Ron Rosen, center, completed his longest rail-trail trip on inline skates.
Rick Wagner and family crossing
Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho.
Rail-Trail Miles by the Bushel
In January, we asked you to tell us about the longest rail-trail ride you've ever done in a day. Thank you to everyone who wrote in—we've never had more responses to a "Tell Us" question! Enjoy the selected exerpts below:
Ron Rosen — Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
My longest rail-trail trip so far, by Rollerblades® (NOT bicycle!), is the full, paved length of New York's Harlem Valley Rail Trail, from Millerton to Wassaic Train Station, which is the north end of the Metro-North Harlem Line to New York City. Roundtrip, it was about 18 miles. The northern half of this ride is by far the most intersting, traversing rural countryside, woods and farms. Incidentally, I'm 62 years old.
Rick and Debbie Wagner and family — Pierceton, Ind.
In the summer of 2007, my wife and two of our children, ages 17 and 11, enjoyed two bicycle rides on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in Idaho. This rail-trail is about 140 miles roundtrip, so we planned two 70-mile rides by starting from the trail's midpoint, the Bull Run Trailhead. We rode westward to the end of the trail and back to Bull Run one day, and eastward from Bull Run a few days later.
To a family of Hoosiers, it was pleasant culture shock to ride for miles and miles without seeing a corn or soybean field. As rail-trail enthusiasts, we try to glean the unique features of a given rail-trail as we enjoy ourselves, whether it be the terrain, something of historical significance, or trying to understand how a certain small community came into being in light of the former railbed now preserved as a rail-trail.
Julia Anne Bourne — Atlanta, Ga.
My longest ride was from the start of the Silver Comet Trail in Georgia to the end of the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama—exactly 100 miles as we rode it. I rode with my bike team, Team Geek. It's a group of techie and tour geeks. We're not fast but we're well tooled, and we're infamous for late starts and stopping for fine dining in the middle of a century.
Marianna Freemon — Wellton, Ariz.
I have been a Rail-to-Trails Conservancy member for many years. I don't usually tell my age, but for this story I will make an exception. I am 72 and this past summer I rode the entire 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail in one day. That isn't such a long ride, but I did ride it from one end to the other and had an absolutely wonderful time doing it! I felt rejuvinated the next day and sincerely love riding rail-trails.
Bob Hamann — Staples, Minn.
Our longest trail ride was part of a 200-mile, single-day trip. In Minnesota, my wife and I rode from Brainerd/Baxter to Cass Lake on the Paul Bunyan State Trail. It was 99 miles each way. On our way back we took a 12-mile route on a rural highway for a change in scenery. It was a great ride. We averaged 18.5 miles per hour and stopped every 25 miles for a quick rest. It took us 17.5 hours to complete the ride. Obviously, we could feel the effects the next day but still came back on Tuesday and rode our normal club ride with no problem at all.
Bruce Chulka — O'Fallon, Mo.
A few years ago, a friend of mine and I rode the entire Katy Trail State Park in two days. At that time it was 186 miles long; it has now been lengthened to 225 miles. We rode 86 miles the first day and a little more than 100 the second day.
Dave Reier — Sunbury, Pa.
My brother, Paul Reier, and I rode 125.4 miles roundtrip on Pennsylvania's Pine Creek Rail Trail from Jersey Shore to Wellsboro Junction and back. It was a great trip even though there was very light rain falling for about a third of it. My butt was sore by the end, but the next day I was fine if a little tired. My brother was sore for a few days.
Gary L. Foley — Grove City, Ohio
Several years ago, I rode a big part of the Little Miami Scenic Trail in one day. In brief, a buddy and I departed from Xenia Station and rode to Milford and back. Total mileage for the day was 104.5. It was a great ride, and I would encourage all who are able to take the plunge!
Sarah Rentz — Mobile, Ala.
In April 2008, my boyfriend and I completed the 40-mile Longleaf Trace in Mississippi in one day. It runs from Hattiesburg to Prentiss. We parked the car in Hattiesburg and did the roundtrip of 80 miles. It was the farthest either one of us had ridden in one day. How did we feel the next day? I don't recall being extremely tired or sore, but I'm sure the dinner of hamburgers, potato salad and beer we had immediately after helped out!
Mike Lemerise — Sterling Heights, Mich.
In Michigan, several of us (members of ROMEO: Retired Old Men Eating Out Cycle Club) rode the Pere Marquette Trail from Midland to Reed City, and then south on the White Pine Trail State Park all the way to Grand Rapids. That was 135 miles, and all on trails except for a short piece just past Clare.