Rob Hainer/shutterstockAlabama is not known to be bike-friendly, and, in fact, ranked at the bottom of the annual rankings released by the League of American Bicyclists. But in the past few years, the city of Auburn has made a concerted effort to improve this, by constructing 25 miles of bike paths and an additional seven miles of multi-use paved paths. The City of Auburn champions their efforts through Bicycle Auburn, offering group bike rides through downtown and along the bike paths on a variety of routes for all experience levels. Further outside of the city, the Chief Ladiga Trail, a paved path that extends to the Georgia Border and links up with the Silver Comet Trail there, provides a beautiful rural biking experience through the green Alabama countryside. Here are some other facts about each of the 50 states you should know.
Rocky Grimes/shutterstockWhile bicycling in downtown Anchorage is a great way to see the city in the warmer months, the highlights of cycling in this Alaska city sit just beyond the center of town: the Alyeska Bike Park, Seward Highway, and the bike-friendly Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, an 11-mile multi use paved path starting in downtown Anchorage. There are a number of bike rental shops close to the Coastal Trail, where moose and bear sightings are common. Past travelers recommend mosquito repellent for the ride; here are some tips for keeping the suckers at bay.
Chris Rubino/shutterstockSince cycling is possible year-round in this desert state, its little surprise that Tucson has more than 700 miles of bike paths and bike ways. Enjoy stunning vistas, observe the flora and fauna of the desert, and get a solid workout in the heat on The Loop, a 131-mile multi use path that encircles downtown Tucson and extends to the northwest. A number of bike shops in town offer mountain biking tours for single or multi-day excursions further afield. (Here are some off-the-beaten path national parks you might also want to check out.)
Arkansas: Little Rock
Henryk Sadura/shutterstockThe Arkansas River Trail System runs right through the capital city, following an 88-mile loop through Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle, and Conway. The bike-friendly trail passes a number of Little Rock's landmarks, including the Big Rock Quarry and the Clinton Presidential Library. Bobby's Bike Hike in Little Rock offers themed tours, like their Pork & Bourbon Bicycle Tour and Bobby's Tike Hike for families with kids in tow. Have you checked out some of the best free tourist attractions in each state?
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AlessandraRC/shutterstockAs far as California cities go, Davis isn't the largest in regard to population, but it was the first city in the U.S. to implement bike lanes. Cyclists can ride Davis Bike Loop on a tour of the city, or stop by the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame for a comprehensive history of cycling in the U.S. According to Outside Magazine, approximately 17 percent of residents commute by bike, and bicycle repair stations and tire pumps are readily available to the public.
Jeff Zehnder/shutterstockThe city of Boulder is fully committed to safe bike commuting and tourism, as evidenced by the efforts that the city infrastructure has gone to in order to keep cyclists safe. Bike-safe drain covers and signage dot the city, while B-cycle bike share allows tourists and locals to rent bikes from a number of locations for short jaunts. For longer excursions, the city is bisected by The Boulder Creek Path. The 7-mile path runs down from Boulder Canyon into downtown to the east, ending in a residential neighborhood. Further afield, mountain biking in the White River National Forest is the sport of choice, where cyclists can enjoy trails that, in the winter, are ski destination favorites. (Did you know biking can help you learn a language faster?)
Connecticut: New Haven
Jon Bilous/shutterstockNew Haven is the terminus for the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and Farmington River Trail, a 57-mile trail (82 miles including the Massachusetts portion) that includes 26-miles of paths along a registered National Scenic Waterway. The trail passes 19th-century mills, waterfalls, ponds, and farmland. Inside the New Haven city limits, bright green paint denotes cycling lanes built over the past few years, which safely guide bicyclists around the city. Take a tour of Yale University, rated one of the best free tourist attractions in the country, and avoid the congestion of downtown rush hour by opting for two wheels.
Jon Bilous/shutterstockThe entire state of Delaware is in the process of increasing bike access throughout the state through the efforts of Bike Delaware. The Delaware Bicycle Plan lays out a number of new shared use and bike paths through much of the state, including the city of Wilmington, which is undergoing efforts to more than double its existing greenway infrastructure since 2008, and creating bike paths on roads to connect both the greenways and major points of interest within the city together. Jump on the East Coast Greenway, which runs from Maine to Florida, 43 miles of which pass through Delaware, including Wilmington. The route through Wilmington ends at the Christina Riverwalk before continuing on road for a small portion. The Riverwalk is a great walking path, dotted with opportunities to sit on a bench and take in the view, or pop into a local place for a bite to eat. Inside of the city, bike destination highlights include Brandywine Park, home to the Brandywine Zoo, Baynard Stadium, and the Josephine Fountain, Becks Pond which has picnic areas, grills, and a public playground, and Banning Park, with a variety of sports fields and wooded areas for exploring. Looking for something to read when you take a break from all your travels? Here's the most iconic book set in every state.
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District of Columbia: Washington
Sean Pavone/shutterstockFamous for traffic and a metro that regularly falls behind schedule, Washington D.C. has become a bike-commuting and touring mecca. Capital Bikeshare provides short-term rentals, while the bike shops that dot the city provide longer-term options. The go-to bike highlights are the paths that encircle and criss-cross the National Mall, allowing cyclists to ride from historic monument to monument, from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capital building. For a more nature-focused route, head to the Capital Crescent Trail, which starts in Georgetown and runs all the way to Silver Spring, Maryland. The former railway runs 11 miles through some of DC's most beautiful nature, including the C&O Canal and the Potomac River. Here are 18 wacky facts you didn't know about Washington D.C.
Brian Lasenby/shutterstockThe University of Florida is an extremely bike-friendly campus, with its own greenway running through the campus, but the main bicycling draw of this central Florida city is the Gainesville-Hawthorne state Trail, a rail trail that boasts 10-foot wide paved paths and tons of Florida wildlife and nature. The trail runs from Gainesville along 16.5 miles to the rural town of Hawthorne—a good round trip for one day—where cyclists can expect to see not only the standard Florida fauna of alligators and turtles but also wild horses and bison in the Paynes Prairie State Preserve.
f11photo/shutterstockAsk any Atlanta cyclist where they'll be spending their time on the weekend, and they'll likely answer the Silver Comet Trail. The 61.5-mile concrete path connects the Smyrna, Georgia, just to the north of Atlanta, to the Chief Ladiga trail at the Georgia-Alabama state line. It's named for the "Silver Comet" passenger train line that operated from 1947 to 1969 on the same pathway, now converted to bike and foot traffic. The Stone Mountain Bike Trail, which starts at Atlanta's Olympic Park, following nearly four miles of downtown Atlanta roads before joining the Freedom Parkway Trail and heading out towards Stone Mountain. The trail connects downtown Atlanta to the Martin Luther King Historic site, the Carter Center, Fernbank History Center, downtown Decatur, Stone Mountain Village, and Stone Mountain Memorial Park.
SvetlanaSF/shutterstockWhile there aren't any cities in Hawaii to designate as specifically "bike-friendly," due to a very car-centric culture, the city of Honolulu has been making significant strides recently in creating protected bike lanes. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell implemented initiatives to help spur on the process, including the construction of a protected bike lane on King Street and a city-wide bike share program. According to hawaiibusiness.com, since the city debuted the King Street protected bike path in December 2014, ridership on the Honolulu street has increased 78 percent. The western part of the city is most bike-friendly, while the area down by Waikiki boasts some of the most stunning views, with more challenging biking conditions. Be aware of traffic, know the rules of the road, and always wear a helmet. Inspired to take a Hawaiian vacation? Here's what you need to know before booking your Hawaii trip.
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Charles Knowles/shutterstockThe 25-mile Boise River Greenbelt is a tree-lined riverside bike path through the heart of the city. Named the greenbelt for its ability to link the city's green spaces and parks together in a continuous path, this bike way provides a great off-road alternative for commuters and leisure cyclists alike along the Boise River. Local cycling club Lactic Acid Cycling hosts group rides of varying difficulties four times a week, and the Boise Area Mountain Bike Association helps maintain and support off-road and mountain biking trails at Eagle Bike Park just northwest of the city. The nearby Sawtooth Mountains provide an intense hill challenge for anyone looking for a climb.
buonarrotidesig/shutterstockDespite its sometimes severe winter weather, in the warmer months, the windy city provides plenty of opportunities for bike-friendly exploration. According to the city's official website, Chicago has more than 200 miles of on-street protected, buffered and shared bike lanes, many miles of off-street paths (including the 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail), more than 13,000 bike racks, and sheltered, high-capacity, bike parking areas at Chicago Transit Authority stations. The Lakefront Trail is the highlight—the paved, tree-lined, multi-use path winds along the western shore of Lake Illinois, with the city on one side and the water on the other. The Trail is 18-miles long one way and connects three state parks and many of the city's beaches. Be sure to stop by one of the Black Dog Gelato locations, ranked the best ice cream shop in the U.S.
Rudy Balasko/shutterstockFor visitors to Indianapolis, the Indiana Pacers aren't just a basketball team—it's also the name given to the bike share program that is part of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail that provides more than 250 bikes divided among 29 stations around the city with rentals available on daily, weekly or monthly passes. The trail itself is an 8-mile brick-paved multi-use bike path that connects the city's major neighborhoods and passes by a number of museums and attractions, as well as many of the downtown hotels for easy access.
Iowa: Iowa City
JPDurkin/shutterstockThe six-mile Iowa River Corridor Trail links Iowa City's many parks and green spaces and extends beyond the city limits to provide cyclists with safe passage and commutes. The trail starts at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area and continues through a number of scenic, wooded parks, past the University of Iowa and ends in a suburb north of the city for a full tour. World of Bikes in Iowa City rents mountain, road, and hybrid bikes for daily and weekly rates for visitors.
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weerastudio/shutterstockIf you're looking to avoid hills during your biking, head to Lawrence, the hometown of the University of Kansas, the Lawrence Public Library (ranked one of the most impressive libraries in the country) and the Lawrence Loop which, when completed will extend a multi-use, paved path 22-miles through the city. The Lawrence Bicycle Club hosts a number of weekly rides, including a 35-mile Saturday "Muffin Ride" that takes riders of all abilities to nearby Lone Star Lake Park, then returns to the city for breakfast together. City government-maintained bike repair stations situated around the entire city give cyclists an opportunity for repairs on the go as an added convenience.
f11photo/shutterstockLouisville is home to the bicycle and pedestrian Big Four Bridge, which connects downtown Louisville with Jeffersonville, Indiana across the Ohio River. According to Bycycling.com, during the city's Wednesday evening summer concert series, hundreds of cyclists gather around the bridge to enjoy complimentary tunes and take advantage of bike parking from the Park Side bike shop. The unofficial Kentucky Bourbon Trail is also bike-friendly, taking riders along a road "trail" to three or six different distilleries.
Louisiana: New Orleans
Eric V Overton/shutterstockAdvocacy group Bike Easy has made the Big Easy more bike-friendly in recent years, with no plans to slow down their efforts. Following Hurricane Katrina, bike paths and bike lanes were a major part of roadway reconstruction, and in 2016 the city had more than 100-miles of bikeways available for cyclists. These efforts included building the the Lafitte Greenway, a 2.6-mile park connecting the French Quarter with City Park. According to the American Community Survey, New Orleans has the 10th highest percentage of people who cycle to work each day and in 2016 was named No. 19 out of 50 of the best bicycling cities in America by Bicycling.com. Get Up and Ride NOLA hosts a number of social events each week that include group rides and encourage cyclists to tap into New Orleans' spirit by decorating their bikes with flashing LED lights and bright decor, like the city's famous Mardi Gras celebration on wheels.
Maine: Bar Harbor
Joseph Sohm/shutterstockWhile Bar Harbor isn't large enough to technically be dubbed a city, its population balloons larger than many of the other cities on this list come summertime. This popular New England destination sees hundreds of cruise ships each summer and fall, with thousands more tourists arriving by plane and train. Bar Harbor itself is very bike-friendly, with many bicycle shops offering competitive prices for daily rentals. Cycling through the quaint downtown to lunch for a steamed lobster (a bucket list item in Maine!) or out to the city's Sand Beach is a great way to see the city. However, the true highlight is Bar Harbor's adjacent Acadia National Park, where 45-miles of multi use gravel carriage trails offer cyclists stunning scenery and natural wonders that only a National Park can offer. Complimentary buses, provided by L.L. Bean, ferry bicyclists from town into park entrances (also an easy ride from town) and from entry point-to-point.
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Maryland: Ocean City
Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstockBikes are welcome on Ocean City's historic boardwalk before 11 a.m. during the summer, so take advantage of the morning's cooler temperatures to ride along the seaside and enjoy the view. For a full day trip, head to nearby Assateague Island and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to observe wildlife, including the famous Chincoteague wild ponies and other seaside wildlife. For the more race-minded, nearby Salisbury University hosts an annual Seagull Century Ride, a 100-mile cycling tour of Maryland's Eastern Shore each fall.
Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/shutterstockWith more than ten institutes of higher learning, the streets of Cambridge are full of students commuting to and from class, work, and sports and social events, requiring the city to meet a high demand for bike-friendly options. Cambridge promotes the environmentally-friendly aspect of bicycling to its residents and visitors as well, by creating safe bike lanes and paths, and installing bike racks across the city. The lower speed limits on roads, compared to neighboring Boston, make touring Cambridge by bike more appealing. The Charles River Reservation is a 17-long bike path that links Cambridge to Boston, Watertown, and Newtown Massachusetts. Cyclists can enjoy a shaded ride along the banks of the Charles River, part of which was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same architect who designed New York City's Central Park and the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
Michigan: Grand Rapids
Henryk Sadura/shutterstockThe League of American Bicyclists named Grand Rapids a top "Bicycle-Friendly Community" in 2009 and was named "Best Town for Mountain Biking" in 2010 by Outside Magazine. With more than 100 miles of bikeways throughout the city, as well as city bikes equipped with bike racks for longer jaunts, the city continues to create a more bike-friendly environment for residents and visitors. The Grand River Edges Trail winds along the Grand River for 2.2 miles of multi use bike path before linking up to the Seward Avenue Bikeway downtown. Part of the trail traverses the original rapids for which the city was named, a must-see for visitors, and also passes the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Bridgewater Place, Fish Ladder Park, 6th Street Bridge Park, and the downtown campus of Grand Valley State University.
gmstockstudio/shutterstockThe abandoned railways of the city created a great opportunity for the construction of bike paths linking various areas of downtown Minneapolis together, and since the 1990's has transformed them into a network for cycling residents and visitors. The first of these to be constructed was the Cedar Lake Regional Trail, 4.5 miles of paved path that rides through parks and alongside lakes, with the skyline of Minneapolis in the background. In addition, Minneapolis installed Nice Ride, a rideshare system that according to bicycling.com offers more bikes per resident than any other major city in the U.S. Visiting in the winter? No problem for Minnesotans! The Midtown Greenway, which connects trails along the Mississippi River to the western suburbs of Minneapolis, is snow plowed. Being cycling-friendly is only one reason Minneapolis was named America's Fittest City in 2017.
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Sean Pavone/shutterstockBiloxi and the coastline are dotted with bike paths that run along the water, providing stunning views of the Mississippi Sound and the wildlife that calls it home. The Gulf Coast Bicycle Club hosts competitive and social cycling events throughout the year in Biloxi, including their monthly Circle the Bay ride which concludes at Biloxi's Tato Nut donut shop.
Nina B/shutterstockThe MKT Trail runs from north of downtown University of Missouri, directly through campus and continues to the southwest, providing an excellent three-lined thruway for cyclists and pedestrians with amenities like water fountains and bathrooms along the way. Downtown itself is crisscrossed with bike lanes suitable for even the most novice of city riders. Columbia is also surrounded by a number of notable mountain biking venues, including Rock Bridge Memorial State Park and the Rhett's Run Memorial mountain bike trail, both of which are less than ten miles outside of downtown Columbia.
MH Anderson Photography/shutterstockThis capital city is a hub for mountain bikers interesting in heading up into the surrounding mountains during warmer months. The Bike Helena Trail Rider bus transports cyclists and their bikes for free to the Mount Helena Ridge Trailhead and back to downtown from May to October. Bike Helena also offers a number of suggested routes accessible from the city for a variety of trail lengths and cycling abilities. In this Montana city, craft beer and biking go hand in hand, and cyclists often finish their rides with a cold brew at one of the city's many local breweries. (By the way, have you tried any of these must-try craft beers for all 50 states?)
Katherine Welles/shutterstockWith 164 miles of bike paths and trails, many of which in the city are converted railways, Lincoln is another Midwestern bike-friendly mecca. The Great Plains Trail Network consists of trails and bike paths linking downtown Lincoln and its suburbs. Lincoln's Jamaica North Trail turns into the 30-mile Homestead Trail just south of the city, along a former Union Pacific rail line, passing over a number of railway bridges and alongside the Homestead National Monument of America.
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Nevada: Carson City
Aneta Waberska/shutterstockLake Tahoe is the cornerstone for some of Nevada's most stunning cycling, but it's not the only feature. The Kit Carson trail is a historic walking path through the city, denoted by a painted blue line on the sidewalk, is also bikeable. It features stops at landmarks including 1800s-era Victorian-style homes, museums and churches—60 landmarks in total. More advanced riders can tackle the Kingsbury Grade, climbing to Lake Tahoe for some stunning views.
New Hampshire: Keene
Gunnar Rathbun/shutterstockFamily-friendly cycling options abound in this small city in the southwest corner of New Hampshire, equidistant from Vermont and Massachusetts. Five multi-use trails and bike paths connect downtown Keene with the surrounding lush forests. The Ashuelot Rail Trail starts in the middle of Keene itself, just south of Pisgah State Park, and follows meandering country roads to a covered bridge and panoramic views of the Ashuelot River and Keene State College.
New Jersey: Hoboken
cdrin/shutterstockWith Manhattan looming across the river, Hoboken, New Jersey is a great way to admire the skyline of the big city without the chaos of cycling in it. The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway passes through Hoboken. This 18.5-mile pathway, open to pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorized vehicles, passes through nine riverside towns and provides stunning views of Manhattan and the Hudson River. For those wishing to venture into Manhattan for the day—with or without a bike—take the waterfront walkway to the World Financial Center Paulus Hook ferry in Paulus Hook, New Jersey. Have you seen this magical fairy trail in suburban New Jersey?
New Mexico: Albuquerque
Joseph Sohm/shutterstockThe City of Albuquerque has more than 400 miles of bike paths and trails connecting residential and commercial areas to some of the cities most famous attractions, including the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Albuquerque Biological Park. The Paseo del Bosque Trail passes through the city from north to south along the Rio Grande river for unrivaled views of this stunning body of water. For something a little out of town, the Sandia Foothills provide a number of single track trails for mountain bikers of all abilities. Local business like The Bikesmith offer daily rentals for all ages and activities.
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New York: New York City
Andres Garcia Martin/shutterstockKnown for its nearly unbearable car traffic, New York City is an excellent place to bike—as long as you know where to go and what you're doing. Safety and awareness are key when cycling in the Big Apple, so be sure to know the rules of the road and pay attention to both pedestrians and all other vehicles on the road. To stay off the main streets, head to the Hudson River Greenway, which runs almost the entire length of Manhattan on the west side, from Dyckman Street to Battery Park in the south, mostly through Riverside Park and Hudson River Park. On the East Side, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge is pedestrian and cycle friendly.
North Carolina: Raleigh
ESB Professional/shutterstockRinged by Greenways and bisected by bike-laned roads, Raleigh is fully accessible by bike. Bike Raleigh provides resources like bike maps, traffic tips, and bicycle amenities across this southern city. Enjoy leisurely rides along Raleigh's oak tree-lined streets downtown, or head out to one of the many multi-use trails along the Capital Area Greenway system, like the Walnut Creek trail that runs through the University of North Carolina and loops around Lake Johnson.
North Dakota: Grand Forks
vagabond54/shutterstockWhile it may not be cycling weather in this northern city all year long, Grand Forks has an incredible network of dedicated bicycle paths that cross the city in all directions, making cycling safe and easy for visitors and for commuters. On the eastern side of the city along the Red River, cyclists can follow a greenway from North Dakota into neighboring East Grand Forks Minnesota. Go ahead and impress your friends and family by cycling two states in one day by using this series of connected trails and pathways.
f11photo/shutterstockThe city started a bike share program in 2013 and opened its first protected bike lane in 2015 in an effort to become more bike-friendly. Outside of downtown, the Central Ohio Greenways provide 180+ miles of trails that wind through picnic areas, boating and fishing facilities, and parks. By linking nature to the city, the Greenways give visitors a chance to experience Ohio's natural beauty without straying too far from the city. CoGo Bikeshare provides short term rentals for visitors and residents in this fast-growing city.
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Nick Fox/shutterstockThe Tulsa Tough ride is the highlight of Oklahoma's cycling scene each year. Held the second week of June, riders from across the state and from afar gather for a three-day cycling festival that includes professional racers, amateur cyclists, and spectators. The city itself boasts 80 miles of bike paths and lanes, and the Tulsa Bicycle Club hosts events for riders of all abilities both within and beyond the city limits. Bike rentals are available at local businesses like Tom's Bicycles.
Andrew Zarivny/shutterstockIn the last decade and a half, the City of Portland has committed to becoming more bike-friendly, and now has more than 300 miles of bikeways and the largest percentage of bicycle commuters in the country, at 7 percent. Thirty miles of these trails are in Forest Park in Northwest Portland. Popular is the 11.2-mile Leif Erikson Drive, with views of the Columbia River, Mount Hood, and Mount St. Helens. If more downtown is your scene, bike lanes and paths line the Willamette River, which runs through the city, connecting Portland's Central Eastside to the Sellwood neighborhood, which has some of the best restaurants and shopping in the city.
Charles Knowles/shutterstockSince the early 2000s, Philadelphia has dedicated itself to becoming more bike friendly, including the construction of bike lanes on major city roads and the launch of the Indego bikeshare program. Rent one of the bikes for $4 for 30 minutes, join up with the 26-mile Schuylkill River Trail and ride past the Philadelphia Museum of Art and famous Boathouse Row. You'll finish your ride at Valley Forge, a historic site from the American Revolution. The most unique part? The 15-foot wide Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk hovers over the water for 2,000 feet to avoid train tracks, making this one of the scariest—but most fun—urban bikeways on this list.
Rhode Island: Newport
Bonnie Donovan/shutterstockWhen summer traffic hits Newport, the best way to get around is by bike. Rent one for the day from Newport Bicycle, then head off to explore the gilded-age mansions that dot the historic Bellevue Avenue District. Follow Ocean Drive around to the southernmost part of Aquidneck Island, past private beach clubs and national parks. While beach parking will run you upwards of $30-$50 on the weekends, Newport and neighboring Middletown's public beaches all have bike racks available free of charge for sun worshippers and surfers alike.
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South Carolina: Greenville
Sean Pavone/shutterstockThe 20-mile long Swamp Rabbit Trail is a 20 mile connects greenway networks and abandoned rail lines along the Reedy River between Greenville suburbs and central downtown, including past the Greenville Zoo. Local bike rental shop Reedy Rides will not only lend out wheels, but deliver them to you for convenience. They also offer tours of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, as well as a 4-hour Bike and Brunch Tour to take in the culinary scene in Greenville.
South Dakota: Sioux Falls
Joseph Sohm/shutterstockIt's challenging to find a bike-friendly city in South Dakota, but Sioux Falls and the organization Bike Sioux Falls are hoping to make strides to change that. The city has begun installing bike paths on city streets in an effort to keep cyclists safe, and has a bike trail corridor that circles around the city for more simple commuting and recreational enjoyment. The Loop runs through parks and over bridges, keeping cyclists and pedestrians off of the main streets. In Sioux Falls, cycling on the sidewalk is legal, which is a great, safer option when bike lanes aren't available on the main downtown roads.
createthis/shutterstockChattanooga, Tennessee sits at the end the Tennessee RiverPark, a 10-mile greenway that follows the Tennessee River and links a number of rural and suburban parks together to create a beautiful bike path that connects rural to urban Tennessee. Once inside the city limits, the path connects to the Riverfront Esplanade for a tour of the Chattanooga riverside. The City of Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System, Bike Chattanooga, launched in 2013 and has been a popular addition for commuters and visitors.
f11photo/shutterstockWhile Austin's city center boasts 10 miles of protected and on-road bike lanes, for visitors and recreation, the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is certainly the highlight. This urban path meanders along the Colorado River, past skyscrapers, neighborhoods, and cultural attractions. In 2014, the project was completed with the Boardwalk Trail that runs along Lady Bird Lake, where visitors can see turtles, birds and fish.
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Utah: Salt Lake City
Moonborne/shutterstockThis high-altitude capital city is a bike commuter's dream, but the benefits pass on to visitors as well. In 2014, the city connected two new bike lanes with one of the country's first protected intersections, which uses bike-specific signaling and concrete barriers to minimize interactions between cyclists and drivers, making the intersection more safe for all involved. Surrounded by stunning mountains and nearly untouched country, Salt Lake City is also a great destination for mountain bikers. But, beware—the elevation can create added physical challenges for even the most experienced bikers.
Sean Pavone/shutterstockSituated on the shores of Lake Champlain, this small city provides seven different bike trail systems, including the Burlington Greenway that winds along the shoreline, as well as the Riverside Bike Path that connects Burlington to the neighboring city of Winooski via the Winooski Bridge. The Island Line Bike Ferry takes cyclists from Burlington to the Champlain Islands, and even into neighboring Quebec, Canada—don't forget your passport!
Jon Bilous/shutterstockClose enough to Washington, DC to enjoy the biking benefits of another cycle-friendly city, Arlington has built a network of bike paths and bike lanes on major roads to encourage cycle commuting both within the city and into neighboring DC. The city has also bought into the Capital Bikeshare Program, which has docking stations on both sides of the Potomac. Take the Custis Trail from Arlington into DC, see the iconic monuments or visit Georgetown, and return to the relative quiet of Arlington with ease.
ESB Professional/shutterstockIt's no secret that Seattle is crazy for cycling. Known for being a physically active and environmentally friendly city, Seattle has more than 400 miles of bike lanes within the city center and even more trails and greenways beyond that. Outside Magazine recommends a trip around the Burke-Gilman Trail, which follows the Pacific Ocean coastline for 18 miles. If you're interested in staying closer to town, bike racks dot the city and options for sightseeing are nearly endless. Pedal to the Space Needle or head to Pike Place market for your shopping. The city's bike share program recently went belly-up, so consider a full-day rental from Pedal Anywhere or another of Seattle's many bike shops.
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West Virginia: Morgantown
Steve Heap/shutterstockLike many other cities on this list, the impetus for improved cycling infrastructure has gone hand in hand with the prevalence of college students in the area. In the case of Morgantown, that would be West Virginia University. The city has miles of dedicated multi-use paths, including the six-mile long Caperton Trail, which runs alongside the Monongahela River, historic train sections, through the University and past many of the city's restaurants and cafes.
Rudy Balasko/shutterstockIn 2017, Madison completed the final mile of the Capital City State Trail, allowing visitors and residents to ride entirely on trails from Madison to Milwaukee, 80 miles away. The majority of major roads in downtown Madison have bike lanes or protected bikeways, meaning tourists can cycle from attractions like the Olbrich Botanical Gardens to the Henry Vilas Zoo with ease.
Dean Fikar/shutterstockSurrounded by the towering Teton Mountains and bordering the Snake River, this popular skiing destination also has plenty to offer for cyclists. 56 miles of paved pathways on the Jackson Hole Community Pathway system link the city to both Teton Village and Grand Teton National Park, where the bikeways continue into the park. Riders can hope to see elk, deer, bears, moose, golden eagles and many more beautiful, protected creatures both inside and outside of the park borders. Local businesses like Hoback Sports will rent both road and mountain bikes both daily and weekly.