The Best Mountain Bike Trail in Each US State for Beginners

best beginner mountain bike trails

New mountain bikers have to start somewhere. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve moved on to more difficult trails but the thing is, you probably have friends or even kids you would love to take riding for the first time. The trick is choosing a trail that’s fun and as frustration-free as possible for that maiden voyage!

We’ve selected some of the highest-rated, beginner-friendly singletrack trails on Singletracks to help both newbies and friends of newbies get started. Is the most popular beginner trail in your state too far away? No problem! Just search Singletracks for trails in your state, then filter by “beginner” trails to see all the easy trails in your state on a map. And if you’re curious about how our members determine which trails are truly beginner-friendly, read this.

Bonus: We include two Canadian provinces at the end of the list.

Alabama: Sylaward

sylaward-1

Sylaward is located off the beaten path toward the far southwestern edge of the Talledega Nataional Forest, offering up 15 miles of buff, flowy singletrack. Beginner riders will love the gradual climbs and serene lakeside scenery along the way.

Alaska: Kepler-bradley Lakes State Park

photo: AK_Dan
photo: AK_Dan

New riders might want to start on the XC-style doubletrack trails at Kepler-Bradley Lakes, but many of the singletrack options in this large trail network are beginner-friendly too.

Arizona: Sweetwater Preserve

photo: smorris
photo: smorris

As if the accessible Tucson location and 8 miles of beginner-grade trails isn’t enough, Sweetwater Preserve allows riders to get up close (but not too close) to Saguaro cacti. Note: there are several rock garden sections newbies may want to walk but overall, this is a fairly smooth ride.

Arkansas: Springhill Park

photo: JoshuaTriggs
photo: JoshuaTriggs

Finding a good beginner trail in Arkansas isn’t as easy as you might imagine, with many of the state’s most epic rides characterized by shifting rocks and ledgy climbs. But Springhill Park in Fort Smith gets high marks from riders for its smooth, fast singletrack practically devoid of technical obstacles.

California: Fort Ord

fort_ord2-1

We honestly had a difficult time choosing a popular beginner’s mountain bike trail in California, perhaps due to “difficulty inflation” where readers classify rides as more advanced than they really are.  So we’re going out on a limb here and saying Fort Ord, home to the mega-popular Sea Otter Classic, is a great place for beginners to get started. Sure, the climbs can be grueling, but there’s little in the way of technical difficulty, at least on the official singletrack trails.

Colorado: Dawson’s Butte & Ridgeline Open Space Trail

photo: BMCPete
Dawson’s Butte photo: BMCPete

Colorado has a lot to offer advanced riders, with thousands of miles of some of the most epic singletrack in the US spread throughout the state. To work up to some of the best-known routes, many riders get their start on popular Front Range beginner trails like Dawson’s Butte and Ridgeline Open Space, both in Castle Rock (about halfway between Denver and Colorado Springs). Singletracks members have actually identified nearly 200 beginner trails in Colorado, so there are plenty of other great spots to choose from!

Connecticut: Gay City State Park

photo: Rider51
photo: Rider51

Beginner riders will want to start with the inner White Trail, but overall new riders will find Gay City State Park to be a good intro to mountain biking. Some riders report the trails are not always well marked, so try to go with a friend!

Delaware: No Recommendation

It’s hard to believe there are no beginner-friendly trails in Delaware, so if you know of any, add or review them on Singletracks today!

Florida: Spruce Creek Preserve

photo: smokinoak
photo: smokinoak

If you’ve never ridden in Florida, you might assume all the trails are beginner-friendly. But you would be wrong. For a truly beginner-friendly trail, Spruce Creek seems to be a solid choice, with 7-10 miles of newbie-approved–and fun–trails.

Georgia: Paynes Creek

paynes_creek-1

Paynes Creek is located just inside the Georgia border with South Carolina, along the shores of Lake Hartwell. This multi-loop system is smooth, fast, and flowy, with minimal climbing. Bring the whole family to camp at the trails and enjoy the singletrack!

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