Bicycle Travel > Connecting ACA Routes

Looking for advice from Pittsburgh, west to TA.

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I live in the DC area and wonder if it’s better to take the classic TA route from Yorktown west or ride the C&O canal and GAP trails to Pittsburgh and west to eventually link up with the TA in Missouri. Is there a bike friendly way to get there from Pittsburgh ? Thanks, bike gurus extraordinaire!

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John Nettles:
Google the "Eastern TransAm Express Bicycle Route".  It is a non-ACA but fairly well designed route going from DC to Walden, CO where it connects with the TA. 

Sections of Adventure Cycling Association's own 'Chicago to New York' and 'Underground Railroad' cycletouring routes will take you from Pittsburg to the TA just across the river from Cave-In-Rock, Illinois.

Last summer/spring I started my eastbound tour on the TA in Newton, KS.  I left the TA and continued east on hwy 54 at the Lizard Lips Cafe.  I went to Iola, KS where I went north on the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail.  That trail ends in Ottawa, KS where you take the Flint Hills rail trail to Osawatomie, KS.  From there you take roads to Clinton, MO which is the beginning/end of the Katy Trail.  The Eastern Express leaves the Katy Trail in Boonville.  The Eastern Express uses the same route at the ACA NYC to Chicago route from Pittsburgh to Zanesville, OH.  I used the ACA NYC to Chicago route from Indianapolis, IN to Columbus, OH.  I rode hwy 40 from Indianapolis to Terre Haute, IN.  Since I was eastbound I left the Eastern Express in Terre Haute.  The Eastern Express route bypasses Columbus, Dayton, and Indianapolis.  It may be easier to follow John's advice to take the Eastern Express for DC to Walden, CO.  The web site for the Eastern Express is

I really enjoyed riding the rail trails in KS, MO, IL and especially OH.

John Nettles:
Aggie,  while I know that the Prairie Spirit Trail is chat/crush limestone and is in fairly decent riding condition for "regular" touring tires, what is the condition of the Flint Hills Trail?  I keep getting conflicting reports.
Tailwinds, John


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