Does anyone know of a site that will give driving directions for surface roads only. A request for directions, most give interstate links that do not work for the T. Thanks for any help.
I use Google maps, look up area then zoom in without looking for driving directions. The only problem I have had is when the road turned to dirt, then more cow path. Then the road ended at washed out bridge. In that case I simply turned around pulled out phone, and rerouted.
Nick: Mapquest used to have a option to avoid interstate highway option but that went away about 8 years ago. you can still zoom the map and drag the route line away from the interstate highways but it can be a pain!
Some states have excellent maps on their websites. I love the Kansas county maps from KDOT. Here's part of one marked for a tour we did a few years ago.
The online map quality varies widely. Some of the biggest tourist states have the worst maps.
I haven't navigated by mobile device, but I've heard that specifying bicycle routes gets good results.
Under options on Google Maps, you can check "avoid highways". You can also click on the bicycle option for some interesting routes.
A word of caution about Google maps: Be sure you zoom in with satellite view to check for accuracy. I've run into one memorable adventure where the roads shown on the map didn't exist, and the ones that really did weren't shown.
Nothing beats a god old road atlas ...
I have (3) GPS units and I still use the atlas on occasion when there is no satellite service or cell service ....
When I plan a tour for the HCCA, I use a program called Map My Fitness. It's designed for hikers and cyclists, but it's really helpful for slow cars. You can get an overview of the area, then put your cursor on your starting point and drag it along the route that seems most suitable. It can keep track of your mileage (to hundredths of a mile, in case you think that's important!). It can show you elevations and grades. (I've been asked to plan a route for a civic group interested in an early car tour, preferably including 1-and 2-cylinder cars. The organizer is more eager than knowledgeable. He proposed a road he wanted me to check out. Map My Fitness showed an area where the grade went from 8% to 15% to over 30% in about 200 yards. I persuaded him that it would be better for 1-and 2-cylinder cars to tour on a different road!) You can use the satellite map to zoom in on an intersection so closely that you can usually tell whether it's uncontrolled, or has a stop sign, or has a light.
You can make a lot of preliminary route decisions from your desk chair in front of your computer. But, if you're planning a route for a car tour where the drivers go at their own pace, rather than following each other nose to tail like circus elephants, it's essential to get your butt out on the actual road to be sure your instructions make sense. And it's also important, when you think you're finished, to give the instructions to someone else to look for your mistakes. Careful as I try to be, there's always some stupid thing I've done that a second pair of eyes will put right.
Thanks for all your response. I appreciate everything suggested.
This is a bit "OT" (....sorry Nick) but "Freighter Jim" mentioned the ol' Rand McNally Road Atlas. Not sure if this is still available, but I know that as recently as just a couple years ago, Walmart sold their version of the road atlas which was identical to the Rand McNally version, with the addition that in the back of the atlas was listed ALL of the Walmart store locations, state-by-state. The reason I mention this is because most Walmarts allow, and some actually encourage RVers to park behind their stores to spend the night. This is a really handy thing to know, when all you want to do is park and get a fairly good night's sleep and "hit the road" again. It's a sort of "win-win" for all concerned when you are traveling a long distance and want to make as many miles as possible. Handy for the traveler as Walmarts are open all night which enables a great stop where you can use their rest rooms, grab a quick bite to eat, pick up any needed supplies, etc, etc. Sometimes you just need some sleep but don't need or want a motel room. FWIW,....harold
....actually, I guess nowadays, you can just rely on your "smart phone" to give you "driving directions to the closest Walmart" too, but,....whatever,......harold
Sleeping in the Wal-Mart parking lot so I have a restroom handy is part of my usual travel plan. It works everywhere except in L.A. and NYC, where the Wal-Marts close at night.
Gazeteers are the best for backroad maneuvers. Detail level varies from
state to state, but many show the far more detail than any road atlas I have
Combined with travel by dead reckoning and stopping to ask locals for the
most scenic routes, one stands the best chance of finding forgotten byways,
good local eats and avoiding that whole #%&@! Interstate/strip mall/plastic
Disneyland treadmill experience.
Not all Wal-Marts are open 24 hrs.