Hawaii: Mokuleia


Ratoneando por Pupukea. #bikewithmeco #sonyactioncam #bikearoundtheworld #newtrails #bicycle #pupukea #happiness A photo posted by Bike with me (@bikewithmeco) on

According to our database, Mokuleia is the epicenter of mountain biking in Hawaii, with at least 9 trails (probably more) within 25 miles of town, including the highly-rated Pupukea Trail and the double black diamond Kealia Trail. While Mokuleia is somewhat secluded on the north shore of O’ahu, it’s only a 53-minute drive from Honolulu, meaning it’s relatively easy to access for out of state riders and has plenty of access to modern amenities.

Idaho: Victor

Mill Creek Trail. Photo: Chris Daniels

Mill Creek Trail. Photo: Chris Daniels

Victor is located in the Wydaho area, which is a mashup of excellent mountain biking and massive mountains that lies right on top of the Wyoming/Idaho border. Consequently, this area defies convention and throws our project here for a bit of a loop due to how the mountain range overlaps the state border, but after hemming and hawing and going back and forth, we’ve chosen Victor as the mountain bike capital of Idaho. Now, there’s not that much in Victor itself, but its 25-mile radius pulls in a massive 67 trails, including tons of world-class rides. It’s also quite close to numerous amenities just over the pass in Jackson and up north in Driggs (Habitat bike shop), and there’s even a few good local restaurants right in Victor. There are too many outstanding rides in the area to mention, but the epic shuttle runs just up the mountain on Teton Pass are to die for, and the riding at Grand Targhee Resort is epic. The Sun Valley/Ketchum area was a sharp contender for this selection, but due to the recent loss of epic trails in that area, its hard to consider it a “capital” for mountain biking any longer. Honorable mentions also include McCall and Salmon.

Illinois: Naperville

Palos Hills. Photo: Jason Liske

Palos Hills. Photo: Jason Liske

Naperville is a suburb of Chicago, and while the name of the town may or may not ring a bell, some of the nearby trail systems should, especially Palos Hills. Palos Hills is one of the best-known networks in the state, but there’s at least 16 other trails in the Naperville area on top of this well-known epic. A critical mass of mountain bikers in the Chicago area make Naperville our pick for the MTB capital of Illinois.

Indiana: Nashville

Photo: zephxiii

Photo: zephxiii

Nashville, Indiana is the home of the highly-acclaimed Brown County Park trail system. Brown County shouldn’t need an introduction but in case it does, this is a fantastic network of over 30 miles of singletrack that draws riders from all over the nation. If that isn’t enough, there are a handful of other trails in the area that are generally overshadowed by Brown County, yet still receive great reviews from our readers.

Iowa: Des Moines

Center Trails. Photo: RoadWarrior

Center Trails. Photo: RoadWarrior

Des Moines is both the political capital and the mountain biking capital of Iowa! While perhaps mountain biking might not sound very synonymous with the state of Iowa, Des Moines has at least 8 trails within 25 miles of downtown, including the highly-rated Center Trails.

# 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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