Georgia welcomes cyclists to the coast with U.S. Bicycle Route 1

Georgia welcomes cyclists to the Atlantic Coast, following the May designation of U.S. Bicycle Route 1 (USBR 1) by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

U.S. Bicycle Route 1 is the third officially-designated bike route in Georgia, and extends 199 miles along the coast. The route follows much of U.S. Hwy 17 (alternatively Ocean Highway) and passes through many small towns – some directly on the Atlantic Ocean coast – that are filled with hidden gems.

USBR 1 starts south of the Georgia-South Carolina Border in Clyo, GA and travels south to connect 22 local communities, including: Effingham County, Chatham County, Bryan County, Liberty County, McIntosh County, Glynn County, Camden County, Charlton County, and will connect with the existing U.S. Bicycle Route 1 in Florida.

“More of America’s scenic locations are becoming accessible by bicycle,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO’s executive director. “The designation of U.S. Bicycle Route 1 in Georgia gives cyclists access to hundreds of miles of picturesque coastline that includes the oldest city in the state, Savannah. When state DOTs and their public and private sector partners work together to expand the U.S. Bicycle Route System, they make America healthier and better connected.”

David Dam rides along USBR 1 in Coastal Georgia for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. June 2019.  Photo: Russell Oliver

David Dam rides along USBR 1 in Coastal Georgia for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. June 2019.
Photo: Russell Oliver

Cyclists along USBR 1 can explore Georgia’s oldest city, Savannah, including the largest national historic landmark district in the United States. The route showcases the Savannah Wildlife Refuge, Altamaha Wildlife Management Area, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, and Georgia’s barrier islands: Tybee, Sapelo, St. Simons, Jekyll, and Cumberland Island National Seashore. With oak tree canopies, rural landscapes, marshland views, and barrier islands; Coastal Georgia’s USBR 1 is a scenic treasure for cyclists.

USBR 1 has been developed by the Coastal Regional Commission of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Transportation with input from bicycle and trail organizations and volunteers.

The U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) is a developing national network of officially recognized, numbered, and signed bicycle routes. All U.S. Bicycle Routes are designated by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). This new route brings the total mileage of the USBRS to 13,733. At least 40 states are currently developing U.S. Bicycle Routes.

“I am excited to see U.S. Bicycle Route 1 come to the Georgia Coast. I want the world to know Georgia has the best small towns in America, and USBR 1 can help tell that story,” said Terry Landreth, owner of Camden Bicycle Center in St. Marys. “I consider USBR 1 a very high value item for local residents, a new tourism product for visitors, and a great connection piece between the world and the Georgia communities. I fully believe USBR 1 can have the same if not greater economic impact as the Silver Comet Trail west of Atlanta.”

Cooper waves at cyclists as they pass his house on USBR 1 in McIntosh, GA .June 2019.  Photo: Russell Oliver

Cooper waves at cyclists as they pass his house on USBR 1 in McIntosh, GA .June 2019.
Photo: Russell Oliver

Digital maps for all designated U.S. Bicycle Routes — including USBR 1 in Georgia — are available to the public for free, thanks to a partnership with Ride with GPS, from the Adventure Cycling website.

Adventure Cycling Association, a nonprofit that provides national coordination for the U.S. Bicycle Route System, partners with AASHTO to ensure states have the resources and expertise needed for successful route designation.