New Underground Railroad Bicycle Tour Route Passes Through Ypsilanti & Ann
This spring the Adventure Cycling Association formally established a spur
route of it’s Underground Railroad bicycle tour route that passes through
Ypsilanti, as well as Ann Arbor and Saline.
The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR) honors the bravery of those
who fled bondage and those who provided shelter. This route passes points
of interest and historic sites along a 2,008-mile corridor. Beginning in
Mobile, Alabama – a busy port for slavery during the pre-civil war era –
the route goes north following rivers through Alabama, Mississippi,
Tennessee, and Kentucky. Waterways, as well as the North Star, were often
used by freedom seekers as a guide in their journeys to escape slavery. The
tour route ends at Owen Sound, a town founded by freedom seekers in 1857.
Owen Sound is located on the southern side of Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay.
In Ypsilanti, the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route travels along Clark
Road, Oakwood Street, Michigan Avenue and Grove Road, urging visiting
cyclists to visit historical sights along the way. Specifically the route
recommends in Ypsilanti a visit to…
- The *Elijah McCoy Commemorative Marker *at the Ypsilanti Public
Library commemorates Elijah
famous African-American inventor who had more patents than any other black
inventor up to that time. His emancipated father and enslaved mother
escaped with help from Underground Railroad conductors and then settled in
Ypsilanti before the Civil War.
- The Leonard Chase
Thompson Block building -- Leonard Chase housed freedom seekers
and Mrs. Eurotas Morton brought bread for them from her house in the 200
block of N. River Street.
The Underground Railroad route also allows bicyclists to travel on sections
of Washtenaw County’s Border To Border Trail.
The Adventure Cycling Association was established to inspire people of all
ages to travel by bicycle. The non-profit group helps cyclists explore the
landscapes and history of America for fitness, fun, and self-discovery and
has created one of the largest bicycle tour route networks in the world at
41,399 miles (and growing). Established in 1973 as
Adventure Cycling is the premier bicycle travel organization in North
America with 44,500 members nationwide and is headquartered in Missoula,
Washtenaw County Underground Railroad Bicycle Route map section -
Complete Underground Railroad Bicycle Route map -
Background on the Underground Railroad Bicycle Tour Project -