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Bikepacking

5,000+ Mile Eastern Divide Trail Nears Completion

The off-road-centric bikepacking route will start in Newfoundland, Canada and end in Key West, Florida, and be divided into eight linkable segments.

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Fans of off-road bike touring will soon have 5,000 miles of linked gravel, dirt, and singletrack to explore in eastern North America.

Nearly six years in the making, the Eastern Divide Trail (EDT) is nearing completion.

Eastern Divide Trail Map

Once complete, the 5,000+ mile Eastern Divide Trail will be the longest contiguous off-road-centric bikepacking route in North America. The route will run from Cape Spear, Newfoundland, the easternmost point in North America, to Key West, Florida, the end of the road going south in the United States. The EDT will follow as much of the St. Lawrence and Eastern Continental Divides as possible and will wind its way through dozens of national and state forests, numerous ecozones, and countless places of Indigenous, geographical, and historical significance.

Using the best of several established routes and a wealth of new ones, the EDT will use gravel, dirt roads, and mellow singletrack with the aim of providing a similar riding experience, level of difficulty, and surface variation as the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GMRBR).

In fact, the route will serve as a beautiful complement to the GDMBR, which was created by Adventure Cycling 23 years ago. The GDMBR crisscrosses the Continental Divide from Jasper, Alberta to the southern border of the U.S. in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.  The route is also used during the annual, unofficial Tour Divide bikepacking race.

Mountain bikers alongside a river
Photo: Logan Watts

Like the GDMBR, the EDT will be comprised of segments that can be ridden sequentially or independently. Each segment will begin and end at a significant town or city where lodging, transport, and other such amenities are available. This provides bikepackers with the option to set out on a single ambitious adventure or take in the route over a lifetime by riding each segment individually.

Route segment guides are expected to be published in the fall of 2021 with most of the additional guides completed in 2022 and the full project finalized in 2022-23.

For more information, or to contribute to the project, visit bikepacking.com

 

From VeloNews

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