Author Topic: Atlantic coast bycle route  (Read 13081 times)

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Offline 83nathalie

Atlantic coast bycle route
« on: January 25, 2009, 01:20:42 pm »

In september 2009 me and my cyclefriend liesel want to do the atlantic coast (from new york to wilmington, nc).
And i was wondering if anyone here has cycled on this parts?

we are still figuring everying out, since this is our first cycling trip in the states (have cycled all over europe).
So i am looking for some people who can feed us some tips about what to do, not to do...

if this part we want to cycle is recomendable...
how the route is between those two cities... cycle friendly?
if you can find easily a place to put your tent up...

all your help is welcome!!!


Offline Westinghouse

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 06:55:44 am »
"Cycling the Atlantic Coast" by Donna Ikenberry is probably your best guide to that route. I have cycled the general areas you will be on three or four times. If there are specific matters you need information on, perhaps I can give you some relevant information according to what I am able to remember. The barrier islands and the Delmarva peninsula might keep you out of the heavier traffic..

Offline JayH

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 07:53:40 am »
Although I live in NJ, I have never cycled south of me, I tend to go north, so I have not done the Atlantic coastal route south of say New Paltz, NY.  I also don't do alot of cycling from my house to NYC as it is way more dense and more traffic, worse roads, worse drivers, etc. so I don't know much about getting out of NYC, however, if I can help ya in anything, let me know and I can try my best.

Once you get at least 40-50 miles from NYC, it should get better, so long as you are headed towards the route itself which skirts the NW corner of NJ and goes towards Norristown, PA. and then south towards NC.


Offline GSullivan

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 06:09:07 pm »
You might try going into Adventure Cyclings Ride Registry and looking up the Atlantic Coast entries for first hand accounts from those who have ridden the route recently. Many people also have on line journals that these registry's link to. The other place to check is this on-line journal service: and search on Atlantic Coast route.

Have a fabulous time.
Ginny Sullivan

Offline Boris

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2009, 05:50:59 am »
I did Miami to New York in 2006, routing thru Wilmington. My route stuck close to the coast and included the Outer Banks off N Carolina which are well worth the visit. Winds were mostly in my favour (but I went the opposite way to you). I used motels but saw a lot of camping grounds. Traffic was fine but that was in late May - my problems were south of Wilmington. It was a great trip but invest in good maps and make sure you get to the  Chesapeake bridge/tunnel during off-peak traffic hours during the day (they provide a truck to take bikes across and you may need to wait some time!).

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2009, 05:56:11 am »
I have crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with a bike, on that truck. I don't know if it might be of any help, but you could call ahead to that station where the truck is, and let them know when you will be there. A person I was cycling with did that, called ahead. We got on the truck quite soon after our arrival. I am not sure that calling ahead mattered one way or the other. I think it is first-come first-served. If I remember correctly, it was not a free service. I cannot remember what it cost. It wasn't much. It was reasonable. It was quite a few years ago. The guy who was doing the driving tolds us a suitcase or suitcases with human body parts in them had been washing up on the shores in that area. Delmarva is a good ride. At the north end of the peninsula you can get the Cape May-Lewes ferry. The coast road going north from there has a touristy, resort kind of appeal with plenty of motels, at least one fishing pier, and restaurants.

Offline dubovsmj

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2009, 07:57:14 am »
here's the phone number you can toss a ring towards:  757-331-2960......about 10 greenbacks for their services i reckon

Offline litespeed

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2009, 01:42:08 pm »
I've bicycle toured Florida - NY/NH four times, twice up the coast and twice inland. Leaving NY you can take the ferry to Atlantic Highlands or the train to South Amboy (Quicker but less pleasant). US9 to Cape May is a fairly good bicycling road - plenty of shoulder - with one mild problem. You have to do the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway for 2 1/2 miles over the Mullica river near New Gretna. Both times I did it, hammering hard, cops passed me but didn't pay me any mind.

There is a campground just south of Toms River and plenty of campgrounds around Cape May - a few north of town and one in town. The huge Cape May - Lewes ferry is very pleasant as are the ferries along the NC coast. They make for a pleasant break from pedaling. The NC ferries are free.

If you plan to see Washington you'll have to cut across NJ to PA and maybe get on the ACA route.

The ride across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel was free both times I did it - 2003 and 2007. I just showed up at the toll office and asked for a ride. They grumble a bit if you don't phone ahead but I just look dumb and say I didn't know about that. A maintenance guy will take you across in his pickup.


  • Guest
Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2009, 01:27:38 pm »
Did the AC route from Bar Harbor to Philly (my home town) in '99 and cycle in Hunterdon and Warren Counties in NJ often.  From, say, New Paltz, NY south to Pt,. Jervis is pretty nice.  Not very hilly.  The section between Pt. Jervis to Delaware Water Gap is very nice as it passes through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  Look out for bears.  Continuing south along the Delaware River through Belvidere is also nice.  It's a net elevation loss, although there are a few short hills as you approach Phiilipsburg (which is somewhat of a pit).  South of there to Milford, NJ the route uses primarily a pleasant, lightly travelled road dotted with river-front houses.  Parts of the road are so narrow that two cars cannot pass. There is one shirt hill as you get close to Milford, which has good pizza.  The stretch from there to Frenchtown has some traffic at times and is generally not that scenic. From Frenchtown you can take the old rail-trail all the way to Lambertville.  It's not paved, but I have done much of it on 23c tires.  The alternative is S.R. 29, which has a very wide shoulder until you reach Stockton.  It then narrows and can have heavy traffic in the summer.  Bull's Island Recration Area, about 10 miles south of Frenchtown, is a fabulous place to camp, but you will likely need a reservation on weekends, and there is a two-night minimum on weekends unless you show up Saturday and they happen to have a free site.  I wasn't too impressed with the route south of Lambertville to Norristown.  It seems to have been designed before all the sprawl happened.  But it may have changed in the last 10 years.

If you send me a message directly I can probably come up with a better route from Lambertville to Norristown.  Also, if you are planning to ride from the NYC area our club has a super route between there and Lambertville which might help you.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2009, 12:14:23 pm »
I am so envious. You will love this trip!!!! The time of year you plan to ride, the winds may change and you should have a tail wind most of the way to the Carolinas. Lucky you. It may be a little brisk when you start in Bar Harbor. We use to vacation, in July, in Bar Harbor. A trip to the top of Cadillac Mountain is in order. When cycling south, make sure you enjoy the many lobster pots, located at the side of the road. Yummy!!! Make it a point to stop in Freeport, Maine. L.L.Bean is located there. They are open 24 hours a day. Huge outdoor gear store. In the late summer we use to stay at a friends house in Cape May N.J. they have some of the most beautifully restored Victorian homes. Take the Lewes Ferry to Lewes, Delaware. (70 minute ride) The Delmarva Penninsula is great to ride and most of the touristas, will be gone. If you should ride towards Washington, D.C. make sure you stop in Annapolis, MD. It is where the U.S. Naval Academy is located and they have some of the best restaurants, along the river. We also lived in Greensboro, N.C. and spent alot of time on the Outterbanks of N.C. Another highlite, take the ferry from Cape Hateris to Ocracoke, Island. One beautiful beach. Next time you need to pull together another  month or two and cycle the rest of the way down to Key West, Florida. Going through St. Augustine and riding down the Keys is wonderful, warm, sunny, and thank God end of hurricane season. Key West is one crazy place. Worth the trip. The second home and a museum of the great American writer Ernest Hemmingway.  Be prepared, lots of drinking may be in order. I swear the average blood alcohol level there is 1%. Enjoy and journal your trip.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2009, 11:20:08 am »
One addition, I would purchase the Adventure Cycling Maps for your indended route. It will suggest to you the best bicycle routes, where to camp, bike shops, bike hostels, grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals etc.. I would also consider contacting churches, schools and bike hostels along your route. Even small towns are pretty decent about letting you camp in their town squares. If it is one of Adventure Cycling bike routes, cyclist have been doing it for awhile, people are use to us, and tend to be more friendly. Since I do not have all the maps, (I believe 5 for your route)  I can not tell you, but if they are like the maps I have, plus with an Adventure Cycling Yellow Pages, which you can get online, you should be ok. The only areas that you might have trouble, pitching a tent, are near big cities. I would purchase the book recommended in a previous post, because it is written from a woman's perspective. Finally, I would check for any updates, to your route, just prior to your trip. Cheers

Offline bikepak

Re: Atlantic coast bicycle route DC to NYC to north
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2009, 09:18:34 pm »

This is my first bear with me.
I too am searching routes for the Atlantic coast.  We will begin in Richmond VA or Wash DC and head north as long as time allows.
I have the book cycling the AC and the Adv. Cycling maps.
Because we want to bike in NYC across the Brooklyn Bridge, we will be travelling south to north via Cape May.
My question...any recommended routes to New York City from the south?
My research leads me to the ferry in Atlantic Highlands, there's a 22 mi. bike path leading there from Freehold.  Is there a good route leading to there?


Offline Tourista829

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2009, 10:46:18 pm »
I can help you from New Jersey over to Lower Manhattan, you will have to get help elsewhere getting to Sandy Hook, N.J. or Staten Island.
If you want to get to cross the Brooklyn Bridge in lower Manhattan, I would suggest, if you are coming from the south, either of these two ways:
1. Go through Staten Island and get to the Staten Island Ferry. Take the Ferry accross to Battery Park in Lower Manhattan and you could ride up Broad St. into Nassau into Park Row onto the Brooklyn Bridge center section.
2. Or safer yet is the ferry, out of Sandy Hook or Belford, N.J. you might be able to take over to the east side of Manhattan. It will terminate approx 1/2 mile south of the South Street Sea Port. It will pass under the Verrazanno-Narrows Bridge and past the Statue of Liberty over to the East River. You could pretend you are a new immigrant coming to America. The Brooklyn Bridge will be the 1st of three bridges you come to from the south.
Once in Brooklyn cycling over to Brooklyn Heights which you can get to via Montigue St. It is a charming area with lots of restaurants. If you continue down Montigue Street or Pierpoint St, towards the East River, there is a Park overlooking lower Manhattan. It is over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway which I can't remember the name of.
The other thing I would do is take the boat over to the Statue of Liberty and then onto Ellis Island. You might need to park your bikes somewhere safe.
I would contact the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey to get more information about the Ferry.
Good Luck and a safe trip.

Offline bikepak

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2009, 12:14:05 am »
Thanks Tourista,

I have a bike map of NYC, so I figured it shouldn't be hard to get to the BB.
My thing is finding the best routes to Sandy Hook...or Atlantic Highlands from Cape May.
Someone else just posted a question on riding from NY to Atlantic City.
I'll watch for answers on that.
NJ must be filled with cyclists and I'm sure they have a good route.
Thanks again...any info is helpful.

Offline Noir

Re: Atlantic coast bycle route
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2009, 04:44:19 pm »
Iam planning on going from PA to FL Keys May 2010. Go to

They offer free downloadable cue sheets and Google Earth KML data so you can view the Greenway route.

The greenway is an "in progress" route specially catered for cyclists. It is not 100% complete and does consist of sometimes biking on roads (legal roads for biking).

At any rate, check out the website and if you wanna save yourself the trouble, i have a more exact route plotted in google earth that mirrors their directions.