WHAT to know about BIKING the

The Great American Rail-Trail is an incredibly ambitious multi-decade project of the Rails to Trails Conservancy. The eventual goal: 3700+ miles of car-free recreation paths crossing the US between Washington D.C. and Washington State. It's a bicycle traveler's dream! 

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Rail trails are historic railroad lines (and sometimes canal towpaths) that have been converted to multi-use recreation paths. They're fun and accessible thanks to their safety, gradual grades, and historic points of interest.

Already 53% Complete

By leveraging over 125 existing rail trails, the project is already 53% complete just a few years after its announcement! That's already a LOT of car-free miles, and already makes this route one of the lowest-traffic ways to bike across the US.

The Great American Rail-Trail is

The existing C&O Canal Trail is part of the future Great American Rail-Trail.

Not Yet Car-Free

Though already 53% complete, the other 47% of the project's planned routing must be ridden on roads with motor vehicles. Often there are quiet roads or good shoulders available, but not always.

The Great American Rail-Trail is

The shoulder on this Wyoming highway, where the rail trail is not finished yet, is fortunately very big.

Longest Complete Sections

For a shorter ride with mostly car-free miles, try one of these nearly complete sections:

Idaho to Washington State

Washington D.C. to Ohio

Longest Unfinished Sections

Wyoming and Montana are the two states with the most miles of trail still needing to be designed, planned, and built.

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