On Aug. 9, the Adventure Cycling Association announced the designation of 18 new U.S. bicycle routes in five states. For all the cycling enthusiasts out there, that means it’s time to grab your helmets and favorite biking shorts in preparation for an exciting adventure.
The new routes, which can be found in California, Indiana, Ohio, Utah, and Washington, add 2,903 miles to the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS). According to a press release announcing the news, this is the largest addition to the system to date, both in terms of the number of designations and their total mileage. The cycling experience on two other routes in California and Florida have also been improved.
Twice each year, state departments of transportation play a significant role in the expansion of the U.S. Bicycle Route System by designating new routes,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), said in a press release. “This summer, we are not only witnessing the highest number of designations in any single period to date, but we are also seeing why making improvements to existing routes when possible is important.”
Not only are the new routes the largest addition to the USBRS, but they also offer a wide range of landscapes and terrain to explore throughout the northwestern, southwestern, and midwestern U.S.
Some of the most westerly routes allow cyclists to follow the picture-perfect Pacific Coast Highway from Oregon to San Francisco or cross almost the entire state of California from the high desert to Los Angeles. In Ohio, cyclists are connected to some of the state’s major cities, including Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati, among others. Meanwhile, cyclists in Utah can go from the foot of the Wasatch Front to Salt Lake City and continue on to the painted cliffs and pinnacles near the Arizona border. Washington’s new routes offer a scenic ride through the rolling hills of the Palouse region and into the Snake River Canyon.
The USBRS currently boasts 17,734 miles of officially designated routes in 31 states and Washington, D.C., with the goal of developing a national network that links every state in the country with 50,000 miles of routes.
Digital maps for all designated routes are available to the public for free on the Adventure Cycling Association website.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she’s always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.