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Luckily for the planet and our general well being, cycling is becoming an increasingly popular way to spend a couple of your weeks off. There’s nothing quite like taking your bike out on the road, straying off the path whenever the fancy takes you, relying on your own feet to get you places, and enjoying the glorious outdoors.

Cycling in the US offers some of the very best biking trails on the planet, so let’s explore some of them here.

Katy Trail

Cycling in the US on the abandoned Rochport Train Tunnel on the Katy Trail.

Cycling in the US on the abandoned Rochport Train Tunnel, mile marker 178.9, on the Katy Trail. Photo by Linda Aksomitis.

The Katy Trail runs for just over 230 miles across the state of Missouri. This bike trail is a great choice for those who both love to cycle and appreciate some American history.

The Trail is famous for following some of the routes that Lewis and Clark have taken up the Missouri River on their exploration of the famed Louisiana Purchase.

The Trail is also part of the coast-to-coast trek of the American Discovery Trail, so you may find yourself in the company of fellow bike enthusiasts cycling in the US who have chosen to take a much longer route and explore the continent.

You’ll be surrounded by farmlands and fields and plenty of those gorgeous small towns you have previously believed only exist on the big screen, and you may also get a chance to encounter some amazing wildlife, so keep an eye out on the trails.

Green Mountains Loop

Woodstock, Vermont, in the Green Mountains.

Cycling in the US in Woodstock, Vermont, in the Green Mountains. Photo by SnapsterMax. Reused under a CC by-SA-2.0 license.

The Green Mountains are certainly part of what Vermont is famous for, and their glorious green hues can tempt even the most sluggish person outside and into the wild. For cycling in the US, this area offers lots of options.

The Green Mountains Loop, as the name itself suggests, cycles some of this glorious scenery, but can also take a cyclist further beyond them, across New Hampshire and New York.

The Loop is 370 miles long, and there are alternative bike routes and shortcuts or longer avenues to explore if you have the time and are taken in by the scenery on the trails.

Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway.

Natchez Trace Parkway. Photo by formulaneone. Reused under a CC by-SA-2.0 license

The Natchez Trace Parkway is certainly one of the more ancient routes you can choose to tackle when you’re cycling in the US. In fact, it existed a long time before it could even be called a parkway, since it was a trail used by Native Americans.

Today, it’s taken by cars and cyclists alike, and offers some incredible forests, waterways and waterfalls to enjoy along your journey.

There are plenty of stops on the road, and you can enjoy your time at a campsite with fellow cyclists, or stay at one of the bed and breakfasts and enjoy some of that glorious Southern cooking.

There are 444 miles in total from Natchez to Nashville, so be ready to put some work in.

Mount Lemmon

Downhill bike rider rides down Mount Lemmon.

Downhill bike rider rides down Mount Lemmon. Photo by Hackman.

Tucson in Arizona is the favorite stomping ground of many cyclists, as it has some of the best climate in the country, and offers plenty of mountain trails and the scenery to match to help you pass the time of day in the great outdoors.

You will climb the Catalina Highway to the top of Mount Lemmon – where you may even be greeted by snow at Summerhaven, so make sure you dress in plenty of layers, as the weather and temperatures can be quite varied along the climb.

The way down is a much more fun experience, as it will require only plenty of steering, and not as much legwork. However, make sure you monitor your bike speed and don’t take too many risks.
Mount Lemmon is an excellent route to take for a day’s cycling in the US.

The Pacific Coast Trail

Cycling in the US on the Pacific Coast Highway

Cycling in the US on the Pacific Coast Highway, California. Photo by Maxine Sheppard. Reused with a CC by 2.0 license.

If you’re looking for something much longer when cycling in the US, the Pacific Coast Route can be an excellent choice.

It will take you all the way up from the Washington border with Canada down to the city of San Diego, along the 1853 miles of trails it runs, practically next to the water all the time.

The route will take you on shared roads most of the time, but there are some cycle-specific sections to take on as well. On the other hand, meals, a warm bed and good company will never be far behind when you’re taking these bike trails.

There are usually plenty of fellow cyclists on the Pacific Coast Route, so you won’t have to worry about finding a helping hand if you run a flat.

TransAmerica Trail

Finally, if you are looking for the ultimate US cycling experience, look no further than the 4262 miles of the TransAmerica route.

Your journey will begin in Virginia on the Atlantic, taking you cycling throughout the heart of the USA, all the way to the Pacific in Oregon.

This trail is an avid biker’s dream. But do mind just how long it is, so be certain to prepare well if you want to try tackling this US trail.

Final Thoughts

No matter which of these bike trails you choose when cycling in the US, you’re certain to have an incredible time in the great outdoors. So check your bike, wear your helmet, and bon voyage!

 

About the Author

Hannah Thomas is an Australian freelance writer who is a gardening and travel enthusiast. She’s a regular contributor to guide2travel.ca.

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About the Photo

The photo above was taken in St. Charles, Missouri, USA, in Frontier Park, by Linda Aksomitis. Completed in 1893, the Katy Depot building is now a museum. The Katy Trail runs alongside the depot and some of the historic tracks where two vintage restored rail cars are also available to the public.

About the Author

The article was written by Hannah Thomas, an Australian freelance writer who is a gardening and travel enthusiast who contributes regularly to guide2travel.ca.

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Cyclists biking on the Katy Trail in Missouri.

Cyclists biking on the Katy Trail in Missouri.

Cyclists biking on the Katy Trail in Missouri.

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