Is the changing weather waking up your inner explorer? Are social distancing guidelines leading you to explore the great outdoors and the world’s natural beauty?
Whether you are looking for a mountainous trail with open blue sky, a venture into the deep woods, or want to witness the sunset at the end of an open road, one of these bike trails in the U.S. will be the perfect destination for your next adventure on two wheels.
1. Black Canyon Trail Little Pan Loop
Distance: 24 miles (roundtrip)
The Black Canyon Trail (BCT) Little Pan Loop is a 24-mile long loop trail located near New River. Being the connection segment of the nationally-known BCT, the Little Pan Loop is often referred to as the “lollipop loop” and provides the consistent challenge of a rocky landscape with a fair amount of climbing.
BCT-Little Pan Loop is managed by the Black Canyon Trail Coalition, who dedicate themselves to preserving, advertising and administering the famous Black Canyon Trail and the amazing blue sky and clear water it has for the travelers.
2. Jalama Beach Ride
Distance: 34.5 miles (one way)
Location: Solvang, California
Presenting 5000 ft. of climbing over a total of 75 miles (roundtrip), this iconic and challenging route is one of the best bike routes in America, especially if you are to test your stamina. With a memorable 14 km descent, the Jalama Beach Ride will lead you straight into the roaring, crashing surf.
Make this your next bike vacation, and forget about your worries while you lose yourself in the breath-taking coastline.
3. Big Sur
Distance: 155 miles (one way)
Location: Los Osos, California
When talking about the best bike trails in the U.S., you can’t forget about Big Sur. With a total distance of 155 miles, Big Sur is undoubtedly one of the most attractive options for your next bike vacation.
This trail takes you straight from Monterey Bay to Santa Barbara, and sends waves crashing right underneath your feet. While it could take up to five days to complete the full route, Big Sur also has a one-day trail option for those looking for more relaxation than challenge.
4. Shark Valley Trail
Distance: 14.5 mile (round trip)
Location: Homestead, Florida
Thinking about a bike vacation with the little ones? Don’t miss out on one of the best paved bike trails in the U.S. designed for family fun! The unique landscape and environment of Shark Valley Trail makes it a favorite for family bikers, especially since you may be lucky enough to spot a few alligators casually laying in the grass. If you want to take your view to the next level, the panoramic view over the grassland from the observation tower will leave you speechless.
5. Going-to-the-Sun Road
Distance: 48.7 miles (one way)
Location: West Glacier, Montana
Designed to blend into the surroundings, this year-round mountain trail walks the bikers straight into an ocean of clouds. Don’t be fooled, this trail is not for beginners. As rehabilitation of the trail is an ongoing project, part of the road may not be paved, adding extra challenge to cyclists.
Tip: Do check their website for closures. Partial trails will be closed for cycling during summertime.
6. Valmont Bike Park
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Not only is Valmont Bike Park considered one of the best bike trails in the U.S., it is also one of the most friendly and diverse trails available to bikers. Whether you are a beginner or seeking more technical challenges, the Valmont Bike Park has you covered. The best time to visit the VBP is late spring or early fall, when you can indulge in the wonderful beauty of blooming flowers, or the mesmerizing view of color-changing leaves.
Due to the latest impact from the COVID-19 crisis, VBP is under social-distancing rules and only parties with 10 or less people are allowed. It is also required that you bring face masks.
7. Flume Trail
Distance: 14 miles
Location: Lake Tahoe, Nevada
The Flume Trail cuts through several steep climbs and falls, making it the perfect intermediate bike route for those who have just started to get a hang of mountain biking. Right next to the water, the Flume Trail provides a breathtaking bird’s-eye view over a massive body of water and vast mountain lines. The trail also provides morning shuttle rides that transport travelers from its shop location to the trail, making commuting easier than ever.
8. Twin Bridges Loop
Distance: 36.3 miles (roundtrip)
Location: Bend, Oregon
This is another paved bike trail highly recommended for those who are ready to take on more challenging explorations and exit the beginner’s phase. If you are planning a bike adventure in the fall, the Twin Bridge Loop might be exactly what you are looking for, with astounding views of snow-topped mountains and endless forest lines.
Tip: Bikes are considered legitimate “vehicles” in Oregon and thus are subjected to the general Oregon road laws. Be sure you are riding safely and properly when exploring this beautiful trail!
9. Cedar Rock Trail
Distance: 2.8 miles (roundtrip)
Location: North Carolina
Don’t be deceived by the short mileage count. As part of the DuPont Recreational Forest scenery, the Cedar Rock Trail is everything you’d expect from a mountain trail: unpaved roads, dust and pebbles, dirt and sand. However, this is also one of the most rewarding mountain bike trails in the U.S., as it features an amazing waterfall and a stunning bird’s-eye view of the entire national park. To get the best experience, visit on a breezy, cool day in the fall, and let the endless belts of changing trees burn their beauty into your memory for the rest of your life.
10. Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail
Distance: 19.5 miles (one way)
Location: North Carolina
We will end our list of best bike trails in the U.S. with this multi-purpose mixed trail that could easily fill up a full day on your vacation schedule. With a variety of vendors and restaurants alongside the trail, this will be the perfect way to introduce someone to cycling, whether it is for a younger member of the family, or as a romantic getaway vacation. The paved bike trail is easy to get the hang of, and there are plenty of resting spots along the way.
No matter where you decide to go for your next adventure, just keep one thing in mind:
The best biking trail is the one where you and your friends and/or family can fully enjoy yourselves. Whether it is a challenging mountain trail, or a soothing paved trail, the key is to know your limits and not exhaust yourselves.
Stay safe and follow trail guidelines and local regulations to ensure a smooth biking experience, and remember to take plenty of photos!
Considering an urban bike adventure? Check out the best bike paths in Detroit!