Tell Us ...
In August, we asked you to tell us about your favorite memory from the summer rail-trail season.
Ann O'Connell — Haverhill, Mass.
I was fortunate enough to travel to Burlington, Vt., and ride the Island Line Rail Trail along Lake Champlain, ending up riding from Colchester out across the lake to the island of South Hero. The ferry was not in operation, but when it is, it transports a couple of bikers across the "cut" to South Hero.
This was a gorgeous ride, one that I had wanted to do for some time. I would go back in a heartbeat! It was so beautiful to have water on each side and the Adirondacks in the distance. The group I went with was the "Top of the Hill Gang." It's a group of seniors who do all kinds of activities, summer and winter. They are a really active group!
NOTE: This spring and summer, sections of the Island Line on the causeway experienced flood damage from unusually high water levels in Lake Champlain. For the most up-to-date information on the trail conditions, visit www.localmotion.org.
Susie Vandiver — Dallas, Texas
We traveled to Idaho specifically to ride the Route of the Hiawatha. We had seen it in a brochure and were immediately taken with the trestles and tunnels. A lot of trails have tunnels, but not too many of them have trestles so tall that you can't see the bottom of them through the trees!
The tunnels were all cool, if not cold, and it was amazing to think that a train had, at one time, gone through them. The trail is mostly downhill, and you can ride a shuttle bus back up to the top or turn around and ride back up through the tunnels and over the trestles again. It's only 15 miles one way, but it takes you a while to do the trip because you get off so many times to take pictures of the great views. And while we waited for the shuttle bus to leave, we made a few new friends and shared our peanuts with them.
Michael R. Emma and Wendy B. Davis — Bristol, R.I.
As new members of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, our first issue of Rails to Trails magazine featured the Schuylkill River Trail from Valley Forge to Philadelphia. Your article inspired us to cycle the trail and stay on in the area for several days. We had never visited Philadelphia, and we loved it, finding it a very interesting city and tourist friendly. The trail was a wonderful ride, just right on a hot day. It reminded us of the East Bay Bike Path outside our back door in Rhode Island.
Tom Bilcze — Akron, Ohio
I had the most amazing rail-trail experience this summer. My best cycling buddy Chuck and I did an unsupported tour across the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal towpath during the last week of June. It was such a memorable trip in many ways.
We agreed, and we asked Tom and Chuck to share a longer version of their story with us. Check out their full trip reflection, "Crossing Mountains, Chasing Rivers," from the RTC TrailBlog.
Sue Moretto — Elmer, N.J.
I just moved to New Jersey from Michigan last October. We ride around in south Jersey farmland and love it. There is a rustic trail near downtown Elmer, N.J., that we found. It seemed very short, so one day I decided to explore across the next road crossing. It turned out to be a very nice six-mile rail-trail, going from downtown Elmer out to Aura Road. There is an especially nice mile in Elk Township that is designated as Elephant Swamp Trail and is well-tended.