The USA is home to many challenging and rewarding mountain bike trails. With its vast landscape and numerous world-renowned national parks, it’s no surprise that cyclists flock to test themselves or simply enjoy the beauty of the scenery on US mountain bike trails. Whether you’re a biking veteran or novice, there’s a bike trail for everyone. Below are 5 bucket-list-worthy experiences. The post includes the Big Sur in California; the Shark Valley Mountain Bike Trail in Miami; the Banks Vernonia Mountain Bike Trail in Oregon; the Little Pan Loop, Black Canyon Trail in New River, Arizona (also known as the Lollipop Loop); and the Carriage Trails in the Acadia National Park in Maine.
Mountain Bike Trail no. 1: The Big Sur, California
The Big Sur is well known for its blue skies, California sunshine and wondrous views. One of the best aspects of this mountain bike trail is you can ride it all year round. If you’re an avid photographer, the coast makes for a beautiful place to take some stunning photos of the waves overlapping and colliding with the rocks below. The trail is around 100 miles, as you can cycle from Carmel to Cambria. It’s quite an advanced trail, as there is no cycle lane on the highway, but if you set out early in the day there should be less traffic to compete with. There are many twists and turns along the coast, but if you’re looking for a demanding trail then this could be the one.
There are also other alternatives to cycle along the California coast if you’re looking for a longer trip; Monterrey to Santa Barbara is around 250 miles.
Mountain Bike Trail no. 2: Shark Valley Trail, Miami
This is a short but sweet mountain bike trail that consists of around 15 miles through Miami’s notable Everglades National Park. The park is home to a vast and varied eco-system, which includes animals such as alligators, snakes and a range of birds. The trail itself takes between 2 to 4 hours depending on how many stops you make. It’s a good trail for a day out with family or friends as it isn’t very difficult. It’s best to go in the winter, as the Everglades can be notoriously humid during the summer.
Mountain Bike Trail no. 3: Banks Vernonia Trail, Oregon
The Banks Vernonia mountain bike trail is perfect for cyclists, as the trail has been carved over time and previous rail tracks. It’s around 21 miles long and will take you through the forests, and over 13 old wooden bridges and 2 railroad trestles that are up to 100 feet high. If you’re going in fall or winter, don’t forget to bring some waterproof gear for your trip.
The original trail dates back to the 1920’s and has been partly preserved to showcase Oregon’s industrial history. This rail-to-trail is only 26 miles from the city of Portland, so it makes for an excellent weekend ride. On this mountain bike trail you’ll experience the calming woodlands scenery, it’s truly a sensory experience cycling through the flora and fauna.
Mountain Bike Trail no. 4: Little Pan Loop, Black Canyon Trail, New River, Arizona
Also known as the lollipop loop, this mountain bike trail is 24 miles long and will surely be a memorable one. With clear skies up ahead and the Sonoran Deserts terrain, it’s a feast for the eyes and includes beholding the Agua Fria River. The entire Black canyon track is around 78 miles long so it makes for an intense yet stimulating ride; it includes varied terrain from uphill to rugged, so you’ll definitely need to have a mountain bike for this trail.
If you choose to complete the entire mountain bike trail, then you’ll travel through the Saguaro Forests and get glimpses of the Bradshaw Mountains. The ideal time to of year to complete this trail is winter.
Mountain Bike Trail no. 5: Carriage Trails, Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park is renowned for it’s numerous picturesque, film set worthy points of interest. The carriage roads were completed in 1940 and constructed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. The 57 miles of roads and bridges were created specially for the use of hikers, cyclists and horse riders. The roads are vehicle free so everyone can enjoy the tranquillity of the national park.
The Giant slide is an 8.5-mile route, which is great for enjoying views of Somes Sound, a deep body of water, formed by a glacier. Other options include Eagle Lakes trail and Jordan Pond trail, which will provide you with some postcard photos. Visit Maine during fall (September and October) to observe the multitude of colors and avoid the summer peak season.
The USA has some of the world’s most intriguing landscape, from deserts, rugged coastline, islands and woodlands. One thing is certain, whatever your preferred terrain or season, whether you enjoy challenging and long trails – or a short and comfortable one, there are many options and there’s definitely a trail for you.
This is a guest post written by James Adams. James is a huge fan of outdoor adventures and exploring new places on his bike. He combines his love for writing and outdoor activities with his day job as part of the content team at Adamant Gear.
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