9 Must-Visit Places in the U.S. to Bike with Kids
We have a guest blog from Kristen from Rascal Rides, featuring the 9 must-visit places to ride with kids in the USA:
Our family just finished a year of road-tripping around the U.S. and visiting different biking destinations along the way. That's right -- we spent twelve whole months of doing almost nothing but biking as a family. While most people aren't going to pick up tomorrow and do a trip that big, the good news is that we discovered that there are amazing places to bike with kids nearly everywhere. The U.S. is full of awesome singletrack, bike paths, rail trails, and pump tracks.
Here is a list of 9 of our favorite places that we visited. Each of these is worth visiting whether for a quick day trip, or a cross-country vacation. Fun guaranteed.
About thirty minutes from Bend, OR (another great family biking destination), Sunriver is a resort community that's known as a mecca for bike-loving families. The resort town is designed to be explored by bike; nobody bothers driving here.
Miles and miles of bike path connect playgrounds, the swimming pool, a nature center, and ice cream at Goody's. If your idea of vacation involves lots of pedal time, Sunriver belongs on your bucket list.
Santos, Ocala, FL
Florida isn't known for its mountain biking, but the Santos trails in Ocala, FL are beginning to change that. Because Florida is flat as a pancake, Santos is a sort of god-send for kids.
Miles and miles of flowy, pedaly trails snake thru the jungle. Adults won't get bored here either--there are plenty of technical trails to explore if you can sneak some time away from the kids. Don’t like amusement parks? Skip DisneyWorld and head to Santos instead.
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
San Francisco is known for its hills, but the path thru picturesque Golden Gate Park is (mostly) flat.
Families can watch sailboats while they cruise, and then stop at Golden Gate National Recreation Area for a picnic or to complete a Junior Ranger badge. Older kids and more adventurous families can venture over the Golden Gate Bridge and return by ferry either in Sausalito or Tiburon.
Montana de Oro State Park, CA
The central coast of California is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and Montana de Oro State Park is no exception. Unlike most of the state, the park is uncrowded and lacks cell reception. You won't miss the connectivity though. Adults and kids alike will love the wide gravel paths that meander along the coastal cliffs.
Just don't plan on biking too quickly; you'll want to stop for lots of photo ops. After riding, you can collect shells at the beach or stop at the historic ranch house for a soda.
We've never found a more friendly and bike-loving town than Bellingham, WA. The people are awesome, the scenery is awesome, and the trails are awesome. If you're a mountain bike loving family, Bellingham is a must stop. While many of the trails at Galbraith Mountain are technically advanced, there are plenty of mellow green stuff on the south end of the mountain. We also loved the pump track at Whatcom Falls Park, and visited not once, not twice, but three times during our stay.
Teton Valley, ID
Not far from the throngs of tourists in Jackson Hole, WY, Teton Valley, ID offers a much quieter, relaxed vibe. But don't expect to just sit around admiring the views of the Tetons; there is plenty of biking to be done here! Families will love cruising the miles of bike path that connect the valley towns, playing at the pump track in Victor, and even hitting up the bike park at Grand Targhee.
In addition to beginner-friendly downhill trails, the resort also offers plenty of green cross-country trails. Make sure to complete the Buddy Pegs scavenger hunt while you're there.
The Kingdom Trails, East Burke, VT
Imagine a place nestled in the countryside, where trails meander thru forests and fields and over creeks and over mountaintops. That's the Kingdom Trails in East Burke, VT.
This tiny town has everything mountain biking family could need: a swimming hole, ice cream, and a family-friendly bike-up tiki bar with food trucks. It also has lots and lots of trails, most of which are kid-friendly. The trail system also includes two separate pump track area that can keep little ones entertained for days.
San Antonio, TX
One of the most memorable days of our year-long trip was spent biking around San Antonio, TX. We just wish we had spent more time there!
The paved San Antonio Riverwalk extends 15 miles and connects the Alamo with the other missions as well as playgrounds, restaurants, and the zoo. Kids will also enjoy watching paddlers navigate the river on warm days.
Park City, UT
Our final stop (home), also happens to be one of our favorites. Park City has endless miles of paved bike path, gravel rail trail, and dirt trails. Riders of all skill levels can find something to keep them entertained at Trailside Bike Park, where multiple pump tracks and purpose-built flow trails provide progressive challenges. Or, cruise the historic rail trail all the way to Echo Reservoir where you can take a dip in the lake. Wherever you go, you won’t lack for company; the town is full of kids on balance bikes and moms with trailers.