Up for a backyard adventure? Adventure Cycling rolls out a series of short routes that you can tackle in a long weekend

These tours offer accessible ways to shake up the weekend, start bikepacking and discover bike adventures nearby

(Image credit: Getty Images)

 Not everyone has the legs or time to tackle a bike tour across the state or even the country. If you’re new to bikepacking or touring, or you just looking for a weekend adventure near the city, check out Adventure Cycling’s newest collection of Short Routes.

With some 50,527 miles discovered and mapped, the Adventure Cycling Association is North America’s expert on bike travel and leading provider of bicycle maps and routes. 

Already well-known for their epic long-distance routes like the TransAmerica Trail and Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Adventure Cycling has now released a collection of shorter adventures for those with less time.

All starting near major metropolitan areas, these routes can be tackled in two to five days. Made in the Ride with GPS platform, the 12 routes are available for free and can be downloaded in various digital formats (gpx, tcx, csv and kml) to be uploaded to your bike computer or smartphone. Printable formats are available as well.

“Since the release of the TransAmerica Trail in 1976, we’ve mapped more than 50,000 miles of bike routes across the U.S. and into Canada – but recognizing that they aren’t for everyone, we’ve produced these new Short Routes,” said Nathan Taylor, Cartographer for Adventure Cycling. 

“While many of our epic routes can take weeks to ride in full, Short Routes are two- to five-day itineraries from cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Austin, Atlanta and Philadelphia. There are loops that start and end at the same point, out-and-back options and routes that can be combined with public transit like ferries, trains and buses. They’re a fun, accessible way to get out and explore at the pace of a pedal stroke”

The Short Routes by metropolitan area:

More than just lines on the map, the Short Routes maps include information on accommodations, grocery stores and restaurants, water sources, scenic stops and recreation sites, bike shops, public transit and more.

And each route was produced with help from local cyclists familiar with the areas where they are located.

“The new Short Routes were developed in a slightly different way than our long-distance routes are – each was community submitted, and we worked in partnership with BIPOC, LGBTQ, women, and intersex bicyclists to gain a new perspective on these areas,” said Katie Harris, Adventure Cycling’s Director of Community Impact. “We are grateful to them for sharing, so that others can experience the joy of bike travel.”

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