Author Topic: US Civil War Tour  (Read 1705 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bouke6708

US Civil War Tour
« on: August 21, 2010, 11:05:12 am »
We are planning a 90-days bike tour in the spring of 2011 from New Orleans to Washington DC. Fascinated by he US Civil War History we want to visit the highlight locations, and also enjoying live America music and beautiful landscapes. Roughly we have the following route in mind: New Orleans-Lafayette (LA-Vicksburg-Natchez Trace parkway-Tupelo(MS)-Shiloh-Chattannooga-East Tennessee (TS)-Roanoke-Petersburg-Richmond-Fredericksburg-Shenandoah Valley(VA)-Antietam-Gettysburg-Manassas-Washington DC.
Thus far we did not find much information on this route. So we are in for all kind of tips. First of all good maps. What kind of maps are suited for our cycling tip? having no experience of cycling in the USA we would like to know what kind of roads people recommend us to ride. Travelling with our tents we would like to know if there are tent camp sites in Lousiana and Mississippi. Do you have special tips cycling in bigger cities? All this information and other tips are welcome for us.
Bouke and Gé de Vos, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: US Civil War Tour
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 10:41:47 pm »
Whew!  That's quite a trip you've got laid out!

As for maps, I'd suggest you contact the various state highway departments and ask them for state maps to begin with.  Note that their maps typically will only show larger roads, which may not (will not) be ideal for cycling.

Next, I'd suggest you buy a copy of something like DeLorme Topo to look up the smaller roads.  Note getting it onto a netbook, if you decide to use one on tour, will require you to copy the DVD onto USB thumbdrives.

From Shiloh to Chattanooga, I'd suggest looking at U.S. 64.  It's a major highway across southern Tennessee, so use Topo to look for parallel county and state roads.  When you get to the top of Monteagle Mountain, jump onto U.S. 41 down to Jasper, and on into Chattanooga.  Getting through Chattanooga to the east could be tough, but you'll want to try to hit Chickamauga battlefield.  There are some ways to get out of town going north, but the last 30 years have seen a lot of development to the east of Chattanooga.  You might try crossing the Tennessee River around Dayton or Spring City, and going over towards Madisonville.

If I were going to try this, I'd want to get out toward U.S. 411 up through eastern Tennessee, and maybe try going up 321 from Townsend/Pigeon Forge.  (Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are heavily trafficed by tourists, though.)  Once you get to Elizabethton, go up through Shady Valley to Damascus, Virginia.  I'd suggest taking the last 1.5 Adventure Cycling Trans America maps toward Roanoke and up toward the Shenandoah Valley.  Personally, I'd go up the Shenandoah to Antietam and Gettysburg, and then probably back-track down to about Waynesboro, and cut over toward Richmond on the TransAm.  Manassas has grown too much in population, and not in road infrastructure, for my personal taste.

Offline JMilyko

Re: US Civil War Tour
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 08:46:09 am »
I would recommend when you contact each state for maps, you direct your request to their Bicycle and Pedestrian coordinator and check their website for resources. Contact information and web addresses can be found here:


Jennifer H. Milyko
Assistant Director, Routes & Mapping

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

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline Galloper

Re: US Civil War Tour
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 06:28:34 am »
I can also recommend asking for tourist information leaflets when you contact the States.   Virginia has a series of excellent leaflets for the main battlefield sites in the state.

I'd also recommend (if you haven't already got them) the excellent Civil War History trilogy by Sheldon Foote.