Best Rails To Trails In Us

Danielle Fletcher
• Friday, 06 November, 2020
• 10 min read

In 1999, a graduate student proposed turning the many disused rail corridors into a path around the city, The Belt line, which finally came to fruition in 2013 through federal grants. Today, The Belt line is made up of 22 miles of paved, wheelchair-accessible trails that run through the city’s neighborhoods and parks.

trails rails pennsylvania alltrails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)


With public artwork along the way, it has apartments, dining, and shopping like the popular Ponce City Market complex. In Georgia, it’s the Silver Comet Trail, which gets its name from a passenger train on the Seaboard Air Line Railroad that operated between 1947 and 1969.

Popular with cyclists, this section was built in 1998 and passes by mill ruins, rail trestles, creeks, and forests. Named for a Creek Indian leader, the track is paved and relatively flat, which is perfect for biking beginners.

Along the way are countless restaurants, businesses, and residences as well as access to BART, the Bay Area public transportation system. To the south, the path is surrounded by golf courses and connects to the Alamo Canal and Centennial Trails.

View Map Address Tammany Trace Bike Trail, Covington, LA, USA Built along the former Illinois Central Railroad rail line, the Tammany Trace is a 31-mile trail between Covington and Slidell, on the North shore of Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans. First conceptualized in 1992, the trace passes through charming towns like Anita Springs, Mandeville, and Wycombe.

The gravel path runs along the Missouri River and passes former signals and tunnels, while the old railroad depots have now been transformed into public restrooms. View Map AddressGenesee Valley Greenway Trail, Pottsville, NY14546, USA This 90-mile stretch in upstate New York was originally the right-of-way for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

trails rails pennsylvania alltrails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

In 1991, it became the Geneses Valley Greenway, passing over railway bridges and through canal locks on the way from Rochester to Hillsdale. Connecting with the Erie Canal Heritage Trail, the route has interpretive signage that informs visitors of the area’s history.

Washington has its fair share of paths, but the 31-mile Kickiest Trail winds through the iconic Columbia River Gorge. The former Burlington Northern Railroad Company corridor connected the communities of Lyle and Golden dale until it was turned over to the Rails -to- Trails Conservancy in 1993.

Because the Kickiest passes over historic rail trestles and alongside a mix of public and private land, dogs must be kept on leashes. In 1911, a new stretch was created to avoid the steep grades, leading the land from Elroy to Sparta to later be abandoned.

The 32-mile crushed limestone path passes through three preserved railroad tunnels, including one with a colony of bats. Between 1900 and 1977, the route turned into a railroad line between Abingdon and Damascus, carrying passengers and iron ore.

RENT WHEELS FROM The Danville Railroad Depot Trailhead Visitor Center (601 Richmond Rd. WHEN YOU CAN'T BIKE ANOTHER MILE Latter-day lumberjacks (and bills) can see photos and artifacts from the heyday of logging at the tiny Westwood Museum (311 Ash St.; 530/256-2233).

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(Source: sustainatlanta.com)

TRIP TIP For a less strenuous ride, take a shuttle to Westwood and head east (downhill). Or try the easy 14 miles from Danville to Devil's Corral and back; you'll still hit eight bridges and two tunnels.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact the visitors' center in Danville (see above) or the Bureau of Land Management (530/257-0456; www.ca.blm.gov/eaglelake), which is responsible for the trail. This gentle canter, 40 miles west of Fort Worth, passes horse ranches, wildflower meadows, and pastures where longhorns graze.

STAY AT The Dancing Oaks Ranch (940/374-3804; www.dancingoaksranch.com; cabin with full kitchen from $150), outside Weatherford, offers horseback-riding lessons and trail rides. TRIP TIP To use the trail you need a pass ($2 per adult), on sale at entry points.

Favorite spots: the towering bluffs along the Missouri River and the V-shaped petroglyph on a cave east of Roche port. STAY AT You can sleep in a converted boxcar at the Katy O'Neil Bed & Bike fest (101 Lewis St., Roche port; 573/698-2453; www.katyoneil.com ; doubles from $110, including bike rental; small extra charges for kids).

WHEN YOU CAN'T BIKE ANOTHER MILE Watch Madagascar hissing cockroaches race at the University of Missouri's Ends Entomology Museum (Columbia; 573/882-2410; www.museum.insecta.missouri.edu). TRIP TIP The terrain is as flat as a pancake, so even a novice will be able to handle this trail.

trails rails beckley mayor wv
(Source: beckley.org)

Take a spin under lush maple, sycamore, and walnut trees beside Ohio's Little Miami River. Listen to the rushing water and smell the honeysuckle as you meander past farms, woodlands, and small towns.

Other choices: the Little Miami Scenic Trail Resort Village B&B (Loveland; 513/683-0090; cottages $145, including bike rental) or Morgan's Riverside Campground (Morrow; 513/899-9166; sites from $16). WHEN YOU CAN'T BIKE ANOTHER MILE Attention, aspiring archaeologists: you can learn about Hopewell Indians at Fort Ancient (6123 State Rte.

TRIP TIP For an easy ride, start at the trail's southern end, in Milford (10 miles northeast of Cincinnati), and bike downstream. Be sure to be in Clearwater at sunset, when artists, magicians, and jugglers entertain the crowds on Pier 60.

STAY AT The Best Western Yacht Harbor Inn & Suites (150 Marina Plaza, Dunedin; 800/447-4728; www.bestwestern.com ; doubles from $79, plus $10 per child 13 and older) is three blocks from the trail. Don't worry if you can't make it back to your starting point; all buses in Pinellas County are equipped with bike racks.

It's a glorious stretch from Abingdon, where a retired steam engine marks the trailhead, to White top Mountain, the state's second-highest peak. STAY AT The Martha Washington Inn (150 W. Main St., Abingdon; 276/628-3161; www.marthawashingtoninn.com ; doubles $325 for two nights, including breakfast), an 1832 estate, welcomes kids.

lebanon gretna rails trail mount pennsylvania section map alltrails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

WHEN YOU CAN'T BIKE ANOTHER MILE Catch a kids' show at Abingdon's Barter Theater (276/628-3991; www.bartertheatre.com), or take a hike to see the wild ponies at Massive Gap in Grayson Highlands State Park (Rte. TRIP TIP If you have a shuttle drop you at the high point of the trail in White top, the 15 miles to Damascus sail by.

Call the Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau (800/435-3440) for the Guide to the Virginia Creeper Trail. Adam's Inn (1744 Lanier Place NW; 800/578-6807; www.adamsinn.com ; doubles from $115, including breakfast; additional guests $10 each) is five blocks from the Rock Creek rail trail, in northern D.C.

WHEN YOU CAN'T BIKE ANOTHER MILE Let the kids climb all over The Awakening, sculptures depicting an enormous man rising out of the earth, at Potomac Park (Chains Point; 202/485-9880). TRIP TIP To avoid parking nightmares, bike to the trail from your hotel.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail (www.cctrail.org) or the Washington Area Bicycling Association (www.waba.org). At its northern end, this bracing trail extends three miles into Lake Champlain on a narrow causeway.

Pitch your tent or park your RV at North Beach Campground (60 Institute Rd., Burlington; 802/862-0942; sites from $21) for direct access to the trail. For boneheads, the Ben & Jerry's factory (866/258-6877; www.benjerry.com), 26 miles from Burlington, offers tours and tastings.

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(Source: www.baltimoresun.com)

TRIP TIP There are no services along the three-mile causeway, so bring snacks and make a pit stop before hitting that section. FOR MORE INFORMATION Local Motion, a nonprofit cycling organization, operates the Trailside Center (1 Steele St.; 802/ 652-2453; www.localmotionvt.org/center) on the Burlington waterfront.

Head for the former mining town of Jim Thorpe, in the western Poconos, and pedal the route once used to carry coal down to barges on the Leigh Canal. WHEN YOU CAN'T BIKE ANOTHER MILE Learn about the highs and lows of Jim Thorpe's history, from the hilltop ASA Packer Mansion (30 Elk St.; 570/325-3229) to the gallows of the Old Jail Museum (128 W. Broadway; 570/325-5259).

WHEN YOU CAN'T BIKE ANOTHER MILE Switch saddles and go horseback riding at the Circle S stable (on the trail between Wilton and Kendall; 608/435-6975; $12 an hour). Or explore the Amish community in Cash ton, 10 miles south of Sparta, on your own or with a guide from Down a Country Road (608/654-5318; www.downacountryroadamish.com ; $40 for 1 1/2 hours, in your car).

As of May 28, 2021, users have reported that the 10th street entrance is still closed, but there are plenty of other ways up. Rubidium trail is more of a paved road, but makes a great place for a quick run, a beautiful hike with friends and family, or for taking your dog for a walk.

After crossing Telling Creek, the trail climbs several short switchbacks and then gradually descends along the banks of the Rio Grande. Hikers are surrounded by lush riparian vegetation and 1,500-foot towering vertical cliffs of solid limestone.

bike erie trails buffalo trail most canalway
(Source: www.onlyinyourstate.com)

Note: Following rains, flash floods, or periods of high water, Telling creek can be impassable, effectively closing the trail. Unique mix of 85% dirt single and double track trail with 15% sidewalk/asphalt riding.

The trail is a patchwork of old equestrian paths that run along property lines and an old railroad bed corridor. Almost like a video game, there are features hidden all along its length that beg for exploration.

San Isabel National Forest Length: 6.1 mi • Est. There are several tunnels to go through so bring a flashlight along for orientation and reflective clothing is also recommended for safety.

Following a former Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way, you can enjoy gorgeous views of the bay and shoreline. You pass tall sand dunes and white sandy beaches, as well as a small eucalyptus forest, and can easily veer off the trail to visit Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey State Historic Park, and other attractions.

Interpretive signs alongside the trail tell of the city’s early history and of the abundant marine life of Monterey Bay. A long-range goal is to extend it up coast to Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz County.

rails trails deadwood mostly limestone trailheads chad crushed edgemont gravel surface includes trail between
(Source: www.southdakotamagazine.com)

Additional spaces are at Seaside State Beach, throughout Fisherman's Wharf (free with disabled placard in the metered area; you must pay in fee lot), in the lot on Del Monte Boulevard across from the Graduate from Naval Academy, and at San Carlos Beach Park and Monterey Bay Park. One space is on Ocean View Boulevard at 9th Street in Pacific Grove.

There are numerous restrooms with varying degrees of accessibility are along the route, but the most accessible are at San Carlos Beach Park, at the foot of the recreational pier at Fisherman's Wharf, at Dennis the Menace playground at El Ester Park, adjacent to the Maritime Museum, and at the green building in between Monterey City Beach and Fisherman's Wharf. The entrance to the women's restroom at Lovers Point Park has a tight 90-degree turn, but is otherwise accessible, as is the men's.

They can be reserved and used overnight, and taken to nearby beaches if you have a secure method of transport. This trail begins as paved and then turns to dirt, and is typically at least three feet wide.

Users have reported that past Lover's Point, the trail can get too sandy and narrow for wheelchairs/mobility equipment and strollers. The first several hundred yards of the trail are on a slope greater than 5% (standard ramp).

Street crossings in Cannery Row have steep curb cuts. For the most accessible, continuous five-mile stretch, start in Seaside and head south past Monterey to Lovers Point in Pacific Grove.

rails trails dnr wisconsin calls meeting support before trail journaltimes rail
(Source: journaltimes.com)

About one mile north of Seaside State Beach, the trail is interrupted at Toga St, and to reconnect to it, you must travel in the road, because the sidewalk has no curb cuts here. At Metz Rd, travel behind the stores to pick up the trail again at the foot of Play Ave.

It continues for several more miles on the ocean side of Highway 1 to Marina; along the way is an entry into Fort ORD Dunes State Park. Then the trail travels inland; often sharing the road with cars on a bike lane.

From the Houghton parking lot, follow the paved trail south for 0.5 miles as it makes a long climb through the dunes. Immediately inland from Fisherman's Wharf is Monterey Bay State Historic Park.

A steep concrete ramp leads onto the small beach below, but it may be buried in sand. After you will reach Lover’s Point Park, where the accessible route ends.

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