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Bicycle commuting is becoming more popular than ever in the United States, but biking for pleasure on trails and on dirt has always been a widespread national pastime. And as nature shows its full range of colors in the late summer and early fall, the scenic qualities of cycling also come out in full bloom.

This country is full of excellent bike trails, to those who know where to look. Here are some of America’s finest places to bike:

lavacaves

Lava rock caves, such as those found in Kentucky, make excellent places for hiking.

-Skyline Wilderness Park Trails, California. Located in the heart of Napa Valley wine country, this system of park trails is one of California’s many great riding spots for cyclists. Views of gorgeous California landscape come with the territory, as do a wide variety of mountain biking terrain types on the ride. You’ll get to meet friendly local wildlife along the trail, as a bonus.

-Bear Creek Greenway, Oregon. Spanning twenty-six miles of paved trails lined by meadows and rich green forests, the Greenway is a fantastic option for more casual riders. Lacking any major metropolises, the Southern Oregon region is full of natural beauty, from Crater Lake to the Bear Creek Greenway. The trail begins in the Southern Oregon biking mecca of Ashland and stretches all the way to the town of Central Point. Some of Oregon’s best natural scenery can be spotted along the way. A perfect ride for both a casual cycle or some heart-pumping exercise!

-Memorial Park Trails, Texas. Houston is full of designated park space, and a serpentine series of well-maintained bike paths comprise a large portion of that space. Houston’s Memorial Park boasts two justly famed trails: the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Little Cambodia Trail. Runners share some of the space on these trails, but the Little Cambodia Trail in particular is renowned as a difficult but exhilarating ride for ambitious cyclists.

bayoutrail

This peaceful trail winds around marshes.

-Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike & Hike Trail, Kentucky. Mammoth Cave is known as the world’s longest cave system, and this trail sports beauty and wonder to match the caves, which are located directly beneath it! The trail goes past Diamond Caverns and proceed to weave across the fields and forests of the national park area. In fall, the trail is lined by bright oranges and reds of fall leaves.

-Wild Azalea Trail, Louisiana. Cross pine hills, Louisiana bayous, and blooming azaleas as you ride along this elaborate trail system. Located in northern central Louisiana, this gem is home to several competitive races and other great events.

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