If we here at Singletracks know anything, it’s mountain bike trails. We’ve given you the Top 10 Mountain Bike Destinations in North America, and even the Top 10 Mountain Bike Cities in North America. But there exists a class of destinations that isn’t quite developed enough in trail mileage or sheer grandness factor to make our top 10 destinations list. (That, and there are just so many great places to choose from!) However, many of these smaller destinations are still uber-popular, due to the really great riding they provide and their proximity to major metropolitan areas.

In this article, we’re rounding up 10 of the best weekend mountain bike getaways in the United States.


For our first criterion, these destinations don’t, for the most part, have that much singletrack mileage to offer. If you’re reasonably fit and you take a long 3-day weekend, you can probably explore most of these weekend destinations in their entirety. But despite the confined area, the riding in all of these places is renowned and raved about by the locals. Sure, you could go to a place like Moab or Whistler for a weekend, but you’d barely scratch the surface, and would ultimately do yourself and the wealth of amazing riding there a disservice. We’ve left such places out of the running

The second criterion is that the destination must be relatively close to a major metropolitan area. We s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d the distances on a few of these, but generally speaking we limited the driving distance calculations to cities of 100,000 or more within 6 or less hours one-way.

1. Brown County State Park, Nashville, Indiana

Photo: zephxiii

Photo: zephxiii

Visit here if you live in:

  • Indianapolis, IN: 1-hour drive
  • Louisville, KY: 1hr 20min
  • Cincinnati, OH: 2hr
  • Columbus, OH: 3hr 30min
  • Chicago, IL: 4hr
  • Nashville, TN: 4hr
  • St. Louis, MO: 4hr 15min
  • Detroit, MI: 5hr
  • Cleveland, OH: 5hr 30min
  • Pittsburgh, PA: 6hr

Brown County State Park in Indiana is home to over 30 miles of extremely well-built trails, ranging in difficulty from easy to advanced. This section of Indiana might surprise you, with quite a bit of elevation change thanks to the never ending up-down-up-down of the hills. In fact, one of the GPS tracks submitted to Singletracks for Brown County–totalling 31.3 miles in length–racks up 4,466+ feet of climbing! Spend the weekend here exploring these great trails, and enjoy convenient camping right in the same state park.

# Comments

  • Chris Daniels

    Clever topic! I like the criteria and a chance to hear about that niche of really great riding in the shadows of the big boys. I’ll add Hood River (Day 1: Surveyors Ridge, 2: The Whoopdee, 3: Post Canyon, Bonus ride: Syncline)

  • Fitch

    Thank you so much for showing some love to Kingdom Trails in VT! The New England mountain bike experience is very different than a lot of the country since our terrain doesn’t normally entail what you call “flow” as much as other locales, but KT is a haven to us all. And you’re dang right it’s a camping weekend!!!

  • John Fisch

    Price, Utah
    Home to the Luke’s Trail network, Driver Trails, Goodwater Rim — and not much else.
    2 hrs from Salt Lake City/2.5 from Ogden/6 from Denver.

    Vernal, Utah
    Perfect for a long weekend. Red Fleet, McCoy Flats and the Flume.
    3 Hrs from Salt Lake/2.5 from Provo/3.5 from Ogden, 6 from Denver
    Did this as a long weekend from Colorado Springs (7 hours)

    Pine Valley, CA
    Big Laguna Trail, Noble Canyon, Cayamaca State Park, Noble Canyon
    45 Min from San Diego, 2.5 Hrs from LA

    Idyllwild, CA
    The Idyllwild Park Trails will keep you entertained for a long weekend.
    2 hrs from LA/3 from San Diego

    Prescott Arizona (for after you’ve tapped out Sedona)
    3 or 4 great trail systems.
    1.5 hours from Phoenix, 2.5 from Tucson

    Los Alamos, NM (for after you’ve tapped out Santa Fe and Taos)
    1.5 hrs from Albuquerque

    Luray, VA
    Elizabeth Furnace, Kennedy Peak
    1.75 hrs from DC

  • RobertD

    North Georgia and Western North Carolina. Love those areas. Thanks for the report because some of those are doable. 🙂

  • Bubblehead10MM

    The road goes on forever and the party never ends. Back home there’s cuyuna, nice drive from fargo to green bay. And levis mound. Granted both could be considered destinations, but not when you set them next to ut or co destinations. I love potters pasture in Ne but there’s not much near by. I don’t think you drive from Denver for that.

  • Skoofer

    I took a nearly identical picture to the one you used for Oakridge when I was there…I knew it looked familiar!

  • Allgrainer

    Good to see my local trails mentioned Carvins Cove in Roanoke. However there are close to 50 miles of trails within the boundaries of the property not 30….Most are single track with some fire road. I ride them 2-3 times a week due tliving very close to them. Crews are currently building a new trai called Rock and Roll and so far its one of my favorites cant wait till its completed. There is a shape nearby that it top notch! Just the Right Gear.

  • marlene-campbell

    I know this article goes back to 2015, but I think your assessment of Kingdom Trails isn’t accurate. They continue to add over 10 miles of mountain bike trails each year plus there is the bike park on the ski mountain. It is more than worthy a destination for a week. Just ask the thousands of riders that go every year. And the best part is it is soooo family friendly. I love seeing kids on bike and not playing video games. Go – you won’t be disappointed!

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