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When you’re traveling by car you cover lots of ground but the scenery flies past you, when hiking you get to take in the scenery but cover significantly less ground; somewhere in the middle is biking.
Whether it’s miles of boardwalk or exhilarating forest and mountain trails, biking provides a great workout that’s fun and allows you to experience nature at your own speed. The United States has incredible biking trails in each state, some are ideal for families while others require a bit of skill.
Here are five of the best biking trails this country has to offer. Paul Bunyon State Trail (Minnesota) Minnesota’s winters are brutal, but the late spring and summer seasons provide some of the best outdoor experiences this country has to offer. The Paul Bunyon State Trail consists of 115 miles of paved trails, making it the longest continuously paved rail-trail in the United States. Families riding the trail pass through several small towns from Crow Wing State Park to Lake Bemidji State Park and are treated to views of the region’s many lakes.
Broken Arrow (Arizona) Only a 3.2-mile trip, what this trail lacks in distance it more than makes up for in elevated views of the scenery. Situated in the desert of Sedona, Arizona, the trail connects to several other longer trails, but riders can stay on the trail loop to take in all the red rock cliffs and buttes that make up the landscape. The trail is popular for bike riders, hikers, and ATV riding so people venturing out on this trail should pay close attention to their surroundings.
Great Allegheny Passage (Maryland, Pennsylvania) Stretching from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, the Great Allegheny passage is 150 miles of combination crushed limestone and asphalt trails. Although the elevation can reach almost 1,800 feet at its highest, the converted rail-bed trail means that even beginners can tackle the ride. Riders can connect to the C&O Canal Towpath which stretches out to Washington D.C., this is a multi-day trip so plan accordingly.
Corral Creek Trail (Idaho) For many, mountain biking is the ultimate combination of excitement and physical fitness. But sometimes, riders want a trail that is more fun than challenging; enter the Corral Creek trail in Idaho’s Sun Valley. Almost 7 miles of trails through sagebrush and conifer forests give riders a moderately difficult uphill ride followed by a speedy, winding downhill trip. The trail is perfect for intermediate riders looking for a fun challenge with rewarding views.
DuPont Ridgeline Trail (North Carolina) Do you feel the need? The need, for speed that is. If so, the DuPont Ridgeline Trail is for you! The Ridgeline trail is a 7-mile single-track loop situated in North Carolina’s DuPont State Forest. Elevated at approximately 2,700 feet, the trail takes riders through scenic forests and tight berms which make the climb challenging. The downhill trip however, is difficult for another reason. You’ll basically be flying down the mountain, which means extra attention must be paid to any horses, hikers, or other bikes in front of you. Don’t let this deter you from biking this trail, mountain bikers and North Carolina locals can attest to just how fun this trip can be.
Biking is the ultimate combination of exercise, sightseeing, and of course fun. There are so many trails in this country, and some right outside your door. When biking these or any other trails, remember to always wear protective equipment and stay hydrated.
See you on the trail! By David Vasquez