route by selecting the route, and the appropriate section(s), from the drop-down menu below.

Over time maps become less useful because things change. Every year Adventure Cycling’s Routes and Mapping Department create map updates and corrections for every map in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, which now totals 52,047 miles. With the help of touring cyclists like you, we receive updates on routing, services, camping, and contact information. Until we can reprint the map with the new information, we verify the suggested changes and publish corrections and updates here on our website.

PLEASE NOTE: Covid has been particularly hard on the small businesses along our routes. While we do our best to keep the maps and these online updates current, you may encounter more closed businesses and longer stretches with limited or no services.

Refer to these updates for the most current information we have and submit reports of changes to the Route Feedback Form for the cyclists coming after you.

NOTE: Map updates and corrections only pertain to long term changes and updates. For short term road closures, please see the Adventure Cycling’s Routes Temporary Road Closures discussion in our Forums.