5 of the GREATEST Bike Trails to Use All Your Gears!
“Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.”
Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts cartoon.
As summer fades away we turn our sights to the special gifts that nature bestows as temperatures cool and daylight hours shorten. Cycling is such an efficient use of our bodies as we use our bodies to propel us more quickly through the sights and smells of the Great Outdoors with so much less wear-and-tear on our joints. There are so many great cycling trails in the state and national park systems. They offer a wide range of distances and difficulty levels so whether you are looking for a casual -day-day outing or a multi-day bike-packing trip there is a trail for you.
Here, then, is our list of 5 excellent trails for you to consider:
Palisades Interstate Park (New Jersey, New York)
Winding along about 12 miles along the coastal cliffs of northeastern New Jersy on the west side of the Hudson River the bike trail passes through the 2500 acres of nature sanctuary, picnic areas, playgrounds and historic sites. The southern tip of the park begins at the George Washington Bridge (whose eastern edge is the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan) and offers dramatic views of Manhattan and the Hudson from the Palisades Cliffs.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, (Ohio)
Located between Cleveland and Akron, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the only National Park in the state of Ohio. In the heart of the Park is the Towpath Trail which follows the historic route of the Ohio and Erie Canal on the same path that mules once walked. Easily accessible along the 90-mile Trail are places to canoe, kayak or fish in the Cuyahoga River, to ride on the Scenic Railroad, golf on a nearby course or historic sites like the Hale Farm & Village.
Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail, (Illinois)
The 20-mile paved trail runs along the Mississippi River, parallel with Route 100, which is the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. Its scenic vistas and bluffs are interspersed with small communities where you can stop for rest, shopping, meals or just more sight-seeing. The 4-mile stretch known as Limestone
Bluffs is characterized by towering bluffs adorned by blazing fall colors. Piasa Park in Alton and Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton offer easy access to the Trail.
Coffee Creek Trail, Kansas
Although it is short (3.4 miles) compared to other bike trails in this list, the smooth asphalt lies within a greenway that winds through open fields and woodlands. The best place to start is Heritage Park in Olathe which is the only access that provides parking. Picnic facilities are available as are restrooms as you wind your way through oaks, sycamores and hickory trees with their multi-hued resplendent displays of autumn.
Centennial Trail, Washington
This 40 mile paved, car-free trail borders the beautiful Spokane River in eastern Washington to Idaho. Along the way you will pass through high pine forests, canyons, cultural heritage sites and urban centers like Spokane. Bridges and trestles take you by the River and when the trail heads east from Spokane the valley contains wineries and magnificent views.
Washington State was named the nation's number one "Bicycle Friendly State" by the League of American Bicyclists for the seventh year in a row!
Of course, if you're like me - a few turns around the neighborhood is sometimes all that is available and I make do with them as I ...
Remember the Great Outdoors!!