20 Best Biking Trips In America

20_Best_Biking_Trips_In_America

A country with a road system totaling over four million miles, America has plenty of experiences to offer if you are looking for a biking holiday. From the paved roads of Manhattan to the dirt trails of Park City, the options will be almost endless. Regardless if you are a newbie or an expert, you will be confronted with a long list of possibilities for biking in America. 

Clueless about where to head for cycling in America? Read on and we’ll let you know some of the top trips to take! Get your mountain bikes ready and prepare to explore America’s underrated beauty. 

1. Slickrock Bike Trail 

Location: Moab, Utah 

Distance: 10.5 miles 

Best Time to Go: August to December 

The Slickrock Bike Trail is in Moab is considered one of the greatest mountain biking experiences on the planet, making it a great option when it comes to cycling in America. The trail covers 10.5 miles, which will take approximately three to four hours to complete depending on your experience and skills. 

You will have an unforgettable trip to Slickrock as it passes through some of the most impressive views in Utah. Your eyes will be in for a treat as the red rock panorama unfolds. You will also see the Colorado River and the La Sal Mountains. 

2. Underground Railroad Bicycle Route 

Location: Mobile, Alabama to Owen Sound, Ontario

Distance: 2,015.6 miles 

Best Time to Go: May to September 

Planning a multi-day adventure that includes biking across America? Pack a complete mountain biking gear and explore the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, which has a length of over 2,000 miles that cover both the United States and Canada. 

The Underground Railroad is a great route if you are a history buff who would also like to revel in natural beauty while enjoying physical activity. This 48-day biking route was developed by the Adventure Cycling Association. It follows a network of paths used by African American slaves when they tried to escape their oppressors. 

3. Virginia Mountain Bike Trail 

Location: Front Royal to Damascus Virginia 

Distance: 473 miles 

Best Time to Go: March to July 

Pack your bikepacking gear and head to Virginia for an unforgettable trip. This epic and diverse route covers a total length of 473 miles. It has 75% unpaved roads, making it quite a challenge. It will take approximately ten days to complete this route, which has a difficulty rating of eight, with ten being the highest. 

Like most of the destinations for cycling in America included in our list, this is a scenic route. You will be mesmerized by the views of the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains. There are also plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting, including black bear and owl. Historic farmhouses will also be abundant. 

4. Tahoe Rim Trail 

Location: Lake Tahoe California

Distance: 165 miles

Best Time to Go: July to September 

For world-class mountain biking in America, the Tahoe Rim Trail is one of the best choices. Covering parts of California and Nevada, it was ranked by National Geographic as among the 100 Best American Adventure Trips. The route encircles the largest alpine lake in North America.

A part of the route from Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Summit has been recognized by the International Mountain Bicycling Association as one of its Epics. The latter is an honor given to trails that offer exceptional mountain biking experiences. With a lake view from the west and the sight of a beautiful dessert to the east, it is no longer surprising that the Tahoe Rim Trail is one of the best for biking in America. 

5. Green Mountains Loop 

Location: Burlington, Vermont

Distance: 375 miles

Best Time to Go: March to July 

For an unforgettable rural adventure in touring bikes across America, the Green Mountains Loop is not to be missed. It has gentle slopes with green mountains on the backdrop, perfect even if you are a beginner. The route has a minimum elevation of 95 feet and a maximum elevation of 2,140 feet. The trip starts and ends in Burlington, but it will also take you to parts of New York. 

While you are at it, make sure to taste their local maple syrup. It goes well with pancakes and waffles, which will fuel you for a ride! 

6. Natchez Trace Parkway 

Location: Nashville Tennessee 

Distance: 440 miles 

Best Time to Go: April to July 

For a bicycle-friendly route for cycling in America, the Natchez Trace Parkway is one of the best places. It has gentle terrains that span across 440 miles passing through Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. It is one of the most ancient cycling routes that you can find in the United States. 

Throughout your journey, you will find a couple of campgrounds where you can stay and rest. There are bike-only campgrounds that provide primitive accommodations to its guests. Here, you can set-up your camping tents and camping hammocks before you go to the next part of your cycling adventure. This way, you can travel 30 to 60 miles a day and rest. 

7. Mount Lemmon 

Location: Tucson, Arizona 

Distance: 60 miles 

Best Time to Go: July to December  

Recognized as one of the most scenic climbs in Arizona, Mount Lemmon is another great pick if you are planning to go biking in America. Lance Armstrong, when he was training for Tour de France, once rented a cabin here. 

Take note, however, that it can get cold here, especially if you go in the late months of the year. From jackets to gloves, make sure that you invest in the right biking wear to ensure your highest level of comfort during the climb. 

8. Fantasy Island Mountain Biking Loop 

Location: Tucson, Arizona 

Distance: 19 miles 

Best Time to Go: Year-round

Arizona has been bestowed a gold medal by the League of American Bicyclists for being a bike-friendly community. It has plenty of trails worth exploring, but one of the best is the Fantasy Island Mountain Biking Loop. 

From small hills to varied terrains, you will have plenty of opportunities to explore this trail. Even if you are a beginner learning how to mountain bike, this biking path won’t be intimidating. If you are looking for a more challenging experience, it is safe enough to ride at night. If you do so, make sure that you have a mountain bike light. 

9. Arkansas River Trail System 

Location: Pulaski County, Arkansas 

Distance: 88 miles 

Best Time to Go: June to September 

Cycling in America is fun because you will have a lot of interesting things to do and see. Take for instance the case of the Arkansas River Trail System. The 88-mile loop will be connecting 38 parks, six museums, and countless scenic views. 

One of the best things about the Arkansas River Trail System is that most parts are flat and easy to ride with dedicated lanes for cyclists. Even a road bike will be enough when exploring the trails. 

10. Trail 401

Trail_401

Location: Crested Butte, Colorado 

Distance: 15.4 miles 

Best Time to Go: July to November 

If you are looking for the most scenic biking trips in America, then it is hard to go wrong with Trail 401. At almost every point of your ride, you will be surrounded by stunning views, which will make the trip worth every minute. 

Your trip will start with an adrenaline-filled climb with steep grades and switchbacks. There will also be steep drops along the way. It is a technical terrain with a variety of obstacles. To prepare for your trip, make sure to master tricks like an MTB jump or how to bunny hop mountain bike.  

11. Centennial Trail 

Location: Sturgis to Hot Springs, South Dakota 

Distance: 111 miles 

Best Time to Go: June to August 

With a length of 111 miles, the Centennial Trail is recognized as one of the best destinations for biking in America. It was built in 1989 to commemorate South Dakota’s one hundred years of being a state. While it is more popular for hiking, it is also great to explore this destination while riding your mountain bike. 

The starting point for exploring the Centennial Trail is the Bear Butte State Park and then you will end at Wind Cave National Park. From prairie grasslands to rolling hills, the trail has a diverse scenery. From some of its hills, you can even see Mount Rushmore. 

12. Hiawatha Scenic Bike Trail 

Location: Idaho and Montana 

Distance: 15 miles 

Best Time to Go: July, August, September

The Route of Hiawatha covers 15 miles spanning from Idaho to Montana. It is recognized as one of the most scenic routes in the country. Going through this route, you will be passing ten train tunnels and seven high trestles. The starting point of the ride will be at St. Paul Pass Tunnel, which is also called the Taft Tunnel. 

One of the best things about the Hiawatha Trail is that there is a shuttle service. The best part of the ride is going downhill. So, if you would like to save your energy, it is best to take the shuttle going up and bike on your way down. 

Know some of the trail’s safety rules before you go. Aside from wearing a mountain bike helmet, the management also recommends having MTB lights with at least 300 lumens. 

13. Tour of the Battenkill

Location: Greenwich, New York 

Distance: 75 miles 

Best Time to Go: September 

One of the best experiences for cycling in America, the Tour of the Battenkill is an annual event. This 2020, it is slated to take place in September. It is also considered the largest pro-amateur cycling event in North America. It is for beginners who would like to take part in competitive races while enjoying a challenging and scenic ride. 

Since it started in 2004, it has gathered thousands of riders, with many people considering it to be the toughest one-day race in the country. The route is known for its numerous dirt sections. 

14. Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Location: Council Bluffs to Blanchard, Iowa 

Distance: 63 miles 

Best Time to Go: June to September 

Covering four counties, the Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a regular host to several cycling events, making it another top pick if you are looking for the best trips for biking in America. Its grounds are asphalt, concrete, and crushed stone, which will be easy for almost any rider to conquer. 

Throughout your ride, you will see some free campgrounds, so feel free to stop and rest before you continue your cycling adventure. You can also enjoy fishing, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing, among other exciting activities. 

15. Mississippi River Trail 

Location: Minnesota to Louisiana 

Distance: 2,000 miles 

Best Time to Go: June to September 

With a length of over 2,000 miles, the Mississippi River Trail is a cycling route that covers ten states. From Minnesota to Louisiana, you will be crossing paved roads, rivers, and bridges, among others. 

Riding along the trail is also an opportunity to have a peek at the history of the areas that are covered. You can see evidence of European influence and remnants of Native American history. From restored Creole houses to French colonial structures, you will be in for a visual treat during your cycling trip. 

16. McKenzie River Trail 

Location: Blue River, Oregon 

Distance: 25 miles 

Best Time to Go: Year-round 

Scenic is an understatement when talking about the McKenzie River Trail. Most routes will take up to five hours of cycling, which includes a lot of photo-taking. With the trail’s beautiful scenery, it would be hard to resist taking a picture. It was once named America’s Top Bike Trail. 

Throughout your ride, you will experience diverse changes in topography, which is what makes this destination exciting. You will find multiple waterfalls throughout the trip, so get ready to take a dip! 

 17. Ridgeline Trail 

Location: Eugene, Oregon 

Distance: 12 miles 

Best Time to Go: March to September 

Originally designed for hiking and trail running, the Ridgeline Trail is another excellent choice for cycling in the US. The biking path is known for its downhill terrain to conclude your ride, which is perfect if you are up to the challenge and you feel like flying. There is also a part of the track with berms where you can play around. 

If you are into movies, then you will recognize some parts of the trail. It has been featured in the movie The Hunger Games. 

18. Maunawili Trail 

Location: Oahu, Hawaii 

Distance: 19 miles 

Best Time to Go: April to June 

When you mention Hawaii, most people would think of beaches and watersports. A lot of people are unaware that it can also be one of the best places for biking in America. At the Maunawili Trail, for example, you can bike round-trip at a total of 19 miles. 

The Maunawili is an intermediate to advanced track. It has narrow and winding curves, which can be challenging for some riders. Maunawili means twisted mountain, so this should already give you an idea of what to expect on your trip. The terrain can be rough and aggressive, so considering using a fat bike

19. Mt. Evans Climb

Location: Clear Creek County, Colorado 

Distance: 56 miles 

Best Time to Go: May to October 

With an elevation of 14,271 feet, Mt. Evans is home to the highest paved road in America, making it another dream destination for many cyclists. From the Rockies to the Eastern Plains, you will be confronted with scenic views regardless of which side you are looking at. 

One of the highlights of your trip is the downhill ride. The 28-mile coaster back to town is an exhilarating experience, but it can also be risky. Check your MTB brakes and don a jacket. It can be cold, so make sure that you stay comfortable by having the right jacket. 

20. Oregon Coast Bike Route 

Location: Astoria to Brookings, Oregon 

Distance: 370 miles 

Best Time to Go: July to September 

If you are looking for the most gorgeous shoreline in America, then Oregon Coast is one of the best candidates. From sandy beaches to tide pools, it has plenty of sights to behold and experience. For bikers, the coastal trail is not to be missed. This is where you can don beginner mountain bikes because of their flat and steady trail. Do not forget to taste a local clam chowder along with your many stops. 

Each year, it is estimated that 6,000 to 10,000 people ride this route. If you want fewer people, it would be best to go in September a few days after Labor Day. 

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From paved city roads to rugged forest terrains, the options for biking in America will be almost endless. From California to New York, and everything else in between, regardless if you are a beginner or an expert, America is a promising but overlooked destination for biking. Consider our recommendations above and start planning your next adventure today!

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!