Retracing History: the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route ...

While it wasn’t our finest hour in American history, there’s no denying the existence of our slave era. Some people prefer to let the past lay dormant; others prefer to use it as a reminder in daily life. Adventure Cycling has chosen to honor the bravery of that period of history, and has developed a bicycle tour that traces the steps of the legendary Underground Railroad, tracing the route by which African slaves attempted escape for many years both before and during the Civil War.

In trying to find a route that represents the thousands of different ways by which people fled slavery, historians, researchers and preservationists chimed in. Eventually, the route was selected based on the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” a song that refers to following the North Star and the waterways to reach the Ohio River, the dividing line between many slave and free states. From the river, the route was developed to include historic destination points, as well as trying to maintain high standards of cycling roads and paths. The route is both scenic, historic, and emotional.

The **Underground Railroad Bicycle Route**begins on Mobile Bay in Alabama, and is broken down into five sections:

Section 1: Mobile Bay, AL to Fulton, MS
Section 2: Fulton, MS to Owensboro, KY
Section 3: Owensboro, KY to Milford, OH
Section 4: Milford, OH to Erie, PA
Section 5: Erie, PA to Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

As the route follows approximately 2,100 miles from Mobile, Alabama to Owen Sound, Ontario in Canada, it passes through Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

Maps of the Underground Railroad Bicycle Routes are available at Adventure Cycling’s online store, and organized biking toursbegin next week.

You can purchase the Underground Railroad Bike Maps from the Adventure Cycling Association’s online store. The full five-map costs $56.25, and individual maps are $12.75. There are discounts for association members.

Thanks, Jon, for the info.

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Tags: b5media, flight attendant, Flyaway Cafe, Travel, Travel & Culture, Vacation, biking, outdoor travel, underground railroad, cycling, underground railroad bicycle tour

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