Warriors of the road know that the U.S. is bustling with plenty of scenic, challenging rides for those spinning the pedals. You’re sure to have a memorable experience when you explore a new place on two wheels.
If you have a private pilot’s certificate (and a little extra room for cargo), just throw your bike in the plane, hop in the cockpit, enter their coordinates and take-off to one of these exciting destinations.
Here are 10 of the best places to ride your bike in the country – let’s get started!
1) Glacier National Park, Montana
The unbelievable–and very challenging–Sun Road in Glacier National Park will give cyclists beautiful views of the area’s mountains, glaciers and possibly wildlife. The climb takes a few hours, as you work your way up 3,300 feet over the 32-mile pass. With all that climbing though, you’ll get to enjoy an easy ride down through gorgeous scenery filled with valleys, cliffs, mountains and glaciers.
2) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is one of the top beneficiaries of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy program, which has changed almost two-thousand miles of defunct railways throughout the state into accessible, historical and attractive bike paths. One of the best places to bike, however, is in the City of Brotherly Love. Start on the Schuylkill River Trail in downtown Philadelphia, and ride the 27-mile stretch along the water to Valley Forge National Park for some breathtaking sights—don’t forget to bring a camera!
3) North Star Route, Minnesota
For those that love the north, the new North Star Route follows trails and connecting roads from St. Paul to beyond Grand Portage up to the border of Canada. While that’s quite a bit of ground to cover, there’s plenty to see wherever you connect with this route. The Gitchi-Gami Trail, for example, connects Two Harbors and Grand Marais, where bikers will see Lake Superior’s captivating and historic North Shore.
4) Grand Valley, Colorado
Made up of the four main towns of Fruita, Palisade, Grand Junction and Loma, Grand Valley is a particularly spectacular cycling destination in Colorado. And even though it’s widely known as a premier place to ride, the community continues to build upon the trail system and mountain biking opportunities every year. Those looking for an adrenaline-fueled alpine experience, head to Powderhorn. The resort just opened two new downhill mountain biking trails and are planning to build more in the future.
5) RAGBRAI, Iowa
For one week every year, Iowa becomes the world’s hottest biking destination. RAGBRAI, or Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, is a yearly gathering of more than 10,000 bikers who ride from border to border across the Hawkeye State. For seven days, bikers ride from town to town, each stop offering something new in terms of food and entertainment (and plenty of refreshments). Participants camp overnight in various locations, enjoying nightlife, live music and parties – and get up in the morning to do it all over on this bike race across the sweeping Great Plains.
6) Portland, Oregon
The undisputed destination for the best urban cycling is in Portland, Oregon. In fact, no other city in the nation has a higher number of cyclists per capita. Plus, as a well-known foodie destination, biking is the perfect way to explore all the culinary treasures this city has to offer. Mountain bikers will also revel in the fact that there are some rugged trails nearby in Forest Park, offering plenty of off-roading in the nation’s largest urban preserve.
7) Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike Trail, Kentucky
In the heart of Kentucky sits the world’s longest cave system, known as Mammoth Caves. But if spelunking isn’t your thing, the National Park Service has also developed a bike path for all types of riders. The historic route takes you past Diamond Caverns and goes back and forth between the wide open fields and forested areas of the national park. Year round, the trails offer plenty of challenges and scenery that will impress even the most veteran bikers.
8) The Road to Hana, Hawai’i
There may be no other tropical setting that’s as beautiful for biking than on the Road to Hana in Hawai’i. Starting from the North Shore Maui Town of Paia and riding to the eastern Maui Town of Hana will take you on an adventure filled with roadside waterfalls, imposing cliffs, sparkling blue water and towering eucalyptus trees. The route goes for 62 miles, in which there are 620—yes, 620—curves, crossing 59 bridges, 46 of which are one lane wide. While this ride offers splendid scenery, only those advanced riders should take on the challenge of biking to Hana.
9) Hudson River Greenway, New York
The Hudson River Greenway is just a small part of the entire, 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway (which is another bike trail you should definitely look into for those on the East Coast), but it’s one of the most memorable stretches, offering perfect views of the NYC skyline, George Washington Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Ride along the Hudson River and the West Side of Manhattan for unbelievable sights – and the best part? There are no cars allowed, so you don’t have to deal with the notorious drivers of New York City!
10) Burlington, Vermont
For some of the best cycling in the Northeast, head up near the Canadian border, to Burlington, Vermont. With its secluded, mountainous landscape, bikers will feel like they’re in heaven. Some of the best off-roading opportunities are at the local ski areas, such as Catamount. You could also challenge yourself by taking on the Smuggler’s Notch climb on Highway 108, which is part of a larger loop to Stowe ski area and back.
Do You Want to Reach the Best Cycling Destinations in the U.S.?
Whether you’re someone that wants to learn to fly or a certified pilot that wants to further their education, Inflight Pilot Training can help you gain the freedom to explore the best cycling destinations across the country – no matter where they are.
We are a leading flight instruction company serving Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding areas. With a reputable training program and an extensive roster of highly skilled, certified flight instructors, we can give you the skill and certification you need to fly to the world’s top destinations.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.