All across the country there are tons of great and not-so-great cycling paths. They come in side lanes or sharrows or dedicated paths or sometimes none at all. One of the best ways to experience a bicycle ride, in my opinion at least, is to ride on a dedicated car-free bike paths. Here are ten of the greatest car-free cycling paths of all time.
1. George S. Mickelson Trail, South Dakota
You'll overwhelm your eyes as you pass through ponderosa pine forests, prairie lands, rugged mountain terrain, grazing cattle, swimmable creeks, and rocky canyons as you ride on this 109-mile trail.
2. Banks Vernonia Trail, Oregon
The forest will seem your own as you ride through towering Douglas firs and cedar trees. This trail is 45-minutes west of Portland, it's flat, well-paved, and follows a 21-mile line that dates back to the 1920s. You'll pass over 13 beautiful old bridges, two of witch are 700 feet long and 80 feet high!
3. Carriage Trails, Acadia National Park, Maine
If your time spend in Maine is short, make sure this is on your list for must ride! Acadia National Park's 47,000-acre mass offers a 45 mile car-free cycling paths. You'll likely pass horses and hikers on these 16-foot-wide picturesque roads. The waterfalls, stone bridges, and views of granite coast are absolutely beautiful!
4. American River Bike Trail, California
This is what you wish your commute looked like, as you'll likely see a few commuters on this trail. This 32-mile trail runs from Old Sacramento to a lake in the city of Folsom. You'll cycle through a canopy of trees, California poppies, turkeys, lush vegetation, next to the American River, and over Guy West Bridge, a mini replica of the Golden Gate Bridge!
5. Katy Trail, Missouri
This massive 225 mile trail spans across the state of Missouri, from Clinton to St. Charles. This is one of the longest rail-trails in the country! The Katy Trail is something to cross off your Great American Bike Adventure Bucket List, if you have one of those things. Just a heads up, Amtrak will charge $10 per bike!
6. Island Line Rail Trail, Vermont
You'll never get this close to walking on water, or should I say biking on water. This 14-mile path takes cyclists cruising up a narrow gravel path through Lake Champlain on their side of you. The Green Mountains and Adirondacks top this trail off on the beauty scale.
7. Paseo del Bosque Trail, New Mexico
The Rio Grande, large twisted cottonwood trees, coyote willows, red rocks, lizards, and mountains rising up in the horizon, this 16-mile trail will take you on an adventure through the most beautiful things Albuquerque, New Mexico has to offer.
8. Great Allegheny Passage Trail and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath, Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC
Get to see America on this epic 335 miles uninterrupted car-free bike path. With just under 1,800 feet of vertical clim b and a total of 1.4% average grade, you'll get to enjoy all the miles without worrying about the next climb ahead.
9. Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park, Utah
You may know Park City in the winter, where skiing and Sundance Film Festival are big attractions, but the off-season is a haven for mountain bikers. This 28-mile trail follows Interstate 80 through Wanship and Coalville to Echo Reservoir, and it connects to several hundred miles of technical single-track paths!
10. Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, Idaho
That's right, Idaho has more to offer than just a good potato. This 72-mile-long strip of asphalt winds through the glistening Chain Lakes region, into the older silver mining expanse of Silver Valley, by forested mountains and into 19th-century boom towns.