See Trails page for actual trail listings.
Bike paths are those wide, mainly gentle graded, family friendly, not too scary, multi-use trails found almost everywhere. Some typical examples of bike paths are listed below.
- Asphalt paved paths running through city parks: You can't really call yourself a modern city these days if you don't have at least a few miles of paved bike path.
- Rails-to-Trails conversions: These are really flat and really straight, but can be very long and often take you through some scenic areas. These are usually crushed stone surfaced trails, but are sometimes paved.
- Scenic trails following natural geographic features: These may follow a river or valley or ridgeline or the perimeter of a lake or some other geographic feature. These are usually rather long and tend to be the most interesting (in my opinion) of bike paths. An example in the area I live is the Des Plaines River Trail
Bike paths are used for both commuting and recreation. Often multi-use trails, you may be sharing them with skaters, hikers, runners, and maybe horses. In the winter, some of the trails may be used by cross country skiers and possibly snowmobiles. Bike paths differ from Mountain Bike Trails in that mountain bike trails generally have a natural surface and are difficult to ride with anything other than a fat-tire mountain bike.
Riding bike paths is sometimes looked down upon by mountain bikers and road bikers, but that's their loss. Bike paths provide riders with scenery, fresh air, a place to ride out of auto traffic, and miles and miles and miles of conveniently nearby riding opportunities.
This page is authored and maintained by Dave Piasecki