Arkansas has joined the U.S. Bicycle Route System with the designation of its first U.S. Bicycle Route, while Tennessee has designated a second route, says the Adventure Cycling Association. The new routes, along with the realignment of routes in Minnesota, New York, and Ohio, add more than 425 miles to the U.S. Bicycle Route System, bringing total mileage to nearly 19,000, and improving connectivity and the cycling experience.

Arkansas’ first U.S. Bicycle Route is also the first segment of USBR 80 designated in the country. The new route travels from the Mississippi River on the Tennessee border to the Arkansas River at Little Rock, through rural areas and historical downtowns of the Arkansas Delta. USBR 21 in Tennessee begins in the Cumberland Gap on the Kentucky border and continues through the Tennessee River Valley to Chattanooga and the Georgia border, linking Cleveland to Atlanta.

The realignment of routes through Minnesota, New York, and Ohio were made based on feedback from cyclists and local communities, as well as the completion of infrastructure improvements and other projects.

The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a developing national network of officially designated, numbered, and signed routes that use existing roads, trails, and other facilities appropriate for bike travel. It will eventually encompass 50,000 miles of routes and open new opportunities for cross-country travel, regional touring, and commuting by bike. It also benefits communities by providing new bicycle routes, enhancing safety, and increasing tourism and economic activity.

U.S. Bicycle Routes are developed by state departments of transportation and officially designated by AASHTO. With the new designation and realignments, the U.S. Bicycle Route System now boasts 18,953 miles of routes in 34 states and Washington, D.C. At least 38 states are currently developing additional U.S. Bicycle Routes. Digital maps for all designated U.S. Bicycle Routes are available to the public for free on the Adventure Cycling Association website