Bicyclists can explore North America from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico on the longest mountain bike path in the world. Sprawling across 2,700 miles, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR), completed by Adventure Cycling Association, could soon have several hundred miles added to it. In honor of the GDMBR’s upcoming 20th anniversary, the association is fundraising to improve and extend the landmark trail.
The GDMBR has been thrilling mountain bikers since 1997. Now the association wants to make the trail even better: they say cyclists have requested more off-road options and destinations. Adventure Cycling Association aims to extend the route to connect with Jasper National Park, around 100 miles north of Banff, and add a spur to their headquarters in Missoula, Montana.
The association says bicyclists of all skill levels can enjoy the trail, from a family with six children ages 10 to 17, the Todds, who like to spend part of their summer vacation riding the trail, to endurance cyclists like Jay Petervary. It takes around 37 days to cycle the GDMBR in its entirety, according to Bikepacking.com, who rate the trail’s difficulty 5.5 on a scale of one to 10. They describe the route as “the most recognized and important off-pavement cycling route in the United States, if not the world.”
Cyclists on the route experience Grand Teton National Park, the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming, and the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico, to name a few sights.
If you’d like to donate towards the GDMBR extension, and the creation of a new off-road Arkansas route of 1,400 miles, you can do so here. A group of Adventure Cycling members will match each donation until September 30. With the money, the association also plans to redesign and produce paper and digital maps.