The 51 Mountain Bike Capitals of the United States

New Mexico: Taos

South Boundary Trail. photo: Bob Ward.
South Boundary Trail. photo: Bob Ward.

Taos, NM boasts more than 300 miles of mountain bike trails within 25 miles of town, including the lift-serviced trails at Angel Fire resort to the east. Not only that, the most popular trail in New Mexico–South Boundary Trail #164–is located between Taos and Angel Fire. To the west of town, mountain bikers will find some of the most scenic rides in the state along the Rio Grande Gorge. With more than 40 different trails to choose from, mountain bikers can spend weeks exploring all that New Mexico’s MTB capital has to offer!

New York: Poughkeepsie

Lippman Park. photo: BigMattyD.
Lippman Park. photo: BigMattyD.

NYC may be the financial capital of the world but the state’s mountain bike wealth is concentrated in Poughkeepsie. State mountain bikers rave about the beginner and intermediate trails in Lippman Park where the Renegades mountain bike club has poured a ton of sweat into building an excellent trail system. Stewart State Forest in nearby Newburgh boasts 55 miles of riding and Taconic-Hereford gets high marks from riders as well. Poughkeepsie is located in New York’s Catskill Mountains, making it a natural spot for the state’s MTB riders to congregate and shred.

North Carolina: Brevard

Dupont State Forest. photo: Greg Heil.
Dupont State Forest. photo: Greg Heil.

No doubt about it: Brevard is the mountain bike capital of North Carolina, if not the entire east coast. Brevard is surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest and offers easy access to more than 400 miles of mountain bike trails. Not only that, Brevard is the only city east of Colorado that cracks our top 10 mountain bike destinations list. The trails in Pisgah have a reputation for being steep, rooty, and rocky, but that’s just part of the story. Faster, flowier stuff can be found in places like Bent Creek and Dupont State Forest.  This part of the state is really special, so it’s no wonder bike companies and breweries alike are making their home in and around Brevard.

North Dakota: Medora

Maah Daah Hey / Bully Pulpit. photo: Jetnjeff29r
Maah Daah Hey / Bully Pulpit. photo: Jetnjeff29r

Let’s face it: North Dakota isn’t exactly a mountain bike mecca. But for riders in the state, Medora is the place to go as it’s the home to the well known, IMBA Epic Maah Daah Hey Trail. This roughly 100-mile trail offers a good intro to bikepacking and its length is roughly equal to all the other singletrack in the state combined. Experiencing the Maah Daah Hey has been on our to-do list for a long time, so when we finally do bring our bikes to North Dakota, you can be sure we’ll be heading to Medora!

Ohio: Wooster

Vultures Knob. photo: Trail_Jogger.
Vultures Knob. photo: Trail_Jogger.

Ohio is another one of those states that, through no fault of its own, just doesn’t have the terrain mountain bikers are looking for. But that hasn’t stopped industrious riders from creating places to ride like Ray’s Indoor Bike Park in Cleveland. Looking at the top-rated rides in the state, two of the top three (Vultures Knob and Mohican) are within 25 miles of Wooster, which is a pretty solid endorsement. Throw in the trails at Reagan/Huffman and you have nearly 50 miles of trails within 25 miles of Wooster. Woot!

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