Top 10 NPS Sites for Biking

Many visitors to the National Park Service (NPS) system bring along their bicycles to fully enjoy their vacation, planning to ride on paved pathways or bumpy trails.  Although some NPS hiking and horse trails are closed to bikes, many allow them and some have been built just for them.  For example, a paved bike trail now connects Jackson, Wyoming with Grand Teton National Park.  The NPS sites we chose for this list all have trails specifically designated for bicycle use.  Click here to see all of our Top 10 Lists.

10. Canyonlands National Park (Utah)

Moab, Utah is a mountain biking mecca and the 100-mile White Rim Road is a popular challenge

9. Point Reyes National Seashore (California)

Although excluded from Wilderness areas, there are plenty of other roads and trails to explore north of San Francisco

8. Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana)

The park has several designated bike trails, including the 9-mile Calumet Bike Trail

7. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

Mountain biking the 32-mile Ferry Loop includes a ferry trip across the Green River, or try the 10-mile Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike and Hike Trail

6. Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (Maryland-West Virginia-District of Columbia)

You can bike the entire 184.5-mile graded towpath that follows the Potomac River, camping at designated sites along the way

5. George Washington Memorial Parkway (Virginia)

The 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail passes NPS sites like Theodore Roosevelt Island and Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac

4. Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (Minnesota)

A 72-mile bike path follows the mighty Mississippi River through Minnesota

3. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (West Virginia)

Stone Cliff, Southside, Kaymoor, and Keeney’s Creek Rail Trail all track the New River, or try the 13 miles of mountain bike trails built by the Boy Scouts of America

2. Acadia National Park (Maine)

The 45 miles of carriage roads are excellent for biking, but remember to yield to horses

…and finally the #1 National Park Service site for biking:

1. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

A popular day trip is to bike 20 miles of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail then pick up the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for a cheap return ticket

Honorable Mentions

Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming-Montana-Idaho)

Every spring when snow plows are working to clear roads, bicycles get exclusive access to the Great Loop Road, but come prepared because there are no services

Glacier National Park (Montana)

Many cross-country bikers choose to take Logan Pass (6,646 feet) across the Continental Divide, but keep in mind that the 50-mile long Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed to bicycles between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee-North Carolina)

Most trails are closed to bicycles, but there are designated times when Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to motorists to allow bikers

Tiff at Great Basin National Park in Nevada

5 thoughts on “Top 10 NPS Sites for Biking”

    1. When we used to live in San Luis Obispo we enjoyed mountain biking the Cuesta Ridge area off Hwy 101 and the bike trail to Avila Beach. As far as National Parks, I know many people bring bicycles to Yosemite Valley because it is easier than finding car parking at trailheads. Death Valley is popular with bikers other than in the summer. Hope that gives you some ideas.


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