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Pedal On: 7 of the Country's Best Bike Paths

1. Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, California
family bike ride

iStockphoto

Running from Pacific Grove to Castroville, this 18-mile oceanside path takes riders past Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, among other must-see sites. Spot local wildlife as you ride: seals, sea otters, sea lions, shorebirds, even whales.

 
2. Acadia National Park Carriage Roads, Maine

Forty-five miles of packed gravel roads crisscross this seaside national park, offering views of the glittering Atlantic, mountain ranges, forests, and more. The free Island Explorer shuttle (exploreacadia.com) takes riders to Eagle Lake carriage road, a family-friendly six-mile loop.
Rentals: Acadia Bike (acadiabike.com); Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop (barharborbike.com)
Park admission: $20 per vehicle

 
3. Chicago Lakefront Trail, Illinois

Get a new perspective on the Windy City from this 18-mile route winding along Lake Michigan. As you glide past beaches, soccer fields, and playgrounds, you might be tempted to exit for Navy Pier, the Museum of Science and Industry, or one of the snack and ice cream stands.
Rentals: Bike and Roll Chicago (bikechicago.com); Bobby's Bike Hike - Chicago (bobbysbikehike.com)

 
4. Cherry Creek Bike Trail, Colorado

Follow tree-lined Cherry Creek through downtown Denver to Franktown. Need a break? Stop at creekside pull-offs where kids can dip their feet in the water; the Cherry Creek Shopping District; or Four Mile Historic Park, a homestead that showcases the life of the area's early pioneers (fourmilehistoric park.org).

 
5. Pinellas Trail, Florida

This award-winning path offers a flat, scenic ride from Tarpon Springs to the St. Petersburg waterfront. Trailside diversions include outdoor art, inviting neighborhoods and shopping centers, picnic spots, and nature areas, such as Honeymoon Island State Park (floridastateparks.org).

 
6. Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail, Pennsylvania

A former rail line, this wide, shale path follows the Lehigh River for 25 miles from White Haven to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, past dramatic views and waterfalls. Shuttles carry riders to trailheads for a gentle downhill ride back to town.
Rentals and shuttles: Blue Mountain Sports (bikejimthorpe.com)

 
7. Little Miami Scenic Trail, Ohio

Part of the statewide Ohio to Erie Trail, this route stretches for more than 70 miles from Springfield to the outskirts of Cincinnati. Sections of the trail parallel the Little Miami Scenic River, a popular canoeing area; others take riders through bike-friendly Corwin and Oregonia, home to Fort Ancient (fortancient.org).
Rentals: Loveland Bike Rental (lovelandbikerental. com)

 
Find Trails Near You:

Check out the Rails to Trails Conservancy's traillink.com, a searchable database of trails across the country.