Author Topic: Susquehanna Info?  (Read 666 times)

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Offline Headwinds

Susquehanna Info?
« on: December 15, 2013, 02:02:34 pm »
We're thinking about riding our tandem plus Bob trailer down the length of the Susquehanna River in September 2014 from the source near Cooperstown, NY, down as far as Callao, VA, on the Chesapeake Bay.  Can anyone suggest sources of information about good routing for this trip?

Our vision it to ride within sight of the river throughout most of the trip, until we reach Maryland, where we'll just follow the Adventure Cycling Atlantic Coast route, section 3, to get through Baltimore and Washington.  Other than that, the bicycle mode of Google maps is our main source of info at present, but we know that it reveals nothing about road surfaces and will route us from a paved rural road onto golf-balls-and-marshmallows gravel with no warning.

River routes collect lots of traffic, but there's often a quiet road on the other side (if we can get to it).  We're hoping to do this ride down the quiet side, if there is one.

Thanks,
Jim & Celeste

Offline jamawani

Re: Susquehanna Info?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 09:19:39 pm »
Have you considered the Eastern Shore?

You would miss Baltimore and Washington entirely and have beautiful countryside.
Maryland puts out a cycling map - online and paper.
http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Office_of_Planning_and_Capital_Programming/Bicycle/Bicycle_Maps.html

From Crisfield you can take a passenger ferry to either Smith island or Tangier Island -
Then connect to another passenger ferry to the Northern Neck of Virginia.
Staying overnight at one of the island guest houses would be like dessert.
Then you could ride the Northern Neck to Fredericksburg.
From Fredericksburg you can catch Amtrak back to NYC and Upstate.

If you decide to do the Eastern Shore, you should be on the east side of the Susq -
Before you reach Maryland since there only one legal bridge in MD - and it's yucky.
You want to avoid US 301 - even avoid Hwy 213 when possible -
But you do have to used Hwy 213 to cross some inlets and rivers.

The biggest challenge is crossing the Delaware & Chesapeake Canal.
Personally, I'd catch a ride either on the bridge -
Or from the dock on the north side to the dock on the south side.
(Boaters have helped me out many times crossing water bodies.)

If you are willing to hitch across water -
Then heading down Elks Neck to Rogue's Harbor is a possibility.

Although the Eastern Shore is busier than it used to be -
It is still a lovely place - far removed from the urban scene.
(Holiday weekends can be crazy, however.)

Offline indyfabz

Re: Susquehanna Info?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 10:54:43 am »
You can use some of this as a base:

ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/bikes/state_mapJ.pdf

I highly recommend NOT riding on U.S.22/U.S. 322 north of Harrisburg. U.S. 11/15 will also be busy in places, such as around Selinsgrove/Sunbury, and the views are not always there. When you are riding south on the west side of the river you will be away from it. You also have railroads between you are the river in many places. I am afraid you might be disappointed if you have a vision of quiety meandering along within sight of the river in most places, at least the further south you go. PA 441 south of HBG is a good example of a road that runs along the river but offers you little to no actual view of the river. Use Goggle Street View to look at U.S. 11 in the Shickshinny area. (BTW...If you are a fan of "Breaking Bad", Shickshinny is the home town of the actress who played Jesse's girlfriend Jane.) Hard to actually see the river in many places. The road either pulls away or there is tree cover.

Offline Headwinds

Re: Susquehanna Info?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 11:54:15 am »
"jamawani" and "indyfabz" thanks for your thoughts.  We shall definitely take the Eastern Shore option and adjust our expectations about quiet meandering along the river.  This should be an interesting trip.

Offline briwasson

Re: Susquehanna Info?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 07:51:05 pm »
Along the Susquehanna can be quite hilly in spots, too, but you probably already are aware if that.