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The Best Bike Rides in America

by Helene Sullivan December 03, 2018

The Best Bike Rides in America

 

American River Bike Trail, Sacramento to Folsom

Choosing the best cycling adventure in California is almost an impossible task, but this 32-mile route makes a strong argument for itself. Running from Discovery Park in Old Sacramento to the historic Folsom Prison, you can ride along the American River the whole way. Bicycling magazine, called the trail one of the 10 best car-free bike paths in the United States, writing that  “the smooth paved road is simply spellbinding."

  

Trail 401, Crested Butte

This town in Colorado is captivating for outdoorsy folks, and is known as a birthplace of mountain biking. There are hundreds of miles of high-alpine trails, including the super popular Trail 401 loop: 14 miles of challenging ups and downs, lead to an 11,339-foot summit and views of the surrounding Elk Mountains.

 

Old Mamaloa Highway to Waipio Valley Overlook, Big Island

This 40-mile out-and-back (and out-and-back again) trail in Hawaii starts with a four-mile, 1,000-foot climb and featuring views of Mauna Kea volcano, the Kohala Mountains, and the Waipio Valley. The Hawaii Cycling Club says it is the best ride on the Big Island, and Bicycling magazine called the return downhill trip a “glorious, twisty, forest-shaded” ride.

 

Cape Ann Loop, Gloucester and Rockport

Less than an hour away from Boston, this series of rural roadways runs along the coast of Massachusetts’s North Shore. You’ll get ocean views, coastal breezes, and small-town feelings the entire way, with plenty of areas to get rest and snack on refreshments. With loops ranging from 10 to 16-miles, we suggest combining them for all-day scenic riding.

 

Root River State Trail, Fountain to Houston

Minnesota's Root River Valley’s soaring limestone bluffs are beautifully displayed along this 42-mile paved trail. Ride the whole thing, and you’ll cross dozens of bridges and pass six bike tune-up stations (with air pumps and bike maintenance tools), added as part of the state’s cycling initiative.

 

Willamette River Loop, Portland

Often considered America’s best biking town, Sunset magazine called this 30-mile loop in Portland, Oregon's “most scenic ride by far.” If you're looking to bike through an urban environment, it crosses several of Portland’s iconic bridges and passes through Waterfront Park and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.

 

The Whole Enchilada, Moab

This challenging, highly technical, 33-mile route in Utah combines four popular trails—Burro Pass, Hazard Country, Kokopelli Trail, and Porcupine—and runs (almost entirely downhill) from high in the La Sal Mountains to the cliffs along the Colorado River. Local shuttles are also available to take riders to the beginning.

  

Continental Divide Mountain Biking Trail, Pinedale area

This nearly 3,000-mile trail in Wyoming runs all the war from Canada to New Mexico, but “the prettiest alpine ridge on the whole route” can be found in the Cowboy State, according to the Adventure Cycling Association. The trail is challenging and remote—with sharp turns and steep mountain climbs—but the views are well worth the effort.
Helene Sullivan
Helene Sullivan


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