Creating a Custom Route in Google or Apple Maps (iOS)

Just wondering if anyone knows of a way to create custom routes within these apps? My searching seems to have come up empty handed.

I do a lot of cycling for fitness and find myself riding in the city between various points when there’s no bike trails or often on city streets between trails until I get to the trail I want.

I enter my destination on these apps, but they keep re-routing me to the expressway or onto a major street because that’s fastest and shortest. When I cycle past the on-ramp, they continuously tell to to make a u-turn back to it or to do a turn at the next one. I can and do ignore it, but last week I was following the map and needed to turn left to take the route I wanted, but the map kept re-orienting and telling me to turn right, back to the expressway. I missed the turn I needed and went way out of my way. Obviously it would be a lot easier if I could just use the app to guide me the way I want.

Option 1 is to use the either google or apple maps to guide me.

Option 2 is to download a new app that I can customize a route, if anybody has any suggestions.

In Google Maps there is a somewhat buried option to “Avoid Highways”. It’s under Settings > Navigation Settings > Route options.

There’s also a ‘bicycle’ option in Googlemaps, at least I see it on my laptop. It’ll avoid highways and arterials that don’t have bike lanes.

Thanks for the tips. I tried both, unfortunately neither one works on my phone.

I can change the settings to avoid highways but the road I’m trying to avoid is a 50 mph controlled access road, just not a full-blown “highway”. It still routes me onto this road.

I’ve used the “bike” route on my laptop as well, but that functionality doesnt seem to be built into the phone app.

Thanks for your help. I’ll start looking at new apps and see if there’s anything out there that allows custom routes.

I was going to say you should try Strava or MapMyRide but neither seem to include route creation in their phone apps. They are good on the computer though, you can create any route by clicking on the map where you want waypoints. The route can be sticky and automatically follow roads and bike paths or it can be manual with straight lines between waypoints for sections that go off the beaten track. Another routing option in Strava is “popularity” which will find the most popular route between the waypoints.

Thanks Richard - I do use Strava, but I’m not aware of a way to transfer the routes into the phone app and then navigate by them?

I did use MapMyRide before Strava, but gave up on it. I found its GPS tracking very wonky (with my iPhone). The exact same ride would usually vary by +/- 10% distance. I also ride along a river & and it showed me jumping back and forth over the water! I haven’t had those problems with Strava.

I just downloaded a free app, InRoute, I’ve only played with it so far, but it does seem to let me easily set up a route based on my own street choices. I’ll try it on the roads this week and see what happens.

The Google maps app does have a bicycle option, at least on my iPhone. Are you saying yours doesnt? Mine gives route options of drive, public transit, walk, ride share, and bicycle. You have to scroll the bar to see the last two on my phone (I have a small SE). Though how well it works will depend on how well the roads suitable for bicycling are flagged in the database.

Just verified that you can scroll to the bicycle on an Android phone, too! I hadn’t noticed that before. Thanks pulykamell.

If the OP still can’t find the ‘bicycle’ option, there is a kluge that should work, but you have to be at least somewhat familiar with the route you want to take. And of course it takes longer to create.

Set up a multiple location trip. First set up the begin and end points and then examine the route. Somewhere near where it takes a highway, add an additional point that’s not on the highway, so it routes you there. Continue to add points until it follows a route that’s acceptable. Not sure how well this will work out on the road. I only use it if I want to find out how long a trip that I’ve already taken is.

From your computer, you can log in to your Strava profile on their website and create a route then save it. It should then be listed in the Strava app on your iPhone in your profile under “Routes.”

I’ve barely used Strava so I don’t know if you can use the routes you create to navigate (like it will tell you when to turn) or if they are just static routes overlaid on the map.

Maybe the Google Maps app cycling option is dependant on city? I definitely don’t have it for my city. I actually get: car, motorcycle, transit, walking and “ride share”. On my laptop, I get car, transit, walking, cycling and flying - but there is no easy way to transfer the cycling route to my phone that I know of.

I’m not really clear on why there is a motorcycle option different than a car, I’ve played with it and: 1) It’s definitely a motorcycle (not a bicycle) 2) It always shows me the exact same route as a car anyway.

@ dtilque - Thanks you for your suggestion, I’ve tried adding waypoints but it’s a pain in the ass. Unless I add many waypoints, the app just keeps routing me back to the highway. The road I want take runs parallel to expressway for 30km and there are interchanges every one or two kms, so I would have to add 15 or 20 waypoints. From what I’ve read elsewhere this is what it’s meant to do: it will create the fastest possible route to the next waypoint. Also, I don’t think there is a way to save that custom route so I can keep using it.

From what I’ve read in other forums and sites many people have this same request from Apple, Google and Waze, but for some reason none of them offer a “saveable” easily customizable route feature.

I played with this new app: InRoute and you create a custom route by adding waypoints too, but all I did was add a single waypoint in the middle of the road I want to take and it changed it’s route to run along the entire length of that road. Hopefully it will work smoothly when I’m on my bike.

Thanks again for your suggestions.

Oh, actually, that’s a good point. I would imagine that there are cities where “public transit” is not a usual option (like it is here), and I’ve never seen a “motorcycle” option, so it’s clear there are a different set of circumstances where you’re at.

For full not-on-your-cellphone option, you can use to create your own routes and transfer to your mobile phone.

I’ve used it for 4WDing and importing into a hiking/offroading app.

@NBYodo - Thanks very much, I checked it out. Very interesting app. I also do a lot of hiking. It seems like it would be perfect for that as well.