Can You Mountain Bike the Appalachian Trail? Are there other epic trails to try?
The Appalachian Trail is one of the most beautiful networks of trails in the world. However, this 2,200 mile trail extending between Maine and Georgia is a hiking-only trail.
So the short answer is that no, you can’t bike the Appalachian Trail.
Much of the Appalachian Trail is off limits to trail bicycles, mountain bikes, motor vehicles, and other motorized off road vehicles are not permitted. There are times of the year when you are allowed to ride in parts of the Pennsylvania State Gamelands and you may be as close as 200 feet of the Appalachian Trail. But you can’t bike on the trail itself.
The Trail is meant for foot travel for hikers and anything else is illegal.
So this one trail you can’t bike by law, but what epic trails can you bike?
Other Epic Trails You Are Allowed To Bike
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is 3,083.8 miles long. This bike route is actually made up of 7 shorter routes that span from Canada to New Mexico.
The Great Divide is the longest off-road route in the world.
The Whole Enchilada in Moab, Utah
At 32.6 miles, this route is a bit shorter than the great divide but it is one of the finest biking routes anywhere and it is a combination of 4 smaller biking trails.
In total, you will go downhill more than 8,000 feet and it is considered an advanced trail.
The Virginia Mountain Bike Trail
This is a fairly new stretch of paths that span 500 miles across the Virginia Mountains. The Virginia Mountain Bike Trail is a network of 8 trails across the George Washington and Jefferson National Forrests. Biking through the Shenandoah Mountains is a breathtaking trip.
Be Prepared on the Long Trails
Just remember to be prepared for those long trails. You’ll want to have water but also things like a toolset and a first aid kit. See my article on what to bring on long outings and my checklist of 12 essential items to bring in your backpack of gear. Like a boy scout, be prepared and you’ll have a better time with fond memories.