America has some of the best bike trails in the world.
Whether you prefer challenging, mountainous terrain on a mountain bike, miles of winding pavement on a road bike, or just some easy, casual trails with scenic views, there’s plenty to be found within the continental U.S.
Yes, there are certainly more than 8 amazing trails in the country, and yes, this list is entirely subjective, but we love these trails, as do many, many others.
We’ve tried to cover a decent variety that includes all skill levels, and different geography and natural features.
So with that said, here are our picks for the 8 best bike trails in America, in no particular order.
It’s hard to beat the views of these gorgeous singletrack and doubletrack trails.
Towering trees form unending canopy areas, along with plenty of rocky areas to navigate, and enough excitement for both beginner’s and intermediate riders to have a great time, without worrying about encountering sections they can’t handle.
Cady Hill Forest is perfect for spring riding, and has its best views and scenery in the fall when all of the colors are changing.
Vermont is one of the most popular outdoor adventure destinations on the east coast, and Cady Hill Forest is a perfect example as to why.
The Black Canyon trail is one of the most popular in the country, and for good reason.
The Little Pan Loop is an incredible 24-mile loop that’s a part of the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, which totals over 78 miles.
The loop takes riders through some stunning desert views, and even takes them past the Agua Fria River for a reprieve from some of the beautiful, yet harsh landscape. This trail is very much an intermediate level, and mixes in long flat portions with challenging climbs and a few technical surprises.
The Big Sur is the definition of a coastal cruise.
For 100 miles (one way,) you can take in the sights and sounds of a sprawling mountainside, while situated next to towering cliffs and a rocky coast that has waves crashing throughout.
The weather on this road is rather pleasant all through the year, so you don’t have to worry about planning a trip during any particular month. Be forewarned though: there is a lot of climbing, and this is a 100-mile path, so you’ll need to be in shape, and have a quality road bike.
Think of Valmont Bike Park as a sort of huge skatepark...but for bikes -- and without concrete.
Valmont blends in a wide range of trails to provide an experience for riders of all levels, including the kids.
You can take it easy on some of the leisure trails that offer great views of Boulder as you make your way around, or hit some of the harder trails like Mesa Flow or Corkscrew for a more technical challenge.
You can also find a terrain park that has a slopestyle course, dirt jumps, and more.
Either way, Valmont is well maintained, has something for everyone, and is located in one of the most outdoor-friendly cities in all of the United States.
Situated in Everglades National Park, the Shark Valley Trail lets even the most novice road biker enjoy a solid ride through a very active and rich part of the park.
You can expect to encounter lots of wildlife, and yes, that includes gators, so keep an eye out.
The path itself is paved and smooth, and plenty wide enough for big groups. The 15 mile round trip is easy for most, and there aren’t many inclines. Just an easy, fun, and scenic ride with a true deep-south experience.
The Shark Valley Trail is best in the spring and fall, if you’re trying to beat the humidity.
Bend, Oregon is one of the most bike-friendly towns in America, and has lots to offer for riders of all types.
The Twin Bridges Loop is a perfect intermediate ride, as the 36 mile round-trip path is doable for most riders who aren’t just starting out.
Twin Bridges Loop starts and ends in Drake Park, located in downtown Bend, and takes you through lots of forest scenery, which is set against the backdrop of the Cascade Mountains.
There are some tough climbs, but you can always stop in Tumalo and grab a pint or two if you need a break.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning one of the most famous trails on the continent.
Captain Ahab is wedged into the sprawling red rock landscape of Moab, and has lots to love for advanced mountain bikers.
The trail winds its way through an array of rock formations, and takes you past the Colorado River, and also the Kane Creek anticline. It has two different routes, each of which leads to a renown singletrack trail that has many payoffs, including some unique sights, and fast, technical descents.
Every serious mountain biker needs to make at least one stop at Captain Ahab at some point. Spring and fall are the best times to do so.
One of the more unique and fun trails in the U.S., Sand Hog Hill is pretty small, but offers a lot of action within its 1 mile course, located in the scenic Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.
The trail is built on the remains of an old mine, and features lots of jumps, obstacles, and rocky terrain that includes wooden and dirt ramps.
You even get a few looks of the lake during portions of the deep, red trail, which you’ll probably make your way through with more than a few passes in one given day.
Do you enjoy beautiful views while biking? Here are two bonus trails we think deserve special recognition because of the beautiful views they provide for the romantics.
If you are a fan of biking at high altitudes with amazing vistas, the Flume Trail is one of the best bike paths you can choose to ride on. A steep, rocky trail, it is not recommended for beginners, but more advanced riders can enjoy one of the most scenic and exciting bike rides you will find on the continent.
This trail's stunning views of Lake Tahoe are the reason for its fame, but the ride itself is somewhat challenging.
While this type of setup may not be ideal for riders who would prefer one long, specialized ride, this bike park is best for those who prefer a little bit of variety.
If you are looking for a road-based bike trail that climbs the side of a mountain, you will find that Going-to-the-Sun Road will be right up your alley.
In addition to the wonderful views that you will experience at the top of the trail, this bike path is also closed off to automobiles during certain months, so you can be free to bike without worrying about motorists.
Every state in the U.S. has great trails and paths, but these eight stand out above the rest. It’s definitely worth your while to try and hit up at least a few of these, whether you’re nearby or not, so start planning that trip now.
Have you been to any of these? Have a particular trail that you think is a must-experience? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was last updated on July 14th, 2017 at 09:23 am
Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.
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