The evolution of transports, the revolution of rubber and the resulting abandon of the railway lines, over the years has led to a transformation: some abandoned railways have been rehabilitated becoming paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Also in Italy this small change has had important results in the development and diffusion of cycling tourism: where there is a secure path for bicycles the curious and the travelers arrive and induced tourism grows... 
The cycling routes on disused railways often develop off-road, sometimes on the old sediment, among gravel and stones. Generally speaking they are simple courses in beautiful places, routes without extreme slopes and never boring to ride. But to face them, in most cases, it is better to equip yourself properly also to prevent minor injuries during your bike ride.

What to bring

When you decide to tackle an old railway trail by bicycle you have, first of all, to evaluate the extent of the route: some itineraries entirely develop off road and therefore it is advisable to go cycling with a mountain bike or a trekking bike with adequate tires; others have been entirely asphalted and are therefore also feasible with a racing bike. Before leaving for this adventure get some padded cycling shorts, comfortable, breathable shoes and wear. Don’t forget your helmet and backpack with a pump, spare air chamber and a snack in case of sudden hunger.
Now you are ready to live a new adventure choosing the route to do among the 10 routes I suggest here below.

Spoleto - Norcia (Italy)

Length: about 51 km | Umbria (Italy)
The evocative Spoleto - Norcia railway has been almost entirely converted into a route for pedestrians and cyclists and besides not having great slopes, goes into the heart of the Umbria region between nature and the stations now abandoned in a succession of galleries and picturesque villages. I suggest to go along the Spoleto - Norcia route with a mountain bike or touring bike with travel tires.
3 places not to miss
The city of the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds) with the Rocca Albornoziana fortress, the historical center and the cathedral dating back to the 1067.
Monti Sibillini
National Park
With the Castelluccio Plateau that extends above Norcia and the valley
The villages of the valley
one more beautiful than the other, perched on rocky cliffs overhanging the river

spoleto norcia ex ferroviaDobbiaco - Calalzo di Cadore (Italy)

Length: about 65 km | Alto Adige-Veneto (Italy)
The old Dolomites’ railway, now a cycling route, proceeds through the Dolomites peaks connecting Dobbiaco, in South Tyrol, to Cortina and Calalzo di Cadore, in Veneto region, through the easy Cimabanche Pass. The track is not particularly difficult and the landscape is undoubtedly fascinating. To deal with this path, which has some dirt roads, I suggest that you use a mountain bike or touring bike with travel tires.
3 places not to miss
Pusteria Valley
One of the most beautiful valleys in the Dolomites
Cortina d'Ampezzo
is not the most beautiful location of the Alps, but the scenery surrounding it is stunning
Cadore Valley
With the galleries of the old railway track and the villages

Roger Lapébie (France)

Length: about 46 km | Gironde (France)
The old railway line of the Roger Lapébie, name that evokes the enterprises of famous French cyclist and pistard, connects Bordeaux to Sauveterre in the French region of Aquitaine. From the eastern bank of the Garonne you continue eastward among idyllic surroundings. Besides the old railway line, now a route for pedestrians and cyclists, you can go on pedaling also till Agen along the river.
3 places not to miss
UNESCO’s World site it is one of the most beautiful cities in France with its elegant gates, churches and the magic of a night spent admiring the illuminated Place de la Bourse.
The Abbey of
La Sauve-Majeure
was founded in 1079, this Benedictine building in Romanesque style is a real beauty Sauveterre-de-Guyenne 1800 inhabitants and a remarkable historic center. From here you can go on pedaling along the river Garonne.

Aachen-Troisvierges (Germany -Belgium-Luxemburg)

Length: about 125 km | Germany - Belgium - Luxemburg
The Vennbahn cycle route is one of the longest European railway tracks reconverted in pedestrian and cycling route. With an average gradient of 2% it runs between Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg for an overall length of 125 km, from Aachen to Troisvierges.
3 places not to miss
Aquisgranum in Latin, it boasts a very showy Gothic cathedral, a fish market located in one of the oldest houses in town and the remains of the ancient walls that culminated in the gateways.
Monschau City
of the North Rhine region, bordering Belgium and dominated by the thirteenth-century castle of the dukes of Jülich, is not to be missed.
The lakes of
in Luxemburg: a wonderful area for camping and enjoying nature
Vennbahn radweg wikipedia

Ruwer-Hochwald (Germany)

Length: about 50 km | Mosel Valley (Germany)
The disused railway of the Ruwer - Hochwald, converted into pedestrian-cycling route, connects the Mosel Valley to the heights of Hunsrück. Going along this track you cross many bridges on the river and areas devoted to the production of excellent wines pedaling from Ruwer to Hermeskeil.
3 places not to miss
The remains of an ancient castle, a mysterious and evocative place.
Wonderful Roman city where to visit the amphitheater, the basilica, the Nigra gate and many other historical buildings.
The cross of the Witch
at least 400 years old, many witches were burned alive in this area..

Great Western Greenway (Ireland)

Length: about 42 km | County Mayo (Ireland)
This off-road track connects Westport to Achill along the old railway line built in 1890 and decommissioned in 1937.
3 places not to miss
Clew Bay
This particular bay extends for 25 km and is dotted with several small islands (they are supposed to be 117). The most scenic spot on the bay is Croagh Patrick, the sacred mountain od Irish people.
242 inhabitants, is the gateway to the island of Achill, the biggest off the Irish coast.
characterized by an old brick bridge, the St. Patrick's Church and the Rockfleet Castle in the surroundings

Otago Central Rail Trail (New Zealand)

Length: 150 km | Otago (New Zealand)
The old New Zealander railway of the Otago Central Rail Trail that connected Middlemarch to Clyde is now a popular destination for pedestrians, but especially cycling travelers who engage in the whole journey in two or three days
3 places not to miss
Galleries, viaducts
and landscapes
give their best along the Otago Central Rail Trail with evocative stretches, old railway tunnels and a road bed for a real pedaling adventure.
Small village between Alexandra and Ranfurly near which gold was found
Strath Taieri
the large glacial valley at the edge of which lies the town of Middlemarch.
otago central rail trail in bici

Amy Gillett Bikeway (Australia)

Length: 17 km | Adelaide (Australia)
Only 17 km long this old railway line located in Southern Australia has been converted in a pedestrian and cycling path (also suitable for those who travel on horseback). The first stretch was opened only in 2010. The old Mount Pleasant railway line connected Oakbank to Charleston reaching the 498 m come quota massima.
3 places not to miss
Lies among the hills of Adelaide and is famous for the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival
The chocolate industry
of Melba
is a place where to get lost among the sweet hills Adelaide
The vineyards and wine
that dot the area of the Adelaide hills, renown and estimated for the production of the precious nectar.
amy gillett bikeway wikipedia

Little Miami Scenic Trail (U.S.A.)

Length: 125,7 km | Ohio (United States)
Almost 126 km long, the Little Miami Scenic Trail is the third longest paved pedestrian and cycling route in the United States. It connects Springfield to Newtown along the river Little Miami and to go along it is necessary to follow the sign State Bike Route 1 and State Bike Route 3.
3 places not to miss
Fort Ancient
where you can breathe the culture and traditions of the native villages
Little Miami Railroad
The remains of the old railway line all to ride
John Bryan State Park
full of tracks to walk or ride with a mountain bike: nature, waterfalls and tranquility.

Ferrocarríl de Cuernavaca (Mexico)

Length: 90 km | Mexico City (Mexico)
From the station of Lomas any cyclist can go along the old track of the Ferrocarril de Cuernavaca that runs along the old rails for 90 km.
3 places not to miss
Mexico City
Is the capital city of Mexico and one of its most beautiful cities. The calle downtown speak of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo but also of photographer Tina Modotti
Parque Nacional Cumbres
del Ajusco is located close to the capital city and its plains reach 3900 meters above sea level. It boasts a a very diverse flora and fauna.
Lomas and Coyoacán
bike stations, the first built in the urban context, are part of a larger project dedicated to ecotourism in this area of Mexico.
otago rail trail nuova zelanda
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Born in 1983 (they told me that many crazy girls were born that year...), I lived in beautiful Trentino for some years and luck (or bad luck) let me know Leo with which I now live and write on and
After changing thousands jobs (custard, travel agent, seller of toilets, employed in a call center, bartender... cubist ehm, no, this not yet!) i have traveled twice to Mexico, I dropped everything without any regret to fly to New Zealand where I loitered for five months.
In 2010 with Leo I left home once again for a long bike trip in Southeast Asia. Now, between a mountain excursion and an adventure, i dream and re-dream the Panamerican highway on two wheels!!!

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