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Discussion Starter #1
All,
I do not have a fancy GPS. Is there a website (free or not) that you can put in a start and an end and choose a "scenic" route instead of the most direct (pronounced: highway) route?

Searching Google now but not finding a lot.
 

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Yeah, something more than just Mapquest.

I mean, I have no shortage of paper maps that fold down and fit onto a copy machine.

Gazetteer map books work very well for that. And they show most-to-all of the back roads, too. Pick an area on the map you want to ride, blow up the copy size a bit, and then use a highlighter to trace out your route. Tuck the final map into your map pouch and away you go.
 

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I have an slightly older version of this

http://www.maptech.com/land/terrainnavigatorpro/index.cfm

Version 6.0 I think its about ten years old now but anyway I really like it. I just found out though that my version doesn't recognize my new gps, bummer for me but oh well. It's a great mapping topo and does tons of cool stuff. Company I used to work for allowed me to download it onto my laptop so it was free. I would like to upgrade to the new version someday.
 

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I just started using Google Maps for this. They have an "Avoid Highways" checkbox. Sometimes works. I also just create routes in it like this one I created for a ride after work today: http://tinyurl.com/5byrf5.

It is a pain to create and I can't help but think there is something better out there. It is cool to switch to the satellite view to see what's really around.
 

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Another vote for Google maps. You set the basic route up by saying I want to go from here to there then simply drag the route to any roads in between that you feel might be interesting. When you have finished you can print out an intersection by intersection route map if you want. You can also see satellite (aerial photo) or terrain views of the route as well as traditional road map views.
The only problem I have with Google Maps is that they won't allow you to include off road sections in a route.
 

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Another vote for Google maps. You set the basic route up by saying I want to go from here to there then simply drag the route to any roads in between that you feel might be interesting. When you have finished you can print out an intersection by intersection route map if you want. You can also see satellite (aerial photo) or terrain views of the route as well as traditional road map views.
The only problem I have with Google Maps is that they won't allow you to include off road sections in a route.

+1 greatest thing since sliced bread. Great for trip planning and map directions- distances and times - between points or end to end.
 

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All,
I do not have a fancy GPS. Is there a website (free or not) that you can put in a start and an end and choose a "scenic" route instead of the most direct (pronounced: highway) route?

Searching Google now but not finding a lot.
Check out National Geographic's Back Roads Explorer. It has a crazy amount of detail and has just about any and every road you can think of. It makes a good companion with the Delorme Atlas & Gazetteer, as mentioned earlier.

I have used both to plan group drives through the Wisconsin back roads for the local Subaru crowd a few years back and they were invaluable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cool, using the avoid highways button and dragging the course route on google maps is going to do the trick.
 

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If only Google had the...use highways until this point, then avoid them until here, then use them again.

;)
 

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That is what the route dragging does. Set it up to do the quickest route then just go in and change the sections that you want the scenic routes for by dragging the route.
 

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I like Google maps also, but for a relatively inexpensive desktop alternative, look at Microsoft Streets & Trips. As much as I hate to promote anything from M$, it really is one of the best trip planning tools I've found. Even with a GPS, I still use S&T for planning complex trips.
 
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