What town has the most accessible singletrack w/o driving?

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    • #124653

      I was emailing back and forth with Brian from sustainabletravel.org the other day, and we were discussing an interesting topic. While we’ve written on the Singletracks blog about the best mountain bike destinations and what the best cities to live in for mountain biking are, we’ve never really tackled what town has the most miles of accessible singletrack without having to drive to get to the trails.

      Sure, most of this is a matter of perspective, and is totally fitness-dependent. But still, one of the big reasons I moved to Salida is because of the amazing singletrack accessible from my back door.

      So I open the question up to you: What town have you visited that has the most miles of singletrack that are accessible without the use of a car?

    • #124654

      Thanks Greg! I’d like to add some more qualifiers to consider if I may to help foster the dialogue on MTB communities with the most singletrack trail mileage accessible within the city or town limits. I would propose these include non-motorized unpaved trails and no paved roads/double track. So many MTB destinations are under the radar. It’d be great to hear about some of the lesser known places where you don’t have to get in a car to hit hours of riding. I’m fortunate to live in White Salmon, WA where we have a modest ~35 miles of pretty high quality trails accessible from multiple points in the town limits.

    • #124655

      Seems like many cities in the western US fit the bill but here on the east coast I think Richmond, VA stands out as having a ton of singletrack accessible right in town. Also, Charlotte, NC has the "Backyard Trails" system and while many of the trails here in Atlanta aren’t official, we have dozens of miles of Singletrack inside the perimeter.

    • #124656

      Three towns come to my mind: Durango, CO, Flagstaff, AZ, and Sedona, AZ.

    • #124657

      It also depends on what part of said town one lives in. If the town is small enough (Durango, Sedona), then it really doesn’t matter, but when the cities get larger it’s all about location, location, location. I settled in Colorado Springs in part due to the proximity to great singletrack, but to make that claim, I had to settle in the SW portion of town. I’ve got singletrack a block from home that leads to 100+ miles without ever getting in a car. This singletrack includes everything that makes biking great–huge climbs, monster descents, fast and buff, rocky and technical. It’s a total smorgasbord.

      Having said that, if I had the same employment opportunities in the smaller towns, they are usually better. Salida, Durango, Sedona all qualify. Moving up a bit in size is Flagstaff and Santa Fe (if you can afford to live on the side of town next to the best trails).

      St George, Utah also has a number of great networks on the edge of the city limits, easily accessible from town.

      As far as the big cities go, Albuquerque and Phoenix do very well in this regard although the venues around Phoenix are are pretty spread out so only a couple are rideable from any given location.

      Here’s one not often mentioned: Helena, MT. There are at least four distinct trail networks right on the edge of town, all linkable by a strong rider, and all containing that great variety of singletrack I have here in Colorado Springs. Being in a slightly drier area than the likes of Bozeman means a surprisingly long riding season for an area that far North. Despite not having a national reputation as a mountain bike town or destination, Helena really delivers the goods!

    • #124658

      Better yet, which of those cities have jobs that don’t also require driving. I can ride from home in Snoqualmie WA, but my commute to work in Seattle is 25 + miles each way. Plenty of small resort towns with loads of riding. The holy grail is places like with jobs that don’t require big commutes.

    • #124659

      I’ll stick with South Orange County, California. Hundreds of miles of trail all interconnected with National Forest, State Parks and County Parks. Not as scenic as some places but I can ride from the edge of the Pacific Ocean all the way to snow at the top of Santiago Peak in the space of 40 miles.

      South OC Trail Map: [url:2usulr26]http://bit.ly/1kFWtS8[/url:2usulr26]

    • #124660

      Also, lots of people chiming in with opinions on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/singletracksmtb

      Out of all the places I’ve personally visited, and there were a lot mentioned here that I haven’t visited yet 😀 , I’d probably have to go with Park City, Utah. Park City claims over 400 miles of quality singletrack (growing every year), but that’s JUST singletrack in and around town. Some of it loops up to the tops of the nearby mountains, but it is all quite rideable and accessible from the town. Also, this doesn’t include miles upon countless miles of older national forest trails that connect off of this trail system into the surrounding national forest. During my trip to Park City last year, every single ride began and/or ended in town… It’s a pretty special place!

    • #124661

      The Sacramento area is unfortunately horrible for this. We have top-notch paved trails, but for the most part you have to drive about 30-40 minutes for any real trail riding.

    • #124662

      You’re right, Greg, about proximity to the trails. I could ride up to 15 miles to trailhead. If further I’d rather drive. From what I visited, I’ll second on Phoenix and Sedona. Grand Junction and Fruita provide many miles of trails right of the door. Hard to compare to West Coast but Minneapolis/St. Paul also has tons of quality singletrack close enough no matter what area you leave.

    • #124663
      "skibum" wrote

      Here’s one not often mentioned: Helena, MT. There are at least four distinct trail networks right on the edge of town, all linkable by a strong rider, and all containing that great variety of singletrack I have here in Colorado Springs. Being in a slightly drier area than the likes of Bozeman means a surprisingly long riding season for an area that far North. Despite not having a national reputation as a mountain bike town or destination, Helena really delivers the goods!

      Helena was going to be my first vote. They have some awesome systems out there and they’re constantly expanding their pump track, dirt jump, and skills park area. We hit over 25 miles one weekend without riding the same trail twice (and we missed quite a bit too!) After the ride was over, we rode to a great sports bar (The Brew House) for some really good eats.

      Tuscon, AZ might be another decent one, but it all depends on where you live in the city. There isn’t much in central Tucson, but if you’re near the Rita Ranch area you’re really close to Fantasy Island or if you live next to one of the parks you have some decent singletrack nearby.

      A third one would be Des Moines, IA. They have a couple trails spread throughout the city (Center Trails and Sycamore) with rail trails leading to them. I just don’t think they have the mileage people would be looking for. Both are more "after-work rides" than "all-day epic" rides.

    • #124664

      Thanks guys. Please keep adding to this thread. I’ve been searching for this info for quite some time with no luck.

      Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

    • #124665

      Where I lived in south western NH, I had miles upon miles of abandoned dirt roads and rail roads, snowmobile trails and old logging roads to explore from my house. No transportation of bike needed. As for trails, nothing mt bike specific, many hiking and hunting trails to follow. Always fun to explore.

    • #124666

      I’ve heard that Prescott, AZ has a great trail system that is accessible from several areas in town. Can’t say I’ve actually been though.

    • #124667

      Will put in a plug for Roanoke Virginia. Explore Park on the east, Mill Mountain in the Middle and Carvins Cove and Havens Wildlife Management area on the west. A growing greenway system to hook it all together (eventually). Carvins Cove, a 13,000 acre city park has roughly 30 miles of singletrack, and 15 miles of doubletrack that hooks it together. A new trail plan roughly doubles that amount of singletrack. There are 4 different volunteer trail crews working out there now adding new trail and a free ride zone. Hopefully they will add in more trail closer to the city. Biggest think lacking in this area is beginner friendly trail.

      Other Mid-Atlantic places that may or may not suprise you:

      Philadelphia – last I heard they had 50 miles of trail in the city.

      Lynchburg Virgina – a huge network on Liberty Mountain.

      Danville Virginia – 30-40 miles of singletrack built on industrial land in the city.

      Greensboro North Carolina – 40 miles+ of singletrack along Lake Brandt.

    • #124668

      As a frequent visitor of Park City, St George/Hurricane and the Durango areas, I’d say Park City wins out from my perspective. Not only for the *amount* of singletrack available but especially for the QUALITY of the easily accessible trails. The trails I personally ride in the Durango area (and up towards Purgatory and beyond) are kind of spread out. I definitely don’t hanve the lungs or legs to ride up to the top of Hermosa Creek anymore. As for St George, the more I move around that city, the more I see what I will call paved access trails all over the place. I don’t know where they start or where they go but they have to improve access to what we’re really after….off road singletrack!!

      Sedona and Bend have to be way up on that list too!!

    • #124669
      "jeff" wrote

      Seems like many cities in the western US fit the bill but here on the east coast I think Richmond, VA stands out as having a ton of singletrack accessible right in town. Also, Charlotte, NC has the "Backyard Trails" system and while many of the trails here in Atlanta aren’t official, we have dozens of miles of Singletrack inside the perimeter.

      http://www.pinkbike.com/video/360421/

      I really enjoyed this video Fleetwood posted on another site showing off some of Richmond’s urban singletrack.

    • #124670
      "jeff" wrote

      Seems like many cities in the western US fit the bill but here on the east coast I think Richmond, VA stands out as having a ton of singletrack accessible right in town. Also, Charlotte, NC has the "Backyard Trails" system and while many of the trails here in Atlanta aren’t official, we have dozens of miles of Singletrack inside the perimeter.

      I second the Back Yard trails, but that’s only 11 miles. Charlotte has a few trails systems from what I’ve seen on the map here, but I’m not to terribly sure there are enough and close enough for it to be a top city. I think Asheville would be a top North Carolina contender.

      I wish I was into MTB when I lived in Atlanta now that you mention it.

    • #124671
      "Jared13" wrote

      A third one would be Des Moines, IA. They have a couple trails spread throughout the city (Center Trails and Sycamore) with rail trails leading to them. I just don’t think they have the mileage people would be looking for. Both are more "after-work rides" than "all-day epic" rides.

      Des Moines is cool, and some of theirs is an easy ride from the truck stop. In fact I just took a 3 day camp at the center trails, and there are some there, but just not on the same order of magnitude as the western stuff. SE metro St. Paul has more that I’ve ridden to. 😀 If I stretch a little there’s Lebanon, Terrace Oaks, Salem, Battle creek, and Lake Elmo. I’d hate to ride as far as Minneapolis from there, but some would.

    • #124672

      I’ve been hangin in Golden, Co this week and their is a bunch of systems within a few miles of each other here. Like apex, chimney gultch, North and south table, white ranch and I think a few others. I doubt it is the most epic place but it pretty good but also very busy on the weekends. But for the truck drivers out there this place is epic because the truck stop is only a few miles from each of them also.

    • #124673

      Just thought of Chattanooga. Raccoon mt alone is a good bit, and many more even some down in GA. I’ll grant that the river messes up travel and it’s spread out a lot, but they also have a nice green way path in town.

    • #124674
      "LongHaulBilly" wrote

      I’ve been hangin in Golden, Co this week and their is a bunch of systems within a few miles of each other here. Like apex, chimney gultch, North and south table, white ranch and I think a few others. I doubt it is the most epic place but it pretty good but also very busy on the weekends. But for the truck drivers out there this place is epic because the truck stop is only a few miles from each of them also.

      Is there any truck stop closer then 15 miles to Apex?

    • #124675
      "stumpyfsr" wrote

      [quote="LongHaulBilly":3kxrqqxw]I’ve been hangin in Golden, Co this week and their is a bunch of systems within a few miles of each other here. Like apex, chimney gultch, North and south table, white ranch and I think a few others. I doubt it is the most epic place but it pretty good but also very busy on the weekends. But for the truck drivers out there this place is epic because the truck stop is only a few miles from each of them also.

      Is there any truck stop closer then 15 miles to Apex?[/quote:3kxrqqxw]

      Yep, sure is. You got the TA denver west which is about 7 miles to apex park according to Google maps. I didn’t realize it was that close but that means you can do a pretty sweet loop from apex to chimney gultch or vice versa because they are both about 7 miles to either trail head. I’m gonna have to do that next time. It would probably be a 30+ mile ride. Or another thing I really haven’t looked into is the bus route to either trail head. Their buses are equipped with bike racks. So if you wanted to save a little energy for the trail that is probably an option. Are you also a driver?

    • #124676
      "LongHaulBilly" wrote

      [quote="stumpyfsr":2pgtzqvi][quote="LongHaulBilly":2pgtzqvi]I’ve been hangin in Golden, Co this week and their is a bunch of systems within a few miles of each other here. Like apex, chimney gultch, North and south table, white ranch and I think a few others. I doubt it is the most epic place but it pretty good but also very busy on the weekends. But for the truck drivers out there this place is epic because the truck stop is only a few miles from each of them also.

      Is there any truck stop closer then 15 miles to Apex?[/quote:2pgtzqvi]

      Yep, sure is. You got the TA denver west which is about 7 miles to apex park according to Google maps. I didn’t realize it was that close but that means you can do a pretty sweet loop from apex to chimney gultch or vice versa because they are both about 7 miles to either trail head. I’m gonna have to do that next time. It would probably be a 30+ mile ride. Or another thing I really haven’t looked into is the bus route to either trail head. Their buses are equipped with bike racks. So if you wanted to save a little energy for the trail that is probably an option. Are you also a driver?[/quote:2pgtzqvi]
      Thank you for info, Billy. Yes, I’m a driver too. Mostly going East and Midwest, sometimes West and South. So many singletrack that is inaccessible by truck, especially on East coast.
      Apex is on my list for a long time.

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