Lewis and Clark bike trail resources

Stand where they stood… Ride your bicycle where they walked… You know the drill.

We are in the midst of the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery’s exploration of the American West. Here are some links to get you started on a cycling adventure of your own.


About the Corps of Discovery

Discovering Lewis & Clark   Although the 2004-2006 bicenntenial of the Lewis & Clark expendition is over, this website still updates events and other services along the route. Also offers a detailed exploration of the expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The site examines the personalities who made up the corps and the Native Americans, geography, plants, and animals they came across.

National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration   The official commemoration website. It features an overview of the 1803 to 1806 expedition, a calendar of present-day commemorative events, and scholary research on the journey’s effect on Native Americans and nation-building.

National Park Service   The National Park Service’s website detailing the 3,700-mile Lewis and Clark National Historical Trail. It includes information about visitor’s centers, parks, and other public facilities along the route.

Back to School with Lewis and Clark  A website devoted to making the Lewis and Clark expedition relevant to students. The program features free CD-ROMS for educators that contain lesson plans for grades 4-12; also fact sheets are available offering a “then and now” perspective of the trip.

Those who have explored the route

The Lewis and Clark Trail by Bicycle   Two Kansas City cyclists complete the route in short segments over the course of four years.

Seeing the World of Lewis and Clark   A Boston Globe newspaper correspondent tells about her two-week bicycle trip with Adventure Cycling through Montana’s section of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Voyage of Rediscovery   A reporter for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star takes a modern-day journey along the route of the Corps of Discovery. The website comprises his 12 monthly reports to the newspaper.

The Great Pains of Accuracy Tour (Audio)   Named after the instruction given by President Thomas Jefferson to expedition leader Meriwether Lewis, this energetic radio report in 2001 was sponsored by The Savvy Traveler on Minnesota Public Radio.

Crazy Guy on a Bike   This web site has published 17 journals, with pictures, written by cyclists who have pedalled all or part of the Lewis and Clark Trail through 2004. Most are written live, so readers can appreciate what they’re going through.

Maps and books


Adventure Cycling Association   The association’s detailed 4,360-mile route — including Clark’s detour along the Yellowstone River — is mapped in eight segments. The maps take cyclists along rivers the expedition rowed and poled, across Plains and over mountain passes. Most of the route is on blacktop, although it does veer off onto bicycle paths and gravel roads.

Bicycle Guide to the Lewis and Clark Trail   Published by Deerfoot Publications, the guide examines different options for bicycle touring and contains detailed route maps, photos, and descriptions of what’s available in the towns along the route. Author Tod Rodger bicycled the route in 1998.

Bicycling the Lewis and Clark Trail   Published by Adventure Cycling Association, this book is a companion guide to the association’s map package. The author is cyclist and naturalist Michael McCoy. Cycling photographer Dennis Coello took the pictures.

Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West   Undoubtedly this book launched a thousand bicycle expeditions on the Lewis and Clark Trail. Author Stephen E. Ambrose recounts the adventure in the context of Lewis’s heroic, though shaky, personality.


Other Selected Websites

Lewis and Clark on PBS The PBS site that corresponds to the Ken Burns documentary. It includes classroom resources, information about the route and tribes, and historians’ thoughts on the expedition.

Lewis and Clark: What Else Happened  A blog that follows the daily journal entries of the Lewis and Clark expedition while it examines what else is happening in the world at large.

The Journals of Lewis and Clark A compilation of the Lewis and Clark journals by the University of Virginia American Studies Program.

LewisandClark.com The Lewis and Clark route annotated and superimposed on modern highway maps.

See a list of companies offering bicycle tours of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

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