The 51 Mountain Bike Capitals of the United States

Montana: Whitefish

Herron Park / Foys. photo: patrick dierickx.
Herron Park / Foys. photo: patrick dierickx.

Montana is a big state with hundreds of excellent mountain bike trails to explore. The area around Whitefish, however, stands out from other towns in the state due to its location within Flathead Valley where it’s surrounded by excellent mountain bike trails on all sides. According to our calculations there are nearly 500 miles of singletrack starting within 25 miles of town–and that’s just the 50 or so trails we’ve cataloged! If you’re new to town, might we suggest Pig Farm or Spencer Mountain? These are two of the most popular trails in the area according to Singletracks members and both showcase everything Montana mountain biking has to offer. For those looking for a completely gravity-fueled adventure, head to the lift-serviced trails at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Nebraska: Omaha

Jewel Park. photo: GTXC4.
Jewel Park. photo: GTXC4.

Let’s face it: Nebraska was dealt a pretty poor hand in the topgraphy department, at least as far as mountain bikers are concerned. But a critical mass of dedicated riders have scratched out miles of singletrack in and around the city of Omaha, thanks in large part to local advocacy group Trails Have Our Respect or, T.H.O.R. Omaha’s (and frankly, Nebraska’s) crown jewel is Jewel Park and all told, there are 10 mountain bike trails within 25 miles of Omaha, including the third most popular trail system in the state, Platte River.

Nevada: Incline Village

Tahoe Rim Trail. photo: Greg Heil.
Tahoe Rim Trail. photo: Greg Heil.

Perhaps thoughts of endless desert and neon come to mind when thinking of Nevada, but there’s a little sliver of mountain bike heaven located in the western corner of the state, Incline Village, that’s far and away this state’s mountain bike capital. This tiny Nevada town even ranked #7 among all US mountain bike destinations, showing just how influential the area trails have become. With more than 400 miles of trails within 25 miles of town, including the epic Tahoe Rim trail and lift-serviced terrain at Northstar Resort (ok, that’s on the California side but still, it’s nearby), Nevada mountain bikers can proudly claim Incline Village as the capital of mountain biking in the state.

New Hampshire: Tilton

Bear Brook. photo: keithm@redbrickclothing.
Bear Brook. photo: [email protected]

Highland Mountain Bike Park, located in Tilton, NH, is one of the most popular lift-serviced trail systems in the northeast, which alone is enough to crown Tilton New Hampshire’s mountain bike capital. But beyond the bike park, Bear Brook (the most popular ride in the state, according to Singletracks members) and Franklin Falls (ranked #3 in the state) are both located within 25 miles of town. New Hampshire may be small, but this part of the Granite State boasts a potent concentration of singletrack!

New Jersey: Vernon

Mountain Creek Bike Park. Photo: Syd Patricio.
Mountain Creek Bike Park. Photo: Syd Patricio.

Vernon, NJ is home to Mountain Creek Bike Park so naturally, the MTB community in the small state of New Jersey gravitates toward this small town. Beyond the bike park, there’s also excellent advanced riding at Ringwood Skylands Manor and intermediate trails at Jungle Habitat. By our count there are nearly 200 miles of singletrack within 25 miles of Vernon! Bonus: there are a few breweries surrounding Vernon, including Pine Island and Angry Erik Brewing.

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