It's early June, the weather is warm, and you're ready to get out of the house and go on an adventure.
Unfortunately, many believe all adventures require a bit of money, a lot of time, and tons of planning. I've got news for you.
One of the best tiny adventures you can start RIGHT NOW only requires a bike, a backpack, a waterbottle, and probably a friend.
There are many bike trails in American that span hundreds of miles, passing through countless towns on the way, giving you the opportunity to take a trip with nothing more than your steel horse and a pal with strong leg muscles.
Flip up the kickstand, check out this list, and choose a trail for your tiny adventure. Get peddling!
This trail starts near the Arizona-Mexico border, and travels up north through the Grand Canyon and eventually ends near the Arizon-Utah border. It's intended to highlight the state's topographic, biologic, historic and cultural diversity, and has no motor-friendly paths. Keeping away from civilization, this trail is perfect for those wanting a real wilderness survival adventure.
Closely following Lewis and Clark's trail up the Missouri River, this path takes bikers through bluffs, dense woods, small towns and rural wineries. The surface is mainly flat limestone, and most of the towns in-between are less than 10-miles apart, giving you an opportunity to stop frequently. With all these accommodations while still encompasing wildlife, this trail is perfect for beginners.
If high altitudes strike your fancy, this Denver-to-Durango trail may be your top choice. Most of the trail is 10,000 feet above sea level, with the highest point hitting nearly 14,000 feet. With lots of rises and falls, this trail proves to be one of the more difficult, with endurance-skills a must. It passes through historic mining towns, along ancient Indian trails, and through a modern, world-class ski resort, but the rest is as un-maintained as any adventurer could wish.
One of the few trails open to horseback-riding, this stretch from Chadron to Norfolk occupies is one of the most diverse, as far as users go. Taking up an abandoned Chicago and North Western Railway corridor, the trail takes hikers, bikers, runners and riders through valleys and sandhills, and bridges over creeks and rivers.
Great Divide Mountain Bike Route
The longest on our list by a long shot, this path is generally not for the faint of heart. Starting in Alberta, Canada and ending in New Mexico, this trail requires a knowledge of off-pavement biking. However, if you can manage it, this trail offers the most beautiful, diverse terrains on our list. Highlights include the Flathead Valley in Alberta, Grand Teton National Park and the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming, South Park and Boreas Pass in Colorado, and Polvadera Mesa and the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. Expect to see anything from isolated river valleys, mountain forests, wide open grasslands and high deserts.