Best Bike Routes in the Country

If you love biking, you need to check out these amazing bike routes! From paved bike paths to winding mountain roads, these trails are perfect for any cyclist.

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1. New York State Canal Path

The 750-mile Empire State Trail is New York’s largest multiuse state trail system. Bike enthusiasts of all ages and abilities can enjoy this pristine, off road trail, which closely parallels active and historic sections of the Erie Canalway.

This spectacular route is dotted with charming canalside towns that tell the rich and sometimes strange history of America’s westward expansion. Dozens of art galleries, restaurants and shops are within easy reach.

The Erie Canalway Trail is a great choice for a long day ride or weekend adventure, with many communities offering nearby parking and attractions. Whether starting at one of the trail’s many access points or at the trailhead in downtown Albany, cyclists can explore the Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct, Sims Store, Rome and other historic sites, and then make their way to Syracuse, where they can visit the Camillus Erie Canal Park and Fort Stanwix National Monument. The path is primarily surfaced in stone dust, but some segments are asphalt paved.

2. Lake Monona Loop

With paved paths and neighborhoods to explore, the Lake Monona Loop is a great choice for bikers of any age and experience level. You can burn a lot of calories and take in some unbeatable lake views on this 13-mile circuit through both Madison and Monona, as well as snap skyline photos from several parks along the way.

You’ll also see some of Dane County’s prettiest farmland and visit the enclave of Paoli. There’s a natural stop along the way at Monona Bait and Ice Cream Shop, which has encouraged many young bikers to keep going when 13 miles starts to feel long.

Join in on the fun of this family-friendly ride by registering for the 10th Annual Loop the Lake Bike Ride, happening Saturday, June 18. The registration fee includes a super soft t-shirt, compliments of Lands’ End and a day-of beverage. All participants are encouraged to adhere to local and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public roads or paths.

3. Great River Greenway

Great Rivers Greenway is a regional network of greenways and trails for walking, running, biking, inline skating and wheeling. The region’s parks, rivers, cultural landmarks and communities are connected by these paved destination trails.

The organization is working to deliver on the vision created by a vote of the people in 2000 to leave a legacy for future generations and to reconnect residents with the primary natural feature that resulted in St. Louis’ founding—the Mississippi River.

The organization has completed more than 130 miles of greenways in three counties and another 240+ miles are being planned. The organization is also launching neighborhood systems of greenways that connect with each other and with the larger regional system. Families can enjoy the region’s greenways with two kid-friendly adventure maps. The St Vincent Greenway Adventure Map includes activities and material related to urban watersheds, bird ecology and sensory activities and the River des Peres Greenway Adventure Map includes place based learning about plantings and historic buildings and the river’s history since its creation during the Ice Age.

4. Erie Canal Towpath

The Erie Canal Towpath is the country’s most popular long-distance biking trail. It runs 360 miles from Buffalo to Albany with a network of dedicated paths, local park trails, some city streets and under 50 miles of state road shoulders. It covers virtually every kind of terrain Western and Upstate New York has to offer.

It passes through wooded environments and urban neighborhoods, with scenic natural beauty as well as historic and cultural landmarks. During the ride, you can get an up-close look at rivers and border farm fields, cross enormous highway bridges, or ride through downtown Cleveland.

There are stretches of the Towpath where you’re in the wilderness, but most of it offers easy access to restaurants, hotels and other accommodations. The section through Navarre hugs the Tuscarawas River with options including a diner, pizza and fajita restaurant, a craft brew joint and a pub.

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