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Let’s be honest: it’s pretty easy to stumble upon a scenic mountain bike trail in the Western USA. Heck, as I type this I can see multiple 14,000-foot mountain peaks out my living room window. But if we were to say that the only scenic trails in the nation worth mentioning are located in the West that would be, at least in my opinion, a great disservice to the Eastern half of the nation.

20_scenic_trails_east

While perhaps the East doesn’t offer the massive mountain vistas that the Rockies boast, eastern trails can be scenic in decidedly different ways. While it may take a little more reflection at times to appreciate the beauty in certain spots in the nation, it’s there–if only you take the time to pause and look for it.

These 20 trails all exhibit a natural beauty quite unlike the trails in the west… and that’s not a bad thing!

Acadia Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor, Maine

Photo: wanderingpops

Photo: wanderingpops

While there isn’t any bike-legal singletrack in Acadia National Park, these non-motorized gravel and dirt doubletrack paths provide a fantastic way to enjoy the beauty of Acadia from the seat of your mountain bike. -mtbgreg1

Alafia River State Park, Brandon, Florida

Photo: Jeff

Photo: Jeff

The trails at Alafia skirt florescent green algae ponds and swoop through veils of Spanish Moss and soft fern gullies hidden beneath the palms. If you’re lucky, you’ll even spot a gator making its way across the trail. -jeff

Allegrippis Trails, Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania

Photo: fleetwood

Photo: fleetwood

Located on the shores of Raystown Lake, the Allegrippis Trails provide beautiful views of the water and a deep-forest northwoods mountain bike experience. -mtbgreg1

Bear Brook, Allenstown, New Hampshire

Photo: JacksPerson

Photo: JacksPerson

Bear Brook provides a scenic ride in the New England Appalachians, complete with beautiful views from rock outcroppings, bubbling streams, and colorful fall foliage. -mtbgreg1

Bear Creek, Ellijay, Georgia

Photo: mtbgreg1

Photo: mtbgreg1

Thanks to dark green rhododendron tunnels, the rushing Bear Creek, one of the oldest and largest trees in the state of Georgia, and the fantastic view of Fort Mountain from the overlook at the top of the trail, it’s easy to see why Bear Creek is one of the most well-known trails in the Southeast. -mtbgreg1

Brown County State Park, Nashville, Indiana

Photo: zephxiii.

Photo: zephxiii.

While Brown County does offer some views of the rolling Indiana hills, the true beauty is found deep beneath the branches of the deciduous forest canopy and in the gorgeous trail construction. -mtbgreg1

CAMBA, Seeley, Wisconsin

Photo: Scott Anderson

Photo: Scott Anderson

Blaze yellow aspen groves dot the landscape in fall, lending a Rocky Mountain feel to this corner of Northern Wisconsin. And if it’s snowy winter landscapes you seek, CAMBA is the place to roll your fat bike tires among towering evergreens in winter. -jeff

Copper Harbor Trails, Copper Harbor, Michigan

Photo: copperhippie.

Photo: copperhippie.

Located on the very tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, the Copper Harbor trails are surrounded by Lake Superior on three sides, and are located in a beautiful deep northwoods forest that’s actually at a higher latitude than most of the Canadian border. -mtbgreg1

Douthat State Park, Millboro, Virginia

Photo: Jetnjeff29er

Photo: Jetnjeff29er

Douthat State Park features plenty of scenic overlooks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as unique rock outcroppings and historic sights. -mtbgreg1

Dupont State Forest, Brevard, North Carolina

Photo: mtbgreg1

Photo: mtbgreg1

Dupont State Forest is home to a unique slickrock bald that provides breathtaking views of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains, as well as massive waterfalls, rushing rivers, and deep forests. -mtbgreg1

Ellicottville Epic, Ellicottville, New York

Photo: jneuff

Photo: jneuff

In addition to picturesque New England fall foliage, the Ellicottville Epic provides great views of the surrounding Alleghany foothills. -mtbgreg1

Levis Mounds, Neillsville, Wisconsin

Photo: Danno#1

Photo: Danno#1

While much of Central Wisconsin is flat as a pancake, the steep-sided Levis Mounds and the accompanying sandstone bluffs jut out sharply above the surrounding forests. While only a few hundred feet tall, these sandstone outcroppings provide endless views of the surrounding Clark County Forest. –mtbgreg1

Lovit Trail, Mt. Ida, Arkansas

Photo: RJen

Photo: RJen

This 48-mile singletrack trail through the Ozarks runs past several beautiful lakes and through deep, serene forests. -mtbgreg1

Monte Sano State Park & Land Trust, Huntsville, Alabama

Photo: Midnight Specialist.

Photo: Midnight Specialist.

Located in the rolling hills of Northern Alabama, Monte Sano State Park provides several long-distance views, as well as peculiar rock formations, such as a natural stone well, hidden beneath the trees. -mtbgreg1

North Fork Mountain Trail, Petersburg, West Virginia

Photo: Konnect1

Photo: Konnect1

The Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia are steep, rugged, and rocky, and the North Fork Mountain Trail provides epic views that might trick you into thinking you’re in Montana. –mtbgreg1

Piedmont, Duluth, Minnesota

Photo: PHRANQUY

Photo: PHRANQUY

Running above the city of Duluth, the Piedmont trail provides views of the cityscape below, as well as the mighty Lake Superior. -mtbgreg1

Props Run Trail, Slatyfork, West Virginia

Photo: Outdoornut

Photo: Outdoornut

Props Run provides those epic views that West Virginia is so well known for, as well as endless rock gardens that are cool to look at but difficult to ride! -mtbgreg1

Raccoon Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Photo: earlboston

Photo: earlboston

Overlooking the Tennessee River far below and the city of Chattanooga, the Raccoon Mountain trail never lacks for entertainment from scenery or singletrack. -mtbgreg1

Syllamo, Mountain View, Arkansas

Photo: Slietz.

Photo: Slietz.

The Syllamo system is a 22-mile IMBA Epic consisting of three interconnecting loops littered with with limestone trail features and rooty climbs that meander through the majestic Ozarks, with breathtaking crayola-colored views in the fall of the White River Bluff area and North Sylamore Creek Valley. -delphinide

Tsali Recreation Area, Bryson City, North Carolina

Photo: Zachplayerno1

Photo: Zachplayerno1

Located on the shores of the massive Fontana Lake, Tsali’s singletrack alternates from deep North Carolina forest to shoreside trail to beautiful, high overlooks of the lakes and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the opposing bank. -mtbgreg1

Click here to view the survey results.

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# Comments

  • Jeff Barber

    North Fork Mtn in West Virginia is definitely on my wish list now! I need to hit Monte Sano too…

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