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Mountain bike trails offer qualities that paved trails often cannot: seclusion, contact with nature and a variety of terrain that requires different skills and equipment. Each of the best bike trails below will meet all three qualities to some degree. See how many you have already ridden and perhaps you will find a new one to pique your interest and plan your next trip around. Let us know what you would like to see added to this best bike trails in the world list as we will continuously be updating it. Without further ado; a few of the best bike trails in the world:
Kingdom Trails in Vermont is a unique bike trail system built on private land. A non-profit maintains the bike trails and the cooperation of the land owners to provide over one hundred miles of singletrack that is uniquely east coast – rocky, twisty and rooty. There are different routes for different ability levels so there is something for everyone here.
The Badlands of North Dakota provide good riding on the Maah Daah Hey trail. Campsites along the way allow you to see the entire 97 mile trail without doing it in one shot. The ride can be a rugged back country experience coupled with incredible vistas and excellent trail riding.
Go back to the roots of mountain biking and ride Mt. Tamalpais, across the bay from San Francisco in Marin county. This is where Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze and many others started the first mountain bike races on what now look like extremely rudimentary bicycles. Rip along the trails on your modern bike and wonder how these pioneers handled the trails back then.
Whistler mountain bike trails are legendary. Some say it is the original location of lift service downhill riding. There are also miles of cross country trails if you do not do downhill. The mountain bike culture pervades this area in the Canadian Rockies, while offering up dramatic views and extreme elevation changes throughout your day, whether you pedal or take the lift.
Slickrock in Moab, Utah is named for the surface that is difficult for shod horses to walk on. In reality, riding the sandstone is some of the grippiest riding you will ever do. Loads of traction does not mean the riding is not difficult. And try not to fall; it is like falling on sandpaper. The barren landscape of petrified sand dunes will keep your attention. There are few other places like it in the world.
North Shore riding originated in British Columbia and Severed Dick is one of the original trails. North Shore riding is known for built features that bypass unrideable sections, making them into spectacular challenges. Severed Dick does not have many of these features, but it does have plenty of other natural features that make North Shore riding renowned for challenging terrain.
Why include two separate parks with trails that are probably not world class? Because of their proximity to New York City (they are still very nice trails). They are both easily accessible by train from the city, one of the busiest and most influential in the world. There is no shortage in outdoor adventure close by. You just have to know where to look. Be sure to keep your eyes open where you live too.
You already know about the Alps from the iconic climbs of the Tour de France, but did you know that mountain bike trails line those same mountainsides? Check out the views that you have seen watching the Tour, but from a different perspective. Alpine trails have lots of exposure and the opportunity to get to quite lofty elevations. Come prepared with a fit pair of lungs.
Table Mountain overlooks Cape Town. It is a famous vista, best enjoyed after a strenuous ride to the top. Do not let the vista take your concentration from the trails, because they are still a challenging ride. Visit in the South African summer for a nice break from the cold and wet winter back home.
Finale-Ligure has a wide range of trails to suit all abilities. It is probably the number one mountain bike destination in all of Europe. Like most the the above bike trails, the trails here have spectacular views. Spend your days taking the lifts up or riding cross country. There is something here for everyone.
The Best Bike Trails
The best bike trails are scattered throughout the world. Find what is close to you and ride it regularly, sprinkling in one of these amazing once in a while. We of course missed a few. Let us know what you think we should add as we will be continuously adding to this list of the best bike trails in the world.