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Oklahoma: Oklahoma City

Bluff Creek Trail. photo: John Fisch.

Bluff Creek Trail. photo: John Fisch.

The state of Oklahoma doesn’t have a lot of mountain bike trails so the fact that Oklahoma City boasts about 50 miles of trails within 25 miles of downtown is a major accomplishment! According to Singletracks members, Thunderbird Lake is the most popular area trail, followed by Bluff Creek and Lake Stanley Draper.

Oregon: Bend

Funner. photo: justin70.

Funner. photo: justin70.

Oregon has so many great places to ride and our team really debated this one. But in the end, Bend won out with more than 400 miles of trail within 25 miles of town, multiple top 10 showings in our MTB tourism survey, one of the nation’s most active craft beer scenes, and super fun trails like Tiddlywinks. There’s also Phil’s Area (not to be confused with Phil’s World in Colorado) and the Crater Rim Trail. Some might argue that Oakridge is a better state MTB capital and there’s certainly a good case to be made. The good news is that Bend and Oakridge are sorta two sides of the same coin, so feel free to ride both!

Pennsylvania: State College

Tussey Mountain. photo: JeffHoward.

Tussey Mountain. photo: JeffHoward.

College towns usually offer a vibrant scene, which makes State College, PA (home to the Nittany Lions) a lively state MTB capital.  Rothrock State Forest boasts many of the area’s most popular rides, including an official IMBA Epic route. There’s also the Cooper’s Gap Epic route, the Tussey Mountain Trail, and events like the Transylvania Epic that make the mountain biking in this part of Pennsylvania stand out.

Rhode Island: Woonsocket

Big River. photo: Sonofagun.

Big River. photo: Sonofagun.

In selecting cities as state MTB capitals, we count trails within 25 miles of the city center, and in the case of Rhode Island, we could pick a spot in the middle and pretty much grab every trail in the state. But we didn’t do that; the trails closest to Woonsocket, in northern Rhode Island, are truly the best in the state! Within 25 miles of Woonsocket you get the 3 most popular trails in Rhode Island (Big River, Lincoln Woods, and Diamond Hill State Park) PLUS you’re close to popular trails outside state borders like the Vietnam trails and Village Park/Abrams Rock in southern Massachusetts. All told, you get 45 trails within 25 miles of Woonsocket and easily hundreds of miles of singletrack.

South Carolina: North Augusta

FATS. photo: BrianW.

FATS. photo: BrianW.

Our team debated whether to name North Augusta or Greenville the mountain biking capital of South Carolina and honestly, there are good arguments for either one. For now, North Augusta gets our nod due to the sheer number of trails located within the nearby Sumter National Forest. All told, riders will find nearly 100 miles of singletrack within 25 miles of North Augusta, including the (former) IMBA Epic FATS trail system. The terrain in the area can be generously characterized as rolling which means most, if not all, of the trails are beginner and intermediate friendly. But if you must ride mountains, head to Greenville.

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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!

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