Summer Bike Routes: 7 Epic Rides Across the USA
At Saris, we are always on the lookout for new places to ride. Whether close to home or a short drive away, new routes are always showing up on our radar. You can keep your nose to Strava or Map My Ride and see what other local riders are doing. Or with a little research you can set out and blaze your own path.
If you're looking to break out of the ordinary with a bucket list ride, we've put together this round-up of 7 stellar routes across the USA.
West Coast: The 1856-mile Pacific Coast Route
The Pacific Coast Route is a series of 250+ mile legs that takes you from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Imperial Beach, CA. Hit major cities like San Francisco and coastal gems like Santa Barbara on this incredible tour of the west. The Adventure Cycling Organization has put together route maps and details to help you along the whole way.
Whether you set out to conquer the entire north-south passage or you just want to experience a day ride on new terrain, their maps are invaluable for creating that next unforgettable cycling experience. See the five legs and get the full description here.
East Coast: The 3000-mile East Coast Greenway Alliance
The East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA) is an ongoing project to connect the entire eastern seaboard with mile after mile of cycling and multi-use trails. Starting in Calais, Maine, and ending in Key West, Florida, the trail takes you through east coast giants like Boston and New York City while also providing trail access to the 64 million people who live within several miles of the Greenway. Plan a day ride or an epic odyssey with the Greenway's route planning tool and state-by-state maps.
South: 225-mile Katy Trail, Missouri
Load your bike rack, we're going on an epic road trip to the “Show Me” state's Katy Trail. This rails-to-trails operation starts in Clinton, Missouri, and is an incredible way to experience the south. Hit part of the trail for a day ride or make it a long weekend in the saddle and stay at inns along the way. You can even join the Katy Trail Ride, a group ride every summer that is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories and long-lasting friendships.
Heartland: The 50-mile Prairie Spirit Trail, Kansas
The Prairie Spirit Trail in Kansas is a great option for anyone in the heartland looking to get out for a day ride. Ride the plains with this 50-mile, well-maintained route that features both crushed limestone and paved trail.
Heartland: The 321-mile Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail, Nebraska
The Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail is best suited for cross country mountain bikers or those training for a cyclocross event. The trail is a rails-to-trails conversion with 195 miles restored, although you can ride the entire 321-mile distance at your own risk. If that's not in the true cowboy spirit, we don't know what is. See more on the Cowboy Trail.
Midwest: The 32-mile Elroy-Sparta State Trail
Located in our home state of Wisconsin, the Elroy-Sparta State trail was the first rails-to-trails project in the country. This century-old route takes you through the small-town communities from Norwalk to Kendall and more. There are few better ways to experience Wisconsin's natural beauty than cruising on two wheels on the Elroy-Sparta Trail.
Midwest: Organized Weekend Bike Tours
If you're a close-to-home midweek rider in the midwest looking for adventurous weekends in the saddle, plug into Midwest Weekend's Tours on two wheels. From an early season ride in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, to a midsummer ride in Kalona, Iowa, to a late-season century in Park Rapids, Minnesota, you will no doubt find a ride to add to your season's highlights. Check out their full itinerary of rides and routes.