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Monday, March 17, 2014

5 U.S. Bike Routes Along the Water | Cross Country Bike Travel

While there are dozens of amazing bike routes across the United States, which go over mountains, through quaint villages and major cities, over rolling hills, and down rural roads, there’s nothing quite like spending a few weeks at the beach. If you are torn between a demanding outdoor cycling adventure and a few weeks by the water, then look no further than one of these United States bicycle routes, which is the best of both worlds.  Get geared up for a road trip, because you probably won’t have to travel far to find one of these long-distance routes.

cross country bike tour
1. Pacific Coast Route

This route is roughly 1,700 miles and goes down Highway 101 and Highway 1. It starts in Vancouver and ends in Tijuana passing through Washington, Oregon, and California along the way. Bikers will be by the ocean for the vast majority of this trip, although the route does go inland through Redwood National Park.

2. Great River Road

The Great River Road (also known as the Mississippi River Trail) is 2,069 miles and passes through ten different states from Minnesota to Louisiana. This is a great route for a history buff since there are plenty of places to see which are relevant to Native American history, the days of the early settlers, and the Civil War era.

3. Alaska Marine Highway

This highway covers a variety of terrain from wetlands, to marine rain forests, to arctic deserts, to glacial valleys. One of the most unique parts of this route, however, is that a system of ships connect a series of islands that make up Southeast Alaska. So basically you can hop on the ships to travel between the islands, and bike around the islands when you 
get there.

cross country bike travel
ride the ferries between islands!

4. East Coast Greenway

The East Coast Greenway is roughly 2,900 miles stretching from the Canadian border in Maine to Key West, Florida. The Greenway connects fifteen states (plus Washington, D.C.) and twenty-five major cities. Almost thirty percent of the route is off-road and traffic-free, although the eventually goal is that the whole route will be trail only.

5. Great Lakes Seaway Trail

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail stretches 450 miles through New York and Pennsylvania, ending at the Ohio border. There are 28 historic lighthouses along the path, which used to guide traders and merchants along the waterways. Before that, Native Americans used the lakes to fish, hunt, and travel. The lakes provide prime grape growing conditions, so much of the route goes through wine country.