The Carolinian route begins in Charlotte, where a system of paved greenways and bicycle-friendly bars and restaurants greet cyclists throughout the city. Some highlights include Romare Bearden Park in the center of the city, and Mallard Creek Greenway near the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Next, in Greensboro, join the Greensboro Fat Tire Society for some real off-roading. The club offers weekly social group rides immersed in wooded, dirt trails, such as the Big and Little Loop Trails of Bur-Mil Park, as well as one of the city’s newer trails, the Blue Heron Trail. When it’s too muddy for the natural trails, Greensboro cyclists can also choose from an impressive network of greenways.
One of the most notable alternative transit projects in the state is the Triangle Rails to Trails Conservancy, centered on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham. The conservancy preserves old rail routes to be repurposed for alternative transportation, such as cycling and walking, and their future plans include connecting the American Tobacco Trail to the greenways of several municipalities in the Triangle Area, including Durham, Chatham and Wake counties.
Just east of Durham, the state capital of Raleigh promotes bike culture through inner-city infrastructure that supports everyday cycling as well as greenways and trails for the leisure enjoyment of nature. Check out Bike Raleigh’s interactive bike map of the city here. One popular point of interest on the map is the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Art Park, an outdoor series of bike-able art exhibits. How cool is that?
What you need to know about bringing your bike aboard the Carolinian route: Amtrak trainside checked bike service is available at all station stops between Charlotte and Raleigh for no additional fee.
If you are taking the Piedmont down from New York City: the bike-check fee is $20 for bike-check service at stations between NYC and Raleigh. Advance reservations are required for trainside bicycle service, and only one standard-sized bicycle is permitted per ticketed customer. To learn more about Amtrak checked-bike service aboard the Carolinian and Piedmont, click here.
Discover more about cycling in North Carolina at NCBikeways.com.