The Rails to Trails Conservancy is expanding its once-a-year “sojourn” bicycle tour program to a series of four bicycle tours in 2016.Every year since about 2001, the nonprofit trail-builder has introduced bicyclists to one of its scenic trails on a multi-day bicycle tour in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York among others.
Bicyclists — numbering up to 300 some years — enjoy the scenery along the trails and the hospitality in the small towns along the route. Merchants in the towns realize the economic benefit of ravenous bicyclists arriving at their doorstep.
At the Rails to Trails blog, project manager Anya Saretzky explained:
“Through the trail development focus of the sojourn, we teach people about what it takes to build these regional trail networks. … These trails take time, energy and community buy-in. They need support. And when the community understands the value that the trail brings to them, that support is vocal, ample and can’t be ignored.”
Because of the bike tours’ success, Rails to Trails is hosting four such “sojourn” bicycle tours next year in Florida, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.Sojourn line-up
The year’s first tour in south Florida in February comes at a time when many cyclists are tired of the colder weather elsewhere. A complete itinerary is posted at Florida Sojourn — Miami to Everglades Tour, Feb. 29-March 3, 2016.
Some of the highlights include travel on the Rickenbacker Trail alongside a causeway out to a key near Miami and travel along the South Dade and Black Creek trails. Bring or rent a tent for camping.
Although details aren’t ironed out for the other three, they comprise:
Pennsylvania Sojourn — “A Mother’s Day Excursion on the Great Allegheny Passage”, May 6-8, 2016;
West Virginia Sojourn — “Wild and Wonderful North Bend Trail,” June 19-22, 2016; and
Ohio Sojourn — “Cleveland to Columbus on the Ohio-to-Erie Trail,” September 2016.
You can find details about all these bike tours at Rails to Trails Conservancy Sojourns.