Summer is waning, and with its close comes a change in the way we travel. If you haven’t solidified any plans for Labor Day weekend, consider bidding adieu to the season with a spin past some of the continent’s most spectacular scenes.
A number of these trails capture the summertime images we adore, like California’s Devil’s Slide promontory and Maine’s Eastern Trail, which journeys past sailboats and marsh alike. Other paths, like Juneau, Alaska’s Perseverance trail and Montreal’s Lachine Canal Bike Path, only have a matter of weeks before the air gets too frigid for a leisurely ride.
Flip through the gallery above to see our top picks for end-of-summer bike adventures.
1. Devil’s Slide Trail, Pacifica, California. 2. Farmington River Trail, Farmington, Connecticut. 3. Eastern Trail, Maine. 4. Lachine Canal Bike Path, Montreal, Quebec. 5. Perseverance Trail, Juneau, Alaska. 6. Snoqualmie Valley Trail, Washington. 7. Tsali Recreation Area, Almond, North Carolina.
Sarra Sedghi is Paste Food’s Assistant Editor. She can usually be found arguing about mayonnaise on Twitter.
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California's Devil's Slide Trail repurposes a stretch of discontinued State Route 1 into a multi-use haven with stunning views of its namesake coastal promontory and the Pacific. Now, however, you can slow down to take it all in without worrying about getting in a wreck.
Photo: Tom Hilton/Flickr
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Connecticut's 26-mile Farmington River Trail runs along a National Scenic Waterway and carries travelers past historic riverside construction, waterfalls and New England forest. To lengthen the ride, take the adjacent Farmington Heritage Trail which runs from New Haven northward to Massachusetts.
Photo: Kenneth Casper/Flickr
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Maine's Eastern Trail, a segment of the ever-growing East Coast Greenway, runs from Portland to Kennebunk and currently exists in three stretches connected by on-road cycling routes. Along the way, you'll see passing sailboats, scenes from downtown Portland, remains of the Eastern Railroad and Scarborough Marsh's wildlife.
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Montreal has become one of the world's most bike-friendly cities over the past few decades, and much of that is owed to the introduction of the Lachine Canal Bike Path. The city's quintessential cycling path is adjacent to rental facilities like My Bicyclette or Bixi stations and runs past a realm of restaurants should you need a pit stop or snack.
Photo: Márcio Cabral de Moura/Flickr
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Alaska's Perseverance Trail is easily accessible via downtown Juneau and connects to a number of natural attractions and more isolated routes. The trail originated as Alaska's first road and the scenery quickly transforms from urban to temperate rainforest and again to canyon.
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Washington's 31.5-mile Snoqualmie Valley Trail runs past agrarian acres, idyllic towns and the prominent waterfall bearing the same name. Tracing the remains of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, you'll encounter leftover trestle crossings and views of the Cascade Range.
Photo: Joe Mabel/Flickr
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Located in the Nantahala National Forest, the Tsali Recreation Area's multi-loop trail system boasts 42 miles of challenging terrain with views including Hiwassee Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tsali's trail fee is only $2 a day, and two tracks are open to cyclists daily.
Photo: Smoky Dan/Flickr