News: Updated for 2014, trail extensions to New York and Los Angeles have been added. Reroutes on the main route have been made for reported closures and issues. Updated: 1/16/2014 gpsKevin and volunteers, thanks for everyone's help!
About The Trans America Trail: The Trans America Trail (TAT) is a Coast To Coast Route across the United States. It is designed for Dual Sport and Adventure Bike Motorcycles. But it also works well for 4x4 Vehicles, such as Jeeps and SUV's. It consists mostly of dirt roads, logging roads, fire roads, farm roads, unimproved roads, and back paved roads. The route attempts to avoid pavement, but it travels into towns for gasoline stops and in the eastern states near the ocean, the route is mostly paved. The trail has evolved over the years and it now includes many options depending on conditions and the motorcycle or vehicle you are traveling in. But for sure, this is one of the great routes across America, and if at all possible, you should take all or part of the adventure.
On this website we give away all the information needed to ride the TAT. The trail belongs to us all and I believe in an open source, shared world. There are very high resolution custom Garmin gps maps, and tracklogs including waypoints and files for printing your own paper maps for each day's ride. We ask that you contribute by being good citizens on the trail and offer us any updates that you may find while riding the trail.
Navigation of the Trans America Trail: For sure the best way to follow the trail is by the use of a GPS unit. There are several choices in types of GPS units and ways to operate them. There are 3 ways that one could choose to setup the gps:
OK its your choice, all three are offered here, but get it? You want to load the "GPS Maps" to an SD card and do the "GPS maps" thing. You never mess with the gps then, you just ride the whole thing! (or whatever)
Structure of the trail information: The original TAT is broken into 49 sections (from Cape Hatteras to Oregon) At the end of an each section is a gasoline station. The 2014 New York Route add 11 new sections and the Los Angeles Route adds 14 sections. The sections vary in length from 66 miles to 161 miles. You will need a gas range of 161 miles. Each section has a printable map. Several sections can be ridden in a day, depending on your desires.
Daily Ride Maps: One can argue that with a gps you don't even need paper ride maps, and yes that is true. But there are several reasons that people like paper ride maps. First with a gps it is hard to see the days ride as a whole, people like looking at a map in the morning to see what the days ride will be like. Then during the day it is great to be able to have a discussion about what options the day might have. Paper maps are great for this. Many riders put the paper maps in a pocket in their tankbag and watch the map as the day unfolds. I highly recommend this but it is not necessary.
How to Print the Daily Ride Maps: You can download the Section Ride maps for printing and carrying with you on your motorcycle or 4X4. You can print the maps yourself or you can take the files to a printer and have them print the maps. They are not fine detail or meant to be used for navigation alone.
Studying the Route: Attitudes about studying the route vary greatly among travelers. Some prefer no study, just turn on the GPS and go and enjoy whatever the day has to offer. Others love to study the route in fine detail before starting. Below you will find some amazing resources that allow you to study the route in very fine detail. So for those that enjoy this sort of thing, well, Enjoy.
View Trans America Trail in a larger map
History of the Trans America Trail: The Trans-Am Trail was first organized by Sam Correro some time in the early 1990's Sam conceived and organized the route from Tennessee to Oregon and built roll charts and maps to enable Dual Sport Motorcycle riders to navigate the route. You can still buy Roll Charts and original maps from him at his web site: http://www.transamtrail.com Thanks to Sam for starting a great route. Since the beginning, the route has expanded to complete the Coast to Coast desire by starting out in the Atlantic Ocean in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and continuing to Oregon. The route now includes many improvements and options for likely issues that people encounter along the way, like alternate routes around mud holes, snow in the Rockies, frustrated farmers, high water river crossings, and improved gas stops. In 2014 new trail sections were added to allow riders to select a route between New York and Los Angeles. These routes turned out to be equally spectacular.
Evolution of the Trans America Trail: What is next for the Trail? Continued user feedback. Please send me your route improvement suggestions, your ride experiences. We still need camp spot waypoints! I update the gps files each year based on your ride experiences and feedback. Looking for more difficult route options too!
About Sharing the TAT: I believe in an open source ride world, so I give away all the info to share the ride, in the hopes that others will do the same with other great rides. I have ridden the entire Trans America Trail, and studied it greatly and collected feedback from many sources and refined it. But it will be an adventure because things do change from year to year. gpsKevin
Comments for Bill from England on the trail navigation after his ride last year.
To get all this ride information for free visit the download directions page.
Buy the GPS Maps and Paper Maps:
Ok I get that some people do not like to do this computer stuff themselves, and they would just like to buy the card for their GPS unit and the Paper Maps, so for those people I have decided to help. Visit the following page: TAT Info Request
Q: What is the best GPS for the ride?
A: Almost any will work, but if you want to buy a new one see my GPS Recommendations:
Q: Is this the same as the TAT by Sam?
A: Yes, most of the route is the same but there are additional options and the route is extended to the east coast.
Q: I see all the information is given away free here, but I am not very good with a computer or GPS. Can I just pay and get someone to setup my GPS and print maps for me?
A: Yes, go to this link: Send me an SD card programed with the TAT and the paper maps.
Other fun TAT stuff
Sidebar: Some people want to know how I create all my great rides; the answer is simple. It's explained well in this 7 min Ted video: KirbyFerguson: Embrace the remix. Wow! Yes, I copy, transform and combine. I come up with my some of my own ideas and frankly, I give away the stuff I make. OK, so join in on some of my rides and let’s make them OUR rides! Open source rules in life!