Mississippi River Trail Project

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Central, Texas & Gulf States' started by Jamie Z, May 18, 2009.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    I completed a GPX of the WI segment of the MRT.

    In the area ranging from Trempeleau through LaCrosse, the MRT takes to rails to trails bicycle only trails in some spots. Since motorcycles are not allowed on these segments, I routed the trail nearby - usually on a suggested alternate route.

    In Wisconsin the trail mostly follows the Great River Road. Frankly, there are some more entertaining segments that could be added to this track if someone is planning to ride it. I am also willing to share those files from this trip: Locks, Dams, Bridges, Barges and Bluffs - CannonTour Wisconsin's West Coast

    CannonTracks - Upper Mississippi River Ride

    I wasn't able to get the attachment to upload so I'll send it to the OP to post.
    #21
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Cannonshot has made a very detailed track of the WI portion of the MRT. I converted it to a route (to stay consistent with the other states) and here it is. I've edited the first post in this thread to reflect the new data.

    [​IMG]

    That's four states down! Six to go.

    Thanks Cannonshot!

    [Update 29 October 2011: Unhappy with the format of the track-to-route conversion went, I've recreated the Wisconsin route. It is all in one route now (rather than separate north and south sections) and the via points have pretty names, opposed to numerical names.]

    Jamie

    Attached Files:

    #22
  3. knolltop314

    knolltop314 n00b

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    I have WI/IL state line to Rock Island as gpx.
    #23
  4. alma1992

    alma1992 Jaded AND Cynical!

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    I have some tracks of the trail through Calhoun co to Alton and I have a route planned from Quincy south to there...but with my heated grips on the fritz I won't be riding anytime soon. :(: I'll post once it's complete.
    #24
  5. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    During a ride last week I got a track for the Missouri portion of the MRT south of Cape Girardeau. The MRT runs from Cape to the Hickman Ferry.

    Does anyone have the ambition to document the part of the MRT north of Cape?

    Jamie
    #25
  6. notarat

    notarat Been here awhile

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  7. notarat

    notarat Been here awhile

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  8. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Great work!

    I'm familiar with a couple of places where the roads aren't shown on City Navigator. I took your data and condensed it into a single route consisting of just Tennessee.

    Curious, since I live in Tennessee, I've mapped most of the Tennessee MRT, but it took lots of work to sort out a couple of sections, primarily around Covington. Did you have trouble locating the signs and finding the route, or was it just a straight ride?

    Jamie
    #28
  9. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Notarat has mapped out the Tennessee portion of the MRT.

    That makes five completed states out of ten. Thanks for all the help.

    [​IMG]

    [edit October 26, 2011: I rode the southern portion of the posted route and found some inconsistencies with the signs. I'm going to update the file and re-upload soon.]

    edit April 15, 2012: Well, it took far more work than I anticipated, but I'm almost certain I have the correct route for Tennessee. The maps posted on Vertices have a couple places where it doesn't match up with the route in real life, and then after quite a bit of investigation, I determined that one sign in Tennessee was posted backwards, advising a left turn when the route actually turns right. I fixed the sign. Version two is now ready to go.

    A note: Tennessee, as far as I know, is the only state on the MRT in which the "official" route doesn't go border to border. In Tennessee, the MRT "begins" and "ends" at welcome centers near the state line. Here is the "beginning" in Memphis:

    [​IMG]

    The GPX routes reflect the signed beginning and ending points.

    Jamie

    Attached Files:

    #29
  10. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    With great thanks to Ragbrian for his help routing through St. Louis and his assistance riding most of the distance, I've finally (after quite a long time) compiled the data into the complete route for Missouri.

    [​IMG]

    Be aware of a couple of anomalies in the route. Part of the MRT follows a bike-only path through St. Louis. At one point in the route (if you're riding south) you'll approach a T intersection where the MRT clearly points left, but the route says to turn right. This is correct. On a motorcycle, you'll follow the road, rather than the MRT which turns into a bike path.

    South of Cape Girardeau, there are some discrepancies between what the online maps say and the signs on the road, moreover, the signs on the road do not follow a logical route. So, I made my best guess. The route ends at the Hickman Ferry, which occasionally closes due to weather or water levels.

    Jamie

    Attached Files:

    #30
  11. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    I can help out on the portions around St. Louis starting this week. Funny, I rode on part of it on Monday, 7/5! Wish I had the GPS on the bike! I can get some coordinates starting on 7/8, since I need to be at a meeting downtown and the office is adjacent to the North Riverfront Trail (bike/ped only - I can map out an alternate route for moto's. I can start in a southerly direction and have it mapped down to Cape in a bit. Then start on the northerly part out of St. Charles - Hannibal - Alexandria at the Illinois crossing.

    Will pour over the Vertices map and start the process. This should be fun and give me a definite place to ride. May take along some biking buddies who also moto as well for the ride.
    #31
  12. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Cool, looks like you're a cyclist too.

    There are two good ways to plot the MRT on your motorcycle. First, you can save a waypoint at every significant point. For example at each corner mark a waypoint. Or every time you pass an MRT sign mark a waypoint. On most GPSs, you can mark a waypoint and leave the default name with just a couple button clicks--easy to do while moving.

    Another option is to save your track for the MRT. Just make sure it doesn't also include parts which aren't on the route.

    As for parts of the MRT which are on bike paths, so far I haven't encountered it, but I suppose the best workaround is to simply follow the road closest to the bike path. I think especially for the MRT, the bike path would necessarily follow a parallel road.

    If we could do Missouri, that'd be great. I have in mind maybe doing Illinois (at least the southern portion) this upcoming weekend, depending on how circumstances work out.

    Jamie
    #32
  13. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    Yep, I am. So I can look at this in two ways: I get to check out the MRT on a moto with a view as a cyclist. Plus, I can do it quicker! :D

    I was thinking the same thing. I have an eTrex that I can use for tracks, and can set a waypoint in memory that I can rename with EasyGPS. I will bring the camera along and can take a pic or two on the waypoints that need a pic to describe

    We are on the same wavelength here, and I believe the only part of the MRT that is on a trail in the St. Louis Metro area is on the North Riverfront Trail. There is a major road that parallels it, so that can be the alt route. North of that, it is back on driveable roads.

    I re-checked the Vertices map for Illinois, and it also looks to be all driveable (not a bike path AFAIK). Let me know what you need for the Central Illinois sections as well, since it can be a round trip research ride. I think in a previous post you said you had a fair amount of Illinois in a file. :deal
    #33
  14. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Actually, I don't have anything for Illinois in a file. There were several useful links posted for Illinois maps and route descriptions, but so far no GPS data.

    I'll be in southern Indiana in a couple of days, so I though I would cross over to Illinois and see if I could map part of the southern portion of the MRT.

    Jamie
    #34
  15. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Interesting. I hadn't seen the Vertices map before today. It must be fairly new. Curiously, I scanned over a section of the MRT I have just ridden, namely south of Cape Girardeau, and there is a discrepancy between the Vertices map and the signs I saw on the roads. I suppose it's not a big deal, but I like to go with the signs when there's a difference.

    Jamie
    #35
  16. alma1992

    alma1992 Jaded AND Cynical!

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    There is a short section of bike path only that parallels the "Great River Road" from the Alton area to around Pere Marquette St Park. I don't know about other sections though.
    I have pieces and parts of the trail from Alton to about Quincy. I just can't seem to finish the darn thing. I'll try to get on the ball and post when it's complete.
    [​IMG]
    #36
  17. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    This past weekend, I rode the Illinois section south of the Lewis and Clark Confluence tower just north of East St. Louis. I used the Vertices site to create a route, then rode the route as closely as I could. In several places, I was unable to follow the route because either the MRT is on bike-only paths, or in one place there was a gate.

    Curiously, I never saw a single MRT sign anywhere in Illinois.

    That said, it is a really great ride, except for a few sketchy sections through East St. Louis. the ride along the river to the south is absolutely gorgeous, and on a hot day if the conditions are right, one can get a few blasts of really cold air past the limestone quarries.

    Anyone want to work on the Central and Northern sections of the Illinois MRT?

    Jamie
    #37
  18. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    I rode your Tennessee route this past weekend. Good work. Oddly, there was one section north of Covington where your route differs from the MRT route I'd been working on, and it may be due to an incorrect sign.

    Specifically, I'd previously been having trouble routing the right path. When I followed your route, I encountered a turn where the MRT sign said to turn left, but your route went right. That said, there were more MRT signs as I followed your route, even though I'd apparently gone the "wrong" way. Perhaps that's why I was having trouble finding the correct way in the past.

    Since I'm not too far from there, I'm going to look into this discrepancy further when I have a free day.

    Jamie
    #38
  19. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    Dang, didn't know you were coming up the river this far! Looks like you had a great ride. +1 on the sketchy sections, although I haven't been in E. St. Louis for some time.

    I did get out last week and rode part of the MO side of the trail from the city limit sign for Arnold, MO to the St. Louis riverfront. Got stopped by the flood gates put up for the river being over flood stage.

    I have some waypoints for the signs and a track noted for the approx. 17 miles of the route. Need to figure out how to put comments in the waypoints so that the ballons pop up for Google Earth (BigDogAdventure's .gpx files do that, so I will use one of those as a guide).

    Also, I have an issue with my stator, and found out that after riding about 100 miles that day, my battery was toast. The CX has a high voltage windings to run the ignition system, so the bike runs fine, but with no battery, there is no lights, horn or such! :eek1 Got a pair of stators in the mail Monday, and am looking at getting one rewound and installed post haste.

    Also enlisting a buddy of mine who thinks he has tracks of the MRT on the Missouri side as well - that may save some work.

    TTYL
    #39
  20. notarat

    notarat Been here awhile

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    Sorry I didn't see this post earlier...

    I went to the MRT website where they had the whole trail (including the Tennessee section) mapped out.

    http://www.mississippirivertrail.org/

    Then I created my gpx file straight from their route through Tennessee by displaying their map (zoomed in to see the road/streets on 2 of my screens) while using Mapsource to create the route on my third screen so it matched their route exactly.

    Didn't take very long since Mapsource seems pretty easy to use and their source map loads pretty quick with my internet connection.
    #40