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Montana: Whitefish

Herron Park / Foys. photo: patrick dierickx.

Herron Park / Foys. photo: patrick dierickx.

Montana is a big state with hundreds of excellent mountain bike trails to explore. The area around Whitefish, however, stands out from other towns in the state due to its location within Flathead Valley where it’s surrounded by excellent mountain bike trails on all sides. According to our calculations there are nearly 500 miles of singletrack starting within 25 miles of town–and that’s just the 50 or so trails we’ve cataloged! If you’re new to town, might we suggest Pig Farm or Spencer Mountain? These are two of the most popular trails in the area according to Singletracks members and both showcase everything Montana mountain biking has to offer. For those looking for a completely gravity-fueled adventure, head to the lift-serviced trails at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Nebraska: Omaha

Jewel Park. photo: GTXC4.

Jewel Park. photo: GTXC4.

Let’s face it: Nebraska was dealt a pretty poor hand in the topgraphy department, at least as far as mountain bikers are concerned. But a critical mass of dedicated riders have scratched out miles of singletrack in and around the city of Omaha, thanks in large part to local advocacy group Trails Have Our Respect or, T.H.O.R. Omaha’s (and frankly, Nebraska’s) crown jewel is Jewel Park and all told, there are 10 mountain bike trails within 25 miles of Omaha, including the third most popular trail system in the state, Platte River.

Nevada: Incline Village

Tahoe Rim Trail. photo: Greg Heil.

Tahoe Rim Trail. photo: Greg Heil.

Perhaps thoughts of endless desert and neon come to mind when thinking of Nevada, but there’s a little sliver of mountain bike heaven located in the western corner of the state, Incline Village, that’s far and away this state’s mountain bike capital. This tiny Nevada town even ranked #7 among all US mountain bike destinations, showing just how influential the area trails have become. With more than 400 miles of trails within 25 miles of town, including the epic Tahoe Rim trail and lift-serviced terrain at Northstar Resort (ok, that’s on the California side but still, it’s nearby), Nevada mountain bikers can proudly claim Incline Village as the capital of mountain biking in the state.

New Hampshire: Tilton

Bear Brook. photo: keithm@redbrickclothing.

Bear Brook. photo: keithm@redbrickclothing.

Highland Mountain Bike Park, located in Tilton, NH, is one of the most popular lift-serviced trail systems in the northeast, which alone is enough to crown Tilton New Hampshire’s mountain bike capital. But beyond the bike park, Bear Brook (the most popular ride in the state, according to Singletracks members) and Franklin Falls (ranked #3 in the state) are both located within 25 miles of town. New Hampshire may be small, but this part of the Granite State boasts a potent concentration of singletrack!

New Jersey: Vernon

Mountain Creek Bike Park. Photo: Syd Patricio.

Mountain Creek Bike Park. Photo: Syd Patricio.

Vernon, NJ is home to Mountain Creek Bike Park so naturally, the MTB community in the small state of New Jersey gravitates toward this small town. Beyond the bike park, there’s also excellent advanced riding at Ringwood Skylands Manor and intermediate trails at Jungle Habitat. By our count there are nearly 200 miles of singletrack within 25 miles of Vernon! Bonus: there are a few breweries surrounding Vernon, including Pine Island and Angry Erik Brewing.

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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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