Finding dirt and gravel roads - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 09-14-2009, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Souderton, Pa
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Finding dirt and gravel roads

How do you guys find dirt and gravel roads? Ok I know I can just go out and look for them but is there a map or listing of these roads somewhere? I have been searching for a while now and asking the authorities and no one has a clue as to where to get maps of "unimproved" or dirt and gravel roads. I have gone to the pendot site and gone to the county and township maps but they don't show dirt and gravel roads as any different than paved roads. I have gone to the Gazatier (sp) and still nothing. There is supposed to be over 20,000 miles of dirt and gravel roads in Pa. There must be maps of these roads somewhere. Any ideas???

thanks

Gary
Souderton, Pa.
89 xt350
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post #2 of 30 Old 09-14-2009, 11:48 PM
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Thumbs -

AAA maps can be good. There are also topo books that usually cover large areas and show forest roads and jeep trails. You can sometimes find USFS maps at the ranger station - these usually show the forest Service roads.

I've also had some success with MapQuest. Go to "directions" and put in a start and destination. Under the destination theres a "Directions Options" link. If you expand it and check "Avoid Highways", "Avoid Toll roads" and "Shortest Distance" it will often route you on unpaved roads. You can also click on "Avoid" on any leg of the directions and it may route you onto unpaved roads if you're persistent enough.

Also have had good luck with Garmin Mapsource, as the maps usually show all roads. With Mapsource you can view a route in Google earth to see your route from satellite photos.

A lot of the 4X4 clubs have websites with trail and route reviews.

ADVRider has a section of the forum for trading/posting GPS .gpx files of adventure rides, many of which are unpaved.

There are some pay sites for sharing off-roading info, but i haven't ever found them to be really worthwhile.

Tom
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tom

I have really been searchin here and have come up with nothin. I went to AAA this afternoon and they looked at me like I had three eyes. They couldn't even tell me where to start to look. I will try mapquest again but I can't get it to get to the detail I need to find the dirt and gravel. I have thought of the topo maps but again can't find where to get them. I was just lookin at the county maps that show on the legend unimproved roads but don't show any on the maps. I know they are there but they don't show them. I look to find the roads I have been on but it just shows them as local roads and not any different than the paved ones.

There used to be a bunch of unpaved roads around here but over the years they have disappeared. I have to go about an hour now to get to them. Going into a new area and just ridein around lookin for dirt and gravel with no idea if they are an eighth of a mile long or 20 miles long can get to be a bit of a drag. I have looked at the local county maps but they don't distinguish between paved and unpaved either. I'll try mapquest again and see what happens.

thanks for the help this is harder than I expected. LOL

Gary
Souderton, Pa.
89 xt350
92 K75s
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post #4 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 12:22 AM
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thumbs -

Try one of these:

http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELi...4jlun%253AS%7E

I have one for Southern California and it's helpful. The scale is big, but at least you can tell what's paved and what's not.

You are going to have some trouble - you're in an "old" area and the road infrastructure is well developed. They've been working on it for 300 years, eh?

Tom
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post #5 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 01:04 AM
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 01:24 AM
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Google Maps. Choose a location and look for the non-asphalt roads.

Mountain Bike information. You should find an occasional route that allows motorcycles. Myn bikes have better information on the Great Divide Ride than motorcyclists do.

Google Search "motorcycle off road" or ???

Today I found a 100 mile road of mixed surfaces from a photo that said Henness Pass Road. Can't wait to give it a try but that won't be until mid October or later.

Tim

2005 KLR 685
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 07:40 AM
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Here's a suggestion

Have you tried contacting your state Department of Natural Resources? In Iowa, the DNR publishes a sportsman's guide, which is essentially a detailed atlas of the state broken down into smaller areas that show all of the wildlife refuges, public hunting areas, creeks, lakes, as well as every little road that will take you there. I suspect most DNRs have a similar publication, or could steer you to one. Or, on a trip a a while back to Kansas, I found a wonderful book in a truck stop called "Kansas Backroad Adventures," which showed how to get to all kinds of cool, out-of-the-way places off the beaten path. And some of them were way, way off the beaten path!
Good luck!

Big Ray in North Iowa
1972 Yamaha DT250 (my first bike)
1975 Honda CB360 (my college ride)
1976 Yamaha XS750D (burned, may she R.I.P.)
1980 Yamaha 850 Special (went to new home)
1981 Yamaha 850 Special (former daily ride)
1982 Kawasaki KZ250 L-1 CSR (sold)
1996 Suzuki DS80 (my son's first bike)
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post #8 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help guys. Keep it commin. I'll track down some of these tips today. Yeah this is a real old area. It really is suprising how if you get a bit away its still pretty rural. They just paved the only gravel road I know of around here last year. Wasn't a whole lot but it was something. Now I gotta find something within reason to ride to. About an hour or so from here there are a ton of dirt and gravel roads. The problem is gettin a handle as to where they go.

Well you guys have given me some good leads. I'm gonna check em out.

Gary
Souderton, Pa.
89 xt350
92 K75s
07 KLR 650
13 Triumph Storm
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post #9 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Tim

I am tryin to find non asphalt roads on google maps. Can you give me the site you use? Maybe I'm missin something here but I can't find anything that will allow me to look for non asphalt roads.

Gary
Souderton, Pa.
89 xt350
92 K75s
07 KLR 650
13 Triumph Storm
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post #10 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 01:17 PM
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Thumbs,

I was born in Williamsport, Lycoming County PA. Get yourself a Pennsylvania Atlas & Gazetteer at your local book store. Pennsylvania has so many state forest roads and gravel roads you should be able to wear your bike out.

Plan a trip to the North Central part of the state. Look at the area around Slate Run PA. there are hundreds of miles of state forest service roads in that area alone. I could go on and on but you get the picture, now get the Atlas.
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