Avid bikers understand the appeal of a great bike trail. It should be challenging, yet enjoyable with excellent views and adventure. Throughout the United States, some bike trails are better than others. The 14 on this list will have you ready to hook up your bike rack and hit the road this weekend!
1. Jalama Beach Ride, California
Jalama Beach Ride shows off the gorgeous Pacific coastline in California. You’ll travel from Santa Ynez Valley to Santa Rosa across ranches, rolling hills, and vineyards, all with the sweet scent of the ocean hanging in the air.
2. Shark Valley Trail, Florida
You don’t need much experience to take on this 15-miler in Miami, Florida. You’ll bike on an entirely paved path that shows off some of the more beautiful aspects of Florida’s inland geography in Everglades National Park. You’ll spot a lot of wildlife along the way, including birds, turtles, jumping fish, and alligators—so watch out!
3. Cedar Rock Trail, North Carolina
Even though the Cedar Rock Trail near Bravard, North Carolina is only 1.4 miles long, it’s one of the toughest bike trails on this list. The terrain is rugged, steep, and daring as you fight your way to the top where you can see the entire valley of trees and mountains below. Go in the fall to see breathtaking color.
4. Marvin Braude Bike Trail, California
One of the most famous bike trails in the U.S., the Marvin Braude Bike Trail is 20-miles of coastal views and relaxing paved trails in the Los Angeles area. The main challenges of this flat, coastal trail will be avoiding tourists crossing the path, so it’s beginner-friendly.
5. Little Pan Loop, Arizona
Little Pan Loop (often called the Lollipop Loop) is part of the 78-mile Black Canyon National Recreation Trail near the town of New River, AZ. This 24-mile section is the most famous because of its gorgeous views of the Agua Fria River, rugged terrain, cactus backdrop, and refreshing grades.
6. Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Alaska
This 11-mile trail glides along the arctic tundra with views of glaciers, Cook Inlet’s salt marshes, and Mount Denali. You’ll also be privy to wildlife sightings including bald eagles, moose, and elusive beluga whales.
7. Captain Ahab, Utah
The red rocks of Moab, UT make a beautiful backdrop for biking. The infamous Captain Ahab trail is for advanced bikers only as you’ll be navigating steep, rocky climbs and jagged cliffs. Your views of the Colorado River, Cane Creek, and red-rock valleys will make it all worthwhile.
8. Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, Alabama
If you love history and aren’t afraid of a long ride, do the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, which begins in Mobile, Alabama and ends in Owen Sound, Ontario for a total of 2,006 miles. You’ll see historic monuments, including safe houses, the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, and informational markers detailing thousands of former slaves’ journeys to freedom.
9. Bald Mountain, Idaho
Sun Valley is arguably one of the most talked about destinations for outdoor recreation, so it’s no surprise that a top bike trail in Idaho is located here. Bald Mountain is home to the famous Sun Valley Ski Resort in the winter, but in the summer, it boasts a 30-mile trail that shows off all the glory of the mountainous valley.
10. Continental Divide Biking Trail, Wyoming
The biking trail at Wyoming’s Continental Divide is actually part of a 3,000-mile trail system that goes from Canada to New Mexico. The portion that runs through the alpine ridges in Wyoming is said to be the most beautiful. There will be challenging turns and steep mountain climbs, but the view from the top is amazing.
11. High Trestle Trail, Iowa
Iowa’s famous 27-mile bike trail, near the state capital, follows an old railroad route. It’s known for the High Trestle Bridge, a 130-foot structure with one of the most famous rail-trail art installations in the nation. It’s lit by diamond-shaped steel bars touting LED lights, so you can even bike at night.
12. Twin Bridges Loop, Oregon
Bend, Oregon is a popular tourist town thanks to the beauty of the Cascade Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and the Deschutes National Forest. It’s biker-friendly with a 36-mile round-trip bike trail that takes you through the town, forest, and mountains. It’s for intermediate bikers, as it takes you on a steep 1,000-foot climb at one point.
13. Erie Canalway Trail, New York
The Erie Canalway Trail runs from Buffalo to Albany, for a total of 360 miles. The trail is not particularly difficult, as it was once a railroad track, but it does have a 600-foot change in elevation. You’ll see the Hudson, Niagara, and Mohawk Rivers and the Adirondack Mountains.
14. San Juan Islands Loop, Washington
Located in the Pacific Northwest archipelago, San Juan Islands Loop is a challenging journey. It starts on Orcas Island with narrow, winding roads that lead you to the top of Mount Constitution. It’s exhausting, but the feeling of accomplishment when you reach the top makes it worth it.