The best biking trail in every state

The autumn is a great time to try a new bike path. Tom Shockey/Flickr

If a two-wheeled jaunt through scenic landscapes is your idea of a great time, you probably can’t get enough of a good bike trail. They can be a great way to see the sights and get a good workout in.

If you’re looking for a new trail to explore, we’ve got you covered with the best bike trail in each of the 50 states, based on length of the trails, options for beginners and experts, and acclaim from bikers.

Catch a glimpse of history at Alabama’s Tannehill Historic Ironworks State Park.

Tannehill Historic Ironworks State Park I, Dystopos/Wikimedia Commons

Located in the Birmingham area, Tannehill Historic Ironworks State Park features 12 miles of mountain bike trails, coursing past a two-story 19th century furnace and a village of cabins dating back to the 1800s.

Feel the burn of Alaska’s Kincaid Park Mountain Trail’s hilly terrain.

This path outside of Anchorage is over 45 miles. U.S. Air Force photos/Airman Christopher Morales

At Kincaid Park on the western side of Anchorage, cyclists can explore over 45 miles of bike trails, all of which fall within a naturally-hilly terrain set in a wildly-beautiful forested landscape.

The colourful stones and sweeping desert views of Sedona are all part-and-parcel of a ride through Arizona’s Highline Trail.

This is a ride for experienced cyclists. Wikimedia Commson/davidpinter

The Highline Trail isn’t a ride for beginners, but if you have some mountain-biking experience, you can enjoy stunning vistas as you make your way down this 8.4-mile trail, which includes an optional stop at the majestic Cathedral Rock.

A major destination for bike enthusiasts, Slaughter Pen Trail in Arkansas includes a mountain bike park with exciting features.

Slaughter Pen Trail has a mountain bike park. Flickr/robert thigpen

A network of smaller trails sweeping around Bentonville, Arkansas, the Slaughter Pen Trail is most famous for its mountain bike park, which offers specially-designed hills, chutes, and obstacle courses for the adventurous cyclist.

Enjoy those gorgeous “Big Little Lies”-esque sights on the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail in California.

This 18-mile ride will also allow you to breathe in the sea air. Wikimedia Commons/Diliff

An path leading down the former Southern Pacific Railroad route, the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail makes for an awe-inspiring coastal ride, with the benefit of refreshing sea air to keep you energised during the 18-mile ride.

Test your own cycling stamina on the Colorado Trail.

This bike trail goes through the entire state. Flickr/TRAILSOURCE.COM

Mountain bikers who aren’t afraid of long-distance excursions will appreciate the Colorado Trail network, a route starting near Denver and winding its way through the state, covering a total of 535 miles (including detours).

Rockland Preserve in Connecticut features paths for sightseers and thrill-seekers alike.

There are lots of options on the bike path. Flickr/Doug McGrady

In the quaint waterfront town of Madison, Connecticut, you’ll find Rockland Preserve, a natural park with an intricate array of bike paths which include steep climbs, jump ranges, and varied terrain to keep adrenaline fiends entertained.

Directly straddling the Mason-Dixon line, White Clay Creek State Park in Delaware boasts 37 miles of biking and hiking trails.

This has flat stretches and tricky hills. Wikimedia/Ken Cox

A mountain bike course through wooded terrain, the White Clay Creek State Park Bike Trail includes both flat stretches for beginners and tricky hills and curves for more advanced cyclists looking for a challenge.

The St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail in Florida runs from the capital city of Tallahassee to the coastal community of St. Marks.

It’s more than 20 miles long. Wikimedia/Ebyabe

Like several other paths on this list, the St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail uses old train tracks as route markers, guiding cyclists on a 20.5-mile journey from Tallahassee to the town of St. Marks on the Apalachee Bay.

A seven-trail system with options for every skill level, Blankets Creek in Georgia is perfect for beginners and experts alike.

It’s a beautiful site. Wikimedia Commons/Georgia National Guard

The most popular bike trail system in the state, Blankets Creek in Georgia features a network of seven bike trails, from the 1-mile-long Mosquito Flats beginner path to The Holler, a challenging .25-mile slope with a roadway made of red Georgia clay.

The Pupukea Trail in Hawaii is a gorgeous island ride with plenty of uphill pushes.

This trail is right on the ocean. Wikimedia/ Cristo Vlahos

For mountain biking along the beach with lots of twists and turns to keep things interesting, head to the Pupukea Trail in Oahu, a 10-mile path with direct oceanfront views and a blend of terrains, from dirt to stone to pavement.

See super-Instagrammable waterfall views on the Snake River Canyon Rim Trails in Idaho.

This has natural beauty and a waterfall. Wikimedia/ chadh

The Snake River Canyon Rim trail system comprises 10 miles of bike paths with exceptional instances of natural beauty from both the river and Twin Falls, the park’s destination-worthy waterfall.

Another railroad-inspired biking trail, Tunnel Hill State Trail in Illinois runs through forests, small country towns, and along riverbanks.

There’s also lots of wildlife. Wikimedia/ Daniel Schwen

A 55-mile stretch tracing a former railroad route through the state of Illinois,Tunnel Hill State Trail spans a diverse range of terrains and grants travellers plenty of opportunities to encounter local wildlife.

As the name suggests, Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in northern Indiana provides beautiful images of Midwestern flora and fauna.

This is actually three connecting trails. Wikimedia

Mountain bikers who hit the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in Indiana are in for a treat, thanks to the route’s 25-mile network of three connecting trails, all replete with trees, perennials, smooth asphalt and limestone roadways, and antique wooden bridges.

For a perfect blend of recreational fun and artistic merit, check out the High Trestle Trail in Iowa.

This is a repurposed railroad route. Wikimedia/ Phil Roeder

Due to a grant from the Iowa Arts Council and design input from native Iowan artists, the High Trestle Trail repurposes an old railroad route coursing through five towns and turns it into an aesthetically-pleasing 25-mile tour, including a trip across one of the largest trail bridges in the world, located in the Des Moines Valley.

The Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail in Kansas offers a smooth singletrack ride for intermediate cyclists.

This trail has something for everyone. Facebook/ Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail

Flanked by red sandstone rock formations and leading riders past Kansas’ beautiful Wilson Lake, the Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail is challenging to keep experienced cyclists busy while also offering a 5-mile novice loop for beginners.

Explore the “Land Between the Lakes” on the Canal Loop Trail in Kentucky.

There is an 11-mile ride. Flickr/ Ben Able

An inland peninsula wedged between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, the Land Between The Lakes is one of Kentucky’s most popular recreational destinations for hiking, fishing, camping, and, of course, cycling. Bikers can take the Canal Loop Trail for an 11-mile ride, and if they want a longer adventure, the trail loops branch out for an additional 3 miles.

Considered one of the 25 best bike trails in the country, Louisiana’s Lincoln Parish Park Trail has available routes for all levels of technical skill.

There are lots of places for rest stops.

A 10-mile trail near Ruston, Louisiana, the mountain bike course in Lincoln Parish Park features paved roads, dirt paths, and lakefront routes, punctuated with picnic grounds and lawn areas ideal for rest stops.

For a quintessentially New England outdoor experience, take a ride on southern Maine’s Eastern Trail.

This 22-mile route goes through Maine. Facebook/ The Eastern Trail

A 22-mile route spanning Portland to Kennebunk, Maine’s Eastern Trail follows both paved roadways (ideal for newbies) and off-road paths to satisfy experienced cyclists’ thirst for a challenge, providing lovely views of parks, rivers, and bays in the process.

Hikers and bikers in the Baltimore area can explore the city on the Gwynns Falls Trail.

It goes through the city and the woods. Wikimedia/ Onore Baka Sama

A 15-mile trail starting in Baltimore and featuring nine accessible trailheads, the Gwynns Falls Trail in Maryland offers a uniquely-urban road biking experience.

For a serene ride complete with ocean breezes, don’t miss the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Massachusetts.

This passes through scenic spots. Wikimedia/ Mr Senseless

A train-track path located in the East Coast vacation capital of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the Cape Cod Rail Trail traces 22 miles of terrain, passing through scenic spots like Nickerson State Park and the Cape Cod National Seashore.

A dedicated paved bike path stretching 23 miles, the Little Traverse Wheelway is an excellent weekend outing for outdoorsy Michiganders.

This is one of the most scenic routes in the state. Wikimedia/ Bkonrad

The Little Traverse Wheelway, a paved biking and jogging path tracing the shores of Little Traverse Bay, prides itself in its reputation as one of the most scenic routes in the state, and its asphalt roadway allows cyclists of all stripes to get in on the fun.

The Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail is a Minnesota route combining strenuous mountain biking with relaxing lakefront views.

There are 30 specifically designed routes. Wikimedia

The Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail system in Minnesota includes 30 specially-designed paths and routes, with choices available for beginners, intermediate riders, and experts.

A quirky system of bike routes with plenty of “Easter eggs” along the way, the Mount Zion Bike Trails are a Mississippi must-do for cycling enthusiasts.

This nine-mile route passes through lots of sights to see. Shutterstock

A 9-mile route passing through Brookhaven, Mississippi, the Mount Zion Bike Trails feature paved and dirt paths, wooden bridges, and unusual sights like a “bone graveyard” of mounted animal skulls.

For a bike excursion spanning the entire state of Missouri, consider the Katy Trail.

This was part of Lewis and Clarke’s original trail. Wikimedia/ gvolk

A 237-mile route that includes Lewis and Clark’s original Missouri River path, the Katy Trail allows bikers, hikers, and horseback riders to explore river bluffs, small towns, and pastoral farmland.

The Mount Helena Ridge in Montana carries cyclists through grassland and mountain slopes.

Get ready for an almost vertical climb. Wikimedia/ RCraig09

Just 5.5 miles away from downtown Helena, the Mount Helena Ridge in Montana starts with an almost entirely vertical climb before giving way to gentle cruising for 5.9 miles.

A rails-to-trails route still in construction, the Cowboy Trail in northern Nebraska will span 321 miles when completed.

This is the longest rails-to-trails bike path in the world. Wikimedia/ Ammodramus

Bikers looking for an epic journey will soon find it in Nebraska’s Cowboy Trail, which will eventually earn the title of the world’s longest rails-to-trails bike path.

Bootleg Canyon in Nevada is a wild ride.

It has something for everyone. Flickr/dh Reno

Bootleg Canyon in Nevada is an epic bike trail. It goes on for 36 miles and has a lower trail for biking beginners and an upper trail for those who want a tougher bike. With downhill trails and rough rides, this will be a trail you don’t soon forget.

Bear Brook State Park in southern New Hampshire contains 37 miles of bike trails.

There is a beginner, intermediate, and advanced route. Wikimedia/ Codymcarlson

The largest developed state park in New Hampshire, Bear Brook provides cyclists with an 8-mile beginner loop, a 14-mile intermediate path, and a 17-mile advanced route.

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey can be explored on bike, thanks to a network of paved and unpaved trails.

This area is famous because of ‘The Sopranos.’ Wikimedia/ Apollo 1758

A heavily wooded area of the Garden State made famous by “The Sopranos,” the New Jersey Pine Barrens make a bucolic destination for a long country ride, and the region offers multiple route options, including several made up entirely of paved roads.

The sprawling desert vistas of New Mexico’s White Ridge Bike Trail are well worth the effort required to finish the 15-mile ride.

It’s tough but totally worth it. Flickr/Bureau of Land Management

The one-of-a-kind geology visible in the New Mexico desert – including prehistoric rocks and multicolored mineral deposits make the White Ridge Bike Trail a remarkable and active day trip for Santa Fe visitors.

Capture Great Lakes views on the New York – Pennsylvania border as you ride the Seaway Trail.

You can see lots of Great Lakes on this path. J-Hogan/ iStock

Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the Niagara River are all on the sightseeing docket if you ride the Seaway Trail in New York, a lengthy waterfront path running past Rochester, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and more.

A Raleigh-area greenway leading through wetlands and farm fields, the Neuse River Trail makes up a chunk of the larger Mountains-to-Sea route.

This path goes the length of the whole state. Wikimedia/ Bz3rk

North Carolina’s Mountains-To-Sea Trail traverses the entire state, running from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. For a less daunting trek, focus in on the Raleigh region, where the Neuse River Trail provides 27.5 miles of paved road and picturesque river views.

Famously considered one of the most difficult (and hazardous) mountain biking trails in the United States, the Maah Daah Hey Trail in North Dakota features on many an adrenaline junkie’s bucket list.

These 144 miles are gruelling. Wikimedia/ Peter Schultz

A gruelling path charting 144.7 miles through the North Dakota Badlands, the Maah Daah Hey Trail’s legendary reputation was solidified in 2016 in a breathless regional profile by the New York Times.

Another state-spanning bike path, the Ohio to Erie Trail runs from Cincinnati to Cleveland.

This trail is 326 miles total length. Wikimedia/ Kevin Payravi

A “collection of regional trails that connects four of Ohio’s major metropolitan cities, a dozen large towns, and numerous small villages,” the 326-mile-long Ohio to Erie Trail features paved paths easy to navigate on a road bike or a mountain bike.

Oklahoma’s Medicine Park is home to the Lake Lawtonka Trails, a scenic rural route with both desert landscapes and regional tree clusters.

There are single-track loops. Wikimedia/ Pschemp

The Lake Lawtonka Trails in Oklahoma cover over 20 miles and cyclists can partake of 6 single-track loops through the Oklahoma wilderness.

Planning an Oregon vacay? Take some time for a striking ride through the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.

This bikeway is very popular. Wikimedia/Jsayre64

The hipster capital of Oregon, also known as Portland, may be the state’s top attraction these days, but if you head farther south, you’ll find the gorgeous Willamette Valley, which features a massively popular scenic bikeway covering 134 miles.

Pennsylvania mountain bikers flock to the Allegrippis Trails for their customisable routes.

There are even training routes. Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The Allegrippis Trails at the beautiful Raystown Lake in Pennsylvania allow cyclists to design their own routes, due to the trails’ “stacked loop” arrangements. Essentially, mountain bikers can plan a totally different route experience for every Allegrippis visit.

The peaceful riverfront views of Rhode Island’s Ten Mile River Greenway are an exciting contrast to the trail’s starting point in urban Providence.

This is a great casual ride. Facebook/ Ten Mile River Greenway

Beginning in East Providence and following a former railway down to the Pawtucket River, Rhode Island’s Ten Mile River Greenway is a great pick for casual road cyclists.

For one of the most scenic bike trails in the United States, visit South Carolina’s Spanish Moss Trail.

Island Packet’s video shows the historic buildings and marshlands. YouTube/ Island Packet

Coursing through verdant marshland and passing numerous historic buildings, South Carolina’s 10-mile Spanish Moss Trail is ideal for cyclists with a keen eye for aesthetics.

The Centennial Trail in South Dakota combines historic value with an arduous but well-worth-the-effort 111-mile journey full of steep inclines and thrilling downhill slopes.

The centennial trail has it all. Wikimedia/ Joe Mabel

With plenty of hills, multiple trailheads for easy access, and visually-appealing natural scenery, the single-track Centennial Trail in South Dakota is the pride of the prairie.

If you’re paying a visit to Memphis and Graceland, get those endorphins flowing with a ride on the Shelby Farms Greenline.

This is seven miles of paved roads. Wikimedia/Thomas R Machnitzki

One of the few wholly-urban trails on this list, Tennessee’s Shelby Farms Greenline comprises 7 miles of paved road following a former railroad line, starting in Midtown Memphis and ending at the eponymous Shelby Farms just outside the city.

A highly-regarded “urban oasis” in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, River Legacy Park features an excellent network of paved bike trails.

There are wetlands, forests and prairies. Flickr/erinmcc4

The River Legacy Park Trail in Arlington, Texas includes a wide array of ecological conditions, from wetlands to forest to prairie. Best of all, the River Legacy Park Trail cuts through it all, laying down 8 miles of paved trail for road bikes and mountain bikes.

The 98.2-mile Utah Lake Shore Trail frames the destination-worthy lake of the same name.

This trail is over 900 miles long. Wikimedia/ Eric Ward

A lengthy hike-and-bike route with multiple trailways, the Utah Lake Shore Trail shows off stunning lake views and connects smaller trails leading to Provo Canyon, the West Mountains, the Lake Mountains, and the Traverse Mountains.

With dense woods and exquisite mountain vistas, Vermont’s Green Mountain Trails are among the most scenic on this list.

This path is hilly. Flickr/Rich Moffitt

The northern New England state of Vermont may be best known for the ski slopes found in its mountainous regions, like the Green Mountain range.The Green Mountains also have their own network of single-track cycling trails, spreading out over 25 hilly miles.

The Virginia Capital Trail goes on for what seems like forever.

It has so many beautiful sites. Flickr/JohnFBoyle3

This long bike trail is more than 50-miles long and allows you to see some of Virginia’s most beautiful sites. The paved trail is great for beginners but for more experienced riders, it still has plenty of thrills. You can even stop along historical sites and museums along the way.

Active Seattle residents in need of R&R love the Burke-Gilman Trail for its city proximity and natural beauty.

This is a big hit with commuters. Wikimedia/ Vladimir Menkov

A paved 2-lane bike path running between the Seattle neighbourhoods of Ballard and Kenmore, the 20-mile Burke-Gilman Trail is a big hit with bike commuters and weekend cyclists alike.

Found in the Mid-Ohio Valley of West Virginia, Mountwood Park offers 30 miles of single-track bike trails.

This trail is for intermediate bike riders. flickr/patrick

The difficulty level of Mountwood Park’s bike trails averages out at intermediate, so you need not be an expert to enjoy the course’s ridges, downhill slopes, wooden bridges, and combination of dirt and paved trails.

A limestone trail following a former train route, the La Crosse River Trail is Wisconsin’s most popular recreational bike path.

There are lots of different things to see on this trail. Wikimedia/ Kcida10

Located in the La Crosse River Valley, this 22-mile bike trail takes riders through prairie terrain, forests, and the wetlands, all while providing views of the river and its adjacent streams.

The bike trail system in Wyoming’s Curt Gowdy State Park earned an “Epic” ranking from the International Mountain Biking Association.

You can choose your own length and difficulty. Wikimedia/ Mark Brennan

Just outside of Cheyenne, you’ll find Curt Gowdy State Park, a Wyoming institution for those who take mountain biking seriously. With a 32-mile system comprised of customisable “stacked loops,” visitors can choose their own adventure in terms of length and difficulty.

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