More than ten years have passed since I crossed the great parks of the United States on the road and after a chat with a friend leaving for a bike trip to America, I felt a great desire to explore the boundless spaces of the USA by bicycle. Unfortunately for the moment a trip like this is still unachievable, but the web came to help me. A virtual journey, certainly not like a real one, but enough to make me dream a few minutes. Hence the idea of sharing what I believe are the 5 most beautiful long-distance bicycle routes in the United States, to make you dream a little too and to give the luckiest and bravest some ideas for a future adventure.
Before listing the most beautiful bike routes in the United States for me, I leave you some practical tips if you decide to leave for a trip overseas. First and foremost, let's not forget to buy a US travel insurance to avoid having problems before the trip (cancellation, lost luggage ...) or during the trip: health assistance costs a lot in the United States if you don't have insurance!
Finally, I advise you to get a plane ticket well in advance... don't you want to shatter your dream before leaving? There are many companies that fly to and from the United States, for example you could buy United Airlines tickets
Trans America trail
One can only start by listing the great bike itineraries in the States, citing the most classic of cycling routes in America: the coast to coast , also known as the Trans America Trail . The starting point (or arrival, depending on the direction of travel) of the route that connects the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean is Astoria , in Oregon. After passing fascinating parks such as the Yellowstone and the Grand Teton, you cross the boundless expanses of the central states to end the journey in Virginia , in Yorktown.
Actually this route is only one of the many possible coast to coasts in the United States. It is the most famous one, but nothing prevents you from being able to choose the route that best suits you to join the two oceans and enjoy unique landscapes and panoramas. Consider a journey time of around three months, to be able to fully enjoy the territories you will cross: kilometers to be covered are about 7000!
Pacific Coast Route
The Pacific coast
, that of the Far West, of the adventures of Sergio Leone's western movies today is a destination for adventurous bikers who pedal from north to south along the Pacific Coast route
. Beaches to scream, gigantic trees that are living monuments, easily sighted wild animals and a road that allows you to adapt your trip by bike to your needs: from a simple one-week vacation to a long adventure of several months, with the opportunity to lengthen the journey both north to Canada and Alaska or south to Mexico and south america. The national Highway 101
and the state Highway 1
are quite busy in the peak months of the tourist season, so be careful if you decide to travel them at that time of year.
The total journey of the Pacific Coast route covers about 3000 km from Vancouver in Canada to the state park on the border with Mexico and takes about two months to be completed in peace. Among the highlights of this trip there is certainly the passage near the St. Helens volcano
, the 17-mile drive
near Monterrey but above all the crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge
to enter San Francisco.
Great Divide Trail
A challenging journey with amazing views. The great divide mountain bike trail
is a route of over 4000 km
entirely dedicated to mountain bikers... perhaps the longest MTB trail in the world! Asphalt roads, dirt roads, single trails, old railways... in short, there is something for all tastes. In addition to the different terrain conditions, this route crosses countless different ecosystems, allowing those who face it to enjoy a different landscape every day. Challenging, remote, panoramic: a bike tour for tough people but one that certainly won't leave disappointed those who decide to tackle the adventure. The layout of the Great Divide trail
is found mostly in mountainous areas and therefore the temperatures are cool during the day and could be cold at night. If you're one of that brave cyclists who decide to start this journey, be sure to fill your pannier with adequate equipment.
This long-distance bicycle route in U. S. starts from the border with Canada near the Glacier National Park , home of the grizzlies, moose and reindeer. It heads south, crossing the Continental Divide several times and always staying in the middle of spectacular mountain valleys. After thousands of kilometers it reaches the end of its adventurous journey by touching the southern border of the United States with Mexico.
Underground railroad trail
The UGRR is, actually, a network of paths that tries to keep in mind the ancient clandestine routes that African slaves were trying to follow in search of freedom before and during the civil war. The slave routes were different but the one that today cyclists follow the most is probably the route that leads from Mobile in Alabama to Owen Sound in Ontario. The route of 3200 km escapes from the port of Mobile, very busy at the time of the slave trade, following the course of some rivers backwards through Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky.
The goal of this historic route is a town that today is populated by numerous descendants of the slaves who so hardly earned their freedom: every year in Owen Sound they celebrate the day of emancipation!
The Virginia Mountain bike Trail
If it is the adventure you are looking for, then the Virginia mountain bike trail is the one for you: 800 km of uninterrupted single trails! Two weeks of sweat, fatigue, fun and pure adrenaline. The route, mapped in 2011, winds through the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, starting not far from Strasburg to join four existing routes: the County line trail , the Carr Mountain Trail , the Shenandoah Mountain Trail and the Iron Mountain trail to reach its final destination at Damascus.
Other great routes not listed inside this 5 best long-distance bicycle routes in the U.S. are the Grand Canyon connector, the Adirondack park loop and the Atlantic coast, but in the United States there are countless opportunities for cycling, bicycle touring and mountain biking so dreaming is admitted and easy! And you? Have you ever traveled or dreamed of other fascinating routes in the United States? We accept suggestions to continue dreaming!