Mississippi River Trail Project

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

  1. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Gotcha. I've used that method. I think it's a good way to get the general route, but in my experience, there have been small differences between the route posted online, and the route encountered in the field. The online map is a very good approximation, but I'd prefer to have the route verified by riding it.

    As an example, I rode the route you posted, and at one point the route said to turn right, but the sign at the intersection said to turn left. In this case, I have reason to believe that maybe the sign is backwards and I can fix that, but I didn't have time to confirm that. It's not far from here so I'll go back and check it out sometime soon.

    Jamie
    #41
  2. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Hey, great thread here.

    Sept 1st, my wife, my dad, and I are leaving Atl and riding to Seneca WI (just north of PDC). My wife and I did this ride 2 years ago and she mapped out the Great River Rd, but like you mentioned, a lot of that takes highways and stuff.

    I'm thinking the MRT sounds like the perfect route to follow this time. However I noticed IL & Iowa aren't finished. For a bunch of IL, we could just jump over to the MO side and ride up that side. Are there parts of IL or IA mapped out yet?
    #42
  3. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    BlueLightning,

    I was planning to go out and map out the route through Missouri with more information. I got a bit of it, south of St. Louis, then had an electrical issue with my CX (I ended up replacing the stator). Now that the bike is running again, I planned to go out, but this week I pulled a hamstring muscle at work and I am on limited activity, per Dr.'s orders! :deal Waiting for my leg to heal up before I take out the bike again.

    If you need details for IL/MO I can help you out. PM me and I can get you through the state. May be able to meet up for a stretch of riding if it works out.
    #43
  4. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    That would be awesome. Even if people have just parts of those states mapped, I could take what isn't mapped and just find back roads to ride. I have a knack for that myself. I just figured the MRT might be a good reference to use and getting from GA to WI.
    #44
  5. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    I am in the Minnesota region of the 'Miss., it's a couple miles from me is all. If anyone wants us to run a section of it that is foggy, sketchy, needs verification, lemme know, we can get some people together, take a ride, flip you the tracks from Spot after if you like. :deal

    I would prefer to map or ride the northern bits north of the Twin Cities towards the headwaters or areas 'tween them..

    A qwest!
    #45
  6. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Yay! Our first customer. The goal of this project, of course, was to create routes that people could follow. Glad to hear someone might actually do that.

    To address your question. I've not gotten any data for Iowa, and Illinois is only partially routed.

    You can go to this site: http://www.imtrails.com/mississippitrail/

    It has the MRT mapped top to bottom, as far as I can tell. I don't see a way to download the data... and in addition, I've found discrepancies between the online route and the signs on the roads. Not to mention there are places (like Illinois) where the MRT follows bike paths where you can't ride your motorcycle. In these cases, I wanted this project to map out as close to the MRT as feasible.

    Jamie
    #46
  7. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    I'm planning to ride up through Missouri and Illinois this upcoming Sun/Mon/Tue and map what I can of those states' MRT. Several people in this thread have mentioned having tracks, routes, or points for parts of those states, but I haven't gotten any data yet.

    First, does anyone want to join me for all or part? I'm leaving Memphis on Sunday around noon, I suppose. The Tennessee portion of the route should be complete, but as I've mentioned there, is one area which needs to be checked out. Then up through Kentucky. Don't know if I'll cross the Hickman Ferry over to Missouri first, or if I'll go up through Cairo first. I ought to be in either Southern Missouri or Southern Illinois on Monday, heading north and returning in the opposite state on Tuesday.

    Second, if you have GPS data for either of these states, please email or post that information.

    Jamie
    #47
  8. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    Jamie, I got my CX back up running recently,and on Wednesday 9/15 I rode more of the route from Downtown St. Louis to almost the St. Louis - St. Charles County line @ the Missouri River. There are some spots where the MRT takes the local bike pathway, so I created a route on the closest street to rejoin the route.

    PM sent regarding the GPS data, and a possible meetup! Gotta get out in the garage and work on my intermittent ignition switch!
    #48
  9. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Just an update, we are back from our trip and did run a good portion of the MRT heading north . We crossed the MI river twice by Ferry. Some of the roads really turned out to be pretty good. There was one road in particular that I'll have to see if I can remember which road it was that was literally like riding a roller coaster with hits numerous up and down hills and turns along the way.

    I can share my tracks, but we didn't really necessarily try to stay on the MRT every step of the way. Sometimes we were hitting other roads that looked more fun on the map.
    #49
  10. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    yeah, we went through downtown St Louis all the way from the south end past the north end. I noticed looking at the map and stuff that it appeared it was down on the waterfront at times on a bike path.
    #50
  11. alma1992

    alma1992 Jaded AND Cynical!

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    Here is a very small sample of tracks from Alton to Hamburg. I also have a route that is in gdb form, and when I try to convert it to gpx it gets all wacky. :huh So if someone wants that as well just let me know. Keep in mind the portion from Alton to Grafton is on a dedicated bike trail, but the highway parallels it to the ferry where the bike trail breaks off and heads to Pere Marquette state park. Hope this helps.

    Attached Files:

    #51
  12. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    http://www.motowhere.com/maps/route/MO-STL-St-Chas-MRT-for-motorcycles

    I just rode it the other day to figure out that route from Downtown St. Louis near the Gateway Arch to the northern end, because of the North Riverfront Trail (which is pedestrian/bicycle only). Sent this link on to Jamie for his benefit. We are going to try and meet-up on Tuesday.

    One idea I want to bounce around is pointing out local landmarks, eateries, etc. on the MRT. On the route thru St. Louis, you pass by lots of good places to eat and a world famous brewery. Plus the usual attractions. And to my count, at least two motorcycle dealerships actually on the route. Should we put some of that information in the .gpx as well? (Asked by someone who has not looked over the .gpx routes for the other states yet...)
    #52
  13. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Brian and I got together yesterday as planned. I'm working on compiling the Missouri route. I ran into a couple of problems, mostly near Cape Girardeau, if someone can double check my work.

    Specifically, at this intersection: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.44...7.442359,-89.53557&spn=0.021057,0.061798&z=15

    The Vertices maps show the MRT coming south down Highway V and continuing on Highway V by turning left (again, coming from the north). When I approached this intersection, I found an MRT sign on Highway V to the left, but also an MRT sign straight ahead on Highway Y. That is, the signage indicated that the route went both directions.

    Some very rudimentary scouting indicated that the MRT does follow Highway V. Curiously, the sign on Highway Y does not appear in Google Street View. Plus, it seems more logical to follow V. I think the other MRT sign was placed there in error, but if someone had more time to run around that area, maybe there is a spur or alternate route.

    Also, many of the signs in Cape appear to be missing; at the very least the signed route does not follow the same path as shown on Vertices. I followed what I believe to be the intended route, but almost all of it was unsigned, except for a couple of spots. Can anyone else work in Cape to figure it out?

    Jamie
    #53
  14. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    Might as well post this here, as a "mini-RR".

    We met up on Tuesday and got started a bit later than expected. Still a good day of riding.

    Jamie Z at the helm of the good ship "Wee-Strom".

    [​IMG]

    Didnt' think to get out the camera to get a meetup picture in Hannibal, so the first pics we took was when we ran up against something:

    [​IMG]

    Our first barricade! Seems the good folks at MoDot have blocked off the road on Hwy. 79, just south of Hannibal. We saw the detour signs but thought "We're gnarly adventurers! We can get around through a construction site!" NOT!

    (Per the website at MoDOT: MO 79 South - Pike County - Pavement Repair Of Concrete Pavement scheduled from 22-NOV-09 to 30-SEP-11. Please seek an alternate route.)

    2 years? Yep - money is bit tight around here for state highways.

    So, we turned around and followed the detour around on US 61 and returned back up Hwy 79 to get the tracks for the .gpx files. And lo and behold, we found the other end:

    [​IMG]

    We had seen earlier on the northern end of this closed section a couple of guys on loaded touring bicycles. The had made it through and we passed them as we came up on the southern end. They had a time getting their bike and gear over the gates. Turns out the road is washed out, and they had a sidewalk width of road to get around the washout. Pictures of the closed area! (Note that the DAY we rode pictures were taken of the slide area!)
    :eek1
    So, after turning around we passed them again!

    [​IMG]

    On to Louisiana, where we stopped for lunch. We looked around town and saw a couple of possibilities but decided to stop and ask a local for a recommendation. At a art gallery in town, the owner gave us a great recommendation for a cafe we saw when we pulled into town. "I recommend it highly! As a matter of fact, I will see you guys down there later!" Sounded like he was also closing up shop for his lunch. As we wandered around the gallery to look over the pictures, we spied an artist bio of this gentleman. On it it said, "He and his wife also run the Eagle's Nest Cafe". Got a big laugh out of that! :lol3

    [​IMG]

    So naturally we had lunch there! I went to the back to clean up and was greeted with this:

    [​IMG]

    The accomodations were great, the staff was helpful and the meal was very good. My lunch:

    [​IMG]

    We left filled and cruised on down the road, catching tracks as we headed south bound.

    I was able to show Jamie the route I scouted the week before and we made a couple of corrections (picked one road closer to the North Riverfront Trail in St. Louis City). He was questioning why I had chosen one particular route after crossing the Missouri river in St. Charles. After I showed him the route (that goes right next to Lambert International Airport - we saw a Southwest Airlines jet fly right over us on approach!) he realized I had picked a really cool route to avoid the concrete barriers on the MRT route.

    We got through downtown St. Louis to get a final picture of a sign just south of the Gateway Arch.

    [​IMG]

    After that we refueled, and I rode with Jamie until we got to the southern end of the city limits of Arnold, where he split off south, and I headed for home!

    Still to do: Besides the southern part question about the route, Jamie mentioned that we need to get the northern half of Illinois tracked. :dunno In Missouri north of Hannibal, there is a route that is mapped but NOT recommended for bicyclists as it has heavy traffic (nothing that would affect a moto, tho.) I may be able to get to those routes later on when I am planning to ride up to Quicy, IL to do some genealogy research for my grandfather's family.

    Yep, I had fun...Let's do it again! :clap
    #54
  15. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Brian, awesome report. Thanks for posting that.

    I've got the raw data for Missouri and Arkansas, but my computer crashed a few days back, so there will be a delay before I get it organized and uploaded. Fortunately, I didn't lose any work in the crash. Just a matter of re-installing Windows and starting over.

    Coincidentally, I'm headed to Louisiana today. Not sure how much (if any) of the Louisiana portion I'll be able to map, but I've copied the Vertices route to my GPS just in case. I tried once before to map the Louisiana route and if I remember, I got mixed up because the signs on the route didn't match the rudimentary MRT maps they used to have posted.

    Jamie
    #55
  16. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    Jamie,

    Well, that was yesterday...back at home right now as I type this. The boss changed plans last night about 10 p.m. while I was working in Champaign, IL.

    I will see about taking a moto ride instead down that way when I have some time. Want to do some research in Ste. Genevieve for my family geneaology and can combine the whole trip together.

    Funny, per the map link below, you would think they would route it right next to the Trail of Tears park.


    #56
  17. kingdomstyle

    kingdomstyle Been here awhile

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    nice trip,was wondering where is some good off road stuff in mo
    #57
  18. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    Missouri Adventure Riders Thread would be a good place to start. Thread shows a number of areas that are off road.
    #58
  19. camgregus

    camgregus riding gently now

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    cool. Glad I finally remembered to look at this.:deal

    Thanks Jamie and all involved.

    I saw a guy on a GS and a friend on a superscooter doing the AR portion last year while out riding.
    #59
  20. Yankee Dog

    Yankee Dog Long timer

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    subscribed for future reference.
    #60