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.
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 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.
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.
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
@georgeryan83 tested out the whip line on the @usopenmtb course this past weekend and it's running pretty smooth. We can't wait to see what @foxmtb @gtbicycles athlete @tylermccaul throws down over this bad boy as well as the rest of the riders coming out! Photo: @nobreakschris #getoutandplay #usopenmtb
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.