Americas sweetest rides: a state-by-state guide

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of June 4-10, 1998
America’s sweetest rides: a state-by-state guide
Mixing pleasure with work: day hikes near Billings
Fourth of July mountain biking on Puerto Rico
Seeking a REAL adventure for the fall

America’s sweetest rides: a state-by-state guide
Question: My wife and I do lots of bicycling on scenic bike trails. The upper Midwest has extensive trails for this activity. Do you know of other such paved/semi-paved trails in the U.S. with trail ranges from 20 miles or longer? Thanks.

Glenn More
St. Paul, Minnesota

Many areas of the country have paved bike paths for traffic-free riding
Adventure Adviser: Look no further than the March issue of Outside magazine posted online. The cover story features America’s 50 sweetest rides, from Hawaii’s Hana Highway to Maine’s Streaked Mountain Loop. Whether you’re after a ride on a paved road or single-track, all the info is there, including where to find the best ice cream or draft beer en route. Here are some teasers to send you on your way.

In Pennsylvania, try the flat, 25-mile Lehigh Gorge Trail, a converted railroad grade that winds through the lush Lehigh River valley. You’ll have views of the spectacular Lehigh Gorge on one side, the rapid-filled river on the other. Call Blue Mountain Sports at 800-599-4421 for details. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world along Tennessee’s newly paved Cherohala Skyway. Open less than a year, this 51-mile stretch of remote asphalt runs along rounded hills and boasts vistas of the Great Smokies. Mountain View Bicycles, at 423-977-4200, can give you the logistics. In Nebraska, pedal 120 miles from Omaha to Pierce along the Platte River and through rambling corn fields. And in your home state, how about the 100-mile long Paul Bunyan Trail that passes by 21 lakes? As you’ll see from our extensive list, every state has its share of heavenly rides.

I’d also suggest getting yourself a copy of 500 Great Rail-Trails, which details the results of the national effort to convert abandoned railroads to scenic trails. Although some of these trails are quite short, there are some longer gems, such as Iowa’s Wabash Trace Nature Trail, definitely one of the prettiest Rails-to-Trails conversions. Stretching 63 miles long, the path traverses the sandy Loess Hills. And there’s even a great taco spot along the way.

Search the archives | Ask the Adventure Adviser

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Got Wanderlust?

Escape your daily grind with Outside’s best getaways.

Thank you!