Colorado: Crested Butte
Despite having three Singletracks writers based in Colorado, including Editor in Chief Greg Heil, Colorado’s capital selection was one of the most hotly-contested choices on this list. In part, the debate was a result of the incredible caliber of the riding that the entire state of Colorado has to offer. Eventually, we settled on Crested Butte. Crested Butte is one of the two places where mountain biking got its start–while pioneers in California were racing Repack on Mount Tam, pioneers in Colorado were racing up and over Pearl Pass. Also factor in that Crested Butte is home to the longest-running mountain bike festival in the world, well established endurance races, the best enduro racing in the state, amenities that a town of 1,500 just shouldn’t be able to offer, and of course, hundreds of miles of the best singletrack in the world, and CB came out on top. Stand-out rides in the area include Doctor Park, Trail 401, and more. Runners up for Colorado include Breckenridge, Fruita, and Durango.
Connecticut: East Hampton
Single track riding down at the #RocklandPreserve Winter ride session? ?? #GoPro #MountainBiking #Biking #Singletrack #mntbike A photo posted by Zachary Kenney (@zacharykenney8) on
East Hampton has a wealth of excellent singletrack located nearby, including several of the highest-rated trails in the state: Rockland Preserve, Millers Pond, Middlesex Community College, and more. While Connecticut may not be known for its epic mountain biking, having at least 32 trails within 25 miles of town means that you will have plenty of singletrack to entertain you during your visit!
The town of Newark boasts 22 trails within 25 miles of downtown, along with all of the best trails in the state. Granted that’s not tough to do in a state the size of Delaware, but considering that you’re within easy striking distance of White Clay Creek, Middle Run Natural Area, Lums Pond State Park, and Brandywine State Park, it’s hard to go wrong with this Delaware destination. Newark also offers plenty of amenities, thanks to the fact that its home to the University of Delaware.
Ocala’s selection as the MTB capital of Florida boils down to one word: Santos. By far the most expansive, highest-quality, and best-known trail system in the state of Florida, an entire culture of mountain biking has grown up around this incredible network of singletrack. With at least 85 miles of sinuous trail plus an expansive array of freeride features, this single network has become the capital for an entire state. Runner up: the Tampa Bay area.
There’s really no question that Ellijay is “the mountain bike capital of Georgia”–they even claim that as their unofficial slogan. At first blush you may think that’s a bit pretentious, but as you dive into the high-quality riding found in the Ellijay area, their claim gains validity. Located in the Appalachian Mountains, epic trails like Bear Creek and the Pinhoti are known around the nation. Also, the renowned Bull / Jake Mountain trails are technically located between Ellijay and Dahlonega but are within 25 miles of Ellijay (as the crow flies), as well as the Aska Trails in nearby Blue Ridge. And that’s just scratching the surface. To cap off this selection, Ellijay has a plethora of amenities including a quality local bike shop (Cartecay) and Mulberry Gap. Really, Mulberry Gap is a major factor putting Ellijay over the top: excellent lodging and dining right on the Pinhoti trail, along with shuttles, skills clinics, and just about everything you need for an epic mountain bike vacation.