By Katie Rosenbrock

You don't have to be an avid cyclist to appreciate an impeccable bike path. Even if you only ever touch a bike while on vacation, there's no denying the enjoyment that comes with cycling along a scenic route.

From paved seaside paths to rocky mountain routes, the U.S. is home to more than 40,000 miles of scenic bike trails, and the wide range of terrains strewn across the country accommodate all types of riders from biking beginners to professional peddlers.

According to the Adventure Cycling Association and the American Express Travel Counselors, tourists are increasingly incorporating their favorite pastimes into their vacation plans and bike tourism is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for travelers to explore new cities.

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After all, biking not only provides an opportunity for more exercise, but it also offers the chance for both locals and out-of-towners to view a location through a shifting lens.

With the help of several expert opinions, we’ve compiled a list of 15 must-ride bike paths within the U.S., making sure to include something suitable for riders of all levels and interests.

Whether you’re in search of the best bike-friendly vacation destinations or you’re placing pins in a map to mark off your bike path bucket list, this selection of wonderful rides will help you happen upon the trail of your dreams.

Fantastic U.S. Bike Trails Slideshow


Animas River Trail, Colo.

Following an enjoyable rolling path, the Animas River Trail is 7 miles long and just one of many incredible bike paths in the Durango area. According to Anne Klein, Colorado local and a former member of the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) Board of Directors it's much more than just a great place to ride your bike. "It's a connector, a wonderful family outing, a lover's stroll, a dog's access to the river ... "


Skyline Wilderness Park Trails, Calif.

Just a few miles away from's Napa Valley inns is the Skyline Wilderness Park. Featuring narrow, rocky trails through California’s forests, Manzanita Bike Tours founder Aaron Kerson calls Skyline Wilderness Park one of the greatest riding spots in all of California. Trails here present riders with incredible views of California’s landscape, opportunities for encounters with wildlife, and varying levels of mountain biking terrain.


Bear Creek Greenway, Ore.

One of the more leisurely trails you'll find on the west coast, Bear Creek boasts 26 miles of paved trails surrounded by serene meadows and emerald forests. Beginning in the quaint town of Ashland (considered a hidden treasure for bike enthusiasts), the greenway extends to Central Point and is strewn across more than 600 acres of what’s considered some of Oregon’s most exquisite landscapes. Somewhat of a mountain biking haven, enthusiasts will appreciate area events like the annual Spring Thaw and Ashland Mountain challenge; two downhill races held in the Siskiyou Mountains.


Mid-Mountain Trail, Utah

Park City local Cole Lehman says this trail is one of the best in Park City and the entire country. "It's probably the signature mountain bike trail in Park City -- the only gold-level rated bike center in the world by the International Mountain Bicycling Association," says Park City Mountain Resort Communications Manager Andy Miller. "It features 25 miles of singletrack climbing, descending and ridge-riding that's a favorite of locals and guests alike. One of the coolest aspects is it cuts through all 3 of Park City's ski resorts: Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and Canyons Resort."


Shining Sea Bikeway, Mass.

Cape Cod is home to 110 miles of scenic cycling paths and nearly 11 of those belong to the Shining Sea Bikeway. The only path in Cape Cod that borders the shore, the paved route runs from County Route 151 in Falmouth to the historical fishing village of Woods Hole. A 60-acre preserve that sits between the bikeway and ocean connects to a network of footpaths where visitors can spot wildlife like shorebirds, otters and muskrats.


The Wild Azalea Trail, La.

Constructed as a response to community interests, Louisiana's Wild Azalea Trail is recognized as a National Recreational Trail by the Chief of the Forest Service. "Follow the yellow blazes as you roll up and over the pine hills and down into Louisiana bayous on this back country single-track. Ride in the springtime for opportunities to stop and smell the azaleas while exploring the wild side of the Heart of Louisiana," says travel journalist Stacey Wittig.


Paseo del Bosque Trail, N.M.

"The Paseo del Bosque Trail is used by many local riders since it is located right in Albuquerque, but it never seems crowded," says Kelly Ryan, Communications Manager for the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau. "You pass by strollers and bikers and joggers and everyone seems to be in a good mood. If you enter the trail at Alameda, there's a big parking lot to leave your vehicle. You can ride 32 miles and go back or do the 35 mile loop, but the extra miles aren't paved so your tires are susceptible to goat-heads. It's a great trail and you don't have to worry about motor vehicles the whole way. It passes through some of my favorite Albuquerque spots like Tingley Beach."


Mohonk Preserve Trails, N.Y.

Located 90 miles north of New York City and situated in the Shawangunk Ridge section of the Appalachian Mountains, the Mohonk Preserve is home to 30 miles of carriage road type paths that connect to even more bike routes in its neighboring Minnewaska State Park Preserve. "These trails have so much natural beauty," says New York local Gretchen Reed. She says that one of the most popular routes is the Overcliff/Undercliff loop; a family-friendly 4.5-mile trail that offers wonderful views of the Catskill Mountains and Wallkill Valley.


Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Alaska

Alaska's largest city offers bikers the opportunity to experience the landscape via nearly 125 miles of paved trails that wind through the area’s pristine parks and greenbelts. The Tony Knowles Trail stretches just over 11 miles from downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park and it's one of the most popular and inexpensive ways to explore the city.


Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, Ohio

"This is a 20-plus-mile paved path along the Hocking River through Athens, the Ohio University Campus, and up through the woods and countryside to the next town, Nelsonville," says Jeff Wilson, a lifelong cyclist and runner and the host of Real Rail Adventures on public TV. "This bikeway isn't just scenic and well-tended, it's also a hidden gem and never over-crowded."

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