Author Topic: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA  (Read 4996 times)

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Offline kate12024

Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« on: January 25, 2015, 08:33:38 pm »
Cycling friends,

I'm brand new to bicycle touring, but have a bunch of road bike experience.  I'm considering my first bike tour this spring from Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA.  Unfortunately, I don't see many ACA map segments that will help me plan my trek.  Has anyone out there done this route, or portions of this route before?  What roads did you take, and where did you stop for overnights?  As I mentioned, I'm new to bicycle touring, so I'd also welcome planning resources/blogs from other tourers.  Thanks in advance!

Kate

Offline JHamelman

Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 09:58:42 am »
Hi Kate,

Welcome to bicycle touring! Every state has some sort of bicycle map and information via their Department of Transportation. You can see what is available in each state from this page:

http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/state.cfm

Some of the info is great, some is a bit more spotty.

I'd suggest taking a look at the resources and plotting out a general idea of your route. Then come back here with that info in hand as well as the kind of touring you want to do (hotels or camping? cooking or eating out?) asking your question again. It is sometimes easier for others to respond if they have a clearer picture of what you are looking for and planning.

Best,
.Jennifer.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer Hamelman

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 01:53:47 pm »
The Atlantic Coast route has a D.C. connection and passes through Statesboro, GA. A quick check of Google Maps bike directions shows that Statesboro to Atlanta is about 200 miles.

Once you get a general route idea you can search for campgrounds and/or motels using Google Maps. For example, for the first day, pick a point that's about a day's ride (based on what you think you can handle mileage-wise) from D.C. and, in Google maps, search for "campgrounds near [name of town]." If nothing comes up, pan out to widen the search area. Check any state parks which may show on the search results to see if they have camping. You can do the same with restaurants and grocery stores.
Fine tune your route based on services you locate. I find this method works pretty well.

Offline DanE

Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 08:22:57 am »
This is just an off the cuff suggestion for doing this trip. Take the W&OD rail trail from Alexandria out to Purcellville, Va to its end. I would Google map or ask the local DC bike crowd how to get from there to Front Royal, Va which is about 40 miles. In Front Royal you can pick up the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway. This will take you much of the way into NC. NC Bike Route 2 coincides with much of the BRP. Bike Route 2 will leave the Parkway at Balsam, NC which is southwest of Waynesville, NC and continue from there west to Murphy, NC. Murphy is in the far southwest corner of NC and is about 130 miles northeast of Atlanta. You would need to do some research to figure that part out as I don't have a suggestion for that. However, that leaves you 40 miles in Va and 130 miles in Ga to figure out a route on your own. I hope that helps.

The link for NC Bike Route 2 is: http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/mappubs/bikemaps/

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 09:57:11 am »
This is just an off the cuff suggestion for doing this trip. Take the W&OD rail trail from Alexandria out to Purcellville, Va to its end. I would Google map or ask the local DC bike crowd how to get from there to Front Royal, Va which is about 40 miles. In Front Royal you can pick up the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway. This will take you much of the way into NC. NC Bike Route 2 coincides with much of the BRP. Bike Route 2 will leave the Parkway at Balsam, NC which is southwest of Waynesville, NC and continue from there west to Murphy, NC. Murphy is in the far southwest corner of NC and is about 130 miles northeast of Atlanta. You would need to do some research to figure that part out as I don't have a suggestion for that.

I'd thought of recommending that approach, but it is very hilly compared to the piedmont or coastal plains.  It does have the advantage that you miss a lot of the back-tracking from the Atlantic Coast route.  If you do choose the BRP, be sure to get the book, "Bicycling the Blue Ridge" for information on water, food, and lodging or camping.

The approach to Atlanta is going to be an issue.  OP might be able to get some help from various cycling clubs and organizations in or near Atlanta. 

The Silver Comet trail is similar to the W&OD trail for approaching the big cities.  If you want to take that approach (from the west, unfortunately), first find a reasonable route into Chattanooga.  I'd suggest taking GA 193/337 to Summerville, then GA 100 down to the south side of Cedartown.  Alternately, you could pick up US 27 south of 411 (the traffic between Rome and 411 is intimidating, even in a large car or truck, but 27 is lightly trafficed to the south since they finished I-75).  There are 2-3 bike shops on the east end of the Silver Comet, and one of them should be able to help with a route from the end of the trail in Mableton to downtown Atlanta.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2015, 10:03:37 am »
In Front Royal you can pick up the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway.

A few comments on that
1. Be sure the camping you plan to use is open when you will be there.  Most of it closes in the Fall and opens again sometime in the Spring.  I think some sites open as late as May.
2. Be aware that it is a challenging route with camping and facilities pretty widely spaced even when they are all open.
3. Be aware that leaving the parkway for camping or services usually means a long steep climb back up to the parkway.

None of that is intended to discourage you from using the route.  Just be sure you know what you are up against before you decide to use it.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2015, 04:58:41 pm »
In Front Royal you can pick up the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway.
3. Be aware that leaving the parkway for camping or services usually means a long steep climb back up to the parkway.

This is commonly repeated, but I'm not so sure.  As long as you can get into a campground (Pete's point 1) and carry enough food for a day or two, I think things aren't as desperate as they're often portrayed.  For instance, I don't see the climb up to Rockfish Gap from Waynesboro as very bad.  Resupply there and you'd want to make the long slog to Roanoke; there's a number of small towns near the Parkway (and not too far downhill), i.e. Floyd and Fancy Gap, from there down to North Carolina.  Boone and Blowing Rock are easily accessible from the Parkway.  There are got a couple of restaurants and motels around Little Switzerland, then another day to Asheville, and another day to Balsam.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2015, 06:41:42 pm »
3. Be aware that leaving the parkway for camping or services usually means a long steep climb back up to the parkway.

This is commonly repeated, but I'm not so sure.  As long as you can get into a campground (Pete's point 1) and carry enough food for a day or two, I think things aren't as desperate as they're often portrayed.  For instance, I don't see the climb up to Rockfish Gap from Waynesboro as very bad.  Resupply there and you'd want to make the long slog to Roanoke; there's a number of small towns near the Parkway (and not too far downhill), i.e. Floyd and Fancy Gap, from there down to North Carolina.  Boone and Blowing Rock are easily accessible from the Parkway.  There are got a couple of restaurants and motels around Little Switzerland, then another day to Asheville, and another day to Balsam.

You may be able to plan well and avoid the longer and steeper climbs when leaving the parkway.  That said I'd definitely advise planning that carefully and not leaving it to chance.   While there are some places where the climb back up isn't bad there are also some real humdingers.  Some places leaving the parkway looks like dropping off the edge of the earth.  In any case it will be a challenging route for most riders.

Not everyone feels the same as I do, but I really hate going far at all off route for camping, shopping, or other services.  I also hate being tied to plan, preferring to be able to play it by ear as I go.   As a result I have only ridden the portion of the BRP that is on the TA (Vesuvius to the norther end of the BRP).  I have a few times considered riding the BRP and always decided against it after looking closer at the logistics.

Offline woodrowstar

Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2015, 11:19:11 am »
If this is your first tour, I strongly suggest starting away from the parkway. Google "East Coast Greenway" much better option. I'm born raised from DC and have traveled the corridor constantly.

Offline BobEndress

Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2015, 07:44:13 pm »
There is a gentleman who has generated routes as part of the Appalachian Cycle Network..  Much of the suggested routes are from DC to Atlanta.  You may derive some ideas on routing from this information.


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