Exploring Bike Trails and Routes

Bike trails and routes offer more than just lines on a map; they’re gateways to adventure, health, and community connection. So strap on your helmet and explore these incredible bike paths!

As you pedal around Lady Bird Lake in Austin, take in its skyscrapers and canopy of oak, maple and cherry trees. Or travel along a Brooklyn waterfront route while admiring baby blue umbrellas and joggers dotted among piers.

1. Urban Bike Trails

Biking through your city can be exhilarating, convenient and healthy; plus it may reveal breathtakingly beautiful scenes! If you know where to ride it can even become breathtakingly scenic.

Cities across the nation have invested in bicycle paths as a way to reduce congestion, boost sustainability efforts and make locals’ lives simpler. Not only are these scenic trails ideal for cyclists; they’re also tourist draws.

Portland is known for being an outdoor-loving city, and their Willamette River Trail runs approximately 12 miles across its center with quarter-mile markers to guide cyclists easily from parks, malls and even breweries – perfect for novice cyclists or children with training wheels.

Sacramento offers another excellent paved American River Bikeway option for city rides: this 32-mile route follows the American River through scenic bends, wildlife areas, and even features a miniature replica of Golden Gate Bridge!

2. Scenic Bike Trails

United States bike trails span stunning shorelines, majestic mountain ranges, sprawling city skylines and family-friendly urban centers; offering varied landscapes. Some routes, such as challenging wilderness routes suitable for experienced mountain bikers or family friendly urban centers’ paved pathways offer challenging ups and downs while other options such as challenging wilderness routes offer thrilling ups and downs that even beginner cyclists can conquer.

Some of the top bike trails combine both hiking and biking elements, such as Austin’s Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail that runs 18 miles along Lake Michigan’s eastern shore with beautiful city views, parks, restaurants and historic landmarks along its path.

New York City bike paths provide an urban adventure, offering stunning views and convenient access to subway stations and Citi Bike hubs throughout the city. One such path, known as The High Line, built from an abandoned railroad corridor is now a beloved park overlooking Manhattan’s West Side streets and sidewalks.

3. Long-Distance Bike Trails

Have a scenic bike ride right in your own backyard, or an adventurous journey across America – America has plenty of car-free bike routes for all levels of experience and skill levels. Below are just a few that might get your biking adventure started!

The American River Trail runs 32 miles between Discovery Park in Old Sacramento and historic Folsom Prison. A popular cycling path, Bicycling magazine named it one of the top 10 car-free bike paths in America.

The Katy Trail in Washington offers you an in-depth experience of its varied terrain. Travel through forests, vineyards, prairies and even part of Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail for an up close view of its diversity.

4. Community-Created Bike Trails

communities are turning to cyclists from within their community for help in developing bike trails. The result can often be an array of diverse routes that reveal hidden gems like quirky cafes and public art installations.

Early and ongoing engagement of cycling clubs is critical to building support for any project. Not only can these groups provide volunteers, but they can also connect project champions with planning agencies and design firms; providing familiar faces that help facilitate approval processes more quickly; it may be advantageous to present multiple sites – something CVTA did to successfully obtain permission for trails at an unfamiliar site.

Once a trail is in place, consideration must be given to how it intersects roadways. Depending on traffic levels and destination proximity, options such as signals/beacons/raised crossings/grade-separated facilities (where possible) may be necessary to protect users of both.

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