A coast-to-coast bike trail is coming to the U.S.
There’s much to love about biking, whether it’s part of your daily commute or how you unwind on a mountain trail. Here at Curbed, we’ve catalogued everything from awesome bike rides to city bike share programs, all in an effort to get outside and experience the joy—and environmental benefits—of two wheels.
Soon, you’ll be able to bike even farther. The Rails-to-Trails Conversancy (RTC), the nation’s largest trails organization, recently announced their vision for the Great American Rail-Trail. This mega bike trail would connect nearly 4,000 miles of rail-trail and other multi-use trails to form a path across the country from Washington, D.C. to Washington State.
RTC has spent the past 18 months forming coalitions between local trail partners and state agencies to create the plan, including analyzing which of the more than 34,000 miles of nationwide trails would be best.
While on the planned route, bikers will be separated from vehicle traffic and experience the diversity of the American landscape across 12 states. The full map of the trail will be released in spring 2019, but 12 gateway trails make the route possible (you can see those, below). It’s also likely that building the full trail will take at least a decade or two, but some sections could come online fairly quickly.
“The Great American Rail-Trail is a bold vision—one that will take years to complete. The investment of time and resources necessary to complete this trail will be returned many times over as it takes its place among the country’s national treasures,” said Keith Laughlin, RTC president. “As we embark on the journey to complete the Great American Rail-Trail, we embark on the single greatest trail project in the history of the U.S.”