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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project on: June 01, 2011, 04:37:11 PM
Marshal


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« on: June 01, 2011, 04:37:11 PM »

Dusty Trails GPS Project
(or “Project Fargo” with apologies to Salsa Bikes)

Overview:
So you live in Ohio (insert your home State here) and long for some cross country dirt style riding/touring/racing?  Can’t take the time this year, or afford the travel to a far and distant event/State to get in those desired dusty miles?  How about we develop for each and every US State a border-to-border back country dirt/gravel/forest trail route?  Much of the work is already done right here on this web site.  The main concept is to link a series of back country gravel, dirt, forest service type roads and bike trails/paths to create fun, interesting border-to-border bike routes, both N/S and E/W for each State.  And then post up the GPS track for any and all to use.  Along these lines………..

Initial Objective:
Volunteers needed to layout, ride, record and post up border to border dirt style GPS Route for your home State.  [Routes needed for both N/S and E/W crossings for all lower 48 US States]  (Hawaii –longest possible? , Alaska—doable summer route?)

Long Term Goal:
Confirmed and posted N/S and E/W dirt style GPS routes across every State.  Then as possible/practical, State routes will be “linked”, creating unlimited ‘Dusty Trail’ riding and touring opportunities..  The routes (and links) will allow anyone to quickly layout extended cross country tours.  All with confirmed GPS tracks.  Can you say big multi-State loops or several E/W and N/S US border to border crossings.  Mix and match the individual State routes as desired.  Ahh the Great Divide Route extended to the entire US

Some Guidelines:
Proposed Route
A route will be considered “Proposed” once a GPS track has been posted up and is available for comment and download. [it goes without saying but all routes must be legally open for bikes]

Completed Route
A route will be considered “Complete” once someone has actually recorded a GPS track of the route while traversing it on their bike (and posted it up, available for all to download) 

Racing Completed Route(s)
State Record(s) may be kept and held for two categories. 
a) ITT Self-Supported completion with an Individual Start.
b) Self-Supported style completion with a Group Start.
[Drafting and team tactics allowed for the group start being the key difference between the two records]

Route Finish: (sort of a dirt style randonneur)
Any and all styles (touring, supported/semi-supported/un-supported/group/partner(s) etc, etc) of completing the State routes are strongly encouraged.  Along these lines ALL Finish Times may be recorded and posted for all to see and share.


Some Suggestions:

Existing routes:
No reason to re-invent the wheel—use any/all existing routes (or parts of routes) that fit the general concept.

Pavement:
Use pavement sparingly but as needed to complete the route. (please use only bike safe-friendly pavement)

Bike Paths
Extended ‘rails to trails’ type paths could make great starting points for a border-to-border route. Use as fits/needed/possible

Single Track:
Established, predominantly single track routes like Colorado’s CT and Arizona’s AZT will never be possible in most states. And the intent of these border-to-border routes is not to just jog the route back and forth across a State to link up bits and pieces of single track.  In fact I envision many/most of these routes not having any/little single track what so ever.  That said, any logical, bike-rideable single track that could be included probably should be. 

Populations Centers:
In general I would say to avoid big cities where possible.  But consider logical needed re-supply points for a self-supported rider and interesting smaller towns and good urban bike paths as needed.

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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 06:49:24 PM
trebor


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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 06:49:24 PM »

this is right up my alley, Marshall.

http://milesforpink.blogspot.com/2011/05/swamped.html
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Rob Roberts

  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #2 on: June 02, 2011, 02:21:02 PM
jhl99

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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2011, 02:21:02 PM »

I like this idea, in theory, but I think the focus should be on the undocumented, not the documented.

A lot of the existing route stuff, bike paths and designated bike routes are already  documented  (Google Maps-Bike Routes Option , or various states Departments of Transportations publish  designate bike routes maps)  Re riding these and making a GPX file doesn't seem like it adds much value--anyone can easily do the research.  For instance, my home state of PA has published has 6 routes across the state:  http://www.dot.state.pa.us/bike/web/tour_routes.htm.  No sense reinventing those wheels.

Some things to consider:
 
1.  In eastern states, border to border dirt roads or lessor is going to be tough, if not impossible--I think at least the routes can give a breakdown of single track/double track/dirt/road and strive to be on the less developed end of the spectrum.
2.  It doesn't seem like there are that many people into this type of riding, so I'm not optimistic there will be large base from which to gather contributions...unlike traditional 4 hour mountain bikers, where there all kinds of websites with trail maps and trail reviews.  ( I really wonder what percentage of off-road tourers plan and execute their own routes as compared to those who following an established route or someone else's track.... )
3.  Is this project too ambitious to start with?  It might be better, just for starters, just to try to collect a bunch of weekend routes and see what the response is?  For volunteers, it is a lot more manageable to document a shorter ride than to stretch from border to border of your average state.  You can bet there have been many times more weekend trips than border to border rides.
4.  Laying out a route in pixels is trivial.  Going out in and field checking the route is not--especially when the route is linear and lengthy.

I reiterate that I still like the idea.  I've been working on route and will post a partial, field checked route in the coming months. I have a couple of weekend routes to donate to cause if the suggestion is taken.





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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 08:28:09 PM
Marshal


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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 08:28:09 PM »

I like this idea, in theory, but I think the focus should be on the undocumented, not the documented.

A lot of the existing route stuff, bike paths and designated bike routes are already  documented  (Google Maps-Bike Routes Option , or various states Departments of Transportations publish  designate bike routes maps)  Re riding these and making a GPX file doesn't seem like it adds much value--anyone can easily do the research.  For instance, my home state of PA has published has 6 routes across the state:  http://www.dot.state.pa.us/bike/web/tour_routes.htm.  No sense reinventing those wheels.

I am in Bethlehem PA as I write this—in fact driving across PA, W-to E, on Wednesday while thinking how cool it would be to ride across this state on dirt was part of the impetus for my original post. 

Agreed about not reinventing the wheel but, to the best of my knowledge none of the Google Maps or any state’s DOT routes you mention provides complete border-to-border ‘dirt’ routes.  The only such routes I am aware of are the GD and AZT/750 routes.  If anyone knows of other completed, mapped dirt routs please post them up for inclusion.  On the other hand I see using as needed any and all existing, mapped pavement routes as possible starting points, bypasses, bail outs, logical re-supply points, and linking options for future dirt routes. 

IMO the entire value of the basic premise lays in developing is a public-open collection, or library if you will, of proven GPS dirt tracks.  This allows easily initiation of a back country ride from virtually any location in the US, for any time duration, in any direction, of any distance, etc etc

Some things to consider:
 
1.  In eastern states, border to border dirt roads or lessor is going to be tough, if not impossible--I think at least the routes can give a breakdown of single track/double track/dirt/road and strive to be on the less developed end of the spectrum.

Agreed-Yes, yes, yes-But think how much fun the challenge would be  to layout, explore and eventually complete one. 

2.  It doesn't seem like there are that many people into this type of riding, so I'm not optimistic there will be large base from which to gather contributions...unlike traditional 4 hour mountain bikers, where there all kinds of websites with trail maps and trail reviews.  ( I really wonder what percentage of off-road tourers plan and execute their own routes as compared to those who following an established route or someone else's track.... )

Agreed, but over time, with lots of convenient, easy to access GPS tracks who knows, might grow into something a bit bigger.  Also I have had several ideas of trying to enlist local bike shops or other industry types, with vested interest in more bodies out riding bikes, getting involved with this project.

3.  Is this project too ambitious to start with?  It might be better, just for starters, just to try to collect a bunch of weekend routes and see what the response is?  For volunteers, it is a lot more manageable to document a shorter ride than to stretch from border to border of your average state.  You can bet there have been many times more weekend trips than border to border rides.

Again, agreed, but ya got to start somewhere.  I could see some one laying out a border-to-border pixel route (yes it is beautifully easy) and then exploring, modifying and recording “sections” of it over time.  Training rides, chill out sessions, hard group rides etc etc could be all be incorporated.  How many of us need just a little nudge to go ride some unexplored back country roads?

4.  Laying out a route in pixels is trivial.  Going out in and field checking the route is not--especially when the route is linear and lengthy.

See above



I reiterate that I still like the idea.  I've been working on route and will post a partial, field checked route in the coming months. I have a couple of weekend routes to donate to cause if the suggestion is taken.

Please post up what you are working on.  My hope would be that some other PA based riders would be interested in seeing what you are working on and might want to get involved in some way. Maybe a route could be split/shared between two or more PA riders from different locations.  Say a E rider might work on the E side of the state while a W rider workes to link up from the W





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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 04:46:10 AM
fotooutdoors


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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 04:46:10 AM »

There are some dual sport riders who have created rides in the vein of what you are describing-obviously no singletrack (well, singletrack on a dualsport bike is very different from mt bike singletrack).  

Wisconsin: http://www.lonewolfexpeditions.com/twat.html
This route was the basis of the transwisconsin http://www.transwisconsin.com/

I believe that soemone worked out a route for the entirety of Michigan (that would be NS in the lower peninsula and EW in the UP).  I don't know of any mt bikers who have ridden that route (it is considerably longer than the transwisconsin).
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 06:38:00 AM by fotooutdoors » Logged

  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 05:50:41 PM
Marshal


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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 05:50:41 PM »

There are some dual sport riders who have created rides in the vein of what you are describing-obviously no singletrack (well, singletrack on a dualsport bike is very different from mt bike singlesport). 

Wisconsin: http://www.lonewolfexpeditions.com/twat.html
This route was the basis of the transwisconsin http://www.transwisconsin.com/

I believe that soemone worked out a route for the entirety of Michigan (that would be NS in the lower peninsula and EW in the UP).  I don't know of any mt bikers who have ridden that route (it is considerably longer than the transwisconsin).


Thanks fotooutdoors, this is exactly the type of info that would make a great starting point for any riders in this part of the country who might want to submit a ‘proposed NS b-t-b route’.  Much , even most of the work seems to be done

I can see that when I get the chance I will need to make an offline file of links, cataloged by state.  Over time the idea would be to get all Dusty Trails “Completed Routes/GPS files” onto the Routes section of this site, in some logical format.
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 06:18:38 PM
jhl99

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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 06:18:38 PM »

I am in Bethlehem PA as I write this—in fact driving across PA, W-to E, on Wednesday while thinking how cool it would be to ride across this state on dirt was part of the impetus for my original post.

Wow, moved by the Keystone State... I guess I will have to comply with your request!  icon_biggrin

.. to the best of my knowledge none of the Google Maps or any state’s DOT routes you mention provides complete border-to-border ‘dirt’ routes.

Yea,  you busted me!

Please post up what you are working on. 


Ok, here it is.  I have a couple of more weekend trips to get PA done, might take a couple of months to fit those weekends in.  MD is done.  I've started WV.  WV should be a gem, the WV/VA border is mostly National Forest.  Farther south is out of my normal range.  I ran out motivation proposing a route around the Dismal Swamp...






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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #7 on: June 04, 2011, 06:52:13 PM
Marshal


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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2011, 06:52:13 PM »



Ok, here it is.  I have a couple of more weekend trips to get PA done, might take a couple of months to fit those weekends in.  MD is done.  I've started WV.  WV should be a gem, the WV/VA border is mostly National Forest.  Farther south is out of my normal range.  I ran out motivation proposing a route around the Dismal Swamp...




wow, this is impressive --perhaps someday a East Coast TDR style race in the making me thinks--Matt you seeing this?
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #8 on: June 16, 2011, 09:10:53 PM
Groundshine


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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2011, 09:10:53 PM »

in VERMONT this project was a baby of Dave Blumenthal's.  Check out his PBwiki here: http://xvtmbr.pbworks.com/w/page/334617/FrontPage
There are many options in this state... but so far nothing (vertical) has been linked and biked in one swoop.  There is an existing East - West cross Vermont Trail but the dirt is entirely rail trail or dirt road.... and the paved road parts are a bit nasty.  http://www.crossvermont.org/index.php
The statewide mt bike organization also once shared  a goal of a N-S trail, but nothing ever mapped.  I heard someone is writing a story this year on riding the length of the state (200miles) on single track (mostly)... but not sure if she will be sharing the gpx of that adventure.  My goal this year was to link as much single track together with a bunch of class 4 (unmaintained dirt) and other dirt roads in a fashion somewhat resembling Tour Divide style bikepacking; and ride it.
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #9 on: June 17, 2011, 08:05:45 PM
bmike-vt


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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2011, 08:05:45 PM »

http://www.transamtrail.com/about/
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #10 on: June 17, 2011, 08:08:47 PM
bmike-vt


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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2011, 08:08:47 PM »

Another resourse that I've used is :

 http://www.advrider.com/

Led me to some nice dirt over in NYS, as well as the road turn snow machine trail I took for a Pugsley ride this winter. Lots of GPX tracks floating around if you search.
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #11 on: June 17, 2011, 08:34:00 PM
Marshal


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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2011, 08:34:00 PM »

Another resourse that I've used is :

 http://www.advrider.com/

Led me to some nice dirt over in NYS, as well as the road turn snow machine trail I took for a Pugsley ride this winter. Lots of GPX tracks floating around if you search.


Yes there are--I already stumbled across the Dual Sport angle and have been thinking how fun it might be to use a Dual Sport motorcycle to test out a full coast to coast dirt route.  sort of funny in a way as 'back in the day' my 1st mountain bike was meant to be a stop gap filler till my next MX bike
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #12 on: June 17, 2011, 08:48:32 PM
Marshal


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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2011, 08:48:32 PM »



similar idea but paying money for a route is going to mostly go by the wayside imo with the current GPS technology. 
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011, 08:50:20 PM
Marshal


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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011, 08:50:20 PM »

in VERMONT this project was a baby of Dave Blumenthal's.  Check out his PBwiki here: http://xvtmbr.pbworks.com/w/page/334617/FrontPage
There are many options in this state... but so far nothing (vertical) has been linked and biked in one swoop.  There is an existing East - West cross Vermont Trail but the dirt is entirely rail trail or dirt road.... and the paved road parts are a bit nasty.  http://www.crossvermont.org/index.php
The statewide mt bike organization also once shared  a goal of a N-S trail, but nothing ever mapped.  I heard someone is writing a story this year on riding the length of the state (200miles) on single track (mostly)... but not sure if she will be sharing the gpx of that adventure.  My goal this year was to link as much single track together with a bunch of class 4 (unmaintained dirt) and other dirt roads in a fashion somewhat resembling Tour Divide style bikepacking; and ride it.


If you lay out and ride your route please raise a glass to Dave's memory in my name after a long hard day
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #14 on: June 22, 2011, 01:39:44 PM
mbeardsl


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« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2011, 01:39:44 PM »

wow, this is impressive --perhaps someday a East Coast TDR style race in the making me thinks--Matt you seeing this?
I had recently wondered about this and figured I couldn't be the first.
Could even serve as a "qualifier" for TD if current trends/worries continue.
Biggest issue is finding enough dirt without large detours in some area. 
For example the ECD runs smack dab through downtown Atlanta. 
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #15 on: September 20, 2011, 11:16:42 AM
ridingman1

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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2011, 11:16:42 AM »

I have been stitching together Eastern Continental Divide route options for sections in Ga, SC and Southwestern North Carolina. It is basically the trans North Ga Route connected to a segment I call the SC Connector connected to another segment called the Pisgah Traverse.
The SC connector is all paved because there are no unpaved public roads to use. It highlights some of the most scenic terrain in the Upstate.
The Pisgah Traverse brings in single track, gravel and more beautiful terrain.
The total distance: Pisgah Traverse + SC Connector + Trans N Ga is 620 miles.
There is more work to be done on the Pisgah GPX track. The section around Old Fort on the “Old Toll Road” needs to be verified. I have not identified services, although they are abundant in the Pisgah and SC sections.

A GPX track of the route can be found on RidewithGPS.com at: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/700184
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #16 on: November 09, 2011, 03:06:58 PM
Hubcap29erMan


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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2011, 03:06:58 PM »

Some great stuff here.  Thanks to JHL99 for pointing me to this thread.  How many of the earlier posters are still following this?  I have been working on a north/south PA route to tie into the Virginia section (400 miles) Chris Scott has been guiding on.  Just need a few people to correspond with in northern and southern sections of the state.  Trying to pull in the maximum amount of single track followed by dirt roads and the inevitable blacktop.  I started a post over at http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,2564.new.html#new but no sense having two different threads going.

Also need a few words of wisdom regarding what website or software would be best for mapping this out.  I have my Garmin data for rides but not sure that would work best for everyone to view but then again, with single track that doesn't exist on maps, that might be the way to go.

Something to share from another thread...this is the Virginia system.... be sure to check out the video. http://shenandoahmountaintouring.blogspot.com/2011/11/virginia-mountain-bike-trail-it-is.html

« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 07:55:14 PM by Hubcap29erMan » Logged

  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #17 on: November 25, 2011, 10:28:45 AM
jhl99

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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2011, 10:28:45 AM »

I consolidated the routes that have been mentioned onto this map:



A couple of Notes:
The brownish line through PA is a proposed route that HubCapMan29erMan is the driving force for.  The route through PA to the west is the PA-ECD.  

The Great Allegheny Passage and C&O are shown because they are well known and can work as connectors.

The blue VA MTB Route has been annoucced (see other posts around here), but the route authors have not released any formal info, the blue line is a best guess.

There is no connection shown or proposed between the VA board and Pisgah Traverse.  The Pisgah section data is from ridingman1's link, which includes the SC connector section.

The TNGA is well known.


Rough data in tabular format is included in the attached PDF file.

* EC_LD_Trails.pdf (6.21 KB - downloaded 110 times.)
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #18 on: November 25, 2011, 02:04:04 PM
mbeardsl


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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2011, 02:04:04 PM »

Great map pulling it all together.  It would be interesting to see the actual ECD overlaid for reference even if sticking close to it isn't the goal (looks like TNGA would actually intersect it but not run along it for instance).

This guy has NC and GA mapped but not offroad and more from a historical perspective.
http://www.gpsinformation.org/jack/Divide/Divide.html

As for Va to NC, it seems like there must be more trail in Pisgah NF than just what was posted in the Pisgah Traverse, but I am not very familiar with the area.  Worst case, you are at least on the Blue Ridge Parkway so at least it's great pavement and wih speed limit, likey very safe.
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  Topic Name: Dusty Trails GPS Project Reply #19 on: November 27, 2011, 06:04:57 AM
jhl99

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« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2011, 06:04:57 AM »

Turned on the ECD (faint yellow line)
Also include a portion of the Great Lakes Divide? headed east, purplish, unlabeled line.



Regarding northern NC to VA... there is a more remote trail system at an area known as Wilson Creek.
It is a great area in its own right, but it is a little east, and down off the divide.

Blue Ridge Parkway... I'm looking for some data so I can overlay that to see how it can be used to bridge some gaps.

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