Road Biking is a great way to enjoy the diverse terrain and scenic wonders of America's Byways®. You don't have to be a seasoned athlete to bike on the Byways; you can ride at your own speed and make as many stops as you like.
Wonders of Nature in a Thriving Metropolis
Bicyclists on the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway in Minnesota can experience a spectacular scenic ride without even leaving the city. The 38-mile Grand Rounds Parkway system provides almost a complete circle of paved bike paths around and through the Minneapolis metropolitan area. Forget the hustle and bustle of city life and marvel at the natural scenic wonders that can be found within the city limits. Waterfalls, lush parklands and sparkling rivers abound along the Byway, and of course, the mighty Mississippi is never far from view.
Between the Walls of the Columbia River Gorge
There's no better way to experience the Columbia River Gorge than by bicycle. The ride through the Gorge on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is considered by some to be the "best of the best" when it comes to bike rides. The trail runs near the Historic Columbia River Highway. You'll have to share some sections of the roadway with motor vehicles, but the traffic is usually fairly light. Get ready for a unique phenomenon when you pass through the five-mile Twin Tunnels segment between Hood River and Mosier and go from one climate zone to another. Before entering the tunnel from Mosier, you will find yourself in semi-arid terrain dotted with ponderosa pine. You will emerge from the tunnel into a forest of fir trees and other western Oregon vegetation. The trail is a fast-paced but fairly easy route that will take you to six waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls, the second highest waterfall in the nation.
The Mesas and Mountains of New Mexico
Experience the Land of Enchantment by riding the Jemez Mountain Trail and the Turquoise Trail. Both routes offer a variety of mountain and canyon scenery and give bikers a glimpse of New Mexico's unique history. On the Jemez Trail, visit pre-historic cliff dwellings of the ancient Pueblo people and spend time in modern Pueblo communities where you can enjoy traditional Jemez foods and arts and crafts at roadside stands. There are a few challenging climbs along the way, but you will find it worth the effort when you reach Jemez Springs. There you can treat yourself to a massage and a relaxing soak in the natural mineral water at the Jemez Springs Bath House.
A little further to the southeast, the Turquoise Trail also offers an exceptional scenic and historically enlightening bike ride. One of the most interesting stops on the trail is Tinkertown, a whimsical museum with walls made of glass bottles. The trail also passes through several boom towns turned ghost towns. Be sure to stop for a break and enjoy the local arts and crafts galleries and shops there.
Take on the Mountain in Georgia
If you are an experienced bicyclist and you are looking for a challenge, try biking the Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway in Georgia. This route consists of many long, steep climbs through the Chattahoochee National Forest. You'll get your exercise for the day on this ride, but when you make it to the high points you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which will make the ride well worth the effort.
Bicycling is a great way to see the country and get a good work-out all at the same time. Whether you're in the mood for a leisurely ride through town or a challenging climb through mountainous terrain, there's a bike trail for you on one of America's Byways.
- Public domain. Photo by A. E. Crane
- Public domain. Photo by Dennis Adams
- Public domain. Photo by Larry Valtelhas
- Public domain. Natchez Trace Parkway, National Park Service