Best Autumn Cycling Routes in the US | KBO Bike
Leaf-peeping is virtually a fall rite of passage. Checking out the fall foliage—leaves shifting from their summer greens to burnt oranges, brilliant fuchsia-reds, and rich golden yellows—is a sure-fire approach to getting into an autumn attitude and making the most of this transitional season, just like carving pumpkins or picking apples.
And what better way to enjoy this natural wonder than on your bike?
As autumn creeps throughout the United States, pedal pushers look forward to more than just cooler weather; they're also waiting for stunning fall colors. From Colorado to New York, Texas to North Carolina, there are several places to view the spectacular fall foliage from the saddle of an electric bicycle.
Some of these trails are strenuous on the calf muscles, while others are gentle on the legs and the eyes. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail in Lexington and the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth are more laid-back, with lots of stops for beverages and snacks. And, depending on your route, the autumn fun doesn't have to end when the sun sets: if you park your bike at one of the greatest fall foliage campsites, you'll sleep in gold, crimson, and orange.
Of course, if you prefer to go on four wheels rather than two, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the most colorful time of year. We've compiled a list of the most incredible spots to watch fall foliage in the United States, and if you're really into the season.
Kentucky Bourbon Trail | Lexington, KY
Ride along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to see Kentucky's renowned bluegrass hills, rural roads dotted with golden trees, historic bourbon distilleries, and thoroughbred horse farms. You'll begin in Lexington, home to over 400 landmark horse farms and 14 of the state's largest distilleries, then journey along 188 miles of scenic trail. Along the way, sample classic spirits from Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve.
Kebler Pass, Crested Butte, Colorado
The aspens grow in dense groves outside Crested Butte, a winter resort town southwest of Denver, and sparkle with gold and crimson in the fall light. On a combination of paved and dirt roads, two bike trails wind between the changing trees from the heart of town to the mountain peak. Take the Kebler Pass junction to Lake Irwin (2.5 miles), where the views of nearby Mt. Emmons are unmatched.
Swamp Rabbit Trail | Greenville, South Carolina
A top-notch bike trail is an excellent amenity in most communities. However, this one is the heart of its community in the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills. The paved Swamp Rabbit Trail, which runs about 20 miles along the Reedy River on an abandoned railroad track, brought the previously sleepy town to life and continues to draw cyclists of all ages and skill levels to the stretch between Greenville and Travelers Rest.
Trinity Trails in Fort Worth, Texas
The Trinity Trails in Fort Worth stretch for more than 100 miles along the Trinity River, with two mountain biking trails in Fort Worth Sansom Park. Local attractions along the journey include the Panther Island Pavilion, Texas' only waterfront stage, and Woodshed Smokehouse, the ideal stop for excellent beer, live music, outdoor games, and excellent cuisine.
Blue Ridge Parkway | Swain County, North Carolina
North Carolina, known for its long autumn season and magnificent fall foliage, is the perfect place to enjoy a kaleidoscope of orange, red, and yellow leaves along the legendary Blue Ridge Parkway. The 469-mile-long highway connects Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is bordered with yellow, red, and orange dogwood, sassafras, and maple trees, ensuring a beautiful ride no matter how many miles you put in.
Lehigh Gorge Trail | Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Cyclists are in for a treat on the Lehigh Gorge Trail in Lehigh Gorge State Park. Pedal down the Lehigh River from the Francis E. Walter Dam north to the picturesque tiny hamlet of Jim Thorpe (named for the Native American Olympian) in the south. Keep an eye out for the park's namesake, a steep-walled canyon, and several waterfalls along the way.
Middlefork Savanna Trail at Lake Forst, Illinois
The small town of Lake Forest, located just 40 minutes from Chicago, is full of attractive sights and hidden-gem bike trails. The 4.5-mile Middlefork Savanna Trail is gravel-packed (you can find access points to this trail at Elawa Farm, a popular local attraction). The trail includes
- a unique tallgrass savanna,
- oak savanna and woodlands,
- wet and mesic prairies,
- sedge meadows
Long Point State Park | Aurora, New York
Long Point State Park, which juts out into Lake Chautauqua like a peninsula, is a great place to see the vivid lakeside foliage in Aurora, New York. The park and marina are generally used for day trips, with densely wooded areas of beech, maple, spruce, poplar, and oak trees. However, the park is also a favorite destination for cyclists, who ride through a canopy of the season's richest colors reflecting off pristine Cayuga Lake.
South Boundary Trail | Taos, New Mexico
This one is a little shorter than some of the ones we've discussed, at only 21 miles one way, but it's well worth the time. You will have to ascend 1,600 feet before descending 4,300 feet. However, there are ways to customize the route, such as stopping by Garcia Park. On the other hand, the golden fall colors are worth every drop of sweat spilled and burned calories. This route is so popular that it gained the prestigious IMBA Epics designation, the International Mountain Biking Association's crowd-sourced honor for bike trails.
Eastern Sierra | Mammoth, California
This route is for people who are more interested in the fiery fall foliage than in the physical effort of the trail itself. However, Lake June is located at a height of 7,600 feet, so make sure you're well acclimatized before venturing out. It leads you through June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake, all located in the eastern portion of Mammoth, known as the 'Switzerland of California.' It's a 24-mile circle that's all road and no trail, and you should go in mid-to late September to enjoy the greatest views of the autumn foliage. If you want to replace the calories you've just burnt, stop by O'Hana's 395 or June Lake Brewery.
Maroon Bells | Aspen, Colorado
If you love the outdoors, Colorado has it all: camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, hunting, skiing, snowboarding, and some serious cycling. Indeed, many elite US riders will include time here in their annual training plans. Furthermore, the Maroon Bells are one of the most photographed peaks in the United States. The nicest aspect is that this is not a particularly busy artery for four-wheel traffic, so cyclists can enjoy having the road almost entirely to themselves. However, be aware that if you're not at least decently fit on a bicycle, you might not appreciate it as much because the route climbs 1,700 feet in 10 miles.
Erie Canalway Trail | Albany, New York
The Erie Canalway Trail is the mother of all bike trails, stretching more than 360 miles between Albany, New York, and Buffalo. It follows the historic Erie Canal, which opened in 1825. The 32-mile stretch between Buffalo and Lockport is a popular destination for fall foliage lovers. Allow plenty of time to see historic places and arrange ahead of time for lodging. You should also carry waterproof clothing.
There are several reasons to like fall: cooler temperatures, crisp foliage, and pumpkin spice in virtually everything.
Cycling in the crisp fall air may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of summer coming to an end. No reason you shouldn't put it on your list, especially if you have an electric bike.
Even if your friends are storing their traditional bikes until spring, you'll never have to miss out on the trail.
Here are some suggestions for boosting your autumn rides:
Choose proper clothing.
Layering and bundling are crucial elements of fall fashion. You can finally wear your favorite scarves, boots, and flannel.
The same guidelines apply to autumn biking: be dry, warm, and comfortable.
Maintain the fundamentals. On early morning rides, invest in an excellent pair of gloves to keep your fingers toasty. Put a thermal liner underneath your helmet. Ear warmers can save your life.
Maintain your tires.
Before the rainy season comes, install front and rear fenders on your bike. It's also a good idea to keep an eye on electric bike tire pressure. As the outside temperature drops, so does your PSI, especially if you put your bike on cold concrete.
Keep your chain in good working order.
The chain is one of your bike's most sensitive parts to seasonal fluctuations. It dries out faster in the autumn than in the summer, so keep it oiled.
Fortunately, no extra oil is required for our ebikes. You can get away with just a conventional lubricant, but if you're in a very damp environment, don't be afraid to use the stronger stuff.
If you want to go it alone, run your e-bike chain through a cloth or an old T-shirt after application to absorb any excess. If you leave it on for too long, you'll notice it when pedaling. If you apply too little pressure, you will hear it. The lower the level of noise, the better.
Maintain your peripheral vision.
Rain may get in our eyes and obstruct our vision, which is irritating! To keep the rain out of your eyes, consider wearing glasses with transparent or light lenses. Consider a helmet with a visor or a good old-fashioned baseball cap if you don't like glasses or find the drops on the lenses more distracting than the rain.
Autumn is a fantastic season to ride your electric bike and embark on exciting adventures while enjoying mild temperatures and stunning colors. Following these rules will allow you to make the most of your ebike trips and enjoy the lovely trails.