25 Best Mountain Bike Trails in North America
When it comes to bike trails, North America has a lot to offer. It can keep all kinds of bike riders happy with its unique offerings.
What Makes A Top Mountain Bike Trail?
There are many factors that make a top mountain bike trail.
It can be the distance, the scenery, the challenge or even a mixture of all of the above.
In our list of the twenty-five best, we’ve considered all of these factors to give you the best list of unmissable trails possible.
Top Five Mountain Biking States
The Longest Mountain Bike Trails From Our Top 25
The 25 Best Mountain Biking Trails in North America:
1. Catskill Scenic Trail
Location: New York
Distance: 26 Miles
This 26-mile long trail can be accessed from multiple locations but the best option is to try designated parking lots at (1) the depot at the intersection of South Street and Railroad Avenue in the Village of Stamford or (2) The Route 10 parking lot, east of the Hamlet of Bloomville.
Here you cannot only bike but also run, hike, ride, and ski. The trail is very well-marked and planned and offers beautiful sights. You’ll ride through farms, mountains as the breeze keeps you fresh.
There are also spots to relax, eat, and rest. However, it’s only suitable for experienced riders due to the presence of different obstacles. This is also why it’s best to visit this in the daylight.
2. Border To Boston Trail
Distance: 28 Miles
To get on this 28-mile trail, get to I-95 N and take the exit 47A for MA 114. From there, head 0.5 miles east and turn right towards the unnamed street before the gas station. There’d be directions to lead you to the trail.
This trail connects many communities including Danvers, Topsfield, West Peabody, Peabody, and Boxford in northeastern Massachusetts. It offers crushed, full of dirt paths. Hence, superior bike riding skills are required.
It will take you through flowers and also the famous Salem Village Meeting House (where Rebecca Nurse practiced witchcraft and was hanged in 1692).
Early morning serves as the best time to go.
3. Ashuelot Recreational Rail Trail
Location: New Hampshire
Distance: 21.5 Miles
To reach this 21.5-mile rail trail, backtrack 0.2 mile on NH 63/Northfield Road. This trail offers a mix of many surfaces including asphalt, crushed stone, cinder, ballast, and dirt.
You will witness rivers, a moose territory, bridges, towns, slopes, mills, church steeples, clock tower and what not. In short, it’s a complete adventure on your bike.
The best time to go is in the warmer months because in winters, the snow can make it difficult to ride the bike.
4. Delaware And Hudson Rail-Trail
Location: NY, Vermont
Distance: 19.8 Miles
The trail starts at Castleton State College and can also be accessed from the Main Street in Castleton and in Poultney village right next to the old train station on Depot Street.
This trail is perfect for riders who want to enjoy a great bike riding expedition and a picnic as well. There are many amazing spots including hills, villages, farms, fields, and forests. You can also do fishing in the rivers if you desire.
This 19.8 mile trail is best enjoyed during daylight.
5. Airline State Park Trail
Distance: 55 Miles
Start from the junction of Routes 44 and 101 in Pomfret, go east on Route 44 to the junction of Routes 44 and 169. Now, head east on Routes 44/169 and turn on your first left on Railroad St. Keep following until you reach the old Pomfret RR Station.
It’s a 55-mile long trail that runs along the state borders, Massachusetts towards east Hampton.
The road contain gravel, dirt, and ballast. The roads are usually always empty, which is a good reason to try this trail. However, some portions of the road may not be suitable for biking so get ready follow on foot as well.
Like all other options, this one is also best enjoyed in the morning.
6. Stillwater Scenic Walkway
Location: Rhode Island
Distance: 1 Mile
It may only be a 1-mile trail, but you’ll get to enjoy many features including a river, a waterfall, a bridge, several benches, and some incredible World War I monuments.
This trail follows an old railroad bed between State Route 104 (Farnum Pike) and Capron Road. If you’re lucky, you may also come across wildlife, including birds. It can be accessed from Route 104.
While it’s a great option, parking can often be an issue as there’s only limited parking available off the Capron Road trailhead.
7. Cape Cod Trail
Distance: 22 Miles
If you’re a beach lover then you will love this trail to bits as it offers breathtaking sights of beaches, seaports.
To reach this trail, go to Wellfleet trailhead from US 6 and turn right towards Lecount Hollow Road/Maguire. Keep heading about 500 feet and look for trailhead parking on the right, you’ll reach the trail.
The wildlife and bridges across the trails are another breeze that will take the experience up a notch. Moreover, the trail is flat and is meant for recreational cyclists.
You may also decide to stay at the beach and make it a 2-day trip. However, be cautious as the beach is not well lit at night.
8. Tannersville Bike Path (Huckleberry)
Location: New York
Distance: 27 Miles
To access this trail, go to the Clum Hill Road across Cortina Valley. The trail begins on the Bloomer road.
The trail is 27 miles long and mostly goes downhill so it’s not much of a stress and will definitely turn out to be an easy and fun ride. Moreover, there are various natural elements across the trail that will make the journey more beautiful.
Avoid going after dark as insects and bugs can be a bit of a nuisance and the road is full of dirt, too.
9. Cascade Trail
Distance: 22.5 Miles
There are several points to access this 22.5-mile trail. It runs along SR-20 in Sedro Woolley, Birdsview, and Concrete.
This track dates back to the Great Northern Railway, which was used to transport concrete and lumber in the 20th century. The path runs through fields, woodlands, and river banks.
It’s a great riding experience when you take this trail as it offers highways, rivers, foothills, long yards, birds, and wildlife. There are also many spots to chill, including benches.
It’s best to go in the daylight to enjoy the sights.
10. James F. Hall Trail
Distance: 1.7 Miles
To get to this 1.7 trail, reach the College Square Shopping Center. The trail can be accessed at the intersection of Wyoming Road and Library Avenue.
This cross-town bicycle and pedestrian trail trail is fun-packed with lots of elements to witness. You will find benches and trash cans along the way. There are a few police boxes on the path, too.
There’s a railtrack as well – the loud trainwreck noise might startle you a bit as the train passes by but it’s part of the fun when you begin on this trail.
It’s best enjoyed during the day as light conditions can be poor otherwise.
11. Hop River State Park Trail
Distance: 20.8 Miles
You have to get to Church Street trailhead to access this park trail. To reach the Church Street trailhead, go 1 mile south of Interstate 84 (located between Phoenix and Washington streets).
This trail offers a mix of canopies and relaxing spots along the river if you want to stop for lunch. The trail’s a bit rough with stones, which makes it suitable for mountain bikes. Two thirds of the trail is quite wide and there’s little to no traffic.
Avoid going here on the weekend if you don’t like crowd.
12. Springlawn Trail
Distance: 4.1 Miles
To reach this 4.1 trail, get to the Springlawn road. From there, look for the intersection connecting Chesterville Road (Rt. 841) and Strickersville Road, and you’ll reach the trail.
There are many stones on the trail but it would be no problem for a mountain bike to get past them. The trail closes at 6PM so plan accordingly. Also, avoid going in autumn as fallen leaves can make it a little difficult to ride the bike.
You will enjoy wildlife, streams, creeks, and more as you ride along the trail.
13. O&W Rail Trail
Location: New York
Distance: 68.3 Miles
There are many entry points to this 68.3 miles trailhead, however, Kingston is the most popular option. Head south on US Route 209, cross the bridge that goes over Esopus Creek and you’ll reach the trailhead on the left.
This trail is ideal for mountain biking because the first two miles are asphalt, however, it gets rough after that. A new bridge has been made that goes over Rest Plaus Road, you’ll come across streams, hills, bridges, and wildlife along the journey.
Going on this trail in the morning is more fun and wise as the road can be a bit rough.
14. Independence Greenway
Distance: 4.6 Miles
The Independence Greenway runs 4.6 miles between Russell Street near the Ipswich River and the North Shore Mall on Route 128.
The trail is flat and smooth and perfect for beginners as there are only a few bumps on the road. The best part about this trail is its sheer quiet. You will be able to enjoy an excellent level of serenity here.
You will also come across two memorials which are dedicated to deceased veterans. This trail is a must to go if you are a peace lover.
Visiting the trail in the morning is a good decision as you’ll get to see birds, deer, and beautiful scenery.
15. Chehalis Western Trail
Distance: 21.2 Miles
From I-5 exit 109, go right on Martin Way and turn left towards College Street. After passing Lacey Blvd., go right on 14th Ave and you’ll reach the parking area where this 21.2 miles trail begins.
The trail is well maintained and you’ll come across a variety of scenery including an urban shopping center parking lot, golf course, river, lake, railroad tracks, and fir trees that run along the trail.
It’s usually not very crowded but weekends can often be busy.
16. Larkin State Park Trail
Distance: 10.3 Miles
The trailhead can be reached by taking Exit 16 and going left towards CT 188 S/Strongtown Road. It covers around 2.5 miles and you’ll see parking lot on the left. That’s where the trail begins from.
This is one of the most peaceful trails that you’ll come across in North America. It offers great views and natural canopy along the trail as you progress. The road might not be easy as there are bumps and rocks. Plus, it also gets slushy in between.
You can stop and enjoy wildlife as you may run into squirrels and butterflies here. It’s also perfect for summers as the trees provide good shade.
17. Black Diamond Trail
Location: New York
Distance: 8.44 Miles
The trail can be found at 1740 Taughannock Blvd. Trumansburg, NY 14886.
The name “Black Diamond” came from the old railroad on which this trail is built.
The trail offers a good pathway to reach all the way up to the top of Taughannock Falls from lake level.
The crushed stone surface is well maintained and you won’t feel hot even in the summer thanks to the hillside trees providing a shade. If you love biking and nature then this is your get-go.
The best time to go would be in the morning as there is a lot of nature-related stuff to see along the way.
18. Marblehead Rail Trail
Distance: 4 Miles
This trail is branched into two, Salem Spur (North) and Swampscott Spur (West) , and appears in the shape of a Y on the map. To get to this trail, go to Bessom Street and then left towards the Roundhouse Road. On the left is where the trail starts.
This 4-mile trail covers the coastal area and is a part of the developing 3000-mile trail that stretches from Florida to Maine.
The Salem Spur trail is paved and covered with dirt/gravel. It also gets very narrow as it inches towards the end so you will need to be careful.
Other than that, keep an eye on the manholes too that come occasionally. This trail is perfect for riders who want to go on a raw biking journey.
Avoid going during or after rain as the trail muddy. It takes about two weeks for the trail to get safe to ride again.
19. Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
Distance: 81.2 Miles
This trail can be accessed from 0.3 miles north of the intersection of Phelps Rd. and Quarry Rd.
It’s an ideal track for mountain bikers as the surface is asphalt. As for the scenery, it is mostly rural, you will see a few homes while crossing the streets.
This trail is a bit crowded on weekends and you will also encounter folks rollerblading on the track. All in all, nature freaks will love this 84-mile trail.
20. Charter Oak Greenway
Distance: 13.4 Miles
You can access this 13.4 mile trail from several points including Bushnell Park (Hartford) and Porter St. and Camp Meeting Road/CT 534 (Manchester).
If you are in search of a good riding experience then this trial can help. You will come across bridges and the surface of this trail is mostly asphalt so you won’t have to worry about it being rough.
Due to it being between a noise vicinity, peace is a luxury on this trail. You can opt to come at nights if you want a peaceful riding experience. The lights are not too bad.
21. Padilla Bay Shore Trail
Distance: 2.2 Miles
This 2.2 miles trail is quite easy to reach. All you need to do is get to Bayview Edison Rd. near 2nd St, 1 mile north of Memorial Highway.
Nature enthusiasts who happen to be biking lovers should not miss this trail. It offers the sights of blue herons, peregrine falcons, snowy owls, and several other kinds of birds along the trail. You will also catch glimpses of rural landscapes as you venture onto this trail.
It’s better to go in the daytime so that you can enjoy the natural elements this trail has to offer.
22. Erie Canalway Trail
Location: New York
Distance: 285 Miles
This is one of the longest trails in New York with 285 miles to explore. You can access the trail from two points, Erie Street and Lakefront Boulevard (Buffalo) and Broadway (Albany).
The trail is a combination of asphalt, crushed stone, and concrete, therefore, you will experience a smooth and fun ride on your bike. Moreover, it offers many things to witness such as towns, lakes, restaurants etc.
You can also go for a multi-day trip on this trail as there are many hotels along the way.
The trail is in good condition and ideal for both day and night time riding.
23. Auburn Trail
Location: New York
Distance: 9.3 Miles
This trail can be accessed from two entry points, namely, Woolston Rd. at Railroad Mills Rd. (Victor) and Mertensia Rd. at Fawn Meadow St. (Farmington).
It’s a well-maintained trail that offers multiple creeks and historical artwork along the path since it was abandoned in 1960. There are many wooden sections along the way that make the riding experience more beautiful.
If you love exploring history then the historical elements added on the trail will intrigue your interest and would make your experience worthwhile.
The best time to go is in daytime when light conditions are good.
24. Cheshire Rail Trail
Location: New Hampshire
Distance: 33 Miles
You can access this 33 miles trail from Bellows Road/SR 12 at Bookseller Road (Walpole) and NH–MA state line just east of McAllister Road and State Line Cir. (Fitzwilliam).
The path contains a mix of everything including sand, dirt, gravel, cinder, asphalt etc. So expect a moderate yet fun ride on this trail.
The best thing about this trail is the view of Monadnock from the Rockwood Pond.
25. Moose Valley State Park Trail
Distance: 6.7 Miles
This trail is located at Main St. (Moosup) and CT/RI Border. The surface is a mix of ballast, crushed stone, dirt, grass, gravel, and sand. Therefore, make sure that you have a good mountain bike that can handle the terrain.
It is quite rough and bumpy, however, it’s worth it due to trees and graffiti it offers along the way. Visit the trail in the day to have fun.
These 25 mountain bike trails in North America are not to be missed if you love biking. They offer amazing views and a good overall experience.