Best 6 Fall Bike Trails in the U.S.A.

Fall  Bike Trails

There are many ways to enjoy the red and golds of fall in the United States. Some people take walks along city streets, others embark on road trips to New England’s coastal towns.

Our favorite way to take in the changing season is on a bike saddle. Biking can lead you deep into forest to get up close and personal with the changing trees or carry you along paths lined with color.

Fall is one of the best seasons to enjoy the singletrack of mountain trails and the twists and turns of roadways and bike paths around the country. Here are some of our favorite places to do just that.

Best Bike Trails to View Changing Leaves

Witness The Colors Of Crested Butte’s Interconnected Aspen Grove

Kebler Pass Fall Mountain bike trails

In Crested Butte, Colorado head west to Kebler Pass — where the Dyke Mountain Bike Trail takes you through a breathtaking Aspen grove. What makes the grove special is its interconnected root system, which ranks it as one of the biggest living organisms on the planet.

Come fall, the interconnected system also causes the leaves in each cluster of trees to change in bursts of the same color.

The Dyke trail, in turn, weaves you in and out of this ecological phenomenon — making it one of the more popular fall bike routes in the state. The trail takes you through everything from smooth singletrack to loose technical descents.

We suggest riding the trail slowly, taking your time to enjoy this colorful natural wonder.

Dyke Mountain Bike Trail:

  • Distance: 5.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Expert
  • Terrain: Singletrack, loose rock, logs and everything in between.

Ride Along Historic 60-Miles On The Delaware Canal Towpath

Delaware Canal Fall Bike Path

The 60-mile Delaware Canal Towpath, which follows the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware river, is a relic of the historic canal-building era of the early and mid 1800’s. Today, it is a popular fall route for cyclists thanks to the iconic east coast foliage that dots the path.

The path runs from Easton, Pennsylvania to Bristol, Pennsylvania in the Delaware Canal State Park.

Delaware Canal Path:

  • Distance: 60 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy (but long)
  • Terrain: Paved path

If you can’t commit to the entire 60-mile ride, try a shorter route by crossing over to the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park that connects Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The park can be reached through a series of looping trails that cross through forest and over the canal by way of five bridges. There are 11 different loop lengths in total. Each loop takes you through charming east coast towns and colorful wooded in-lands.

Pennsylvania New Jersey Canal Loops:

  • Distance: 30-mile stretch of parallel trails with five connecting bridges.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Terrain: Paved

Vail Mountain — Ride The Gondola Up For A Fast Ride Down

Vail Gondola Fall bike Trails

In Colorado, the higher the altitude, the better the leaves. The small mountain town of Vail is the perfect example. The town — about a two hour drive from Denver — is a global ski destination. Before the snow falls, however, the town’s 11,570-foot peak is ideal for mountain bikers.

Hop on the gondola with your favorite mountain bike, to enjoy a view of the reds and gold of the entire town from the summit. It will set you back $34 to haul your bike up the mountain by gondola. An extra $15 gets you a sack lunch from the resort.

From there, take any of the numerous heart-pounding trails to the bottom. You may find that experiencing this mountain from the saddle is as exhilarating as it is on skis.

Our choice trails down the mountain are Gitalong Road and Onza Valley.

Gitalong Road:

  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Difficulty: Intermediate (Blue)
  • Terrain: A winding path with gravel road most of the way

Onza Valley:

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Difficulty: Expert (Black)
  • Terrain: Steep singletrack, 1,00 foot climb, 4×4 roads and steep descents

Fall May Be The Perfect Opportunity For Desert Riding In Moab, Utah

Moab Mountain Bike Slickrock Fall Biking

In Utah, mountain biking trails cover everything from the deserts of Moab, to high-altitude switchbacks in the mountains outside of Salt Lake City and Park City. Skiers and snowboarders may take over come winter, but fall is your time to experience Utah on two wheels.

In Moab, the colorful foliage may be lacking, but fall is nonetheless one of the best times to visit this desert town. In October and early November, the summer heat of the desert has passed and cold winter nights are still weeks away — making it a perfect option for that last mountain biking camping trip of the year.

The Slickrock Bike Trail in the Spanish Valley and Sand Flats Recreation Area is a good option, since the Slickrock campground resides right outside the trail.

The Slickrock trail offers the quintessential Moab mountain biking experience. The trail challenges you with consistently changing elevation as it passes along various Navajo sandstone and fins.

The name slickrock says it all, as the rock is slick and challenging — but fun — to maneuver.

Slickrock Bike Trail:

  • Distance: 10.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Expert
  • Terrain: Technically difficult ascents and descents on heavily eroded sandstone

Head to Virginia For America’s Longest Unspoiled Roadway

Fall bike Trip along Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia is a 469-mile non-commercialized mountain route that has become a favorite among road cyclists.

The route begins in Waynesboro, Virginia and ends in Cherokee, North Carolina. It connects the Shenandoah National park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Make it a goal some day to complete the whole route.

This fall, however, consider enjoying the foliage along the path in a shorter ride at the Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival in Stauton, Virginia.

The three-day festival, which the town hosts every year in mid-October, centers around various distance bike rides to enjoy the east coast trees.

A popular festival loops takes riders through a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Blue Ridge Loop:

  • Distance: 26 miles
  • Difficulty: Intermediate to Expert
  • Terrain: Paved, hilly road

Want some help picking the right bike for the trip? Check out our guides for the top men’s road bikes and best woomen’s road bikes.

Mountain Bike Deep Into The National Forest Around Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs Bike park

Aspens, Oaks and Pines await you in Steamboat Springs, Colorado — where well-maintained mountain bike trails take you up and down mountains and deep into the Routt National Forest.

Steamboat Springs resides at an altitude of 6,695 feet, meaning the air is thin and the mountain bike terrain rugged.

Start off slow with a moderate ride to Howelsen Meadows or Spring Creek Trail — which are both rideable from the charming downtown.

Howelsen Meadows:

  • Distance: 0.5 Miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Terrain: Easy singletrack with great flowers and views

Spring Creek Trail:

  • Distance: 10.4 miles
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Terrain: Fast, flowing singletrack

* Keep in mind that because both these trails are close to town, they tend to get busy on weekends.

From there, head to the North Routt National Forest where trails range in difficulty. Some of our favorites with good areas to enjoy the trees are the Coulton Creek Trail and Scotts Run Trail.

Coulton Creek Trail:

  • Distance: 3.9 miles
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Terrain: Singletrack, very narrow and very steep in spots.

Scotts Run Trail:

  • Distance: 15-18 miles
  • Difficulty: Expert
  • Terrain: Gradual ascent singeltrack weaving through burn pine forest and aspen grove.

Need some help finding the right bike for your fall biking adventure?

Here are some of our favorites.

What is your favorite fall ride? Is fall the best time to plan your next ride? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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