Originally Posted by cactuss
I ride the Banks-Vernonia Trail at least once a year. I'd do it more often, but it's on the other side of Portland. Plenty of nice riding close by.
If you're in Spokane, how can you not mention the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes? I've ridden it from Wallace to Plummer and I thought it was superb.
Just watch out for the moose:
Trail 100 in Phoenix, AZ. There's a trailhead only about 4 miles from Mom's house so a quick road ride over to the trail. Cuts right through town. Usually not too crowded, mostly easy single track with a couple of challenging sections. Perfect trail for riding old rigid MTBs.
Trail of the Coeur d' Alene's is a grrreat trail but I haven't ridden all of it, so I couldn't evaluate it. Maybe we should change the Thread Title to WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TOP TEN TRAILS TO RIDE. ?
When it's not crowded there is a local trail I like around the airport, can see some cool stuff. We were on it last year, and got buzzed by a B17. Last week it was a B29. It also has a very nice connection to another trail which itself is forgettable, but the connection has a fun downhill. They connected it to the Ohio River trail and we're getting closer to a connection to the 70 mile Little Miami Trail, which will be very cool.
I wish we has some of the scenery from those pictures though...
Madison County, Illinois (near St Louis). It's not one trail but a network of mostly hard paved rail-trail conversions.
This is coming from a guy who lives just 2 downhill miles from the Katy Trail.
Thanks for posting the pic's !
OK, maybe I'm a bit of a cynic, but after a brief survey it appears that for many people their favorite trail is the one closest to home. I guess that does make sense, though.
Of the 3 I posted, only one is relatively close to where I live ... the Australian one. The closest part of it is about 150 km away. As much as I'd like to, I don't live in France or Switzerland where the other two trails are located. :)
Originally Posted by tcarl
And that Australian one is not the closest rail trail to where I live. There's a 170+ km rail trail that comes right through my town. It's OK, but it doesn't rank in my top 3.
The Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34 mile crushed stone surface rail trail. Check the profile at ridewithgps. The grade hits 3% at times, unusual for a rail trail ( this was one of the steepest rail lines in the country)
The 18 mile second half, from Damascus VA to the end, is just about all uphill. There are bike shuttle services to get to the top and coast most of the way down, but what's the fun in that? The route follows a mountain stream, so there's lots of bridge crossings, white water, mountain views, forest and rhododendrons.
Cheap camera photos from 2005:
Bridge number 46
I've been riding the Erie Canal Trail lately. It's a mix of paved trails (closer to towns - great for sprint training) and stone dust (great for the off-road feel), lots of nature and history for ~400 miles across New York State.
I like the Salt Creek Trail. It runs from Busse Woods (mentioned before above) and goes all the way through the western suburbs to Brookfield Zoo. It also intersects with the Prairie Path and the Great Western Trail. It has some tricky road crossings, but it's beautiful. Bemis Woods is a highlight.
With my new BD Motobecane Fat bike coming this May I may find new Trails to explore manly in the Winter months. Will be posting pic's of my new Fat Bike trails this Summer.
Elroy to Sparta, Wi. It's about 30 miles of crushed limestone rail-trail. The thing that makes it interesting is the ups and downs. Whichever end you start at, you start with a 3% (I think) climb. 3% is just the right amount that your eyes are telling you the trail is flat but your legs are saying "No it isn't." After about 5 miles of that you walk through a tunnel (unless you have a really good light), and then you coast for roughly 5 miles. You do that 3 times.
One of my favorites also. Yes, the grades can be very deceiving, on one stretch coming out of Norwalk toward Sparta I actually thought I was going downhill and thought I had a low tire. When I stopped to check it I realized I was going uphill. Beautiful country and the towns along the trail really cater to cyclists. Haven't been for several years but I hope to make it again.
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
FYA, see this previous similar thread on the Fifty-Plus Forum, Top urban bikepaths across the USA.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Erie canal path through Wayne and Monroe county here in NY state. Lots of miles on that over the years.
Here is a pic of my SingleSpeed parked along a tree from its maiden voyage on the path. That was a fun day!
The Summit County recpath on the way to Vail Pass. Rules. It rules.
The Mid-Town Greenway in Mpls.
There are too many to have a single favorite. By far the coolest one I've ever ridden is the Colchesters Causeway Park . You ride across the opening of Mallett's Bay on Lake Champlain. For a large section of it you are in the middle of a lake!
Best one in Colorado so far is the Rio Grande Trail from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. Ride the bus from Glenwood to Aspen and then enjoy 40 miles of (fast) downhill.
If I had a favorite trail it would be in large part because it was not overrun by people and I'd be hesitant to talk about it.
That said if one has Kids I'd suggest the trail on the West Fork of the San Gabriel River. 7.2 miles (unless you are a total animal). The really cool part for doing this with kids or other beginner possibly unfit riders is that it follows the river 'uphill'. But uphill is not enough to make it hard work, barely noticeable except for a few hundred years, but very noticeable if you are spent and going back.
Oh one huge warning. The bathrooms at the trailhead are the pitts, both literally and figuratively. Also the first few hundred yards of the trail are often badly littered. With kids that can be used as a teaching opportunity.
If one finishes and wants more you can drive back down to where the road splits for the East Fork and take that road to Shoemaker Canyon Road and follow it to the end and then ride what looks like a fire road. It is not, it was the attempt to a road out for emergency escape from L.A. One caution, do NOT fly through the tunnels. It has been a long long time and I'm pretty sure there are 2 tunnels, but I'm positive after the last tunnel the road ends very abruptly.
Fantastic thread. I was just hunting around the net for bike trails as that's what I want to do on the weekends when I have time, head out and explore the bike trails around my area of W. PA.
That said, I live near Emlenton and Foxburg PA which has the Allegheny River Rails to Trails. The 6 miles between the 2 towns is not paved, but is perfectly passable. It's just not a main part of the trail yet. If I don't have a lot of time, I stop in Foxburg and ride the 2.5 miles south to Parker and back as hard as I can. It is flat and has 1 bridge that crosses over the Clarion River. This section is so flat that I think it is downhill both ways.
My normal daily route is to go beyond Foxburg to Emlenton where the trail follows the river for I think 32 miles up to Franklin, PA. So far because of how slow my junk bike is, I typically ride 6 miles out where there is a tunnel which feels so nice when it's 90° out. I turn around and head back after going through the tunnel.
On weekends I can take a bit longer of a ride. My rear end can't handle much more than about an hour and a half, so I go about another 3 miles beyond the tunnel for the turn-around. That puts me past some nice camps and river homes along the river. That gets me about 18 miles in.
Thus far, 25 miles has been my longest ride and that took me out to the 2nd tunnel and back. The 2nd tunnel is curved and when you get into the middle, you can't see your hand if you're touching your nose. Lights are an absolute must have as you are in the middle and have no light from either end. It's really neat. I love the tunnels. This trail at least the short section I ride seems to be an imperceptible incline as you go upriver. On my cheap mountain bike I am generally cruising along about 14 mph on the way up and then cruising a steady 15-16 mph on the way back.
The other trail that I've ridden and that I like is Sandy Creek trail. It crosses the Allegheny River trail maybe 15 miles or so up river. I start on the other side of the Allegheny to cross on the Belmar bridge. Really cool crossing the Allegheny that high up. The trail is a pretty steady and easy 2% (I think) grade for 8 miles until it crosses a major road and I didn't realize it continued. Sandy Creek snakes around quite a bit so you have several small bridges that crosses the creek. I had a blast turning around then flying the 8 miles back with a steady 2% downhill. I started at the Belmar bridge which isn't the very beginning of the trail. I think there's another 3-5 miles worth of trail before you reach the river and the bridge if you start at the beginning. That was my first longer than 8-12 miles ride and I wish I started at the very beginning as I was itching to ride more.
I have two within driving distance of my house for a day trip.
Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail 26 miles of crushed stone. There are precisely 2 places between the end points where you see cars. A road near the north end, and the trail head near the middle of the trail where there is a small parking lot. It follows the Lehigh river between White Havan and Jim Thorpe in Pennsylvania.
Pine Creek Rail Trail follows Pine Creek from Wellsboro to Jersey Shore in Pennsylvania. It is about 60 miles long, and goes through areas that see few people other than summer vacationers.
Both of these trails are long enough between pedestrian entry points that you don't have many pedestrians to worry about, and I haven't seen very many cyclists the few times I have ridden sections of it.
I have seen other trails in this thread that I will definitely be checking out if I get to the right parts of the country.
A little more about the Minuteman Bikeway in Eastern Massachusetts. Yes, the Easter Parade phenomenon is real enough at times, lots of pedestrians, runners, skaters, baby carriages, dog walkers, cyclists of all ages, abilities, and velocities, along with an occasional llama walker and elliptigo pilot thrown into the mix. And the Craig's List rant is a keeper. But somehow, it all works, at all hours, in all seasons and all weather. The demographics shift by the day and hour, and, at times, serenity and solitude rule; at other times, it's a surprisingly vibrant civic commons. And, of course, it's a genuinely useful daily commuter route for many.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Here's a sample in pictures.