6 of America’s Best Bike Trails
Biking is one of the favorite activities of RVers. It’s also one of the most accessible as you can rent bikes, bring bikes with your vehicle, haul them in the Toy Hauler, or on a bike rack. Although we LOVE biking around the campground, one of the highlights of our journey has been experiencing some INSANELY amazing bike rides. Here in no particular order are some of the best (and we’ve done A LOT).
Spruce Railroad Trail – Olympic National Park
I can’t stress enough how incredible this bike ride is. It’s along the beautiful shore of Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. It doesn’t get more scenic than this ride and if you’re visiting the area, it’s a MUST RIDE.
This was built during WWI as a Railroad to MFC airplanes but once the war ended the logs ended up being used commercially. Now the National Park Service turned it into 4 miles (8 miles in and out) of absolute bliss on the railroad bed.
If you go during the summer, make sure you have your swim trunks and take a dip into the crystal clear waters. You’ll be peddling right at the water’s edge for most of the ride. Keep in mind this is for Mountain Bikers and although it’s not difficult, there are a few spots you’ll be challenged.
Malibu to Newport Beach
If you’re visiting southern California and want to experience some of the best beaches on the west coast in one day, this ride is for you! You can make this trip shorter or longer depending on how much time you have. I did 74 miles in one day and it was a good distance to enjoy the ride.
Danielle dropped me off just after Sunrise in Malibu and I ended up around Sunset at Newport Beach.
There are a few reasons why this is one of the best beach rides in the world:
- It’s a flat easy ride on the beach boardwalk for most of the way
- Incredible people watching
- Stop and experience multiple world class beaches
- Opportunity to see marine life like Dolphin
- Visit famous spots like the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, etc
- There are multiple RV Parks you could start/end from
- Incredible restaurants to stop and grab a bite
The Last Chance Coastal Trail – The Redwoods
There is no question that the last chance section of the Coastal Trail in the Redwoods is the best bike ride I’ve ever experienced. In fact I can’t imagine anything better.
It’s 13 miles of complete isolation, exhilaration, and scenery that can’t be beat.
It’s tough to put into words the feeling you get when you pedal through the lush forest that towers above you while you listen to the crashing waves from below the cliff.
A few reasons why this is so incredible (mind blowing is a better way to put it):
- It’s a rare opportunity to pedal through giant old grove redwood trees that are hundreds of feet tall and thousands of years old.
- Parts of it are a single track trail, meaning you can scream almost 1500 ft down the mountain on a one way adventure just wide enough for your mountain bike.
- Much of the trail is on the historic Redwood Highway that has been shut down and moved inland back in the 1940’s. You can still see remnants of the old highway.
- The views of the ocean from the cliffs above are breath-taking. If you time it right, you can see gray whales migrating along the coast.
Going to the Sun Road
There is a small window of opportunity each year to do this bike the right way. The going to the sun road is a famous road in Glacier National Park because of its spectacular views. Here’s the secret to make this one of the best rides in the world:
If you go just before camping season, the road is not yet open to vehicles but the park service allows bikers to utilize this road. So you can charge up the mountain and shoot down this beast without having to worry about traffic, the only thing you have to worry about is the Grizzly Bears that frequent this road.
It’s a steep one so if you’re not in shape you will want to train for this one. A few reasons why it’s worth the effort:
- Top notch scenery.
- No cars on one of the most sought after roads in the country.
- Exhilarating rush when you zoom downhill.
- Lots of wildlife!
MN Paul Bunyan Trail
Minnesota is known for the outdoors. Minneapolis has more bike trails than any major city in the United States. What a lot of people don’t know is when you head up North, you’ll find countless interconnecting trails ranging in diverse types of scenery.
One of the most popular trails and the longest trail in Minnesota is the Paul Bunyan Trail. It’s 120 miles from Brainerd up to Bemidji. Many people may know Brainerd from the movie “Fargo” (most of it actually takes place in Brainerd).
The entire trail is paved and perfectly smooth. It’s not just bikers who take advantage of this gem, you’ll find people biking, running, rollerblading, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and dog sledding.
Some of the reasons to hit this trail:
- You get to visit so many lakes.
- The deep woods of Minnesota are incredibly beautiful.
- Ride over the Mississippi.
- It’s a perfectly smooth paved trail.
- Lots of wildlife.
- It’s a long ride, great for a 2 day adventure.
Minnesota is called the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” but in reality it has just under 15,000. So it’s no surprise that you’ll be cruising by countless crystal clear glacially carved lakes. As you head north, you’ll still be passing by lakes but you’ll find yourself heading through some deep and spectacular forests.
Most people think of the Mississippi as a large, dark river but you may be surprised that when you cross it a few times on this trail it’s small and crystal clear.
Something really unique about Minnesota Bike Trails is there are multiple bike stations where you’ll find all the tools you need to give your bike a tune up. Although geologists will argue that the lakes along this trail were carved many years ago by glaciers, they actually were formed by Paul Bunyan’s feet so it’s fitting that when you end the ride you get to snap a photo with Paul & Babe.
MPLS Chain of Lakes Trail
Every big city has skyscrapers. Every big city has museums and monuments. But no other city has as many beautiful lakes and parks Minneapolis does.
Minneapolis is a mecca for biking. It has more bike commuters than any other major city in the USA and more bike trails than any other major city also. To add more fuel to the fire, the trails are GORGEOUS!
One of the best trails is the Chain of Lakes Trail. As you would imagine, it follows a chain of lakes. Minnesotans love their outdoors so you’ll see a lot of other people joining you on the trail walking, running, biking and skating. Here are a few reasons to hit this trail:
- Awesome views of the MPLS Skyline.
- Great people watching.
- Lots of things to do along the way like restaurants, parks, art museums, etc.
- Beautiful lake views along the entire ride.
Much of the ride has excellent views of the MPLS skyline. When you look at the lakes you’ll see a bunch of boaters enjoying the water or reeling in the big one.
Are there any bike rides that you recommend? Share in the comments below.
Wow, you are going to have to come back to Minnesota and ride the Paul Bunyan trail again. You didn’t even mention all the Dairy Queens along the trail, the candy store at Niswa, the steak bites at the restaurant in Pine River, the good food at Hackensack…. When you ride 120 miles your gonna need some good calories.
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Wow, you are going to have to come back to Minnesota and ride the Paul Bunyan trail again. You didn’t even mention some of the best features. All the Dairy Queens close to the trail, the candy store at Niswa with bacon taffy, the steak bites at the restaurant in Pine River, the good food at the cafe in Hackensack. If you are going to ride the 120 miles you may as well do it on some very good calories.
On our way…
Love the rides!! It felt like I was right there too, riding my bike!! Cute little baby – looked like they really enjoyed the ride! Thanks for sharing..