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Thread: USA Today article on best US trails

  1. #1
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    Default USA Today article on best US trails

    Spotted this on my news feed today.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel...path/10237781/

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    I'm not sure I'd call the Rock Creek trail "fantastic".

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    You'll note that the accompanying photo is of Beach Dr, not the trail. The only other one of the 15 I've ridden is the one along the Hocking River from Athens to Nelsonville, Ohio. While it was nice enough, it was nothing special, sort of like a cross between the MVT and the W&OD.

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    I enjoy the fact that the pictured rider isn't on the trail at all. Should be a good indicator of how good the trail is! Maybe they mean the times it's closed to cars? Then it's just a road.

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    I'm not sure I'd consider USA Today as an authoritative source on, well, anything

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    So they picked what's one of the worst of our area trails, and we're supposed to trust their opinion on the other 14?

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    The Rock Creek Park trail as a whole is actually pretty nice, but I think that our collective experience on the Rock Creek Park trail is clouded by the bad aspects of the trail in parts around the National Zoo and Beach Drive.

    (Note: I am not arguing that it should be on the top 15 list especially when the W&OD was left out, but I am arguing that the majority of the trail is pretty good. Also, the distances are approximate.)

    That said, if you split the Rock Creek Park trail into sections heading north from the Lincoln Memorial, the quality becomes different:
    • along the Potomac River waterfront (0.8 miles) - crowded but has nice views of the VA side along with the Georgetown Waterfront and TR Island, pretty good
    • Potomac River to Broad Branch Rd (4.7 miles) - narrow, crowded, poor visibility, views of car-infested Rock Creek Parkway, surface conditions are bad, all in all pretty terrible
    • Broad Branch Rd to Meadowbrook Park (4.8 miles) - on-street, has nice views, great on weekends, poor on weekdays due to car traffic, does not really qualify for being a trail here
    • Meadowbrook Park to Garrett Park Road (7.1 miles) - trail is pretty good, heading through parks much like 4MR, but you're likely to prefer taking the parallel road (Beach Dr) when it's available as it's flatter
    • Garrett Park Road to Lake Needwood (7.3 miles) - best part of the trail, heavily forested with a moderate uphill to the lake, the bridge over Veirs Mill Rd is really nice, and only bad part is the short boardwalk/wood portion undergoing construction


    So, I can't say the trail is great, but there are some less-traveled portions that are quite good and help to average the quality of the trail out a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    I'm not sure I'd consider USA Today as an authoritative source on, well, anything
    However, this item's author is listed as affiliated with "theactivetimes.com" which is a site about outdoor sports. No excuse for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    I'm not sure I'd consider USA Today as an authoritative source on, well, anything
    this.

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    Alternatively, you could think of it as a very wide, well paved bike trail on weekends--which unaccountably allows cars on weekdays.

    Seriously, though, Rock Creek Trail is lovely out here in Montgomery County.

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    Quote Originally Posted by americancyclo View Post
    Maybe they mean the times it's closed to cars? Then it's just a road.

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