The first section of the Northern Tier stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. In between it touches two of the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls, and follows a transportation corridor that opened the country west of the original colonies. It passes through cities that were once the backbone of American industrialism & played pivotal roles in the history of the United States.
Iowa, Wisconsin, & Minnesota stand out as some of the greenest and lushest of all the states along the Northern Tier Route. This greenery proves to be a relief from the giant plains to the west and acres of farmland to the east. You'll learn a lot about the history of the Mississippi River as you follow it north.
The last section from Minnesota to Seattle includes the Great Plains, large expanses of mountains and some beautiful farmland areas in between. Even in the height of summer in July, cyclists must be prepared for cold nights and occasional snow in the higher elevations during storms. Due to changing local conditions, it is difficult to predict any major wind patterns.