I attempted to post something a few minutes ago, but was told to log in again. I did so. Thanks to cut& paste, here goes again...
I was surfing the Crazyguyonabike site and noted a number of people starting from Philly/DC/NY and heading west on the C&O towpath. Wouldn't it be interesting, I thought, if there was a straightforward way to put some things together...
First, the current conditions:
1.There already exist the C&O canal/Allegheny Passage, connecting DC to points west of Pittsburgh.
2.Ohio has Bike routes CT and F that cover E-W, and have in the works a route running from Cleveland to Cincy - although it's possible to run from South Charleston to near Germantown today.
3.Mo has the Katy Trail.
4.The Northern Tier through Ill, IN, and OH is (no offence intended) bland.
Now the idea...
Supposing that connectors were developed to connect the East Coast route to the C&O/Alleg Psg, the Alleg Psg to "Ohio Route F" (which already passes within a dozen country miles of the Little Miami bikeway), the Little Miami through southern IN and South-Central IL to the Katy, from whence one could jump to L&C or Transam/Western Express.
The total of new route miles would be something like 600 (60 in PA/WV/OH, 450-550 from western OH to St Louis).
The C&0/Allegheny Passage already exists, and is being promoted as a touring venue.
IL, IN, and OH are often perceived as unscenic, flat, and unchallenging. "Route F" and a route from, say Germantown OH, through Oxford OH, and Indiana towns such as Batesville, Columbus, Bedford, and crossing into IL at, say, Hutsonville (thence through Effingham, Hillsboro, Newbern, and crossing the big river just upstream from St Louis) would provide a more challenging/rewarding/scenic transit while still allowing a selection of lightly travelled roads without sacrificing available services.
Any comments ?