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Traveling out of town or out of state for the sole purpose of riding mountain bikes is rare for many of us. Instead, we often bring our bikes in tow or borrow a buddy’s bike in hopes of sneaking in a quick ride during a business trip or a visit with family. With that in mind, we decided to catalog some of the best places to ride mountain bikes in large metro areas within the US and Canada.

The following list covers 13 of the largest metro areas in the Northeastern USA and Southeastern Canada, ordered by population. In general, we chose trails within a 25-mile radius of the city center, though in some cases we also included weekend rides within a two-hour drive.

Get directions and additional details about all of these trails in the free Singletracks iPhone and Android apps.

Best Bike Trail in New York / Newark / Jersey City

The New York metropolitan area boasts the largest population of any metro in the USA. And yet, there are excellent mountain bike trails within 25 miles of the city center, thanks mainly to dedicated mountain bike clubs like the Concerned Long Island Mountain Bikers (CLIMB).

Cunningham Park

cunningham park, queens, nyc

Photo: riptides

Cunningham Park is located smack-dab in the middle of Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City. CLIMB has done an incredible job carving out 6 miles of flowy, entertaining trails that are easily-accessible to locals and visitors alike. While there aren’t a lot of opportunities for climbing in the park, there is a bike skills area and some technical spots for added challenge.

Sprain Ridge

Just up the Hudson River from NYC, mountain bikers will find about 4 miles of trails at Sprain Ridge. This mini trail system packs big technical riding into a small area, offering typical Northeastern rocks and roots and short, punchy climbs.

Getting outside of NYC, mountain bikers will find a few excellent day-trip options within a 2-hour drive.

Graham Hills

graham hills trails new york

Photo: zmartene

The Westchester Mountain Bike Association (WMBA) works hard to maintain the 7 miles of “aggressive singletrack for intermediate to advanced rider(s).” Singletracks members have alternatively described the trails as a great XC trail system for working on cardio. Graham Hills is only about 36 miles from NYC (a one-hour drive) and is also accessible via the Metro North Railroad.

Mountain Creek Bike Park

With more than 1,000 vertical feet of descending, Mountain Creek Bike Park is among the most celebrated bike parks in the Mid-Atlantic region. There are 51 different trails to choose from, ranging from beginner-friendly tracks to rugged, pro DH lines.

Blue Mountain Reservation

Blue Mountain Reservation is another trail system maintained by the WMBA. This sprawling trail system is well-mapped and features designated trails for all rider abilities. To get the most out of this trail system, it’s recommended to ride with a guide since there are many intersections and options along the way. Those who make the effort will find what one Singletracks reader claims is the best singletrack in the Northeast.

Next up: Washington, DC.

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# Comments

  • PGH Rider

    Just an FYI for the Pittsburgh section of your article. PORC stands for Pittsburgh Off Road Cyclists. Your link takes you to Pittsburgh Offroad which is a motorized mud bogging/lift kit type of group. Additionally, PORC does not as a group build or maintain trails in Pittsburgh (maybe as volunteers for other other groups or illegally). The main groups that build and maintain trails are Trail Pittsburgh (http://trailpittsburgh.org/), the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy(https://www.rachelcarsontrails.org/), Allegheny Land Trust, Hollow Oak Land Trust, Allegheny County Parks, and the Mount Washington CDC. If you need help reporting on Pittsburgh mountain biking in the future, please let me know.

    • Jeff Barber

      Good catch on the URL and thanks for the shout out to other groups in the area!

  • kevindsingleton

    Two more excellent Pittsburgh singletracks are the Bavington trail, in Hillman State Park, near Burgettstown (southwest of Pittsburgh, search for “Haul Road Trailhead”), and the trails at Brady’s Run Park, in Beaver County, a little north of the airport.

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