Here Are 7 Great Mountain Biking Destinations To Explore
Photo Credit: Godisable Jacob

Photo Credit: Godisable Jacob

Here Are 7 Great Mountain Biking Destinations To Explore

new york city , san diego , France , Jamaica , Scotland , South Africa
Spencer Jones
Spencer Jones Oct 12, 2021

Mountain biking opens up opportunities for us to explore the great outdoors in all its glory, whether it’s on a designated path in the woods, up a winding mountain, or along a road running parallel with the sea.

Not only is it environmentally friendly, it’s cost-effective, and promotes heart and lung health. When you’re pedaling up those hills, that lactic acid burn in your thighs probably won’t feel so great, but you’ll reap the benefits of that arduous ride for years to come.

Ready to start hammering those pedals? Here are seven great destinations for a mountain biking adventure.

1. Colorado

Photo by Erkan Güneş

Colorado is a popular ski destination, but when the snow melts, there are some great sites for mountain bikers of all levels.

As Colorado.com states, when winter concludes, “bike racks quickly replace ski racks, and bikers can enjoy red-rock shelves, creekside tracks, high- mountain passes and aspen- lined loops.”

If you’re a novice looking to get your feet wet, Breckenridge offers Boreas Pass, six miles of flat road that transforms into forest. This trail is well suited for solo riders and families looking to embark on a biking adventure during the day.

Seasoned riders might look to Zippity Doo Da, an eight-mile-long loop. It’s as random as the name implies, so be prepared for steep downhills, sharp twists and more to get your heart pounding.

If you really want to challenge your lungs (provided you’re prepared for altitude changes), Monarch Crest Trail in Salida and Barr Trail in Manitou Springs certainly deliver. Your legs might never speak to you again afterwards, but the experience will be worth it.

2. South Africa

Photo by Lina Loos

Get up close and personal with South Africa while astride a bike.

Tokai Forest offers a mountain trail, and is part of Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town.

You’ll find people hiking, jogging, and walking dogs while taking in the luscious scenery.

The trail is presided over by tall trees and a wide variety of flowers and plants, an ideal backdrop for some Instagrammable photos.

3. France

Photo by Angoes A. Setyawan

As far as Europe goes, France is one of the best destinations for biking.

If you’re a hardcore rider looking for challenge and a bit of danger, there are options galore, and the same applies for those looking for something less arduous.

Portes du Soleil in the French Alps is a haven for mountain bikers in the warmer months, and according to Ultimate France “it attracts riders from all over with its dusty trails, endless lifts, and legendary singletrack.”

The South of France is also great for biking, while the majestic Pyreenes, forming a border between France and Spain, offers breathtaking mountains and valleys.

4. Jamaica

Photo by Rock Staar

Most people go to Jamaica for the white sand beaches, delicious food, and welcoming vibe.

But did you know that the island’s Blue Mountain Peak is the highest in all the English-speaking Caribbean? That makes for great biking opportunities.

Single Track Jamaica, which arranges biking expeditions for visitors, points out the island’s “varied terrain,” soft and muddy in some places and rocky in others.

Navigating these trails, whether on bike or by foot, allow you to experience the rural parts of the island, which don’t typically get the same attention as the touristy hot spots. And really, that’s part of what makes them so refreshing.

5. Scotland

Photo by Stephen Talas

If you’re staying in Edinburgh, Scotland, you can drive to Tweed Valley in approximately an hour. You can also book accommodations near the Valley, if you want to be closer.

According to Visit Scotland, The Tweed Valley alone has “four hundred thousand mountain biking visitors per year,” and for good reason. It’s absolutely stunning and filled with history.

Innerleithen and Glentress in particular offer not only some of the best mountain biking in Scotland, but in all the United Kingdom.

When you need a break from all that pedaling, set your bike aside and go fishing in Tweed River.

6. California

Photo by Andres Garcia

Three of the best parts of California for mountain biking are in and around “The Bay Area, San Diego and The Sierra Nevadas,” according to 57 Hours.

Fairfax, which is not far from San Francisco, is one of the American birthplaces for mountain biking. Riders today are attracted to it for its fast downhills and rugged trails.

San Diego is synonymous with great surfing, but the pleasant weather it offers all year round also makes it popular for biking. Cut through forests, meadows, and Cowles Mountain, which is a real challenge to ascend.

7. New York

Photo by Thomas Loizeau

When you don’t feel like dealing with hostile vehicular traffic in New York City, and none of the parks are cutting it, pack up your bike and head to The Catskills.

Fresh air and wide, open spaces. What’s not to love about that?

According to the Great Northern Catskills Of Green County website, “there are more than 120 miles of mountain biking trails,” and those at Windham Mountain Bike Park are ideal for newbies.