By Lynn O’Rourke Hayes
Cycling is more popular than ever, and the trend of exploring far-off destinations on two wheels continues to rise. Here are five ideas for your crew to consider.
Cycle Near Spokane, Washington
Go with a guide or chart your own course as you explore the rail-trails of eastern Washington; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and on to the Montana border. Level, paved and pristine pathways make for stress-free but scenic family cycling. Roll along the famous Route of the Hiawatha and the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, two of the Rail-to-Trail Conservancy’s Hall of Fame trails. Up the adventure quotient by mixing in a day kayaking, rafting, or fishing on local rivers. Stop by a hot spring or consider a side hike.
For more: Wilderness-voyageurs.com/adventures/idaho-coeur-dalene-bike-tour/; Visitidaho.org
Family Biking in Italy
Savor gelato after cycling past grazing sheep and charming stone houses. Meet a four-legged truffle detective. Look forward to olive oil, fine wine, and feasting on homemade pizza during your bike trip through Tuscany. Cruise past vineyards, cypress trees, and iconic landmarks that make working your way up to the scenic hill towns worth every rotation. Have a gourmet picnic on a working farm. Visit picturesque villages, take watercolor lessons, and steep yourselves in Italian art history.
For more: Backroads.com
Bike Block Island, Rhode Island
Relish ocean views, wildlife-filled salt ponds, and the laid-back vibe of this scenic wonder that is a part of America’s smallest state. Mostly flat, smooth, paved roads make it possible for two-wheeling tourists to enjoy a wonderland the Nature Conservancy deems one of the “last great places” in the Western hemisphere. Breathtaking views of Narragansett Bay, dotted with sailboats, add to the experience. You’ll also enjoy fresh seafood, beach walks, and learning about the local history.
For more: GreatFreedomAdventures.com; VisitRhodeisland.com
Ride Hut to Hut in Utah
For a grand family adventure, consider a backcountry mountain biking experience through Utah’s Color Country. The new Aquarius Trail Hut System offers five furnished huts—with fully stocked kitchens and other amenities—strategically places along the 190-mile route. Riders will roll from the peak of Brian Head, through Panguitch, Hatch, and Bryce, past hidden lakes and spectacular vistas, down to the beautiful town of Escalante. E-bikes are allowed at each hut so family members of mixed abilities can enjoy the same adventure.
For more: AquariusTrail.com
Explore the Olympic Peninsula
Cycle the Olympic Discovery Trail, summit Hurricane Hill, spot gray whales and orcas, visit Port Angeles and La Push, and explore the Hoh Rain Forest during a six-day road biking tour of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. In this majestic corner of Washington state, you’ll pedal through diverse terrain that includes temperate rain forests, scenic coastlines, and sparkling lakes. Available July through September.
For more: EscapeAdventures.com; StateOfWATourism.com
Lynn O’Rourke Hayes (LOHayes.com) is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or via FamilyTravel.com
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