This being First Monday Canton Trades Days weekend, I though I would make my first Highway 19 one day recumbent tour to Canton, Texas. From my home this logged only 24 miles on my Vision R40 recumbent.
Canton is located 60 miles east of the Dallas Metroplex. It is a small town of less than 4,000 residents but grows to as much as 400,000 visitors on Canton Trade Days weekends.
If you have ever heard of Canton, TX, it probably had some association with Canton Trade Days or as the locals call it, First Monday. Canton is home of the famous Canton Trade Days which takes place on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday preceding the first Monday of the each month. Canton Trade Days is the largest, ongoing flea market in the United States dating back to the mid 1800’s. Canton Trade Days has a campus of 100 plus acres with acres more for parking. Much of Canton’s history is tied to First Monday. You can read more of its history here.
BTW, I could not find a dedicated bicycle parking area and there are signs on the west entrance banning bicycles from the Trade Days grounds. No problem there, they would not mix well with the crowds and the multitudes of electric mobility scooters that are rented there. Admission is free and parking is $5.00. If you allow 4 hours for your visit, you will not see everything. Just when you think you’ve seen everything you find out you’ve not even been to Dog Alley, Old Mill Place or several other of the outlaying areas. And don’t forget the historic downtown Canton. Yep, 2 days if you want to do everything. Hotels/Motels are always booked for Trade Days weekends so make arrangements to stay a little further away.
If your touring through East Texas and can arrange to be in Canton on Trade Days, it would be a great rest day or two.
I’ll add more of my trip to Canton as time permits.
Riding into Canton by Bike.
NOTE: Early morning or late afternoon traffic is very heavy on First Monday Trade Days Weekends. Its equal to going to a major league sports event as visitors pour into or out of Canton. I would avoid these hours on a bike.
Hwy 19 from the north or south has wide shoulders.
Hwy 64 from the north to Wills Point has wide shoulders.
Hwy 64 to the south has wide shoulder about 5 miles then no shoulder to near Tyler, Tx.
Hwy 243 to the West from Kaufman has no shoulder.
Hwy 198 to the West from Maybank has no shoulder.
FM 17 east from Grand Saline has no shoulder.