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The Bike 50 Challenge — Best Bike Paths to Explore in the USA

A few years ago, I was visiting Burlington, Vermont and decided to check out the bike path along Lake Champlain. On a gorgeous summer day, I found myself biking miles out onto the water on a narrow strip of land with mountain views all around me.

I was hooked.

Not only did I feel amazing—healthy, strong, connected with nature—I loved the pace of exploring this new place. I felt my tires gripping the earth beneath me, heard the leaves rustling as I whizzed past, and was able to take in stunning views while still covering a lot of ground.

Biking to explore a new place offers a view that walking or driving can’t. 

Even when you’re in a place as popular as New York City, exploring by bike gives you a view of the place that most tourists never see. And of course, it’s much kinder on the environment than using motorized anything.

With that in mind, I’m kicking off the Bike 50 Challenge!

Biking to explore a new place offers a view that walking or driving can't, and it gives you a view of the place that most tourists never see.Click To Tweet

What is the #Bike50Challenge?

The goal is simple: to explore new places by bike.

Specifically, I’m aiming to tackle one bike path in every U.S. state in however long it takes me. And I’m hoping you’ll join me—whether you end up doing your own Bike 50 Challenge, or you just bike in one new place in the next year.

I’m here to show you some of the amazing bike paths that exist in the USA, and to take out the intimidation factor of exploring new places by bike.

Who is this challenge for?

This is not for the hard-core cyclists. It’s for the everyday person who enjoys the outdoors, being active, and going beyond the tourist trail (and who probably wouldn’t even label themselves a “cyclist”).

What is a bike path?

For my purposes, I’m defining it as a car-free path or trail (seriously, I’m just as terrified as you are to bike in traffic) that is not a mountain biking trail. It could be an urban bike path or completely surrounded by nature, and the surface is paved or gravel.

Most paths I bike will take a few hours to a full day—in other words, I’m not biking hundreds of miles on long trails. (See the aforementioned “This is not for hard-core cyclists.”) And that includes stopping often to take photos.

Bicyclist riding down the Hudson River Greenway, a bike path in New York City, with the World Trade Center in the background

Bike Paths in the United States

Here’s a list of bike paths I’m either thinking about, planning (in blue), or have completed (in green). I’ll have a blog post for each path I complete, and you’ll be able to find the links here. If you have suggestions for bike paths in any of these states, let me know in the comments below!

The Northeast

Connecticut: Hop River State Park Trail

Maine: Carriage Trails in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island

Massachusetts: Cape Cod Rail Trail

New Hampshire:

New Jersey: Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area (June 2019)

New York: Hudson River Greenway, New York City (April 2019)

Pennsylvania: Schuylkill River Trail, Philadelphia

Rhode Island:

Vermont: Island Line Trail, Burlington

The Midwest

Illinois:

Indiana:

Iowa: High Trestle Trail, central Iowa

Kansas:

Michigan:

Minnesota:

Missouri:

Nebraska:

North Dakota:

Ohio:

South Dakota:

Wisconsin:

The South

Alabama:

Arkansas:

Delaware:

Florida:

Georgia:

Kentucky:

Louisiana:

Maryland:

Mississippi:

North Carolina:

Oklahoma:

South Carolina:

Tennessee:

Texas:

Virginia: Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail, southwestern Virginia

Washington, D.C.:

West Virginia:

The West

Alaska:

Arizona: The Loop, Tuscon

California:

Colorado:

Hawaii:

Idaho:

Montana:

Nevada:

New Mexico:

Oregon:

Utah:

Washington:

WyomingPathways, Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park (September 2019)

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Roaming the Americas - Naomi Liz

ABOUT NAOMI LIZ

Welcome to Roaming the Americas! This site is all about sustainable travel for everyday adventurers, and we offer resources to help you plan, stories that inspire you to get out and explore, and photography tips to help you capture your journey in an authentic and respectful way. 

I'm Naomi, the coffee-loving, crazy-about-Latin-America girl behind everything here. I love connecting with like-minded people who want to journey for good, and I'm stoked you're here. If you're someone who wants to plan deep travel experiences that have a positive impact but don’t quite know where to start, this is your home!

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