Lady Bird Hike & Bike Trail
Location: Downtown Austin, Texas
Distance: 10 miles each way
In the center of Texas’s most unique city, you will find a popular recreational path which travels around gorgeous Lady Bird Lake. It’s definitely the place to be for all fitness buffs living in and visiting Austin, and you are bound to all sorts of athletes enjoying the trail at all times of the day.
What better way to get in a great workout than a long bike ride or leisurely run around a beautiful lake? The trail is about 10 miles each way and pretty much flat with just a few small hills/inclines Relaxing views of the water, great overviews of the skyline, along with lots of pretty trees will make this one enjoyable workout.
Tip: Stop by Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, conveniently located right on the path, for a relaxing & scenic coffee break. They have a beautiful patio facing the lake: what a treat after all that riding!
The Pinellas Trail
Location: Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg on Florida’s Gulf Coast
Distance: Currently 38 miles each way with plans for expansion
The 38+mile Pinellas trail, which stretches from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg, is frequently rated amongst the best rail trails in the country. The trail follows an old railroad on a flat, paved trail which passes a variety of interesting Gulf coast towns. The path is ideal for long bike rides and marathon training due to the flat terrain and pretty scenery.
Some portions of the path are conveniently separated into biking/walking paths, making it a bit less congested. Many portions are heavily shaded, making for a great ride even during the hot months. Points of interest along the way include scenic downtown Dunedin and detours to Honeymoon Island and the beaches of St. Pete/Clearwater.
Tip: Consider the 11 mile journey from Dunedin to Tarpon Springs, one of the most scenic and tree-lined sections of the path. This is a great way to explore the most beautiful portions of the trail without burning yourself out. Then, treat yourself to a nice lunch in downtown Dunedin!
Cape Cod Rail Trail
Location: Starts in South Dennis, Massachusetts
Distance: 22 miles each way
What better activity to enjoy in Cape Cod than a leisurely 22 mile ride through the gorgeous dense forests, following by a relaxing break at one of the area’s most beautiful beaches? The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a relaxing fitness adventure through the forests of several Cape Cod communities: South Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet.
It is paved, rarely every crowded, tree-lined the entire distance, and perfect for those who want to avoid any major hills. It’s basically a cyclist’s dream. There are many side trips to beaches and state parks available along the way. Just a mile or so past the ending of the trail, you can take a break at beautiful Marconi Beach, a hotspot for whale sightings.
One of the unique aspects of this trail is that there are plenty of opportunities to stop and get a bite to eat/drink; check out Cobie’s, a delicious seafood shack, and Hot Sparrow Chocolate, where you can treat yourself to an ice cream cone or a delicious piece of homemade chocolate.
Overall, a ride along the Cape Cod Rail Trail is a must for any fitness/nature lover visiting The Cape.
Peavine National Recreational Trail
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Distance: 5.5 miles each way
Being as it is one of the few remaining rail trails in the state, a ride along the gorgeous Peavine National Recreational trail is a must for anyone visiting Prescott. Offering incredible views of Watson Lake & the towering Granite Dells rock formations for the entire 11 mile RT journey, it’s definitely one of the more scenic options in Arizona. So skip the Arizona mountain hiking trails for once to view the spectacular desert scenery from another angle; you will not be dissapointed!
Get ready for a zen-like experience in the desert as this ride is easy and relatively uncrowded; oftentimes you will hear absolutely nothing but your own breath.
Prescott’s mild 4 season weather leads to some pretty fantastic biking conditions the majority of the year, so get out there soak up the desert sun, take in the rare sight of billion year old rocks, and enjoy the “rare for Arizona” water views.
Tip: After your ride, stop for a stroll and bite to eat in Prescott’s charming downtown. This cowboy themed destination features old fashioned architecture, saloons, cowboy & western themed shops, and a variety of local restaurants. Rosa’s Pizzeria is a nice casual choice to refuel up on some comfort carbs.
Waccamaw Neck Bikeway
Location: South Carolina coast near Myrtle Beach
Distance: 12 miles of unconnected trails
This completely flat 12 mile paved trail runs from beautiful Murrells Inlet to Huntington Beach State Park on the quiet coast of South Carolina. Right now the path is not continuous although plans are underway to expand the trail for another 27 miles. The most scenic route & easiest parking opportunities are found at Huntington State Park, where a beautiful 3 mile forested section crosses through.
The beautiful oak and pine trees and wetlands will definitely motivate you to complete the trail at least twice (it’s really flat, shady, & easy, so 2 trips equaling 12 miles will feel like nothing). Overall, it’s definitely a must check out if visiting the Myrtle Beach area: a welcome break from the rowdy beach crowds!
Tip: Bring with a few water bottles during the summer season: it can get really hot & humid!