While some internet trolls might try to make you think otherwise, fat biking isn’t a fad. It’s not even a passing trend. And fat biking growth isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.
Every year fat biking opportunities continue to grow and expand all around the globe and especially in the United States, with local mountain bike clubs in cold, wintery locations such as the Midwest, Alaska, and the Northern Rockies leading the charge. While the best places to snow bike near you may not be maintained specifically for fat biking, the number of trails and clubs doing just that continues to blossom.
While the number of fat bike-specific trails continues to grow, high quality trails maintained for fat biking are still relatively few and far between. Here are 10 of the best fat bike trails that we’ve been able to track down in the United States in 2015:
Cache Creek, Jackson, Wyoming
Jackson, Wyoming recently played host to the global fat bike summit, and Cache Creek–one of the stand-out summer mountain bike trails in Jackson–hosted much of the fat biking traffic thanks to its grooming and winter maintenance
CAMBA Trail System, Wisconsin
All of the singletrack trails in the extensive CAMBA trail system are open to fat biking during the winter. Some of these trails are packed by snowshoers, and some are machine packed. Fat bike grooming continues to evolve and progress in this area, with the Seeley area offering the best fat bike grooming operation. Click here for up-to-date winter access and grooming information.
Cuyuna Lakes, Minnesota
Cuyuna Lakes is a relatively-new trail system in Northern Minnesota, but the club and the trails have made a big splash by conducting themselves professionally, marketing well, and building great trails quickly. Naturally, they’ve taken to fat biking like all of the other top-tier Midwestern trail systems, complete with grooming and expansive fat bike access.
Grand Targhee Resort, Alta, Wyoming
Grand Targhee was one of the first major ski resorts to adopt fat biking into the fold. Fat bikers currently have access to 9 miles of nordic ski trails at Targhee, as well as 2 miles of fat bike-specific singletrack trails. There are other great fat biking spots in the Teton Valley as well, making this area a true snow riding destination.
Jug Mountain Ranch, McCall, Idaho
Jug Mountain Ranch in McCall, Idaho is quickly becoming a fat biking hot spot (or cold spot?) thanks to nordic ski trails that are open for fat biking, as well as maintaining fat bike-specific singletrack trails on the ranch. And unlike some cross country ski areas, the biking trails here aren’t an afterthought: Jug Mountain offers over 6 miles of groomed fat bike-specific singletrack and another 8 miles of shared-use nordic trails, for a total of 14 miles open to fat bikes.
Be sure to click over to page two for 5 more great fat bike trails!
Kincaid Park, Anchorage, Alaska
Most people can agree that Alaska–and specifically Anchorage–was the birthplace of the fat biking movement. And as I prepared to write this article, I knew I had to include a fat bike trail in Anchorage. However, as I did research I realized that the online information about fat biking access in Anchorage is woefully scant.
Thankfully, I was able to get in touch with Singletrack Advocates in Anchorage directly, and they confirmed my suspicion that Kincaid Park is the fat biking hot spot! According to Singletrack Advocates, “16 miles of singletrack are groomed by our volunteers, making the flow trails flow not only in summer but in winter. We groom with snowmachines pulling a couple of car tires to create a 2-3 foot firm, rideable trail.”
Want to help us flesh out the largest mountain bike trail database in the world with information on fat bike trail access? If you know of a trail in Alaska–or anywhere else, for that matter–that allows fat bike access in the winter (and we don’t have it marked as such), click the “actions” menu on the top of the trail page in question, click “edit info,” and then select “Fat biking allowed in winter” in the features section at the bottom. Know of a trail that we don’t have listed that allows fat biking? Add it quickly and easily using this form. And if the trail isn’t open to summer bike access, be sure to select “Fatbike (Accessible in winter only)” under “trail type.”
Kingdom Trails, East Burke, Vermont
The Kingdom Trails is a renowned Northeastern mountain bike destination during the summer, but thanks to snowmobile and snowshoe packing, the fun continues here all the way through the winter! According to the Kingdom Trails website, “this year, we are snowmobile and snowshoe packing the entire network of singletrack mountain biking trails on the East Side of Darling Hill,” so get out there and enjoy some snowy singletrack fun!
Levis Mound, Neillsville, Wisconsin
Fat bikers will find over 9 miles of machine-packed fat biking singletrack at Levis Mound. One of the things that sets these trails apart is that this fat biking loop was built specifically for fat bikes, and not a retrofitted trail like most other snow bike epics. The grades are fat bike-optimized, and the corridor through the trees is wide enough to let a snowmobile through to pack in the trail for bicycles.
In addition, other trails in the system are sometimes packed in by snowshoe traffic too. Levis is also home to the annual Sweaty Yeti fat bike race and Yeti Fest. For up-to-date grooming conditions, stay tuned to the Levis Mound Facebook Page.
Marquette Snow Bike Route, Michigan
The advocates behind the Noquemanon Trail Network were some of the first to pioneer machine grooming/packing singletrack for fat bikes. The Marquette Snow Bike Route is home to about 15 miles of trail maintained specifically for fat biking. In addition, they’ve added the North Snow Bike Route, many miles of ski trail are open to fat bikes at specific times, and many of the singletrack trails that aren’t passable by a snowmobile receive enough snowshoe and bike traffic to keep the trails packed in and rideable.
Snow Mountain Ranch–YMCA of the Rockies, Granby, Colorado
Snow Mountain Ranch offers over 6 miles of groomed trails dedicated “exclusively” to fat bikes. They even offer rentals right there at the facility if you don’t have your own.
Also, nearby Winter Park is home to a fat bike race series and a plethora of other socially-packed fat bike trails.
Now of course this isn’t anywhere close to a comprehensive list of the best places to fat bike, although the trails mentioned above are indeed some of the very best. Here are a whole host of other great fat biking spots that our Facebook fans made us aware of:
- Addison Oaks County Park, Leonard, Michigan
- Bohart Ranch, Bozeman, Montana
- Discovery Hill, Salmon, Idaho
- Eadsville Trail, Casper, Wyoming
- Elm Creek, Maple Grove, Minnesota
- Enterprise Primitive Trail, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
- Fort Custer Recreation Area, Augusta, Michigan
- Fish Canyon Recreation Area, Sundance, Wyoming
- Hanson Hills, Grayling, Michigan
- Hardwood Hills, Barrie, Ontario
- Howelson Hill Nordic Center, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- Lebanon Hills, Eagan, Minnesota
- Merrell Trail, Rockford, Michigan
- Millstone Hill, Barre, Vermont
- Mineral Belt Trail, Leadville, Colorado
- Mud Lake Trails, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
- Shanty Creek, Bellaire, Michigan
- Silver Lake Park, Kenosha, Wisconsin
- South March Highlands, Ottawa, Ontario
- Sunnyvale County Park, Wausau, Wisconsin
- Tennessee Pass Nordic Center, and other nearby singletrack trails in Leadville, Colorado
- Turkey Point, Simcoe, Ontario
- Vasa Trail, Traverse City, Michigan
- Whitetail Ridge, River Falls, Wisconsin
- Woolly Trail, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
- Yankee Springs, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Do you know of a trail that wasn’t mentioned in this article? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
Last updated 01:00pm EST, 2/9/15.