A New Bicycle Highway System Around the US

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials today announced that their Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved 1,253 miles of new U.S. Bicycle Routes (USBRs): USBR 1 in Massachusetts and Florida, USBR 10 in Michigan, USBR 11 in Maryland, and USBR 90 in Florida. Realignments were also approved for USBR 76 and USBR 1 in Virginia, which were originally designated in 1982. The U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) now encompasses 8,042 miles of routes in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

This system is creating a huge continent-wide system of bike routes, and right here in Massachusetts we have our own 18 miles of bike highways.

U.S. Bicycle Route 1 in Massachusetts (18 miles)

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has designated two new segments along U.S. Bicycle Route 1, adding 18 miles to the route, which now totals 38 miles. The two new segments offer a glimpse of what makes Massachusetts a special place for local and long-distance travelers alike, with an array of landscapes and settlements along urban and rural byways.

The more northerly segment of USBR 1 in Salisbury and Newburyport straddles the majestic Merrimack River. USBR 1 here offers views of watercraft and reminders of the area’s rich nautical history. While the Salisbury Old Eastern Marsh Trail provides proximity to expansive Atlantic Ocean beaches, Newburyport’s Clipper City Rail Trail reminds riders that the City’s clipper ships were once the fastest on the seas, spawning a global maritime trade. Both communities also offer nature preserves and museums in close proximity to USBR 1.

Further south, USBR 1 traverses through the communities of Topsfield, Wenham, Danvers, and Peabody, which are removed from the Atlantic and offer a different experience of Massachusetts. The Topsfield Linear Common and Wenham Swamp Walk wind their way through these communities, and riders are treated to a number of river crossings. Wetlands remind cyclists of glacial epochs long past, and boardwalks provide opportunities to explore these landscapes and natural history. Timeless town centers and deep woods also attract riders. Further south, USBR 1 enters busier settlements via the Danvers Rail Trail and Independence Greenway where cyclists can buy needed provisions.

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Max Hartshorne
Max Hartshorne has been the editor of the GoNOMAD.com travel website since 2002. Over the past decade, he has had the privilege of working with writers and publishing travel articles about nearly every country in the world. He has also been a consistent world traveler, writing hundreds of his own travel stories and posting daily blogs from the 10 or more yearly international trips he takes around the world.