Stretching 3,700 miles from Washington DC to the Pacific Ocean, a new bike trail is aiming to be “America’s Main Street”.
The Great American Rail-Trail will enable cyclists and hikers to traverse the entire US.
The multi-use trail will run from Washington DC to Washington state. Launched in May 2019, the route will eventually connect over 145 existing paths.
So far nearly 2,000 miles of it has been completed.
“Determining the route was a 30-year journey,” said Brandi Horton, vice-president of communications at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the DC-based non-profit leading the effort.
Once it is fully completed, almost one in six Americans will live within 50 miles of the route, and it will offer an unparalleled experience of the country.
The timing couldn’t be better as trail use across the US has spiked in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think [the pandemic] demonstrated to a lot of officials that access to the outdoors actually is key. Creating these connections is really critical,” added Horton.
RTC’s late co-founder David Burwell once hoped that “one day, you could go across this entire country … on flat, wide, off-road paths. I want rail-trails to be ‘America’s Main Street’.”
Now, that dream is ready to be realized.