Cycling Along the Underground Railroad

In honor of Black History Month, the Adventure Cycling Association will announce the Underground Rail Road route this week! And Outdoor Afro is excited to share the news of this inspired 518-mile alternate Detroit route.

Photos Courtesy of Adventure Cycling Association

The 2,000 miles Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR) was established in 2007, beginning in Mobile, AL and ending at Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. Adventure Cycling has since been committed to developing alternative routs and spurs in order to involve more people and communities in this historic ride.

This newest Detroit Alternate invites cyclists to enjoy historic landmarks between Oberlin, OH and Owen Sound, including Oberlin College (among the first institutions of higher learning in the United States to accept African-American students in 1835) and the remains of Starkweather Homestead, the site where Underground Railroad conductor George McCoy farmed and raised his family. The route also passes through Motor City where cyclists can stop and check out the Motown Museum, housed in Berry Gordy Jr.’s two-family flat at 2648 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit!

Adventure Cycling is a non-profit geared toward encouraging and supporting cycle-based travel and engagement with America’s historical landscapes. Please check out more historical information and details about the Detroit Alternate , as well as Adventure Cycling’s other historic trails at adventurecycling.org

Also, from February 22-28, Jim Sayer, executive director at Adventure Cycling will be appearing at regional events in Detroit, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, to promote the new route. You can find more information about those events here.


Happy Black History Month and happy cycling!

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  • http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/urban-scientist DNLee

    I REALLY love this idea. I once worked for an Agency that hosts an AmeriCorps program that was trying to get part of a bike route on this system. In St. Louis, the Riverfront Biking Trail (along the Mississippi River) hosts an annual Mary Meachum Slave escape reenactment. It’s a very moving live interpretation.

    And the site is also named for heroine. More information here: http://www.gracehill.org/content/MaryMeachumFreedomCrossing.php

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing Danielle! I would love to do this myself one day!

    Rue