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June 25, 2019

Planned 3,700-mile coast-to-coast bike path will cross through Pennsylvania

The Great American Rail-Trail will change your definition of a cross-country trip

Fitness Biking
great american rail trail Photo courtesy/Rails to Trails Conservancy

Reportedly, the trail will directly serve nearly 50 million people within 50 miles of the route.

A new bike trail will make it possible some day to ride across the country on a "safe, seamless and scenic pathway."

But the project won't be completed for a couple of years.

The Great American Rail-Trail — when completed — will span more than 3,700 miles from Washington D.C. to Washington state, according to the Rails to Trails Conservancy. The project will close more than 90 gaps between some 125 existing trails, including “gateway” trails in 12 states.

RELATED READ: This guy connected a bike to his TV to watch Netflix

The preferred route includes some 170 miles of trails crossing through southwestern Pennsylvania, connecting Ohio and Maryland. At this point in the project, those trails are could include the Great Allegheny Passage, Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Montour Trail and Panhandle Trail.

The idea for the cross-country trail actually originated more than 30 years ago, Health reports, but has taken some time to research connecting trails and work with local “trail partners” to devise a plan.

According to the Rails to Trails Conservancy, the trail is 52 percent complete.

"The Great American Rail-Trail will be a national treasure. It presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create — together — an enduring gift to the nation that will bring joy for generations to come,” said Ryan Chao, Conservancy president.

Learn about the preferred route here and make a donation to the Conservancy here to help the project ride to completion.

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