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8 Top Rail Trails for Biking

Cycling paths that offer smooth rides and plenty of scenery

Bicycle riders cross a bridge over the Youghiogheny River on the Great Allegheny Passage trail

Jim West / Alamy Stock Photo

Great Allegheny Passage trail

It turns out that the same things that make for a good train route — gentle grades and access to town centers — are perfect for a bike ride, too. So when train companies began to abandon rail lines about 50 years ago, communities and states saw an unprecedented opportunity to convert them to trails.

Today, the nation's 2,100 rail trails range in length from a few miles to several hundred, and usually have bike-friendly restaurants and stores along the way.

These are eight wonderful trails for an easy-riding day trip or, in some cases, a multiday cycling adventure. (Find more on the TrailLink website operated by the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.)

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