As summer fades and leaves start to take on vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold, the autumn season beckons cyclists to explore the hidden gems of the United States on two wheels. While well-known bike paths often grace travel magazines, the less-trodden trails offer unparalleled beauty, serenity, and a sense of adventure. Here, we'll journey through some of the hidden autumn bike trails in the US, where the crisp air and autumnal landscapes make for unforgettable rides.
North Cascades Highway, Washington
In the heart of Washington State, the North Cascades Highway is a hidden treasure of autumn beauty. As you pedal along this route, you'll be treated to awe-inspiring views of the Cascade Mountains. The foliage begins to shift into vibrant shades of gold and red, and the North Cascades Highway's low traffic in the fall makes it an ideal time to explore the scenic byway.
Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Florida
Nestled in the southern reaches of Florida's Everglades National Park, Shark Valley provides a unique autumn experience. During this season, the scorching summer heat begins to dissipate, and the wildlife reemerges. Cycle the 15-mile loop trail, and you'll witness alligators basking in the sun, flocks of migratory birds, and vibrant water lilies in bloom.
Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio
Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley becomes a haven for autumn enthusiasts as the leaves transition from green to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail offers a delightful 20-mile route through the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Riders will discover covered bridges, waterfalls, and the serene Cuyahoga River meandering through the valley.
The Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
The Kancamagus Highway, affectionately known as "The Kanc," is a scenic byway that cuts through the White Mountain National Forest. In autumn, this winding route transforms into a corridor of fiery foliage. It's perfect for road cyclists seeking picturesque vistas. Make sure to stop at Sabbaday Falls for a short, breathtaking hike and photo opportunity.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana
While this route is famous for summer visits, autumn brings a unique charm to the Going-to-the-Sun Road. As the Glacier National Park's landscape transitions into shades of crimson and gold, cyclists have a rare opportunity to explore this mountainous route with less traffic. Remember to check for road closures, as the Going-to-the-Sun Road may start to shut down due to snowfall in late autumn.
The Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a historic route that runs through the serene woodlands of Mississippi. It is a popular destination for cyclists who appreciate tranquility and history. During autumn, the parkway is adorned with rich fall colors and offers a variety of historical sites for riders to explore.
The Great Allegheny Passage, Maryland and Pennsylvania
The Great Allegheny Passage is a 150-mile trail connecting Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Cumberland, Maryland. Cycling this trail in autumn is a revelation. You'll traverse through colorful canopies, cross charming bridges, and pass by small towns, offering ample opportunities to soak in the beauty and culture of the region.
Autumn bike rides on these hidden trails in the US are a celebration of nature's artistry. They grant cyclists the privilege of experiencing the serene beauty and tranquility that only the fall season can bring. As you plan your next biking adventure, consider these hidden autumn gems, and remember that there's more to discover in this vast and diverse country than you might have ever imagined.
So, grab your bike, don your favorite fall gear, and embark on a journey of hidden autumn bike trails that are just waiting to be explored. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to connect with nature and savor the spectacular transformations of the season from the saddle.