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Massachusetts: Leominster

Russell Mill. Photo: Fitch

Russell Mill. Photo: Fitch

Leominster boasts at least 40 trails within 25 miles of downtown, including the highest-rated trail in the state: Leominster State Forest. While there doesn’t appear to be one concentrated area where all the trails a located, the sum total of the mountain bike trails spread across the region is impressive: 316 miles of mountain biking, if not more.

Michigan: Marquette

Marquette Snow bike Route. Photo: Kristian Saile

Marquette Snow bike Route. Photo: Kristian Saile

Marquette has proven itself as an epic destination in both the summer and in the winter. That’s a good thing, because winter lasts a long time here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior. Standout trails in Marquette include the South Marquette Trails and the Marquette Snow Bike Route. In addition to great trails you’ll find three breweries, a handful of bike shops, and plenty of restaurants and lodging establishments.

Minnesota: Duluth

Photos courtesy of Spirt Mountain Facebook Page

Photos courtesy of Spirt Mountain Facebook Page

Duluth is still up-and-coming in the mountain bike scene, as local advocates (COGGS) work diligently to finish the Duluth Traverse trail. While the Duluth Traverse may not yet be completed, Duluth still dominates the Minnesota scene and is an easy choice as the capital. There are a plethora of high-quality trail systems in and around Duluth, including high-rated Mission Creek, Piedmont, and Brewer Park, along with Spirit Mountain: the only lift-served downhill bike park in the state, and one of just a handful in the entire Midwest. Also, Spirit Mountain recently became one of the first ski resorts to open their lifts to fat bikes on a regular basis. Add in all of the excellent local amenities, including at least six breweries, and the gorgeous views of Lake Superior, and you can’t really go wrong!

Mississippi: Oxford

Clear Creek. Photo: RoadWarrior

Clear Creek. Photo: RoadWarrior

While the pickings are slim in Mississippi, Oxford is home to one of the top-ranked trails in the state (Clear Creek), among others. Oxford Bicycle Co. will keep your rig running well, and the town of over 20,000 people has more than enough hotels and restaurants to take care of the needs of prospective mountain bike tourists.

Missouri: Steelville

Forest City Trail. photo: CFM

Forest City Trail. photo: CFM

Steelville, MO is home to Missouri’s lone IMBA Epic trail system, Berryman, and mountain bikers flock to the town to enjoy a taste of the Missouri Ozark mountains. Not only that, Berryman is basically part of the Ozark Trail, a collection of nearly 400 miles of trail winding through the Missouri Ozarks and Mark Twain National Forest. The town of Steelville is tiny–less than 2,000 residents call this place home–which makes the number and quality of trails all the more impressive. Beyond Berryman and the Ozark Trail, there are more trails like the Forest City Trail (pictured above) nearby.

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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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