Top Ten National Parks for Biking
On the Road
To really get a sense of how tall these trees are, head north from Prairie Creek Visitor Center on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. The wide, straight road lets you take in the full height of the redwoods ahead and keep your fellow cyclists in view. Seeing your riding buddy absolutely dwarfed against these giant trees will blow your mind. Don't miss the 304-foot Big Tree—about a mile down the road and just a short hike off the trail.
The parkway runs beneath the cool, shady canopy of old-growth giants. With moderate climbs—and one steep stretch—on the eight miles out, you'll enjoy an easy coast back to the start. Ride a little further south to hit the Elk Prairie overlook—you may spot Roosevelt elk grazing below.
Hit the Trail
You might ride the Prairie Creek/Ossagon Trail Loop in order to spy elk, to cruise along the coast, or to pedal beneath the towering redwoods. Scenery aside, this route travels via pavement, dirt, and—wonder of wonders—single-track! After duplicating the out part of the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway's out-and-back, the ride heads coastward along the Ossagon Trail. You'll cruise through thick redwood and alder forest, then emerge oceanside beside scenic Gold Bluffs. When the single-track splits, choose the fork less traveled—by the grazing elk herds, that is. Maneuver around elk and cars and pedal along, taking in the ocean views. It's a long ride (19.1 miles), but the hills won't kill—they're either long and gradual or short and steep.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication