One of the top-rated biking and hiking trails in America is the McKenzie River Trail in Eugene, Oregon. The riding season for the MRT is June-October, so now is the perfect time to get up there. There are mountain resorts waiting for guests, but they fill up quickly in peak seasons, so be sure to call ahead if you are making your way to the area for a weekend excursion. The entire forest is old growth and the waters within are the brightest of blue, with rushing white rapids from the river nearby. Travel through the trail until you reach Tamolitch Pool, which is a topaz-colored basin in which the waterfall flows into. It is called a pool because the fall only flows a select few times a year, and the remaining months it stays completely dry. The water is so blue and so clear that the pool looks to be only a few feet in depth, but is in fact over 30 feet deep! Take a dip after your ride, it will feel amazing.

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A moderate trail worth exploring is the Deep Step Trail in Sumter National Forest, South Carolina. The Deep Step Trail is part of the Forks Areas Trail System, and it is comprised of several hardcore loops and turns that will send you flying down to the bottom in no time at all. It is a steep climb to the summit, but it is also the shortest trail of the system, at only 5 miles long. This length, along with the options to follow different lines, makes Deep Step an ideal trail for beginners, as well as more experienced riders. If you enjoy Deep Step, the next challenge would be the Great Wall Trail (within the same Forks Area), which is about 3 miles longer than Deep Step, and more difficult to maneuver in certain areas.

 

If you are looking for an upstate trail that is friendly during the summer season, then make your way to the Finger Lakes Trail of New York. You will want to travel to Letchworth State Park for the FLT Branch that is open to biking during the summer, as most of the Finger Lakes Trail is closed to bikes. The season for bikes opens on the first of June, unless the grounds are dry enough to open earlier. The trail will start at the Hogsback Overlook parking lot and move inland, where it will follow closely the deepest part of the lower gorge – don’t look down! There are outstanding views from the side-trails that lead to small overlooks, and the pathway eventually leads to a “long decline.” The entire trail has been rated as difficult, and at just under 22 miles of pure flirtation with the plunging gorges and cliffs, we can see why. Don’t relax your muscles here; you are going to want to stay on top of things, literally.

McKenzie River Trail in Eugene, Oregon
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