New Map To Assist Virginia Bicyclists
by KRISTEN ARMSTRONG, Staff Writer
|Get out the bike pump. Virginia's first
statewide bicycling map, “Bicycling in Virginia” is now available for
anyone who wants to explore the commonwealth's cycling offerings.
“We're really pleased,” said Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “One of the goals we've had in the past several years is to brand Virginia as an outdoor recreational mecca. We're gratified that this will help us with that.”
The Virginia Department of Transportation initiated the project, and worked with the Virginia Tourism Corporation and other state organizations to develop the cycling guide. “Bicycling in Virginia” includes a statewide map of bicycle trails, regional insets and a guide for riding safely and legally in the Old Dominion.
Virginia is home to 838 miles of the U.S. Numbered Bicycle Route system - the most miles in any state. The system consists of two U.S. routes, Route 1 and Route 76, both of which run through the commonwealth.
The new map features seven trails and trail systems: Virginia Capital Trail, Virginia Creeper Trail, Tobacco Heritage Trail, U.S. Bicycle Route 76 and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Heart of Appalachia Bike Route, New River Trail and the Northern Virginia Trail Network.
Northern Virginia offers Virginia's most extensive bicycle network, including the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Regional Trail. The trail was built on abandoned railbed and runs 45 miles northwest from Shirlington in Arlington County to Purcellville in Loudoun County.
Virginia tourism officials hope the map will help publicize Virginia's assets and will hopefully bring more outdoor-adventure tourists to the state.
“The cycling opportunities that Virginia has not only take cyclists from the Eastern Shore to the Piedmont to wine country, but to all the little towns and small main street America,” said Bailey. “Tourists want to see real Americana, and boy you can do that in Virginia!”
“Bicycling in America” is available at all Virginia welcome centers and at local visitor centers. The map can also be requested on the Web site at www.virginia.org or by calling (800) 932-5827.