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Bike Destinations in US

Old 04-04-21, 08:32 AM
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wooljersey
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Bike Destinations in US

My wife and I are 60 years old and we are looking for some destinations where we could spend a 3days to a week cycling. I used to race but my wife came to biking later in life. We are looking for places with multiple ride possibilities. My wife does not like to ride on the road and only enjoys moderate hills. Urban bike paths or Rails to Trails would be perfect. We typically only ride 20-40 miles at a time. When we travel by car we take both road and mountain bikes. Our road bikes have S&S couplers so we take them when we travel by air.

We especially love riding in Minneapolis, the SF Bay area and have enjoyed Louisville, Kentucky. This week we will be passing nearby on the interstate so we are going to spend a day riding in Morgantown, WV (looks like this would be a possible destination for a longer trip). Because of Covid we are looking for destinations in the lower 48.

BTW, we live in Iowa and Des Moines has a world class paved trail system.

When Covid is over, Toronto, CA and Strasbourg, France are on the list.

I would love to hear your suggestions or trip reports.
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Old 04-04-21, 09:40 AM
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We just did a 30 mile ride Red Canyon trail leading into Bryce Canyon National Park yesterday, on a bike path. In Zion National park we did a bike and hike. St George Utah has a great trail system. We are on the road going from place to place, hiking and biking.

There are a lot of places that could meet your criteria. Your not too far from N. Michigan. with some long trails and even if you end up on roads in that area are lightly traveled. Montreal to Quebec was mostly trails. Edenborough to Copenhagen was mostly trails. Check out the Katy trail and C&O/GAP. Those are the ones that come to mind right now. Got to go now. On our way to a hike in Bryce Canyon.

Good luck.
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Old 04-04-21, 09:47 AM
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For networks of urban trails and paths, Minneapolis is hard to beat, but I see it's already on your list.
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Old 04-04-21, 10:34 AM
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You can ride the Natchez Trace Parkway from just southeast of Nashville TN to Natchez MS. About 444 miles of mostly nice road. Not too many cars except around the larger cities it passes. Bed & Breakfast's and hotels just off of it along the way.

https://www.scenictrace.com/what-to-do/bicycling/

https://www.natcheztracetravel.com/b...the-trace.html

If you start at the Nashville end and go to Natchez, you'll be going ever so slightly down hill the majority of the time.

Of course you need to pre-plan and check accommodations. I've no idea what COVID may have done to B&B's and other places along the way.


For a rails to trails, there is https://tanglefoottrail.com/

I have not had a chance to ride that yet.

Last edited by Iride01; 04-04-21 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 04-04-21, 11:09 AM
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Olympic Discovery Trail -- Olympic Peninsula, Washington State.
Lots of other outdoors things to do, too.



Ferry to Victoria, CA with riding options there.
Hike in the Olympic Mountains.
Kayak the lakes.
Hot springs to soak.
Nature.
edit: July & Aug for dry months. June can be iffy and after the 1st week of Sept it gets rainy.
Personally, having biked most of the Katy in MO and much of the Natchez Trace in TN,AL,MS - I find them boring. and often way too hot to enjoy.

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Old 04-04-21, 11:35 AM
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Spokane WA has a decent set of bike trails and combined with Coeur 'd Alene, ID (Trail of the C'dA) offers some mighty scenic areas.
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Old 04-04-21, 11:40 AM
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The Monterey Bay area of central California has great riding and much to do, but not sure about the extent of trails. Been a long time since I lived there.
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Old 04-04-21, 11:58 AM
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Check into the East Coast Greenway and the trail through the Laurentians in Quebec.

Is there a Blue ridge Trail that can be biked?

I'm thinking about some scenic rides, too, but my wife doesn't ride. I expect to go someplace and set up in a motel. I'll ride; my wife will read, soak up sun, and possibly drive from one spot to another.

There's a 'Touring' forum on BF, too, with knowledgeable people.
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Old 04-04-21, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Olympic Discovery Trail -- Olympic Peninsula, Washington State.
Lots of other outdoors things to do, too.



Ferry to Victoria, CA with riding options there.
Hike in the Olympic Mountains.
Kayak the lakes.
Hot springs to soak.
Nature..
The area is indeed beautiful and very green for a reason. The Olympic area is designated as a rain forest. If you do this, get fenders and full rain gear because in Wa, you never know unless you are extremely lucky.

I would suggest circumnavigating the big island of Hawaii. You hit multiple climate and natural zones from tropical to desert and everything in between. Itís on my bucket list.
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Old 04-04-21, 07:20 PM
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Here are some I’m aware of and have either ridden or seen others from 50+ ride.

I’ve heard there’s an extensive paved system around Denver, CO.

Glenwood Springs, CO has a couple that would make a perfect 2 day outing. In fact we rode those at a 50+ Forum Group Ride several years ago.

There’s a number of long paved trails just above Tampa, FL. I think they are the Sun Coast and Withalochee (sp).

The Silver Comet/Chief Ladiga Trail is 100 miles long and runs between Smyrna, GA and Anniston, AL. There are several places where you could overnight and do out and back rides. It’s pretty flat except for about a 10 mile stretch.

I rode The Natchez Parkway last October and it felt pretty safe. It is pretty hilly on the Nashville end, but not bad for an experienced rider.Traffic can be busy around Jackson.

There are some paved trails around DC/Faifax.

Raleigh, NC has some good ones like the Tobacco Trail.

There are a lot of paved trails in and around Chicago but it feels really urban....

I hope this helps.
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Old 04-07-21, 10:31 AM
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Since you mentioned being in West Virginia, you may want to consider portions of the Ohio to Erie Trail in Ohio. The only section I've ridden so far, though, is the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath through Cuyahoga Valley National Park to northern Akron. That's my favorite ride in the area, but it gets quite crowded.

And while perhaps too obvious I'm hoping to ride the Great Allegheny passage from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Md. sometime this year.
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Old 04-08-21, 06:41 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by wooljersey View Post
My wife does not like to ride on the road and only enjoys moderate hills. Urban bike paths or Rails to Trails would be perfect. .
Tucson AZ has a 100 mile network of MUP called "The Loop" that is gorgeous, nicely-paved and well-maintained, mostly flat, and wide enough that it seems able to accommodate casual toodlers and diehard roadies trying to get their workout simultaneously. That's not a typo: one hundred miles.

The MUP around Quebec City in Canada is pretty nice too.

Frankly, the west side bike path (aka "The Greenway") in Manhattan (NYC) is surprisingly luxuriant as MUPs go, and if you rode it end to end from Inwood to Battery Park City and back you'd be clocking more than half of your 40 mile daily max. Just don't expect the luxury to continue if you swing around to the east side. Or the pavement even.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:00 AM
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Assuming you would drive, perhaps use Wallace, ID as a base. From there you could to an out and back west on the C'dA Trail. Heading east takes you to the NorPac Trail (short stretch of little-traffic road riding to connect the two), which takes you up to Lookout Pass, at the border with MT. A short drive from Wallace (about 14 miles) takes you to the East Portal Trailhead of the outstanding Route of the Hiawatha Trail, with its tunnels and high trestles. You can ride that west and then back east (about 15 miles each way) or ride west (down hill) to the Pearson Trailhead and catch the shuttle most of the way back. (A good light is required for the 1.66 mile, unlit St. Paul Pass Tunnel.) From East Portal you could also head east and back west on the same former railroad right-of way. That portion is called the Olympian Trail. Between road and mountain bikes, the latter would be more suitable.

Again with a car, another option is the Mickelson Trail in SD. You could stay a night each in Deadwood, Hill City, Custer and Edgemont and do out and back rides each day. All have lodging and places to east. although Edgemont is relatively closed on Sundays. (Mt. Rushmore is a relatively short drive from Hill City.) Again, mountain bike would be best.
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Old 04-08-21, 01:33 PM
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Bike wisconsin

Here you go...........

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/arti...trails-project

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/mult...e-trail-201939

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/mult...e-trail-204349

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/thin...n-road-touring



ENJOY!

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Old 04-09-21, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wooljersey View Post
My wife and I are 60 years old and we are looking for some destinations where we could spend a 3days to a week cycling. I used to race but my wife came to biking later in life. We are looking for places with multiple ride possibilities. My wife does not like to ride on the road and only enjoys moderate hills. Urban bike paths or Rails to Trails would be perfect. We typically only ride 20-40 miles at a time. When we travel by car we take both road and mountain bikes. Our road bikes have S&S couplers so we take them when we travel by air.

We especially love riding in Minneapolis, the SF Bay area and have enjoyed Louisville, Kentucky. This week we will be passing nearby on the interstate so we are going to spend a day riding in Morgantown, WV (looks like this would be a possible destination for a longer trip). Because of Covid we are looking for destinations in the lower 48.

BTW, we live in Iowa and Des Moines has a world class paved trail system.

When Covid is over, Toronto, CA and Strasbourg, France are on the list.

I would love to hear your suggestions or trip reports.
'

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/thin...oor-fun/biking

There`s also some nice road along The Great River Road.
https://www.wigrr.com/travel-the-byw...ies/bicycling/


Here you go...........

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/arti...trails-project

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/mult...e-trail-201939

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/mult...e-trail-204349

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/thin...n-road-touring



ENJOY!
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Old 04-10-21, 06:00 PM
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For a day trip, make a run up here to Okoboji, Spirit Lake. Nice 20 to 50 mile trails around the lakes.
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Old 04-11-21, 08:23 AM
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Ohio has an extensive network of rail trails. Since you will probably be passing through going to/from West Virginia you might want to check them out.

https://ohiobikeways.net
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Old 04-11-21, 09:30 AM
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Iím not sure that I could be in more agreement with roadsnakesí suggestion to consider the multitude of cycling opportunities available in Wisconsin! As a Wisconsin resident, Iíll admit to being a bit biased tho. While Iím sure that many states have wonderful cycling opportunities, a definite advantage for the OP to consider Wisconsin would be proximity! Central Wisconsin is easily within a dayís drive from Des Moines with numerous cycling opportunities closer still in the South West region of Wisconsin. Even at the height of the Summer tourist season, once away from the major tourist attractions (Wisconsin Dells, Door County) and the larger cities (Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay), cyclists will frequently find themselves pretty much alone on the trails and county roads! Discover Wisconsin! You wonít be disappointed .
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Old 04-11-21, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wooljersey View Post
My wife and I are 60 years old ...
Sounds a lot like us. We like Muskegon, Michigan and Xenia, Ohio.
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Old 04-11-21, 01:30 PM
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I was going to suggest Xenia, OH if you'd like multiple day rides from a central location. You can do out-and-back rides the same day, or carry an overnight bag and hotel at turnaround towns.

For a different climate option, significant parts of the route down the Florida Keys have adjacent bike paths. You could work your way down to Key West by driving sections and doing out-and- back day rides in the bikeable parts. The one time I rode the keys, it was in January. I left single-digit temps in Indiana and and enjoyed upper 70's to lower 80's from Miami down to Key West.

The GAP is fantastic, with plenty camping options, and hotels off the trail a bit. The C&O canal towpath is wonderful as well, though being dirt it can be a muddy mess.
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Old 04-12-21, 05:29 AM
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With Wisconsin mentioned..

You might consider the 4 Trail Tour. It's only 100 miles, but very scenic, all rail-trails(I think the Sparta-Elroy was the first rail trail conversion..if memory serves). It includes The Great River Trail, LaCrosse Trail, Sparta-Elroy Trail, The 400 State Trail. Starts at the north end in Trempealeau Wildlife Refuge(nice ride in there too) and ends in Reedsburg, WI. Also nice town-campground about mid-Sparta Elroy Trail in Wilton..every Sunday they put on a pancake breakfast next to the campground..good shower too..and swimming pool. The Sparta-Elroy did have some severe storm damage a couple years back..they're nearly done with the repairs.
Bike 4 Trails
https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/elroysparta

There's a shuttle available in Sparta..Speed's Bike Shop I think.

I imagine Door Dounty has been mentioned already.
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Old 04-16-21, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by wooljersey View Post
My wife and I are 60 years old and we are looking for some destinations where we could spend a 3days to a week cycling. I used to race but my wife came to biking later in life. We are looking for places with multiple ride possibilities. My wife does not like to ride on the road and only enjoys moderate hills. Urban bike paths or Rails to Trails would be perfect. We typically only ride 20-40 miles at a time. When we travel by car we take both road and mountain bikes. Our road bikes have S&S couplers so we take them when we travel by air.

We especially love riding in Minneapolis, the SF Bay area and have enjoyed Louisville, Kentucky. This week we will be passing nearby on the interstate so we are going to spend a day riding in Morgantown, WV (looks like this would be a possible destination for a longer trip). Because of Covid we are looking for destinations in the lower 48.

BTW, we live in Iowa and Des Moines has a world class paved trail system.

When Covid is over, Toronto, CA and Strasbourg, France are on the list.

I would love to hear your suggestions or trip reports.
Well I grew up not far from Morgantown! You will be going either up or down. Very hilly. West Virginia has little flat areas. Depending on where you are staying or visiting, if you go just a bit north into Pa, like 10 miles to the border, Greene County is desolate and has a lot of country roads. That means no crowds. The Morgantown area though is a bit crowded due to WVU.

Now I don't live in that area any longer but instead live down south. You cannot beat the Blue Ridge Parkway for riding. It is a road but the speed limit is only 40 and there are not a lot of cars. Some parts are very hilly but there are sections that are made up of rollers. You are riding a ridge and so the views are tremendous. You could also visit Asheville which is right on the Parkway and then take in the Biltmore. There is lots of good riding in and around Asheville but some of it can be very hilly.

The parkway built for cars has become more of a cycling road of some odd 350 miles. You should be able to find some good areas that are not to tough. The southern end down by Asheville is a lot harder than the northern part. Still a fantastic ride.

john
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Old 04-16-21, 03:16 PM
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Next time you are in the Bay area, you can drive up to Sacramento, and check out the American River trail. It can get pretty busy with pedestrians at time and in sections though. If people fallow the signs, they have the walkers on the left side, so the ones going your direction are not blocking you, and the ones walking towards you are on your side are facing you. If memory serves me, if you go the whole way from Folsom Lake to the Sacramento River, it is about 50-60 mile round trip. there is some pretty nice scenery along the river.
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Old 04-16-21, 07:27 PM
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I'm a big fan of Acadia National Park in Maine. The Park Loop Road with a side spur up Cadillac Mountain offer wonderful ocean views. I get out very early when there's very little traffic on the road and it's just glorious. If your wife isn't comfortable with that, Acadia has an extensive network of gravel carriage roads. These roads are car-free, generally not very hilly and the gravel isn't too sketchy if you don't have wide tires. I love the cycling there - mile for mile some of the best cycling in the Northeast IMO.
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Old 04-17-21, 10:33 PM
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In the spring there are a couple short(ish) drives from Des Moines with great bike trails - Bentonville/Fayetteville Ark has a great bike trail and would be about a 6 hour drive. Tulsa has enough trails to keep you busy for 3 days and is also about a 6 hour drive. Mississippi with the Natchez Trace would be a little farther but probably worth the drive. (I've never been to the Natchez Trace in Mississippi but it's on my bucket list).
In the summer, as long as you are OK with limestone trails look no further than the surrounding states. Plenty of trails you can ride for days. Katy Trail in Missouri, Cowboy Trail in Nebraska, Mickelson trail in SD, Sparta Trail in Wisconsin. Also, you mentioned Minneapolis but the best trail in Minnesota is easily the Root River trail in the southeastern part of the state.
Living in Minnesota I may be spoiled with the trail miles available but as a native Iowan and veteran of many of Des Moines area trails I tell everyone that will listen that Des Moines has the best and highest quality trails in the Midwest.
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