My Favorite Bike Trails in the Northeastern US

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Edit 6/15/20: Added #49 & #50.
Edit 12/16/19: Added #47 & #48.
Edit 6/23/20: Added #51 & #52.
Edit 8/17/20: Added #53

Now that the 2019 biking season is pretty much over here in the northeast, I decided to compile a list of my favorite bike trails. Of the hundreds I’ve ridden, I found these to be the most enjoyable and worth a considerable drive. The first five are my top picks with the rest in no particular order.

I chose them for their scenic beauty and interesting infrastructure such as rivers, bridges & tunnels. Most are relatively level rail or canal trails with good surfaces and a minimum of on road sections. I've ridden these trails regularly over the last 2 years with my relatively stealthy ebike and never had as issue. Since local, state and federal ebike laws are constantly changing however, it might be a good idea to check before driving any distance to ride these trails.



1 – The 150 mile Great Allegheny Passage or GAP Trail in PA. https://gaptrail.org/
2 – The 185 mile C&O Towpath Trail in MD. https://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm
3 – The 63 mile Pine Creek Trail in PA. https://pinecreekvalley.com/pine-creek-rail-trail/
4 – The 28 mile Western Maryland Rail Trail in MD. http://www.bikewashington.org/trails/wmrt/wmrt.htm
5 – The 365 mile Erie Canalway Trail in NY. https://eriecanalway.org/explore/cycling
6 – The 78 mile Greenbrier River Trail in WV. https://wvstateparks.com/park/greenbrier-river-trail/
7 – The 237 mile Katy Trail in MO. https://bikekatytrail.com/
8 – The 57 mile New River Trail in VA. https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/new-river-trail
9 – The 34 mile Virginia Creeper Trail in VA. http://www.vacreepertrail.us/
10 – The 70 mile Delaware & Raritan Canal Trail in NJ. https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/drcanal.html
11 – The Delaware & Lehigh Canal Trail in PA. https://delawareandlehigh.org/about/
12 – The 44 mile Ghost Town Trail in PA. https://www.indianacountyparks.org/trails/ghosttown_trail.aspx
13 – The 58 mile Northern Trail in NH. https://fnrt.org/
14 – The 14 mile Island Line Trail in VT. https://rootsrated.com/burlington-vt/cycling/island-line-trail
15 – The 70+ miles of Cape Cod trails in MA. https://www.capecodbikeguide.com/trails.asp
16- -The 21 mile Heritage Trail in PA. https://yorkcountypa.gov/parks-recreation/the-parks/heritage-rail-trail-parks.html
17 – The 20 mile Torrey C Brown Trail in MD. (Closed to ebikes in 2019) https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/tcb.aspx
18 – The 15 mile Columbia Trail in NJ. https://www.njhiking.com/columbia-trail/
19 – The 45 mile Washington & Old Dominion Trail in VA. https://www.novaparks.com/parks/washington-and-old-dominion-railroad-regional-park
20 – The 13 Mile Pike To Bike Trail in PA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandoned_Pennsylvania_Turnpike
21 – The 72 mile North Bend Trail in WV. https://wvstateparks.com/park/north-bend-state-park/
22 – The 32 mile Allegheny River Trail in PA. https://www.avta-trails.org/allegheny-samuel-trails.php
23 – The 9 mile Sandy Hook Trail in NJ. https://www.nps.gov/gate/planyourvisit/maps_shu.htm
24 – The 36 mile Armstrong Trail in PA. http://armstrongrailstotrails.org/
25 – The 76 mile Great Miami River Trail in OH. https://www.miamivalleytrails.org/trails/great-miami-river-trail
26 – The 70 mile Lackawanna Heritage Trail in PA. https://lhva.org/HeritageTrail.php
27 – The 31 mile McDade Trail in PA. https://www.nps.gov/dewa/planyourvisit/mcdade-recreational-trail.htm
28 – The 8 Mile Ironton Trail in PA. http://www.irontonrailtrail.org/
29 – The 17 Mile Lower Trail in PA. http://www.transalleghenytrails.com/trails/lower-trail.aspx
30 – The 87 mile Ohio & Erie Canalway in OH. https://www.ohioanderiecanalway.com/explore/the-towpath-trail/
31 – The 24 mile Henry Hudson Trail in NJ. https://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?Id=2525
32 – The 11 mile Susquehanna Warrior Trail in PA. https://www.susquehannawarriortrail.org/
33 – The 11 mile Oil Creek Trail in PA. https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/OilCreekStatePark/Pages/default.aspx
34 - The 12 mile Sandy Creek Trail in PA. https://www.avta-trails.org/sandy-creek-trail.php
35 – The 11 mile Huntington & Broadtop Rail Trail in PA. https://trails.dcnr.pa.gov/trails/trail/trailview?trailkey=526
36 – The 48 Mile Mon River Trail in WV. https://montrails.org/
37 – The 45 mile Acadia National Park trails in ME. https://www.npca.org/parks/acadia-n...CYTpZ0BK71Wqcvy4g8cTRiAdHoAJfCCUaAozyEALw_wcB

There is no reason to limit this list to the northeastern US. I'm constantly on the lookout for other suitable trails. If anyone knows of other remarkable rides I've overlooked, please let me know and I'll add them!

38 - The 31 mile North County and Putnam Trailway in NY. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/north-county-and-putnam-trailway
39 - The 12 mile Ashuwillticook Trail in MA. https://www.mass.gov/locations/ashuwillticook-rail-trail
40 - The 10 mile Warren County Bikeway in NY. https://www.railstotrails.org/trailblog/2019/april/16/new-york-s-warren-county-bikeway/
41 - The 120 mile Paul Bunyan Trail in MN. https://www.paulbunyantrail.com/
42 - The 60 mile Montour Trail in PA. https://montourtrail.org/
43 - The 29 mile Panhandle Trail in PA. http://panhandletrail.org/
44 - The 20 mile Hop River State Park Trail in CT. https://www.traillink.com/trail/hop-river-state-park-trail/
45 - The 55 mile Air Line State Park Trail in CT. https://www.traillink.com/trail/air-line-state-park-trail/
46 - The 469 mile Blue Ridge Parkway / Skyline Drive in VA. (Mostly on road riding) https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/biking.htm
47 - The 54 mile Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in CT. https://fchtrail.org/pages/maps_north.asp
48 - The 42 mile Redbank Valley Trail in PA. https://www.redbankvalleytrails.org/
49 - The Lehigh valley Trail in NY. https://www.traillink.com/trail/lehigh-valley-trail/
50 - The Lehigh Valley North Branch Trail in NY. https://www.traillink.com/trail/lehigh-valley-trail---north-branch/
51 - The 20 mile Swamp Rabbit Trail in SC. https://www.traillink.com/trail/greenville-health-system-swamp-rabbit-trail/
52 - The 62 mile Silver Comet Trail in GA. https://www.traillink.com/trail/silver-comet-trail/
53 - The 18 mile Lebanon Valley Rail Trail in PA. https://www.traillink.com/trail/lebanon-valley-rail-trail/
 
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Citycrosser

Active Member

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
38 - The 31 mile North County and Putnam Trailway in Westchester and Putnam County NY (https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/north-county-and-putnam-trailway) - this is currently being extended to meet up with the Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie and eventually will connect to Canada (https://www.bicycling.com/rides/a20020913/you-could-ride-trails-from-nyc-to-canada-by-2020/)
Thanks for the tip. I've been meaning to try that one. I added it to the list.
 

Citycrosser

Active Member
A large section of the North County Trailway was just repaved this past summer so it is in great shape. The Putnam portion is also in good condition. They've already paved part of the new path headed towards the river but the overpasses and such are still under construction. I expect they will be done sometime next spring (or sooner).
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Thank you.
There is no Site that has all these trails together on the website ?well now, is not needed thanks to your efforts. Looks like you pulled them from different websites.
Will do Nj/Ny weather permitting.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
The Ashawilticook trail in Western Mass is a good one. Paved, flat, maybe 12 miles or so between North Adams and Pittsfield, Mass. Goes past a very lovely reservoir, a really nice day out. Recommend going from the senior center parking lot in North Adams, down and back.

Also, in NY, the Warren County Bikeway and Connector Trail from Hudson Falls to the Million Dollar Beach on Lake George is a really nice ride. Combined, maybe 15-17 miles one way. If you park somewhere (like the Hannaford Supermarket lot) in Hudson Falls, you run north on the main drag to the ice cream store - you stop there at the end, no cheating - and hang a left onto a nice gravel path that goes along the canal over to Glens Falls. At Glens Falls there’s about five blocks or so on quiet streets to the beginning of the Bikeway. There are quite a few street crossings in Glens Falls, but eventually you break out and head to Lake George, the last few miles through a gorgeous forest.

The whole thing is paved. Not only do you pass the ice cream joint, but you also go right by a very nice brew pub in Glens Falls, with outdoor seating right on the path. There’s a mile or so on a local road that goes along a golf course... all very easy.

The forested section has actual hills and corners - it is not a rail trail. Once at Lake George, you can wander around the village and enjoy all kinds of stuff before turning around and heading back. The whole thing can easily be done on any 400kw battery ebike, and there are plenty of them out there these days.

If you have a large battery and some extra oomph, you can climb 1600 feet up Prospect Mountain above Lake George while you’re there on the Veterans’ Memorial Highway.
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
. If anyone knows of other great rides I've overlooked in the northeast, please feel free to add them to the list!
While it's not North East,

Paul Bunyan trail and Masabi trail in Minnesota are absolutely amazing. 100+ miles of traffic free riding.


 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Thank you.
There is no Site that has all these trails together on the website ?well now, is not needed thanks to your efforts. Looks like you pulled them from different websites.
Will do Nj/Ny weather permitting.
I originally found these trails using a website called Trail Link: https://www.traillink.com/?gclid=CIS93-rqg78CFUEaOgodOU0AIA . Almost every trail in the US is listed. The site is free to use but a paid membership is required to view trail maps and download files. Membership fees are tax deductible and go to promoting new trail construction.

It's been my experience however that just because a trail is listed on this site doesn't mean it is a good ride. Many trails are poorly maintained and not worth travelling a great distance to use. I recommend reading the provided trail reviews before making the trip.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
While not exactly a trail, Skyline drive and Blue Ridge Parkway offer extraordinary biking experience. 400+ miles long roads and amazing scenery as well.
During the week, the traffic is minimal and E-bikes make the experience 100 times more pleasant than a regular bicycle.



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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
While not exactly a trail, Skyline drive and Blue Ridge Parkway offer extraordinary biking experience. 400+ miles long roads and amazing scenery as well.
During the week, the traffic is minimal and E-bikes make the experience 100 times more pleasant than a regular bicycle.



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Thanks Ravi.

I had planned to do the skyline drive this past season but couldn't fit it in. I added to the list.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I am very fortunate to live close to the GAP trail in PA near West Newton PA
You are indeed lucky to live so close to the GAP. I've ridden the section from Cumberland to W Newton many times. I'll likely ride the final stretch from W Newton to Pittsburgh next season.
 

GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
While it's not North East,

Paul Bunyan trail and Masabi trail in Minnesota are absolutely amazing. 100+ miles of traffic free riding.


I think that the paid Trail-link app is well worth the $. If you travel it will always show the trails nearest your location. Great tool for daydreaming also :)
 

Dionigi

Well-Known Member
You are indeed lucky to live so close to the GAP. I've ridden the section from Cumberland to W Newton many times. I'll likely ride the final stretch from W Newton to Pittsburgh next season.
We ride the GAP from Pittsburgh to Frostburg, it’s well maintained but 75% of the trail is very boring. The most scenic is from Ohiopyle to Confluence. Another well maintained rail trail is the Red Bank trail from New Bethlehem to the Allegheny River trail.