Summer and the road world championships have ended, which means it’s the perfect time for leisurely bike rides in the golden backdrop of the fall season. From September to December, you can enjoy riding under fiery foliage, amber hues, and cool temperatures in many bike-friendly destinations in the United States.
From the family-friendly trails in Idaho’s Boise River Greenbelt to the strenuous routes of Slickrock Bike Rail, Utah, here are some of the best trails to explore this fall.
The Boise River Greenbelt, Idaho
One of Boise’s most beloved parks, the Boise River Greenbelt is 25 miles of tree-line pathways, following the Boise River to the center of the city. The Greenbelt runs through the city’s scenic views, wildlife habitats, and riverside parks, like the Ann Morrison Park and Kathryn Albertson Park.
You can head to the Greenbelt by car, leave your vehicle in one of Boise’s nearby parks, and explore the trail on your bicycle. There are many bike-rental shops around the area.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
If you’re looking for a leisurely weekend getaway, head to Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and ride from South Dennis and Wellfleet, where you will find quaint towns, lighthouses, lakes, bays, and beaches. Cape Cod may be known as a summertime destination, but it’s not any less gorgeous in the fall.
Cape Cod offers a variety of trails that bikers of all levels can enjoy. For leisurely rides on smooth and flat pathways, follow the Cape Cod Rail Trail or the Cape Cod Canal. Enjoy the spectacular seaside view and pass through Martha’s Vineyard and Little Harbor when you take the Shining Sea Bikeway.
The West Barnstable Conservation Area also has plenty of bike trails for riders of all levels.
The Centennial Trail, South Dakota
A sea of aspen and birch trees will welcome you in the Centennial Trail in South Dakota, which is in a small and isolated mountain range known as the Black Hills, right at the top of Bear Butte.
The Centennial Trail is best explored on foot, on a bike, or horseback. It runs for 111 miles through western South Dakota, along many of the state’s stunning attractions. However, some parts of the trail prohibit bikes and horses.
Crested Butte, Colorado
The Crested Butte trails in Colorado are not for the faint of heart. The trails are mostly for intermediate and expert riders and have high elevations, technical descents, power climbs, and rough, uneven paths. As if to make up for the hellish terrains, gorgeous wildflowers, golden aspen trees, rolling green hills, and clear blue skies line the trails along Crested Butte mountain.
If you’re looking for challenging terrains, Crested Butte has them in spades. The trails will test your power and technical skills, so you may want to take a trusty power meter and training gadgets with you to see how much you’ve improved.
Slickrock Bike Trail, Utah
One of the most popular mountain-bike trails in the world, Slickrock Bike Trail has over 100,000 visitors every year. Slickrock offers very different views from the other bike destinations on this list. Instead of the fiery plumage, you’ll find majestic sandstones and fins, as well as miles and miles of tranquil desert.
Temperatures can get high in the desert during summertime. That’s why fall is the perfect time to explore Slickrock and pit your riding skills against steep ascents.
Experience Fall on the Saddle of Your Bike
With its stunning foliage, milder weather, and great festivals, fall is the ideal time to get on your bike and explore all the amazing trails the country has to offer. Be awed by the stretches of golden aspen and birch that line many of the nature trails in the Centennial Trail. Marvel at the picturesque lighthouses and seaside views in Cape Cod. Test your skills in the formidable terrains of Crested Butte and Slickrock. Experience the beauty of the fall season on the saddle of your bicycle.