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South Dakota: Rapid City

Centennial Trail. photo: stumpyfsr

Centennial Trail. photo: stumpyfsr

Rapid City is located at the eastern edge of the Black Hills and boasts nearby access to the Centennial trail, a 111-mile route that’s ranked #1 in the state by Singletracks members. There’s also Buzzard’s Roost and Lovers Leap just west of town and Custer State Park just inside the 25-mile radius. Be sure to check out the local beer scene which includes Hay Camp and Miner Brewing Companies.

Tennessee: Chattanooga

Raccoon Mountain. photo: jbond352.

Raccoon Mountain. photo: jbond352.

Chattanooga has rightfully earned its title as the MTB capital of Tennessee with roughly 100 miles of singletrack within 10 miles of town. And we aren’t talking neighborhood trails here: the terrain surrounding Chattanooga is rocky and steep, so you’ll find technical challenges at places like Raccoon and White Oak Mountains but also flow trails at places like Enterprise South and Five Points. The downtown scene offers something for everyone from rowdy college kids to families with even rowdier pre-schoolers. And hey, Chattanooga is where the original energy snack, the Moon Pie, was invented. Bonus: the two most popular trails in Tennessee (according to Singletacks members) are located in the Chattanooga area.

Texas: Austin

Walnut Creek. photo: Guest.

Walnut Creek. photo: Guest.

Texas is a big state with plenty to explore, but if it’s mountain biking you’re interested in, you’d be hard pressed to find a greater concentration of trails than in Austin. This Texas mountain bike capital is located right at the edge of Texas hill country, and riders will find more than 20 trails within 25 miles of town. And what a town it is: home to South by Southwest, the University of Texas, and at least 23 breweries, Austin is the place for mountain bikers in Texas. When you go, don’t miss the Walnut Creek Trails and Pace Bend.

Utah: Park City

XCRide_DeerValleyResort_SpinCycleTrail

Photo: MountainBikingParkCity.com

With Moab carved out for our nation’s MTB capital, that leaves room for another excellent Utah mountain bike capital: Park City. Technically our destination algorithm ranks Park City even higher than Moab thanks to more than 400 miles of singletrack, multiple lift serviced resorts, and epic trails like the Wasatch Crest.  Park City is an IMBA Gold Level Ride Center and offers great restaurants, multiple lodging options, and perhaps most importantly, popular breweries like Squatters and Wasatch.

Vermont: East Burke

Kingdom Trails. photo: olimoo.

Kingdom Trails. photo: olimoo.

Vermont is the Green Mountain state, so choosing just one town for the MTB capital is tough, but if you know anything about the Kingdom Trails, it’s really a no-brainer. In our mountain bike tourism survey last year, East Burke was the #1 destination for northeast mountain bikers, and no wonder. The Kingdom Trails offers up more than 100 miles of trails and connect to lift-serviced trails at the Q Burke Mountain Bike Park.  East Burke is the mountain biking capital of Vermont–and possibly the entire Northeast!

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# Comments

  • Derrick Nobman

    Don’t forget about Fitzgerald’s Bicycles in Victor Idaho!! The MTB authority in the Tetons and beyond!!

  • YETIMAN4164

    Naperville??? Seriously? Most of the trails you guys listed are not even trails they are walking paths. Having lived in Naperville for a few decades I can assure you…You are WRONG!

    • Jeff Barber

      Thanks Yetiman. A lot of people made the same comment but we haven’t heard any suggestions for a better selection. Unfortunately Illinois just doesn’t have a lot of options. 🙁

    • YETIMAN4164

      I would suggest Chicago for Northern Illinois! Less than an hour to almost everything you listed for Naperville (including the short but awesome SawWeeKee in Oswego). The up-side to Chicago is that unlike Naperville, there are a ton of bike shops, hotels, and food and you are less than 45 minutes from Indiana riding like Rum Village, Imagination Glen, Potato Creek, etc…And the soon to open “Big Marsh” project in Chicago.
      I have riden Peoria but not enough to comment…..So Chicago may not be the MTB capitol of Illinois, but Naperville certainly is not!

      Palos Rocks, Singletracks.com Rocks, Thanks guys!

    • Robert Whisler

      Illinois: Bad research! Really bad reply. 30 seconds on Google would have fixed that. You are writing on behalf of mountainbikers? You mailed that one in!

  • Jackofall

    Roanoke has Carvins Cove. It’s over 12000 acres of mountain biking.

    • Jeff Barber

      Right, and technically Carvin’s Cove is w/in 25 miles of Blacksburg which is why we picked it! We debated about Roanoke vs. Blacksburg but since they both grab Carvin’s Cove, we opted for the smaller town of Blacksburg.

  • mongwolf

    Wow, so many posters being so sensitive. I guess it just shows that mountain bikers feel strongly about their trails. All in all, for me it’s nice to see the list and see the other locations that riders really like. One state that of course doesn’t get much attention (and rightfully so) is Ohio. And though the current MTB capital may be Wooster. I think there is some momentum building in the southeast part of the state where the terrain is actually quite big and hilly and excellent for mountain biking. There is tons of potential there.

  • Adam@helpdeskpros.com

    Leominster? Seriously? Guess you guys never bothered to talk to any MTBrs in MA or maybe ride some of the much more actual MTB capitals: Harold Parker, Lowell Dracut, Russell Mills, Wompatuck, Vietnam, Trail of Tears, Otis, Fells, even tiny Landlocked Forest.

    • Jeff Barber

      Great selections Adam! For next year’s list, what is a central town for all (or most) of the trail systems you mentioned? BTW, we actually included Vietnam trails in our Rhode Island selection (Woonsocket) since it’s within 25 miles of there. So much great riding close together in the NE!

  • GTXC4

    Great work, I think this article pretty well sums up the best locations. Now, to hit them all….4 years to retirement lol.

  • mtbgrinder

    Great summary – I now have a more exhaustive list of “must-visits.” As a native of Washington state, Leavenworth is incredible – not only does it offer epic grinders, ripping descents and panoramic views, but also a community full of Bavarian fun. With that said, I have to make a plug for Bellingham, WA – a location Kona happily calls home for its US base. The mix and variety of terrain and general adventure vibe of the community makes it a great destination to visit.

  • Laird Knight

    Proud as punch that Davis is listed as the capital for West Virginia! Twas, my intention from the beginning to put Davis on the map. Kudos to the on-going trail building and all the awesome new trails built by the Blackwater Bicycle Association!!! Keeping it fresh! And, to Sue Haywood for all her efforts on the Canaan MTB Festival. Ride on!

  • kjj9701

    This was a really good read. To play on the Moab being the Washington DC of all the capitals, which capital is the New York city…ie the biggest, most diverse, most eclectic, ect. My vote is Crested Butte.

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