Poll Results: The Top 5 Scenic Mountain Bike Trails in the Eastern USA

The Eastern USA is a beautiful place in its own right, with deep forests and plentiful rivers and lakes. After over 1,100 votes, here are the top 5 scenic mountain bike trails in the Eastern USA, as voted by our readers. (For more scenic trails, check out our previous roundup of 20 here.)

#1: Piedmont, Duluth, Minnesota

Photo: namdoogttam

Photo: namdoogttam

The Piedmont Trail in Duluth, Minnesota was the resounding winner of our poll, with 225 votes–a solid 32 votes ahead of second place. While this is undoubtedly a very scenic trail (that’s why it ended up on our list), I wonder if the Minnesotans have just gotten really good at voting in online contests? After all, Duluth just won Outside’s Best Town of 2014 poll… either way, I really need to plan another Duluth visit ASAP!

#2: Raccoon Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Photo: Scott Oakes.

Photo: Scott Oakes.

Raccoon Mountain’s vistas clearly speak to our readers, earning 193 votes. However, Chattanooga was also voted by online readers as the Outside Town of the Year in 2011. Am I sensing a trend here? Either A) we have locals that love voting for their hometowns, or B) scenic mountain bike trails are a key factor in making an outdoor town a great place to live. Or most likely C) all of the above. :)

#3: Dupont State Forest, Brevard, North Carolina

Photo: Gronckle

Photo: Gronckle

With rushing waterfalls, mountain vistas, and beautiful East Coast slickrock, it’s easy to see why 167 of our poll respondents think Dupont is a special place.

#4: Copper Harbor Trails, Copper Harbor, Michigan

Photo: frohmund

Photo: frohmund

Copper Harbor is always a crowd favorite, and with these deep Northwoods and epic views of Lake Superior, it’s well-deserving of a top 5 spot in the Eastern USA. At least, 165 of our voters think so.

#5: Tsali, Bryson City, North Carolina

Photo: mtbgreg1

Photo: mtbgreg1

Tsali is a classic mountain bike trail, and while some of the reviewers here on Singletracks might gripe about how the singletrack doesn’t live up to the hype (a matter of opinion, by the way: the Tsali supporters are just as vocal), it’s impossible to debate the beauty of the place! Tsali grabs 5th place in the Eastern US with 138 votes.

More Scenic Mountain Bike Trails: Write-In Submissions

There were numerous write in responses, but from the sea of comments five trails were mentioned again and again. And, like last time, they were all trails that were in the running when we first drafted our list.

Cuyuna Lakes, Ironton, Minnesota

Photo: wk0312

Photo: wk0312

With beautifully-sculpted trails and gorgeous views of the nearby lakes, the Cuyuna Lakes Trail System has quickly become a Minnesota–and Midwest–favorite.

Jack Rabbit Trails, Hayesville, North Carolina

Photo: mcreel

Photo: mcreel

The flowing singletrack at Jack Rabbit is tucked away in a North Carolina forest on a peninsula in Lake Hiawassee Chatuge, offering beautiful views of the water.

Kingdom Trails, East Burke, Vermont

Photo: schwei

Photo: schwei

It seems like every time we publish a roundup, someone says that the Kingdom Trails should be on it. And while for our first 20 scenic MTB trails we passed over the Kingdom Trails for some others in New England, there’s no denying the Northeastern beauty that these trails provide!

Pisgah National Forest, Brevard, North Carolina: Laurel Mountain and Pilot Cove Loop

Photo: mtbgreg1

Photo: mtbgreg1

Many of the comments in the write in section of our poll simply said, “Anything in Pisgah National Forest!” I agree with them wholeheartedly: Pisgah is gorgeous! And the one loop in Pisgah that really stands out in my mind as incredibly scenic was called out by a couple of users as well: Laurel Mountain and Pilot Cove/Slate Rocks. With beautiful mountain views from a granite bald, rushing streams, plentiful waterfalls, and more, this is one ride you don’t want to miss!

Warrior Creek at Kerr Scott Reservoir, Wilkesboro, North Carolina

Photo: kamoteus

Photo: kamoteus

Warrior Creek in “Wilkesbermo” offers some of the best berms you might ride, ever, with amazing lake views! But why didn’t Pisgah, Jack Rabbit, and Warrior Creek make it onto our top 20 list? Well, it would have seemed like piling on to have 5 of our top 20 trails be from North Carolina! No doubt about it, WNC is a truly special place!

This entry was posted in MTB Photos, MTB Trails and tagged , , , , , , by Greg Heil. Bookmark the permalink.

About Greg Heil

My name is Greg Heil, and I am the Editor in Chief for Singletracks.com. I've been mountain biking seriously since 2005, and I love to travel and ride new trails. My travels have taken me across the United States multiple times. To date (November 2013), I have ridden hundreds of different trails in 18 different states, and am adding more singletrack to my trail resume every year! I enjoy all types of mountain biking, from ultra endurance cross country all the way up to chair lift-accessed downhill runs.

6 thoughts on “Poll Results: The Top 5 Scenic Mountain Bike Trails in the Eastern USA

  1. Nice story, and the trails look sweet – but coming from one who was born in MD, works in MA and lives in VT I’d disagree that Minnesota and Michigan are ‘Eastern’ United States!!!

    • We agree but MN and MI didn’t really fit in the Western USA either. :) Besides, the scenery in MI and MN is pretty similar to what you find in the eastern USA, at least more so than the west with its tall, arid mountains.

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