The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route

The Center for Minority Health and the Adventure Cycling Association partnered to create a bike trail stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Ontario. The trail was recognized at the 19th Annual Trails Symposium.

"The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route passes points of interest and historic sites from Mobile, Alabama, a busy port for slavery during the pre-civil war era, north to Owen Sound, Ontario, a town founded by free blacks in 1857.

'The response to the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route has been outstanding and demonstrates the power of the cycling community and public health working together. We feel very honored to receive such great recognition from the national trails community,' said Ginny Sullivan, routes outreach coordinator for Adventure Cycling. Dr. Stephen Thomas, director of the Center for Minority Health and board member of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy stated, 'We greatly appreciate the validation this award brings to our novel approach of turning the tragic history of slavery into a demonstration of active living. It affirms what has been for us an incredible partnership created to fulfill our mission of eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities through physical activity and advancing the value of diversity within the cycling community.'"

Sales of trail maps have been brisk, and student from as far afield as the Bronx Lab School have visited the trail. Groups along the trail are also working to produce maps of day trips. Furthermore, the Center for Minority Health has noted that the trail does seem to have a higher incidence of minority users than other trails.

Thanks to Franny Ritchie

Full Story: Bike PGH

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