Alex_C
Hello,

Anybody familiar with gravel routes near Louisville? We are going to be up there for a few days, driving from Florida.
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jmecklenborg
Louisville has the megacavern but very little gravel nearby.  There is a 40 mile gravel route called Leavenworth about a 45-minute drive west of Louisville in Indiana but I haven't ridden it.  Also, the mountain bike trail network in Brown County, IN, about 60 minutes north of Louisville, is pretty widely recognized as the best mountain bike network in the Midwest. 
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Alex_C
Thanks for the Leavenworth suggestion. We are going to try the Mammoth Caves Hike and Bike Trail. It is about 90min drive from Louisville. Whatever we ride, I'll report back.
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neinneinthree

Louisville has the megacavern but very little gravel nearby.  There is a 40 mile gravel route called Leavenworth about a 45-minute drive west of Louisville in Indiana but I haven't ridden it.  Also, the mountain bike trail network in Brown County, IN, about 60 minutes north of Louisville, is pretty widely recognized as the best mountain bike network in the Midwest. 


If you’re talking about the Leavenworth route on gravelmap.com I put it there.  It’s pretty nice, about 60% gravel I’d say and nothing too rough.  Several small climbs, some of which are on the paved sections.  All the pavement sections except for the last two miles back to the start have basically zero cars.


I did another one today out of Madison, IN that was about 55 miles, roughly 50% gravel with a couple of very steep climbs.  One of them was on pavement and out of the saddle the whole time, the other fairly steep as well but on gravel.  It’s not on gravelmap yet but if you want the file let me know.

As jmeckelnborg said, there is no gravel really close to Louisville but there is excellent road biking just across the river in Indiana with very little car traffic and two options for crossing the Ohio on either the Big Four Bridge or the East End Bridge.

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Alex_C
If it isn't too much trouble, I'd like the route file. We aren't sure how much time we'll have for riding as it is a family visit/vacation, but it is nice to have options. Leavenworth sounds good because our son is just getting into cycling and isn't up to our fitness level. A few tame climbs would be good. The steep stuff will be for me and my wife. Hopefully I can get my fat @ss up the hills!
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jmecklenborg

As jmeckelnborg said, there is no gravel really close to Louisville but there is excellent road biking just across the river in Indiana with very little car traffic and two options for crossing the Ohio on either the Big Four Bridge or the East End Bridge.


Indiana still had TONS of gravel roads when I was a kid in the 1980s.  The gravel was similar to the Kansas gravel - big chunks and super dusty. It would be a gravel mecca today if not for the riverboat casinos.  The politicians got the farmers to help approve casinos in the 1990s in exchange for the paving of almost every gravel county road in the state.  It's always funny for me to think about how people talk about the character of gravel throughout the United States in reference to gravel biking, because for me, Indiana gravel *IS* my reference point, but it hardly exists anymore.   

I don't know why Kentucky doesn't have many gravel roads (at least not the central area of the state) but it doesn't. 
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neinneinthree
Alex_C wrote:
If it isn't too much trouble, I'd like the route file. We aren't sure how much time we'll have for riding as it is a family visit/vacation, but it is nice to have options. Leavenworth sounds good because our son is just getting into cycling and isn't up to our fitness level. A few tame climbs would be good. The steep stuff will be for me and my wife. Hopefully I can get my fat @ss up the hills!
 

Sorry I just now saw this.  Need to figure out notifications for this site.  Anyway here’s the Strava route.   I think you can download the GPX from there?
https://strava.app.link/Ub164uYPU7

Also, if you have a kid with you and are looking for something with no traffic you should check out the Louisville Loop.  This is a paved multi-use trail (motorized vehicles not allowed) that is 19 miles one way.  Start at Beckley Creek Park and go as far as you like before turning around or start at one of many other parking areas.  This is one of the places I take my 11 year old.  https://www.theparklands.org/res/uploads/parks/files/Full-Park-Map-Final_4.pdf
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Alex_C
The trip didn't happen. Family drama. We were well into Georgia, about 8 hours into out trip when the kids (married adults) started their drama. We ended up making a U-turn and stayed in Gainesville, FL to ride some of their routes. Fun ride, shitty vacation...
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Alex_C
Thanks 993.
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Alex_C
Odd. One of my posts didn't show up...
My Kentucky trip was fubar due to Covid and a family squabble. Ended up driving alot ~11hrs and ending up in Gainesville, FL.for a 3hr ride. Gainesville is less than 3hrs from my home. A total crapfest vacation but the ride in Gainesville was fun.
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frontrangegravel
Hey Alex_C, 
Regarding the post...sometimes some posts get caught in the filter and I have to approve. This was one and wasn't even bad. I approved it. You should see it above. Sorry to hear about the drama - that sucks. 
Keep on keepin on!
- Ben
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