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Chesapeake Bay Bicycle Tour : Riding by bike around the Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Bicycle Tour

The ride described on this page is the first in a series of rides I hope to do in the future, circumnavigating some of the major North American lakes.

This page contains my planning for a 2006 2007 2008 2010 or 2011 bicycle trip around the Chesapeake Bay. The trip is attractive because the entire route is within a one-day drive from home (Pittsburgh), it's relatively flat, and there's the promise of good food and places to stay all around the route.
Click here for detailed route map, .8mb, opens in a new window.

This is a work in progress about an area I'm not familiar with.
If anybody has any advice, I'd love to hear it. Thanks very much!

Various Chesapeake Bay Bicycle Tour Options

Upper Chesapeake

This route involves using ferrys from Reedville VA to Tangier Island, and from Tangier Island to Crisfield MD. Mileage is 335 miles. Seems like a 4 day trip.

Lower Chesapeake

This route involves shuttling the Annapolis Bay Bridge, the Hampton Roads Tunnel, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. 464 miles, which includes the distance of the bridges/ tunnels. Probably a 5 day trip.

Full Chesapeake

This route involves shuttling the Hampton Roads Tunnel, Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. 502 miles, which includes the distance of the bridges/ tunnels. Probably 6 days.

Maryland Weather

The prevailing winds are 10mph summer and fall, 12 mph winter and spring. The prevailing winds are from the northwesterly quadrant from October through June. The rest of the year sees winds from the southwesterly quadrant most of the time.

May, June, July, and August make up the thunderstorm season and include from 75 to 80 percent of the thunderstorms that occur annually. July is the peak of the season with about 25 percent of the annual total number of thunderstorms.

Plan 6x85: Six 85-ish mile days

Total mileage: 504 miles.
Delorme Topo files: chesbay061226-2.tpx
  • Day1 Baltimore InnerHarbor to Dahlgren VA, 80 miles
  • Day2 Dahlgren VA to Topping VA 85.4 miles
  • Day3 Topping VA to CapeCharles MD 83 miles, 2 hitchhikes: Hampton Roads Tunnel, ChesBay Bridge Tunnel (RT13)
  • Day4 CapeCharles MD to Salisbury MD 92 miles (route 2.7.3 ccv - princessanne- sby)
  • Day5 Salisbury MD to Chestertown MD 77 miles (route 2.9.1A SBY-DENTON 43 miles, 2.9.2 denton-chestertown 34 miles)
  • Day6 Chestertown MD - Baltimore MD 87 miles
  • 5th day: Princess Anne MD (MP393) - Galena MD (MP 484)
    Rosehill Farm B&B, 13842 Gregg Neck Rd, Galena MD 21635 410.648.5334
    91 miles for the day, 440 miles total.
  • 6th day: Galena MD (MP484) - Elkton MD (MP 507) - Baltimore MD (MP45) (68 daily miles, 508 total miles) -->

    I've found these resources to be useful:

    I've had this advice from Thomas Frohlich, a gentleman in the Tidewater Bicycle Assoc., about crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with a bike:

    Call 757 331-2960 24 hours ahead. Set schedule.
    Charge is $10/person. Truck will transport bike and biker.
    Although I've also heard from a few people who stop before the bridge/tunnel, hoist a sign that says "will pay your toll for a lift", and often they get a free lift.

  • Delmar - Elkton - : 99 miles
  • total miles: 502 miles

    Eastern NC: Reedsville Ferry is a good idea. Then you can use the the route 3 bridge near Kilmarnock, stay more or less on 3 to Glouchester. Then south along 17 to Yorktown (although I think they still don't allow bikes on the York River bridge). Then the Colonial Parkway to Jamestown and the ferry from Jamestown to Scotland. Once south of the James River, it's country roads to the NC border. Alternate - from route 3 bridge, take 33ish west, 155 down to the route 5 bikeway and into Jamestown from the other way. Western NC: If you can get near DC, there are good routes through DC and west to the Shenandoah Valley or Skyline drive, which turns into the Blue Ridge Parkway. One way from DC to the Valley is WO&D trail to Purcellville, Airmont, Middleburg, Marshall, Markham, through the gap to Front Royal. The local clubs have these routes very well documented. No need to igno tatterdemallion -->

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