Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail
Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail by crosby_cj (CC BY)

50 Bike Trails Across America for Some Outdoor Exercise

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Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail
Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail by crosby_cj (CC BY)

America's Best Bike Trails

During the pandemic, many of us made exercise a priority. But as the days get warmer and longer, pulling a bike out of the garage and cruising somewhere with the wind in your hair seems like an increasingly attractive option. You probably have a favorite trail or path nearby, but if you're bored with your local bike route, this list of highly reviewed trails — one in each state — is sure to get your wheels turning. From leisurely family cruises to white-knuckled black diamonds, singletrack to the boardwalk, there are routes all throughout the country that offer excellent riding options for a variety of skill levels. Find out where to plan your next ride.

Related: Where Your State Ranks for Bicycle Safety

Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain State Park by Outdoor Alabama (CC BY-NC-ND)

Oak Mountain State Park

Pelham, Alabama
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.

Kincaid Park Trail

Kincaid Park Trail

Anchorage, Alaska
This 45-mile, doubletrack trail in the 1,500-acre Kincaid Park is called the "rollercoaster" by locals due to its hilly terrain. Expect to see densely forested landscape and maybe even a moose or bear — for safety, make plenty of noise and keep your distance if you do encounter wildlife.

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Mountain biking 50 Year Trail Catalina State Park
Mountain biking 50 Year Trail Catalina State Park by Dougit Design (CC BY-ND)

50-Year Golder Ranch Mountain Bike Trail

Catalina, Arizona
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, Arkansas

Slaughter Pen

Bentonville, Arkansas
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.

Bizz Johnson Trail
Bizz Johnson Trail by Jeff Moser (CC BY-ND)

Bizz Johnson National Recreational Trail

Susanville, California
With a mild 3% grade and wide gravel surface, the 25-mile Bizz Johnson is perfect road cyclists of all skill levels.  It winds its way through scenic Susan River Canyon, following the Susan River for the first 16 miles. Bikers can expect to pass through a couple of tunnels and over bridges and trestles along the route. 

Fire ravaged hills
Fire ravaged hills by Ben Freeman (CC BY-NC)

Buffalo Creek

Pine, Colorado
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.

Bantam Lake, Connecticut
Bantam Lake, Connecticut by John Phelan (CC BY)

Bantam Lake

Morris, Connecticut
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.

Related: 18 Cities Where You Can Live Car-Free

Amish Country Bike Route

Amish Country Bike Route

Dover, Delaware
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.

Cape Haze Pioneer Trail

Cape Haze Pioneer Trail

Placida, Florida
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.

Wood Bridge at Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve
Wood Bridge at Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve by Alexander Lerch (CC BY-NC)

Chicopee Woods Mountain Bike Park

Gainesville, Georgia 
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.

Peacock Flats

Peacock Flats

Oahu, Hawaii 
Most riders will be challenged by Peacock Kealia Loop, a 22-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.

Hiawatha Mountain Bike Trail
Hiawatha Mountain Bike Trail by Seattle.roamer (CC BY-NC-ND)

Hiawatha Mountain Bike Trail

Lookout Pass, Idaho
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.

Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail

Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail

Morris, Illinois 
The former towpath that is Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail is a 61-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.

Cardinal Greenway, IN
Cardinal Greenway, IN by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (CC BY-NC-ND)

Cardinal Greenways

Muncie, Indiana
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.

Related: 23 Natural Ways to Boost Energy and Fight Fatigue

Three Rivers Trail
Wikimedia Commons

Three Rivers Trail

Rolfe, Iowa
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 32-mile trail boasts miles of continuous woodlands, prairies, river valleys, and marshes. Along the way, you'll encounter no fewer than 36 railway bridges.

Blue River Trail

Blue River Trail

Marysville, Kansas 
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.

Hiking on Mammoth Dome Sink Trail
Hiking on Mammoth Dome Sink Trail by daveynin (CC BY)

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave, Kentucky 
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.

Atchafalaya Basin Wilderness Trail

Atchafalaya Basin Wilderness Trail

Lottie, Louisiana 
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.

A Mount Desert Island Lighthouse
A Mount Desert Island Lighthouse by Lee Coursey (CC BY)

Lighthouse Ride

South Portland, Maine 
Cruise 25, 40, 62, or even 100 miles of Maine's majestic shoreline starting in South Portland on the annual Lighthouse Ride. The ride gets its name from the eight (or nine if you do the full distance) historic lighthouses you'll pass along the way, but that's not the only draw. The partially paved, partially packed-gravel routes also wow riders with beaches,  museums, and state parks.  Register for this year's event, happening Sept. 11, or download trail maps here.

Related: 18 Spectacular Lighthouses to See Across America

lots of highways
lots of highways by Nathalie Cone (CC BY-NC-ND)

Gwynns Falls Trail

Baltimore, Maryland 
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.

Ashuwillticook Rail Trail - lilypads galore
Ashuwillticook Rail Trail - lilypads galore by mwms1916 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ashuwillticook Rail Trail

Cheshire, Massachusetts
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.

Related: 20 Spectacular Trails That Used to Be Railroads

Underground RailRoad Sculpture - Battle Creek
Underground RailRoad Sculpture - Battle Creek by Battle Creek CVB (CC BY)

Battle Creek Linear Park

Battle Creek, Michigan 
Battle Creek Linear Park is actually a network of connected trails that covers more than 25 miles of Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties. Museums, monuments, and parks dot the trail, and the looping 10.5-mile trail can be split into shorter 6.6- or 6.9-mile loops.

Central Lakes State Trail

Central Lakes State Trail

Fergus Falls, Minnesota 
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
Longleaf Trace by John Perry (CC BY-SA)

Longleaf Trace

Hattiesburg, Mississippi 
Longleaf Trace spans nearly 44 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.

Katy Trail State Park

Katy Trail State Park

Between Clinton and Machens, Missouri 
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.

Beartooth National Scenic Byway, Montana

Beartooth National Scenic Byway

Between Cooke City and Red Lodge, Montana 
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.

Cowboy Trail, Nebraska

Cowboy Trail

Between Chadron and Norfolk, Nebraska 
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, it holds the title of America's largest rails-to-trails project.

Tahoe Rim Trail / Flume Trail Loop
Tahoe Rim Trail / Flume Trail Loop by Jeff Moser (CC BY-ND)

Tahoe Rim & Flume Trail

Lake Tahoe, Nevada 
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.

Related: 30 Great American Road Trips Through History

Ashuelot Recreational Rail Trail

Ashuelot Recreational Rail Trail

Between Keene and Winchester, New Hampshire 
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.

The Henry Hudson Bike Trail

The Henry Hudson Bike Trail

Aberdeen, New Jersey 
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.

High Desert Trail System

High Desert Trail System

Gallup, New Mexico 
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.

Mohawk-Hudson Hike/Bike Trail
Cassie P./Yelp

Mohawk-Hudson Hike/Bike Trail

Albany, New York 
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.

A hike through the Currituck Banks Estuarine Reserve. On our family vacation to Corolla, NC in the Outer Banks.
A hike through the Currituck Banks Estuarine Reserve. On our family vacation to Corolla, NC in the Outer Banks. by Tess Dixon (CC BY-NC-ND)

The Outer Banks

Between Corolla and Ocracoke, North Carolina 
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.

Maah Daah Hey Trail, North Dakota

Maah Daah Hey Trail

From Medora to near Watford City, North Dakota 
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.

Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail at CanalWay Center
Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail at CanalWay Center by Tim Evanson (CC BY-SA)

Ohio to Erie Trail

Between Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio 
On what was once a network of canals and railroads, the Ohio to Erie Trail links Lake Erie with the Ohio River. Of the trail's 326 total miles, 270 of them — nearly 85% — 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.

Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area

Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area

Tulsa, Oklahoma 
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.

Related: The Best Hikes in Every State to Get Your Heart Pumping

Powering Up
Powering Up by Ian Sane (CC BY-NC-ND)

Eastbank Esplanade

Portland, Oregon 
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.

Youghiogheny River gorge from great allegheny passage
Youghiogheny River gorge from great allegheny passage by Jacob Brown (CC BY-SA)

The Great Allegheny Passage

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
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.

East Bay Bike Path

East Bay Bike Path

Between Bristol and Providence, Rhode Island 
The 13.8-mile 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.

Three Rivers Greenway

Three Rivers Greenway

Between Cayce and West Columbia, South Carolina 
Winding through the nucleus of the Columbia Riverbanks region, the Three Rivers Greenway includes views of the Congaree, Saluda, and Broad rivers. The greenway features three riverwalks, overlooks, and boardwalks, as well as paved, lighted trails.

George S. Mickelson Trail

George S. Mickelson Trail

Between Deadwood and Edgemont, South Dakota 
Connecting these two iconic towns, 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.

Shelby Farms Greenline, Tennessee
Janos J./Yelp

Shelby Farms Greenline

Memphis, Tennessee 
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.

North Shore Trail
Bernie E./Yelp

North Shore Trail

Grapevine, Texas
This Dallas/Fort Worth suburb is home to 12 miles of intermediate-level biking heaven known as the North Shore Trail. Some sections are rocky and a few of the climbs take some umph, but it's mostly a very smooth, fast, and manageable ride over hardpack covered with loose material.

BLM Winter Bucket List #19: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail, Utah, for Challenging Biking Terrain and Spectacular Views
BLM Winter Bucket List #19: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail, Utah, for Challenging Biking Terrain and Spectacular Views by Bureau of Land Management Follow (CC BY)

Gooseberry Mesa

Near Hurricane, Utah 
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.

Saxon Hill Trail Network

Saxon Hill Trail Network

Essex, Vermont 
The network of single track trails though heavily treed terrain in the Saxon Hill Trail network includes routes for cyclists of all skill levels. The Extendo, Flo, and FreeFall trails offer increasingly challenging paths, respectively, for beginner to expert level riders. 

High Bridge Trail

High Bridge Trail

Between Rice and Farmville, Virginia 
This former-rail bed trail traverses 31 miles over mostly level crushed limestone terrain. The highlight, however, is a 2,400-foot stretch that takes riders across the trail's namesake historic bridge. At 125 feet above the Appomattox River, the verdant views are stunning. 

gb8  Mountain Biking Galbraith Mountain - Bellingham WA :
gb8 Mountain Biking Galbraith Mountain - Bellingham WA : by Vik Approved (CC BY-NC)

Galbraith Mountain

Bellingham, Washington 
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 routes.

20130728_Deckers_Creek_Rail_Trail_095 by Random Michelle (CC BY-NC-ND)

Deckers Creek Trail

Morgantown, West Virginia 
The Mountain State is home to some of the most elegant natural landscape in the world. Among the finest of all is Deckers Creek Trail. 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.

Quarry Ridge Trail System
Jess N./Yelp

Quarry Ridge Trail System

Fitchburg, Wisconsin 
This trail system outside Madison offers 3 miles of off-road mountain biking that range from easy to advanced. If 3 miles through Quarry Ridge doesn't offer enough wind in your hair, it also connects to the Military Ridge and Capital City state trails. 

Teton Hiker — I6559
Teton Hiker — I6559 by Robert (CC BY-NC-ND)

Jackson Hole Community Pathway System

Jackson Hole, Wyoming 
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.

Related: 21 Epic Hiking Trails Around the World