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Can You Mountain Bike the Appalachian Trail? Are there other epic trails to try?

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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.

About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed