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 cyclist'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. Their lack of traffic, gradual grades, and historic points of interest make them fun and accessible to a wide range of cyclists.

Already 53% Complete

By including 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 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 alongside 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.

Bike Across the US?

When the Great American Rail-Trail is complete, you'll be able to ride across the entire U.S. on bike paths. This journey will take most people 2.5 to 3 months to complete. What an epic adventure!

Do you want to

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.

Your experienced riding buddy in digital form, there for you when you need it most (like in the middle of nowhere, with no internet).