The Best Bike Trails in All 50 States
No matter what kind of bike you ride, you may have a favorite trail or path nearby. But if you're bored with your local bike trail or looking to explore a new bicycle path when you're traveling, this list of the best bike trail in every state based on rider reviews is sure to get your wheels turning. From leisurely family cruises to white-knuckled black diamonds, singletrack to the boardwalk, every state in the country offers excellent riding options for a variety of skill levels. Find out where to plan your next ride.
Eighty percent of this 22-mile looping trail at Oak Mountain State Park is singletrack, and there are options available for most abilities. Expect some significant elevation shifts and get ready to fall in love with the ridgelines, valleys and slopes that define the natural beauty of the foothills off the southern Appalachians.
Impressive wildlife, steep climbs, occasionally harrowing descents, and white-knuckle roads are par for the course on the challenging Denali Park Road to Wonder Lake Campground Ride, which takes its riders nearly 4,000 feet above sea level. Set against the postcard-perfect backdrop of the Alaska Range, the rugged, wild splendor of Denali National Park is unforgettable.
Expect to spend roughly an hour and a half — depending on your pace — traversing this rolling mountain path that spreads 20 miles into Oro Valley and the great Sonoran Desert. The 50-Year Trail peaks at an elevation of 3,625 feet, but it never takes you lower than 2,700. Rugged, remote and wild, the views are astounding and quintessentially Southwestern. It's perfect for riders of moderate skill.
Slaughter Pen consists of more than 20 miles of singletrack, which runs parallel to the paved Razorback Regional Greenway in Bentonville. Thanks to the nearby Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, portions of the Slaughter Pen bike path are peppered with public works of art.
Picking the best bike trail in California is like picking the state's best beach — there's an argument to be made for many if not most of them. There are few trails, however, like the one that hugs the iconic Monterey Bay coastline. Winding along 18 miles between Castroville and Pacific Grove, the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail follows the path of the once-mighty Southern Pacific Railroad. Along the way there are plenty of grassy areas to pull over, plop down, and take in one of the world's truly magnificent places.
Head an hour west of Denver and you'll find some of the most amazing trails in a state known for its incredible trails. Barren, isolated, and spooky, Buffalo Creek is a network of singletrack paths that crisscross a rugged mountain wilderness that still bears the scars of recent fires, as well as portions that were left unburned.
Few places are more enjoyable for road biking than Connecticut, and Bantam Lake is in a class by itself. Bantam Lake is the largest natural lake in Connecticut, and it's surrounded by an unspoiled beach, 4,000 acres of forest, a wildlife and nature sanctuary. A winding country road — your bike path — encircles the entire oasis.
First Heritage State Park, home to the Amish Country Bike Route, is located in Dover, the state capital. Thanks to the 300-year-old Dover Green, the 18th century John Bell house and the nearly two dozen other historical sites, you'll feel more like you're coasting along during the time of the American Revolution than cycling in the digital age. This bike trail is suitable for riders of moderate skill.
Although Cape Haze tops out at just 8 miles, plenty is packed into the relatively short jaunt. Although the area beyond is clogged with traffic, you'd never know it when you're pedaling along this straight, flat, scenic path. It's also packed with history, considering you're following part of the route of what was one of the region's biggest rail lines. The Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railroad, which began service in 1897, served the state's earliest industries and ran until the 1970s.
The cross-country singletrack at Chicopee Woods Mountain Bike Park is as varied as it is rugged. Tortoise Loop is a 1.6-mile beginner trail that extends into 14 miles of intermediate trails: Red Tail Loop, Flying Squirrel, Coyote Trail and White Tail Loop. The 4.5-mile Copperhead trail is the most challenging in the entire system.
Most riders will be challenged by Peacock Kealia Loop, a 21-mile excursion into the northwest corner of Oahu. Many choose to ride the shorter, 14-mile loop, which has plenty of climbs and descents. The tradeoff for tired legs, however, is the fact that the trail hugs the island's coastline and rolls through the forested mountains, offering some of the best views in Hawaii.
The Hiawatha Bike Trail in Idaho's Panhandle National Forest follows the route of the old Hiawatha Train. Riders are swallowed up by the endless forests, much of which they'll pedal above as they cruise over cloud-hugging trestles and through tight tunnels that run for miles.
The former towpath that is Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail is a 55-mile gravel-and-limestone path that's appropriate for all skill levels. Rich in historically important sites, the I&M is teeming with an impressive menagerie of birds, turtles, and other wildlife. Best of all, it's close to Chicago's southern suburbs.
The longest span of recreational trails in Indiana, Cardinal Greenways stretches 62 miles in the east-central portion of the state. If you're up for the journey, you'll travel through Muncie from Marion and all the way to Richmond, while enjoying plenty of lesser-known Hoosier towns along the way.
As its name implies, Three Rivers Trail travels along three rivers: the east and west forks of the Des Moines River and the Boone River. The 33.3-mile trail boasts miles of continuous woodlands, prairies, river valleys, and marshes. Along the way, you'll encounter no fewer than 36 railway bridges.
Head north from Marysville on the Blue River Trail, look to the east, and you'll see the charming open farm fields, grass bluffs, and limestone outcroppings that represent the quintessential Kansas landscape. Peer to the west of the trail, which is actually a retired railroad bed, and you'll see the strong and serene Big Blue River. It's relatively flat and easy to ride.
It's no secret that Kentucky is a playground for lovers of any and all things outdoors. Few natural spectacles, however, compare with Mammoth Cave National Park. Not only does the alien landscape conceal the longest cave system on Earth, but above the caves are 90 miles of magnificent trails that welcome horses, hikers and people on two wheels. Cyclists of all skill levels will find a path they love.
Since you're in Louisiana, you might as well ride a trail that runs on top of a levee, which is exactly what you'll get when you pedal along the Atchafalaya Basin Wilderness Trail. Once restricted, the gravel trail is finally open to bikes. Although it is well maintained, the trail is remote, rugged, and unsupported, which means you need to remember to bring plenty of water and a spare tire for your mountain bike. You'll be alone in pristine Louisiana wilderness for a good chunk of the ride.
Cruise 62 miles of Maine's majestic shoreline through South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Camp Ellis, and Old Orchard Beach on the Lighthouse Ride. The trail gets its name from the eight historic lighthouses you'll pass along the way, but that's not the only draw. The partially paved, partially packed-gravel trail also wows its riders with five beaches, two museums, and three state parks.
Although you never technically leave Baltimore, you'll feel a world away when you're pedaling along the 15-mile stretch of urban hiking-and-biking trail known as Gwynns Falls. The greenway consists of more than 2,000 acres of publicly owned parkland, which is a state-designated Baltimore National Heritage Area.
This paved, easily bikeable trail covers nearly 12 miles of the Hoosic River Valley, which is tucked between the Hoosac Mountains and Mount Greylock. Lakes, ponds, forests, and a stretch of wetlands are all part of the experience of Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. Bike far enough and eventually you'll hit the massive Cheshire Reservoir, which is teeming with exciting diversions.
You'll pass through 10 communities in three different counties on the 55-mile Central Lakes State Trail. Grasslands and prairies, farmlands, wetlands, rolling hills, forests, and lakes are all part of the scenery that rolls out along the way. It's casual and well paved, but it connects to the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail, which is an entire other adventure.
Longleaf Trace spans nearly 41 miles, connecting the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg to the open, rural farmland surrounding the small town of Prentiss. Like so many of America's great trails, it's built over what was once a mighty railroad, the Mississippi Central. You'll pass through tunnels and over bridges as you leave the hustle and bustle of Hattiesburg for the vast, open Mississippi countryside.
There's no shortage of great bike trails in Missouri, but only one has the title of longest developed rail-trail in the country. That's Katy Trail State Park, and the 240-mile trail boasts 26 trailheads. Built on the corridor of what was once the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, the journey is teeming with the region's history, including four fully restored railroad depots. One section of the path is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
This 65-mile trail, which is among the finest in Montana, is for experienced riders only, thanks to the ascent from 7,600 to 11,000 feet in elevation. Those who can conquer Beartooth National Scenic Byway, will hug one of the country's most magnificent roads, Highway 212, for the entire journey through some of the most scenic mountain terrain in America. You'll even get to spend a little time cruising through neighboring Wyoming.
If you're up for the challenge of the Cowboy Trail, you can explore the portion of the Great American Plains that Nebraska Games and Parks refers to as "America's Outback." You'll definitely want to go with a mountain bike or something with a wider tire on the trail, much of which is made of crushed limestone compacted into a unique smooth surface. Spanning 321 miles from Chadron to Norfolk, it holds the title of America's largest rails-to-trails project.
The Tahoe Rim & Flume Trail has plenty of easy stretches, as well as some that require endurance and technical knowhow. Set against a backdrop of towering pine trees and soaring views of beautiful Lake Tahoe, it's among the sweetest eye candy you'll find in all of Nevada — but it's not for the faint of heart. The 23.9-mile route reaches an elevation of more than 8,800 feet at its highest point.
You'll need a mountain bike to travel the 21.5 miles of the Ashuelot Recreational Rail Trail, which used to be the Ashuelot Railroad, formed in 1851. If you're not too engulfed in the scenery, which includes abandoned mills, quaint towns, and covered bridges, you'll notice the surface morph from asphalt to packed gravel to ballast, to dirt and finally to sand. Reminders of the area's railroad history are never far off; you'll even cross a secluded old trestle.
Maintained by the Monmouth County Park System, the Henry Hudson lets riders cruise nearly all the way from Cheesequake State Park to the Atlantic Ocean. Although the paved, tree-lined trail hugs the edge of the New York City Metro region at the tippy-top of the Jersey Shore, you'll feel like you're cruising through a remote, rural countryside.
Home of the 12-hour Zia Rides Dawn Til' Dusk event, the third and second mesa loop of the High Desert Trail System spans 13.6 miles. Winding singletrack curls over and around the desert mesas, where otherworldly rock formations dot the landscape. Crowds are thin and traffic is minimal, and the changing terrain will keep you mystified.
Located in the Empire State's Mohawk Valley, the Mohawk-Hudson Hike/Bike Trail serves as the easternmost portion of the larger New York State Canalway Trail. Rivers, bridges, and old historical buildings dot the industrial Albany-area landscape. Cyclists of all skill levels will find parts of the trail suited to their biking style.
From the Northern Beaches to the distant southern Ocracoke Island, the beautiful Outer Banks are a vast strip of North Carolina shoreline unified by 150 miles of bike paths and trails. No matter where you go, the paths are well marked, and you can find anything from leisurely shoreside cruises to challenging off-road dune excursions.
Known as "North Dakota's best-kept secret," Maah Daah Hey is an off-road challenge that dares riders to tackle some of America's most rugged landscape. Dramatic peaks, deep valleys, picturesque plateaus, and endless prairies combine for an experience that is 100 percent Badlands. If you think you spotted a bison, don't worry — you probably did.
On what was once a network of canals and railroads, the Ohio to Erie Trail stretches from Cleveland to Cincinnati and links Lake Erie with the Ohio River. Of the trail's 326 total miles, 270 of them — nearly 85 percent — are separated paved trails. About 50 miles are on city streets, and there's even some rural roads. You'll get to see more of Ohio riding a single trail than you likely would if you spent an entire vacation in the state.
Although you're never more than a few minutes from downtown Tulsa, the escape provided by Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area lives up to its name. More than 25 miles of unmarked trails crisscross 300 acres of undeveloped land. Rapid elevation changes can sneak up on you as you pedal farther away from the city and toward the Arkansas River.
A historic marvel of engineering, Portland's Eastbank Esplanade is a "floating" bike path that starts at Hawthorne Bridge, passes two other bridges and then concludes on the Steel Bridge. Informative panels checker the path, which lays connected to pilings below that are sunk into a massive concrete foundation beneath the water.
The Great Allegheny Passage consists of more than 140 miles of rail-trails that link Pittsburgh with Cumberland, Maryland. In between lies some of the Keystone State's most majestic wilderness and idyllic small towns. If that's not enough, you can link up with the C&O Canal Path at the end of the route for a straight shot to Washington, D.C., 325 miles away.
The East Bay Bike Path is a familiar ride to commuters who cycle to Providence. One large hill dominates the otherwise flat expanse, which switches over to the old rail right-of-way path from an alignment adjacent to Veterans Memorial Parkway. Your riding companion will be the rocky shores of the majestic Providence River.
Connecting the iconic towns of Deadwood and Edgemont, the George S. Mickelson Trail runs through the heart of the wild Black Hills. The trail, which is made of crushed stone, occasionally notches into the mountains, plunges into a national forest and includes four tunnels and more than 100 railway bridges.
The 10.6-mile stretch of asphalt that is Shelby Farms Greenline is perfectly shaded for virtually the entire route, thanks to near-constant cover from large canopy oaks. The 4,500-acre Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, hosts a wide range of activities and is home to a herd of buffalo.
The rugged, vast western Utah landscape draws bicyclists from around the world for its network of trails. Among the best is Gooseberry Mesa, which offers one-of-a-kind vistas, soaring views, winding singletrack, and rolling slickrock. The trail is difficult, ranging from black diamond to double black diamond, but you can warm up on the practice trail before you hit the daunting Big Loop.
Moody Path is for moderate to advanced riders. You'll find both singletrack and doubletrack on Indian Range, which keeps riders working with serious elevation changes. The Too Cool Trail section of the path hits you with some challenging man-made obstacles. Several other trails splinter off, each requiring differing levels of technical proficiency and endurance, but all will keep you guessing and wanting to come back for more.
With 64 miles of intermediate-level trails, the terrain at Galbraith Mountain is as varied as the natural surroundings. You'll cruise along on a mix of dirt roads, singletrack and doubletrack. Logging has changed the landscape, but much of the trail remains untouched throughout a maze of unique and thrilling trails.
West Virginia is home to some of the most elegant natural landscape in the world. Among the finest of all is Deckers Creek Trail, near Morgantown. Adjacent to one of the only rivers in the country that naturally flows north, Deckers Creek Trail spans 19 miles and includes urban areas, natural countryside, and a climb of nearly 1,000 feet.
Get lost in the deep Wisconsin wilderness on the trails at Rock Lake. The contoured trail is challenging for sure, but there are several cutoffs to shorten the run. The terrain is hilly and it requires some technical prowess, but you'll leave your stresses and worries scattered along all 12 miles of the backwoods trails.
Jackson Hole Community Pathway System links Jackson, Wilson, and the busy ski town of Teton Village. Along the way you'll cruise some of the most picturesque natural landscape in Wyoming. The trail links to a path that leads directly to Grand Teton National Park, which is 300,000 acres of pristine wilderness.
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