Fall is the time for Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is more than just another form of bicycling. It is off-road cycling using specialized bikes adapted for rough terrain. Mountain bikers often possess stamina, core strength, great balance, bike handling skills and self-reliance, since many trails are remote.
You can mountain bike almost anywhere from a back yard to a gravel road, but we think you’ll agree that some of the best mountain bike trails are on federal public lands.
Womble Trail, Ouachita National Forest
Hot Springs, Arkansas
The Womble Trail stretches over 37 miles from Northfork Lake to the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. This trail is considered to be one of the best singletrack trails in this area. Short segments of the trail meander along the bluffs of the Ouachita River, with breathtaking views. Hikers and mountain bikers can combine the Roundtop Trail with the Womble and Ouachita National Recreation Trail (west of Highway 27) to form an 8-mile loop.Learn more...
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
San Francisco, California
On these flat, dirt or gravel multi-use trails you may see snowy plovers, black-necked stilts, American avocets, long-billed curlews and other migratory shorebirds (spring and fall); mallards (year-round); wigeons, ruddy ducks and other migratory waterfowl (fall, winter and spring). The Aviso Slough Trail skirts salt ponds that host great numbers of water birds. The Coyote Creek Trail through tidal marsh is ideal for photographing birds. The new Moffett Bay Trail offers stunning views of San Francisco Bay from within the refuge’s South Bay Salt Pond—the largest tidal wetland restoration project on the West Coast. The trail completes a 26-mile bike route from East Palo Alto to San Jose. Detailed trail descriptions are available from the refuge.Learn more...
Munson Hills Mountain Bike Trail, Apalachicola National Forest
South of Tallahassee, Florida
The Munson Hills Off-Road Bike Trail offers a scenic and challenging ride through varied terrain. The original trail has expanded to include the Twilight Loop, for a total of 21 miles. The old sand dunes of Munson Hills were once Florida’s shoreline, but they now support towering longleaf pines and pristine ponds. The trail dips down through oak hammocks and winds its way through piney flatwoods, providing opportunities to observe songbirds, deer, fox squirrels, frogs, snakes and the gopher tortoise, a protected species whose burrows provide homes to as many as 40 other animals. Members of the local Southeast Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) chapter maintain the trail in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service.Learn more...
Croy Creek Trail System
Mountain bikers, motorcyclists, hikers and equestrians alike enjoy this relatively new trail system from early spring to late fall. Mountain bikers of all levels will find challenges and great times throughout this area.Learn more...
City Creek Management Area Trail System
This network of 20 or so trails is great for fall riding—with something for everyone. It’s still under-the-radar, though, so mountain bikers in the know should take advantage of the lack of crowds while they can. Terrain ranges from mild jeep roads to techie singletrack, through sage and cedar. The trails connect with other trails managed by the Bureau of Land Management Pocatello Field Office.Learn more...
Nantahala National Forest
Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Though some trails within this large national forest are closed to bikes, the Tsali singletrack trails are nationally known for great mountain biking, plus the Nantahala has miles of scenic gravel roads. The Forest Service trail designation and maintenance project in the Panthertown Valley area has also opened up trails for riding.
In the Nantahala National Forest, visitors enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities, from whitewater rafting to camping. But with over 600 miles of trails, hikers, mountain bikers, off-highway vehicle riders and mountain bikers (especially) have a field day.Learn more...
Kerr Scott Trail
Wilkesboro, North Carolina
The US Army Corps of Engineers and the Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club cooperated to build this fantastic trail system. Their project started at Dark Mountain in November of 2002 with a visit from the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Trail Care Crew. Over 35 miles of purpose-built, sustainable trail have rolled out since then, including the (less difficult) Overmountain Victory Trail and, most recently, Warrior Creek trails. Each area has its own unique qualities. The entire system is within a historic corridor that follows the path of Daniel Boone, the Overmountain Men and plenty of moonshiners.Learn more...
Mt. Scott Bicycle Trail
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Indiahoma, Oklahoma
This 5.8-mile mountain bike trail is a hilly, single-track rock and dirt fire road within the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, which sits in a rugged granite mountain chain. The refuge protects the country’s largest remaining block of southern mixed-grass prairie and a herd of American bison reintroduced in 1907. The bike trail connects to a 9-mile bike route along a National Scenic Byway between Medicine Park and Cache. You may see bison, elk, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, prairie dogs and red-tailed hawks. You may also see Texas longhorn cattle.Learn more...
Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania
Located in the Allegheny Mountains of the Keystone State, the Allegrippis Trail System is considered by many to be one of the best mountain bike trails east of the Mississippi. Specifically designed by mountain bikers for mountain bikers, the trail is also open to any non-motorized use, including hiking. But the 32-mile singletrack mountain bike trail system is known mostly for its riding potentials. The mostly smooth, flowing surface and more challenging trails provide opportunities for every skill level and the lush, green foliage makes way for some intense colors, come autumn.Learn more...
Kokopelli’s Trail is a 142-mile multi-use trail that goes from Loma, Colorado to Moab, Utah. Most mountain bikers use this trail as a through route. Trail surfaces vary; the trail utilizes dirt roads (of all degrees of difficulty), paved roads and some small portions of narrow track. A multi-day Kokopelli’s Trail outing requires you to plan extensively—so take all the steps to make the most of your Moab mountain bike adventure. It’ll be one you won’t soon forget.Learn more...
The Bureau of Land Management lands in the Uinta Basin of Utah offer excellent mountain biking opportunities for any type of rider, from experienced to novice. Enjoy the miles of unpaved roads or seek out more adventurous routes on the area’s singletrack trails. The opportunities here range from narrow desert trails in the Red Fleet and McCoy Flats areas to the forested and rocky Flume Trail in Dry Fork Canyon, to the technical challenge of the Rojo Trail.
*Note: Most of the singletrack in the area was historically—or is currently—active livestock trail. Please respect livestock, range improvements and other trail users.Learn more...
Great River State Trail
Onalaska to Winona, Wisconsin
The Great River State Trail is a 24-mile, scenic crushed limestone trail. It is also a piece of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail built on an abandoned railroad line. It passes through bottomland forest, sand prairie and riparian habitats in the Upper Mississippi River Valley. You may see sandhill cranes, osprey, wild turkeys, red-tailed hawks, great blue herons, egrets, numerous species of ducks and songbirds, muskrats, otters, beaver, deer and coyote (spring, summer and fall); bald eagles (in winter, especially March). The trail offers access to two national wildlife refuges, the town of Onalaska and the city of La Crosse, as well as local parks. History buffs can see Hopewell Native American mounds from a trail observation deck. The Great River State Trail connects to more trails inside Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge and the bike trail offers wonderful views of Lake Onalaska and the Minnesota Bluffs from the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.