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most_popular_bike_trails_2017

Singletracks collects trail reviews from thousands of mountain bikers each year, and we use the ratings from those reviews to rank the best trails. Not only do we consider each trail’s average rating and the number of ratings, but we also include a measure of how many people want to ride or have ridden a particular trail or trail system. The results, while not perfect, provide a fascinating glimpse at which trails are the most popular within each US state and Canadian province.

This year, we’re including Puerto Rico, a US Territory, for the first time. Nine US states saw new #1 trails crowned this year, with highlights including Slaughter Pen in Bentonville, AR taking Womble’s spot and Loon Lake swiping Eagle Bike Park’s #1 spot in Idaho.

Read on for additional commentary on select states and province rankings.

Alabama

photo: Aaron Chamberlain

Coldwater Mountain. photo: Aaron Chamberlain

1. Oak Mountain State Park Bump Trail (Birmingham)
2. Coldwater Mountain (Anniston)
3. Sylaward (Sylacauga)

Coldwater continues to expand and improve, but it’s still not enough to unseat longtime favorite Oak Mountain State Park. Of course the trails at Oak Mountain continue to improve as well, so don’t expect Oak Mountain to give up its top slot anytime soon.

Alaska

1. Lost Lake Trail (Seward)
2. Kincaid Park (Anchorage)
3. Kepler-bradley Lakes State Park (Wasilla)

Arizona

1. Hangover (Sedona)
2. Hiline (Sedona)
3. Black Canyon Trail – Little Pan Loop (Black Canyon City)

Some riders are starting to refer to Hangover, Hiline, and Hogs as the Triple-H ride in Sedona. Not a bad way to hit two of the top trails in the state in a single ride!

Arkansas

photo: Joseph Sparks

Slaughter Pen Trail. photo: Joseph Sparks

1. Slaughter Pen Trail (Bentonville) *
2. Blowing Springs (Bella Vista)
3. Womble (Mt. Ida)

We’ve been hearing a lot about trail development in and around the Bentonville area, and IMBA even held their World Summit there this year. As riders flock to Bentonville, it seems trails like Womble (previously #1) are receiving less love. Both Slaughter Pen and Blowing Springs, located in the greater Bentonville/Northwest Arkansas area, passed Womble this year.

California

1. Downieville Downhill (Downieville)
2. Forest Of Nisene Marks and Soquel Demonstration Forest (Santa Cruz)
3. Northstar Bike Park (Truckee)

Colorado

1. Colorado Trail (Denver)
2. Monarch Crest Trail (Salida)
3. 18 Road Trails / North Fruita Desert (Fruita)

Connecticut

1. Rockland Preserve (Madison)
2. Cowles Park (East Granby)
3. Pequonnock River Valley State Park / Trumbull (Trumbull)

Delaware

1. White Clay Creek (Newark)
2. Middle Run Natural Area (Newark)
3. Brandywine State Park (Wilmington)

Florida

1. Santos (Ocala)
2. Alafia River State Park (Brandon)
3. Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve (Tampa)

Georgia

1. Blankets Creek (Woodstock)
2. Bear Creek (Ellijay)
3. Chicopee Woods (Gainesville)

Hawaii

1. Pupukea Trail (Waimea North Shore)
2. Haleakala Downhill Mtb Ride (Kula)
3. Kealia Trail (Mokuleia)

Idaho

Loon Lake Trail. photo: Tour Guide.

Loon Lake Trail. photo: Tour Guide

1. Loon Lake Trail (McCall) *
2. Bulldog (Hailey)
3. Sidewinder (Heise)

It seems Eagle Bike Park, #1 in Idaho last year, may have been a victim of a downvote train due to it’s popularity. However, recent reviews mention the lack of scenery (trees) at Eagle Bike Park. Fortunately Loon Lake has trees AND a beautiful lake for riders to enjoy.

Illinois

1. Fay Pickering Memorial Trails (Marshall) *
2. Kickapoo (Oakwood)
3. Farmdale Reservoir Recreation Area (East Peoria)

Fay Pickering is back! This was a controversial result when it ranked #1 back in 2015, and we’re sure it will be controversial again. The trail system does continue to get favorable reviews from those who have visited, so perhaps its ranking isn’t completely unfounded. Both Kickapoo and Farmdale were recommended and included on this year’s Five2Ride in Illinois.

Indiana

1. Brown County Park (Nashville)
2. Buffalo Trace (French Lick)
3. Outback Trail at Imagination Glenn (Portage)

Iowa

Memorial Park. photo: Skenandoa Tenchiefs

Memorial Park. photo: Skenandoa Tenchiefs

1. Memorial Park Trails (Ottumwa) *
2. Sunderbruch Park (Davenport)
3. Sugar Bottom (North Liberty)

We have to admit: either an individual or a group is probably gaming the system with Memorial Park reviews. While we don’t have proof, the timing of the reviews is certainly suspicious. The upshot is we’re constantly tweaking and improving the trail ranking algorithm to hopefully address failures like this one.

Kansas

1. Switchgrass (Wilson)
2. Shawnee Mission Park (Lenexa)
3. Badger Creek North Trail (Fall River)

Kentucky

1. Sheltowee Trace – Laurel Lake Trail (London)
2. Canal Loop (Grand Rivers)
3. Brier Creek (Mammoth Cave)

Louisiana

1. Lincoln Parish Park (Ruston)
2. The Monkey Trail (Shreveport)
3. Lakeshore MTB Singletrack (Shreveport)

Maine

1. Carrabassett Valley Trail System (Carrabassett Valley)
2. Nordic Heritage Center (Presque Isle)
3. Bradbury Mt State Park (Pownal)

Maryland

1. Patapsco Valley State Park (Avalon Area) (Ellicott City)
2. Vineyard Trail (Catonsville)
3. Schaeffer Farms (Germantown)

Massachusetts

1. Village Park/Abrams Rock (Swansea)
2. Harold Parker State Forest (Andover)
3. Charlemont trails (Charlemont)

Michigan

Copper Harbor. photo: ukraine

Copper Harbor. photo: ukraine

1. Copper Harbor Trails (Copper Harbor)
2. Noquemanon Trails Network: South Marquette Trails (Marquette)
3. Potawatomi trail (Pinckney)

We recently asked our readers to tell us about their favorite trails in Michigan, and each of the three trails above got a least a couple mentions. This confirms that at least in Michigan, the ranking algorithm is working pretty well.

Minnesota

1. Cuyuna Lakes (Ironton)
2. Lebanon Hills (Eagan)
3. Elm Creek Park (Maple Grove)

Mississippi

1. Mt. Zion Bike Trails (Brookhaven)
2. The Ridgeland Trails (Ridgeland)
3. Clear Creek (Oxford)

Missouri

1. Two Rivers Bike Park (Highlandville)
2. Swope Park Trail (Kansas City)
3. Matson Hill (Defiance)

Montana

1. Mt Helena Ridge (Helena) *
2. Bangtail Divide (Bozeman)
3. Line Creek Plateau (Red Lodge)

These three trails basically just swapped places since last year. Clearly all three are still very popular trail systems!

Nebraska

1. Jewel Park (Bellevue)
2. Maskenthine Lake (Stanton)
3. Tranquility (Omaha)

Nevada

Blue Diamond. photo: Dinno Domingo

Blue Diamond. photo: Dinno Domingo

1. Bootleg Canyon (Boulder City)
2. Blue Diamond (Las Vegas)
3. Flume Trail (Incline Village)

The big surprise in Nevada this year is that Blue Diamond edged out a section of the Tahoe Rim trail for second most popular in the state. Accessibility no doubt plays into the popularity of Blue Diamond.

New Hampshire

1. Bear Brook (Allenstown)
2. Highland Mountain Bike Park (Tilton)
3. Franklin Falls (Franklin)

New Jersey

1. Six Mile Run (Franklin Township)
2. Allamuchy State Park-North (Hackettstown)
3. Mountain Creek Bike Park (Sussex)

New Mexico

1. White Mesa Bike Trails (Albuquerque)
2. South Boundary (164) (Taos)
3. Angel Fire Resort (Angel Fire)

New York

1. Lippman Park (Ellenville)
2. West side overland (Sherman)
3. Glacier Ridge Preserve (Farmingville)

Somehow, our popularity ranking algorithm completely fails when it comes to picking the most popular trails in the state of New York. For our Five2Ride article earlier this year, we consulted with New York Singletracks readers and local trail experts alike, and only one of the five “must ride” trails our group settled on are in the list above.  Does anyone have a clue what might be going on here?

North Carolina

Dupont State Forest. photo: kamoteus

Dupont State Forest. photo: kamoteus

1. Tsali Recreation Area (Bryson City)
2. Dupont State Forest (Brevard)
3. Kerr Scott Trails (Wilkesboro)

Curiously, none of the three trails listed above are technically located within the much-revered Pisgah National Forest. However, all three of these trails are good choices for riders of all stripes, from beginners to experts alike, which probably has much to do with their appeal.

North Dakota

1. Harmon (Mandan)
2. Maah Daah Hey (Medora)
3. Bison Plant (Minot)

Ohio

1. Ray’s Indoor Mtb Park (Cleveland)
2. Vultures Knob (Wooster)
3. Mohican (Loudonville)

Oklahoma

1. The Trails at St. Crispin’s (Seminole) *
2. Lake Lawtonka Trails (Lawton)
3. Turkey Mountain (Tulsa)

Oregon

1. McKenzie River Trail (Eugene)
2. Sandy Ridge (Sandy)
3. Alpine Trail (Oakridge)

John Fisch gave a shout out (or was it a Bronx cheer?) to the McKenzie River Trail in his article, “10 Trails You Like More Than Me,”  so clearly not everyone is a fan. Still, it’s hard to argue that it’s one of the most popular in Oregon, especially when you include mountain bike tourists.

Pennsylvania

1. Allegrippis Trails (Huntingdon)
2. Nockamixon State Park (Ottsville)
3. Rothrock State Forest (State College)

Singletracks also published a Five2Ride for Pennsylvania this year, and our expert panel chose 2 out of the 3 trails listed above, which isn’t too bad. Nockamixon, unfortunately, didn’t get a lot of love from our panel, but clearly many riders enjoy it.

Rhode Island

1. Big River (West Greenwich)
2. Diamond Hill State Park (Cumberland)
3. Lincoln Woods (Lincoln)

South Carolina

1. Forks Area Trail System (FATS) (Clarks Hill)
2. Paris Mountain State Park (Greenville)
3. Poinsett State Park (Wateree)

South Dakota

1. Centennial Trail (Sturgis)
2. Prairie Trail, Custer State Park (Custer)
3. Kiwanis (Mitchell)

Tennessee

Raccoon Mountain. photo: nohyphens

Raccoon Mountain. photo: nohyphens

1. White Oak Mtn Biology Trails (Collegedale)
2. Raccoon Mountain Trail Network (Chattanooga)
3. Brush Creek (Ocoee)

With so many great trails to choose from, especially in Eastern Tennessee, White Oak Mountain seems like an unusual top choice. Raccoon Mountain has been a popular Chattanooga destination for many years now, but judging by the number of recent White Oak Mountain reviews, it seems riders are starting to explore other trails in the area–and they like what they find at White Oak Mountain!

Texas

1. Flat Rock Ranch (Comfort)
2. Big Cedar Wilderness Trails (Dallas)
3. Palo Duro Canyon (Canyon)

Utah

1. The Whole Enchilada (Moab)
2. Porcupine Rim (Moab)
3. Gooseberry Mesa (Hurricane)

While Porcupine is a part of the Whole Enchilada, many riders choose to experience this trail on its own. It’s also interesting to see Gooseberry Mesa in the top 3, despite the mega-popularity of Moab. Choosing the most popular trail in Utah is like trying to choose a favorite child!

Vermont

1. Kingdom Trails (East Burke)
2. Perry Hill (Waterbury)
3. Green Mountain Trails (Pittsfield)

Virginia

Mountain Laurel Trail. photo: Bob Norris

Mountain Laurel Trail. photo: Bob Norris

1. Mountain Laurel Trails (Horsepasture) *
2. Fountainhead Regional Park (Fairfax)
3. Angler’s Ridge (Danville)

It appears the upvote train recently paid a visit to the Mountain Laurel Trails and Angler’s Ridge slid two slots to #3. Many of the Mountain Laurel Trail reviews do appear to be genuine, and mainly demonstrate how appreciative riders are for these trails.

Washington

1. Galbraith Mountain (Bellingham)
2. Duthie Hill (Issaquah)
3. Tiger Mountain (Issaquah)

West Virginia

1. Mountwood (Parkersburg)
2. Big Bear Lake Trail Center (Hazelton)
3. North Fork Mountain Trail (Petersburg)

Wisconsin

1. Camrock 3 (Rockdale) *
2. Rock Lake (Cable)
3. Alpine Valley (East Troy)

Camrock 3 has gained a lot of steam over the past year, with riders stoked on local races and the work that’s been done here. The trail system’s location near Madison doesn’t hurt either, making this a popular choice for many riders.

Wyoming

1. Wilkins Peak Trails (Green River)
2. El Alto (Laramie)
3. Grand Targhee Bike Park (Alta)

Puerto Rico

1. Cerro Gordo Trail (Dorado / Vega Alta)
2. Tortuguero (Vegabaja)
3. Monte Brujo (Guayama)

Alberta

Topp Notch. photo: Jeff Barber

Topp Notch. photo: Jeff Barber

1. Strathcona Science Park (Edmonton)
2. Topp Notch (Banff)
3. Trail 7 / 7H (Teahouse) (Jasper)

British Columbia

1. Smith Creek (Kelowna/westbank)
2. Rossland’s Seven Summit Ridge Trail (Rossland)
3. Ellison Park (Vernon)

Manitoba

1. Brandon Hills (Brandon)
2. Grand Beach Race Course (Grand Marais)
3. Lake Minnewasta Recreation Trail (Morden)

New Brunswick

1. Velo Edmundston Trail (Edmundston)
2. The 8200 (Minto)

Nova Scotia

1. Wentworth (Wentworth)
2. Fight Trail (Halifax)

Ontario

1. Hydrocut (Kitchener/waterloo)
2. 3- Stages (Collingwood)
3. Buckwallow (Bracebridge)

Prince Edward Island

Brookvale. photo: Guest

Brookvale. photo: Guest

1. Charlottetown Old Landfill Trail (Charlottetown)
2. Brookvale (Brookvale)
3. Beck Trail (Murray River)

Quebec

1. Vallee Bras Du Nord Secteur Shannahan (Saint Raymond)
2. Vallee Bras du Nord Secteur St-Raymond (St-Raymond)
3. Mont-tremblant, Coupe Quebec Dh&xc (Mont-tremblant)

Your turn: Aside from the things that make mountain bike trails great, what makes a trail system truly popular?

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