MISSOULA, MT (BRAIN)—Adventure Cycling Association will receive a $20,000 grant from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) to create a new alternate route off its existing 2,100-mile Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR).
The 400-mile alternate will run between Oberlin, Ohio, and Owen Sound, Ontario, according to a press release. Highlights on the new route include the historically rich communities of Sandusky, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan.
Running through northwestern Ohio, southern Michigan, and southern Ontario, the new cycling route will create a cultural heritage corridor centered on the storied Underground Railroad, offering education and recreational opportunities for people of all ages.
According to Carla Majernik, Adventure Cycling's director of routes and mapping, the new route will also create some exciting opportunities for touring cyclists. "This new alternate on Underground Railroad Bicycle Route will offer numerous choices for one and two week loop rides, linking to other Adventure Cycling routes such as the Lake Erie Connector and the Northern Tier. It also follows the Lake Huron shoreline to Owen Sound, an incredibly scenic ride," she said.
An important highlight on the new route, Detroit has increasingly invested in bike lanes, greenways, urban agriculture, and natural parks. This cycling route will capitalize on these local efforts through tourism and outreach projects such as club rides, youth involvement, and health and history events at libraries, museums, and other sites after the route is completed.
Adventure Cycling began working on the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route in 2004. After the main 2,100–mile route was established between Mobile, Alabama and Owen Sound, Ontario, Adventure Cycling committed to developing more UGRR routes, both alternates and spurs, in order to involve more communities and historic sites. The first Underground Railroad spur route was developed in 2007, and runs from Pittsburgh to Erie, Pennsylvania. This route highlights an important UGRR corridor while also honoring Adventure Cycling's partnership with the Center for Minority Health (CMH) at the University of Pittsburgh. More information about the route and this project can be found at www.adventurecycling.org/ugrr (click on link).