The 51 Mountain Bike Capitals of the United States

Massachusetts: Leominster

Russell Mill. Photo: Fitch
Russell Mill. Photo: Fitch

Leominster boasts at least 40 trails within 25 miles of downtown, including the highest-rated trail in the state: Leominster State Forest. While there doesn’t appear to be one concentrated area where all the trails a located, the sum total of the mountain bike trails spread across the region is impressive: 316 miles of mountain biking, if not more.

Michigan: Marquette

Marquette Snow bike Route. Photo: Kristian Saile
Marquette Snow bike Route. Photo: Kristian Saile

Marquette has proven itself as an epic destination in both the summer and in the winter. That’s a good thing, because winter lasts a long time here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior. Standout trails in Marquette include the South Marquette Trails and the Marquette Snow Bike Route. In addition to great trails you’ll find three breweries, a handful of bike shops, and plenty of restaurants and lodging establishments.

Minnesota: Duluth

Photos courtesy of Spirt Mountain Facebook Page
Photos courtesy of Spirt Mountain Facebook Page

Duluth is still up-and-coming in the mountain bike scene, as local advocates (COGGS) work diligently to finish the Duluth Traverse trail. While the Duluth Traverse may not yet be completed, Duluth still dominates the Minnesota scene and is an easy choice as the capital. There are a plethora of high-quality trail systems in and around Duluth, including high-rated Mission Creek, Piedmont, and Brewer Park, along with Spirit Mountain: the only lift-served downhill bike park in the state, and one of just a handful in the entire Midwest. Also, Spirit Mountain recently became one of the first ski resorts to open their lifts to fat bikes on a regular basis. Add in all of the excellent local amenities, including at least six breweries, and the gorgeous views of Lake Superior, and you can’t really go wrong!

Mississippi: Oxford

Clear Creek. Photo: RoadWarrior
Clear Creek. Photo: RoadWarrior

While the pickings are slim in Mississippi, Oxford is home to one of the top-ranked trails in the state (Clear Creek), among others. Oxford Bicycle Co. will keep your rig running well, and the town of over 20,000 people has more than enough hotels and restaurants to take care of the needs of prospective mountain bike tourists.

Missouri: Steelville

Forest City Trail. photo: CFM
Forest City Trail. photo: CFM

Steelville, MO is home to Missouri’s lone IMBA Epic trail system, Berryman, and mountain bikers flock to the town to enjoy a taste of the Missouri Ozark mountains. Not only that, Berryman is basically part of the Ozark Trail, a collection of nearly 400 miles of trail winding through the Missouri Ozarks and Mark Twain National Forest. The town of Steelville is tiny–less than 2,000 residents call this place home–which makes the number and quality of trails all the more impressive. Beyond Berryman and the Ozark Trail, there are more trails like the Forest City Trail (pictured above) nearby.

Share This: