Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Top 20 rail-trails disclosed by Trails.com (re-post from BikingBis.com)

Top 20 rail-trails disclosed by Trails.com;
John Wayne Pioneer Trail tops the list

By Gene Bisbee, March 9, 2009

We love the blog run by Gene Bisbee at www.bikingbis.com. It's one of the most far-reaching and well-rounded cycling sites on the internet. Because Gene has a Rough Rider-specific post there today, and because we really want to bring his wondeful site to your attention, we're going to excerpt an article of Gene's here, and then encourage you to click over to his site for the full story, and much, much more. (I check his site every day. You can also see the latest headline of his blog in Our Blog List in the left column of the Rough Riders site.) Here is Gene's story:

When I pedaled my aged Rockhopper mountain bike on an out-and-back ride on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail last summer, I had no idea that I was riding the most popular rail-trail destination in North America.

I only saw about a dozen people on bicycles on my 50-mile ride, and no hikers. Maybe the reason was because it was the middle of the week and the trail starts at a park about 35 miles from Seattle.

In any case, based on internet traffic to its 44,000 trails listed at Trails.com, the former railroad grade of the Milwaukee Road is judged the most popular rail-trail. The votes comprise page views, trail downloads and trail rankings.

The website lists the top 20 at Best Rail-Trails Destinations, which I'll repeat below.

Interestingly, the John Wayne Pioneer Trail is the only trail on the most popular list that's located west of the Mississippi River.

Tragically, the trail also is the site of the closure of five tunnels "until further notice" due to falling debris in the 90-plus year-old passages. Those tunnel closures include the 2.3-mile-long Snoqualmie Tunnel that passes through a mountain near the crest of the Snoqualmie Pass, as well as four other trails to the east.

Want the full story, including the list of the Top 20 Best Rail-Trail Destinations? Of course you do! Click here to read it on Gene's site!

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