Hiking Rails to Trails

Locations in this article:  Santa Rosa, CA

So hiking in the summertime is a great affordable activity. But here’s a cool idea–what if the place you’re hiking comes with its own history?

All around the U.S. is a network of hiking and biking trails that were created out of abandoned or decommissioned railroad tracks.

So, for example, you can bike a 15-miles trail on the border of Idaho and Montana, called the Route of the Hiawatha.

It follows the path of the large passenger trains through the mountains.

In Sonoma County, the West County Trail is a 13-mile paved road that was once owned by the Santa Rosa Railway.

It offers easy walking, biking, and rollerblading.

And in Georgia and Alabama, the Silver Comet trail is named after a luxury passenger train from the old Seaboard Coast Light Railroad.

It connects to another rail trail to cover 100 miles, making it one of the longest paved paths in the entire country.

To find other trail histories and nearby historic attractions, check out the site RailstoTrails.org.

For more hints, check out our Train Travel section.

Or visit our Hiking & Biking section.

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