What are good resources to use to find dirt roads, fire roads, gravel roads, or disused paved roads for planning a gravel grinder or ultracross style ride.

Any particular atlases, online mapping resources, government departments to check?

4 Answers 4


Good quality road maps will differentiate between paved and unpaved roads. I really like my Gazetteer State Maps

  • Delorme used to make books of maps per state that usually distinguished unpaved roads. Don't know if they're still in business, though, after they had to go digital. Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 20:44
  • You are talking about the gazetteer maps which I linked to. They are still very much available.
    – Glenn
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 21:11
  • Awesome, I think I have one of those particular gazetteers for my state hanging around the house somewhere. I'll investigate that as a first option.
    – Benzo
    Commented Oct 13, 2012 at 5:58

For those still interested, there's a pretty solid map site available now covering the US. Not everything is on there, and you can add more gravel roads as you find them.


  • This is a great site, user dependent, but I've both contributed and used this as a resource.
    – Benzo
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 12:48

I found this map of Pennsylvania with dirt roads overlaid a while back. Not aware of similar projects but I imagine/hope they are out there.

  • Years ago I had in mind creating a sort of wiki for bike maps -- vetted by local bikers. Never got very far with the idea, though. Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 12:14
  • Again, great tip. this should be very helpful since I am in Pennsylvania.
    – Benzo
    Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 15:39
  • Heh, that's lucky. Look out for gravel rail-trails you can use as the "backbone" for your ride too. There are a couple around me that make planning this type of ride much easier.
    – AlexCuse
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 12:35
  • 1
    Penn State Center for Dirt and Gravel Road studies has a lot of interesting stuff too, and GIS files to check out. dirtandgravel.psu.edu
    – Benzo
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 14:31

Without knowing your location I can't give specifics. If you check for a local or regional mountain bike assoc. they should have some trail guides. In the northeast we have the new england mountain bike assoc. Most of these groups have websites with trail reviews. Not all of the trails are singletrack or downhill many are cartroads and firebreaks. Many trails are accessed via fireroads with descriptions and difficulty ratings. I use MTBR.com they have a state by state listings and reviews from users. Some will have maps or links to get them. Some have gps coordinates to locate key areas.

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