The United States has some of the most incredible natural wonders, national and state parks, and outdoor oddities in the world. Don’t believe us? Well, the Founding Fathers didn’t fight to break away from England because they thought this place was lame. Whether your plans for your next outing are TBD, or you’re considering looking to head somewhere a little edgier than the neighborhood park, we’ve done the research for you to find the best parks, trails, and sights in your corner of the U.S.
First up: New England & The Northeast.
NEW ENGLAND & THE NORTHEAST
New England isn’t the first place that comes to mind when considering a natural excursion, but its rocky coasts, hilly byways, and abundance in lakes and rivers make it a challenging and exciting choice for a variety of activities. New England is home to a National Scenic Trail called, unsurprisingly, the New England Trail. 215 miles of trail meanders from flat, grassy Long Island Sound all the way up into Connecticut and Massachusetts. This trail in particular heeds multiple sections ideal for casual cyclists. Cruise past historic village centers, flat farmlands, and alongside quiet streams. For cyclists looking for a more challenging experience, the New England Trail passes by Penwood State Park in Connecticut. This intense and extensive trail brings you to an elevation of over 450 feet while hugging 200 foot cliffs and exposing the rider to views of the Farmington River Valley.
If you're more beach oriented, head over to Cape Cod, a quick hour and a half drive from Providence, Rhode Island, for some classic beach bike routes. Hop on the Shining Sea Bikeway for quintessential New England scenery. Cruise down The Chatham Loop for a view of the Cape’s iconic lighthouse (by the way...we have the perfect bike for that).
Closer to New York? Beat the summer heat of the city and head up into the gorgeous Catskills. Phoenicia, NY is a sleepy, quaint town tucked into the age old Upstate mountains. Grab your bike, we recommend our Barron for this excursion, and head down the Phoenicia Trail. This trail weaves through the thick forests of the Catskill region. Follow the tracks of an old railroad, navigate through the dips, trees, and bridges on this vigorous four mile route.
We weren’t going to talk about this country’s outdoor offerings without mentioning Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls is located where Lake Ontario and Lake Erie meet, but if you’re anywhere in the Great Lakes Region, it’s worth the drive. The area surrounding Niagara Falls is laden with flat, accessible bike paths for cyclists looking to take in the power of the falls from their two wheeled companion. Hone in on those classic 4th of July vibes by packing a feast, staking out a nearby picnic table, and listening to the roar of the falls. Ride alongside the Niagara Gorge from the Falls up to historic Lewiston, NY. The power of the Niagara River slices through the ancient gorge below you. While the views are intense, this paved ride can be easily handled on a fixed gear or single-speed bike.
While you’re there, don’t forget to wave to our neighbors north of the border.
Don't settle for less on your outdoor adventures. Go further, stay out later, explore longer. The Northeast and New England are filled with uncharted territory (well, not totally uncharted) for you to conquer.
P.S. There’s still time to let your boss know you’re not coming back in until next week.
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