10 Epic Bike Rides Through Abandoned Places | PedalChef

Key Takeaways

  • Cycling through abandoned places offers a unique adventure
  • Detailed bike routes provide a historical narrative
  • Authentic experiences are crafted through trustable guidance

Imagine pedaling through places time forgot.

Got your attention?

Biking through abandoned areas isn't just a ride; it's a journey through history and mystery.

Abandoned spots add an air of adventure to your bike rides, transforming each pedal into a page-turned of the enigmatic world around you.

Ever wondered what secrets linger along the trails less traveled?

As experts in wanderlust, we'll guide you on rides that are not just paths but passages to the past.



Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike, Pennsylvania

Ever wondered what riding through a piece of history feels like?

Well, buckle up your helmet and get ready for a cycling adventure on the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Imagine pedaling along a 13-mile stretch that feels frozen in time!

Why is it abandoned?

You might ask.

Back in 1968, this portion was bypassed to make way for a more modern stretch, aiming to reduce traffic jams at the tunnels.

What's left now is an alluring trail with tunnels - think of them as time capsules.

Here's what you'll find:

  • Rays Hill Tunnel: At 0.67 miles, it gets pretty eerie as you take your bike through this slice of the past.
  • Sideling Hill Tunnel: Longer and equally as mysterious, it adds to the thrill.

Can you believe these tunnels date back almost a century?

Originally built for a railroad that never materialized, they were integrated into the Turnpike in the 1940s.

Now, they're a cyclist's spooky delight.

Remember to bring your lights; these tunnels don't have any.

And don't worry about entry fees; your wallet stays as untouched as the Turnpike itself, which you can now ride through thanks to the Southern Alleghenies Conservancy.

While the main road itself is a straightforward path, your journey won't be plain at all.

Picture this: Pennsylvania's wild nature reclaiming its territory on both sides, giving you an apocalyptic vibe without any zombies to worry about!

So, are you ready for this unique trip?

Get set for the eerily quiet surroundings that will make your biking journey unlike any other.

Bring your curiosity, and let your adventurous spirit roam free on this extraordinary trail!

Route of the Hiawatha, Idaho/Montana

Have you ever pedaled through a piece of history?

The Route of the Hiawatha is not just an ordinary bike ride; it's an epic adventure through time and nature!

Spanning 15 miles across the Idaho-Montana state line, this scenic trail offers a unique experience combining outdoor fun with a glimpse into the past.

Imagine cycling through 10 abandoned tunnels and cruising over 7 breathtaking trestles.

The feeling is just... wow!

The start of this roller coaster on wheels is the St.

Paul Pass Tunnel, also known as the Taft Tunnel.

This whopping 1.661-mile-long tunnel will make you feel like you're on a secret mission in the Bitterroot Mountains.

Remember to bring a light; it's dark in there!

  • Trail Length: 15 miles
  • Tunnels: 10
  • Longest Tunnel: 1.661 miles (St. Paul Pass Tunnel)
  • Trestles: 7
  • Start: Taft Tunnel
  • Location: Idaho/Montana

What about the views?

Well, they are nothing short of spectacular.

Riding high above the forest floor, you'll get panoramas that'll make you want to stop and snap a photo—or twenty.

And with the trail gracefully weaving through the mountains, you feel like an eagle soaring... minus the flapping wings, of course.

This ride is also steeped in history.

You're traveling along a route once roared by the mighty trains of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St.

Paul, and Pacific Railroad.

Just think, where you're rolling with your bike, steam locomotives once pioneered the route over a century ago.

So, grab your bike and sense of adventure, and come see why the Route of the Hiawatha is considered one of the most awe-inspiring bike trails around.

Bring water, a light, and a camera – you won't want to miss a moment of this epic journey through abandoned wonders.

Happy pedaling!

Katy Trail, Missouri

Fancy pedaling through history?

The Katy Trail in Missouri is your ticket to a ride on the wild side — but comfortably so, with minimal grades and a pathway charting through abandoned places.

Can you imagine zipping along where steam trains once chugged on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (affectionately nicknamed the Katy)?

Here's the scoop.

Stretching an impressive 240 miles, the Katy Trail is the longest rail-trail conversion in the US and it's peppered with ghost towns and historic relics.

  • Length: 240 miles
  • Trailheads: 26
  • Restored Depots: 4

You're not just riding a trail; you're exploring a timeline of Missouri's past that runs from Clinton to Machens.

With the Missouri River as your travel buddy, the views are going to treat you well.

On the Bike Specs: Got a cross or hybrid bike?

Perfect, that's the ride of choice for many.

But hey, don't let that stop you if you have a different set of wheels — a road bike with at least 25mm tires, a mountain bike, or even a fat tire bike can handle the trail.

Got Climbing?

Not much.

Expect around 300 feet of ascent over 50 miles for most parts, but if you crave a bit more, the west end offers about 1,000 feet over the same distance.

Variety's the spice of life, right?

Feel like making friends while you ride?

Right on — check out the BigBam ride, slated for June 2 - 8 and October 6 - 12 in 2024.

Choose your days and ride pace, because it’s all about the fun, not the finish line.

If you’re a planner (and who isn’t when it comes to epic rides?), give MO DNR a ring at 660-882-8196 or 800-334-6946 and snag a free trail map.

Maybe even pair your adventure with a trip on the Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner line, hooking up a ride from St.

Louis to Kansas City with your bike in tow.

Now, what are you waiting for?

Grab your helmet, pump those tires, and get ready for some pedal-powered time travel!

Elroy-Sparta State Trail, Wisconsin

Ever wondered what it's like to bike through a piece of history?

The Elroy-Sparta State Trail in Wisconsin gives you that unique chance!

This 32-mile stretch is especially famous for its remarkable tunnels.

Imagine cycling along a path where trains once thundered — it's both eerie and thrilling.

What's special about this trail?

  • It's the first 'rail-to-trail' conversion in the United States!
  • There are three abandoned railroad tunnels waiting for you to explore.
  • You'll need a good flashlight or headlamp because these tunnels are long and unlit, offering a genuinely spooky vibe. Remember, safety first!

Planning Your Ride:

  • The trail runs through west central Wisconsin's beautiful countryside.
  • Be ready for some eye-candy landscapes: think rolling hills, varied wildlife, and picturesque farmland.
  • The trail itself is 32.5 miles of unpaved adventure, perfect for your next epic bike ride.

Quick Tips:

  • Start your journey from either Elroy or Sparta.
  • Keep in mind the contact information for the trail: Kendall Depot Trail Headquarters at +1-608-463-7109 and for the state trails at +1-608-337-4775.

Biking the Elroy-Sparta State Trail isn't just about exercise; it’s about immersion in the atmospheric surrounds of what used to be a bustling railway.

So grab your bike, pack your lights, and set off for an unforgettable ride.

Ready to pedal through some Wisconsin history?

Ghost Town Trail, Pennsylvania

Ever wondered what it's like to bike through history?

On the Ghost Town Trail in Pennsylvania, you're in for quite an experience.

Picture yourself pedaling along a path where the echoes of coal mining's heyday still linger.

That's right, you'll be zipping through a 36-mile stretch that's soaked in Pennsylvania's coal mining past.

Why is it called the Ghost Town Trail, you ask?

Well, this path passes through several ghost towns—those once bustling with miners and now quiet, offering a hauntingly beautiful ride.

As you journey through, you'll spot old mining relics whispering stories of a bygone era.

It's like a ride through a live museum!

Are you ready for some interesting numbers?

This trail has got more than 50 miles to explore if you count the main stem and its additional spurs.

And if you're curious about amenities, they've got you covered with:

  • Public toilets for when nature calls
  • A B&B in Diltown for cozy overnight stays
  • Shops along the way to grab your biking essentials or a quick snack

For the history buffs, you'll find interpretive signs that shed light on the trail's industrial heritage.

And don't worry about getting bored—the trail offers a diverse landscape:

  • Historic bridges that have stood the test of time
  • Lush vegetation that will have you breathing in deep, fresh air
  • Streams that play a calming soundtrack to your ride

A good workout while soaking up history and natural beauty?


The Ghost Town Trail offers a gentle uphill grade that'll get your legs pumping and heart racing.

And guess what?

The trail is so well-maintained that even a rainy day won't put a damper on your ride!

So, what are you waiting for?

Grab your bike and head to the Ghost Town Trail for an epic ride through Pennsylvania's abandoned places.

Just don't forget your camera—you'll want to capture the memories of this unique adventure!

Tunnel Hill State Trail, Illinois

Hey, you!

Ever felt the urge to bike through historic pathways and ghost towns?

Well, the Tunnel Hill State Trail in Illinois is your ticket to adventure.

Imagine cruising along 45 miles of pure scenic bliss.

This isn't just any path; it's an actual piece of history turned into a biker's paradise.

The path: The trail is an old railway line, with surfaces of crushed limestone that are biker-friendly.

You get to ride where trains once chugged along, isn't that cool?

The tunnel: Ready for a touch of mystery?

At the trail's high point, the Tunnel Hill town appears and so does the 543-foot-long tunnel.

It's an eerie yet exhilarating feeling as you pass through the cool, dimly lit tunnel where rails used to resonate with the echoes of locomotives.

The surroundings: Your ride is a beautiful blend of landscapes.

Farmlands, wetlands, and forests all greet you with open arms.

Don't forget the quaint ghost towns!

They whisper stories of a bygone era.

What else?

  • Route starts in Harrisburg and continues to Karnak.
  • Encounter a 9.3-mile stretch from Tunnel Hill to Vienna.

Are you picturing those Instagram moments already?

The mesmerizing views, selfie at the tunnel entrance, and the occasional deer photobombing your pictures?

This trail gives you not just gritty adventure but also a serene escapade from the buzz of city life.

So, when are you hopping on your bike to tackle the Tunnel Hill State Trail?

Get ready to pedal through a corridor of lush greenery and historical essence!

High Trestle Trail, Iowa

Have you heard of a bike trail that's a feast for the eyes and a bit of a history lesson all rolled into one?

Let me introduce you to the High Trestle Trail in Iowa – it's not just any old bike path!

Spanning an impressive 25 miles, this trail offers a journey through scenic landscapes and the charming towns of Woodward, Madrid, Slater, Sheldahl, and Ankeny.

But the real showstopper?

A half-mile-long bridge that crosses the Des Moines River.

And it's not your typical bridge either; it's an artistic masterpiece that pays homage to the region's mining past.

Could you imagine the views from up there?

The High Trestle Trail is also part of a larger network – the 670-mile Central Iowa Trail System, so if you're feeling more adventurous, there's plenty more to explore.

Here's the kicker – it's a "rail-trail," which means it's a repurposed railroad line that's been given a new life as a recreational trail.

Talk about a transformation!

And let's not forget the stats for the number enthusiasts among you:

  • Trail Length: 25 miles
  • Trail System: Part of the 670-mile Central Iowa Trail System
  • Bridge Length: Half-mile
  • Height of the Bridge: 130 feet tall

Whether you're a cycling newbie or a seasoned pro, the High Trestle Trail caters to all.

Fancy riding under the stars?

The trail and its bridge are accessible and spectacular even at night.

With an estimated 3,000 people riding the trail weekly, it's clear this is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

So, what are you waiting for?

Grab your bike, some pals, and hit the High Trestle Trail!

Who knew a bit of history could be so much fun?

Silver Comet Trail, Georgia

Have you ever pedaled through history?

On the Silver Comet Trail, it's not just about the ride; it's about the journey through time.

Beginning in the bustling city of Smyrna, Georgia, this 61-mile adventure takes you right to the heart of the state's rich railroad past.

Fancy a hybrid bike or even a cruiser?

No problem!

Any bike fits the bill on this trail.

Imagine cruising on a 10-foot wide path; that's roomy enough to ride side by side with a friend, right?

And if you're thinking about the tires, don't!

The Trail can accommodate anything from the slimmest road bike tires to the chunkiest mountain bike ones.

You won't have to worry about getting lost either.

The trail is a paved pedestrian rail-trail, winding through Cobb, Paulding, and Polk counties.

And it's not just about biking; it caters to everyone.

Whether you're into hiking, rollerblading, or even horseback riding, there’s a spot for you.

Are you bringing company?

The trail is super inclusive!

It's mostly wheelchair accessible, with 17 entry points crafted just for ease of access.

Need to take a break?

You're covered with 15 restrooms and 10 water fountains to ensure you're refreshed every step - or pedal - of the way.

Here's a little treat for nature lovers: the western section tosses you into a pastoral delight, painting a picturesque backdrop to your ride.

If you're lucky, you might even stumble upon an abandoned station — wouldn't that make an epic selfie spot?

Before I let you go on this epic quest, keep this in mind: it's free of charge.

Yes, you heard it, your wallet can take a break too.

So, grab your bike, some buddies, and make memories on the Silver Comet Trail.

Ready to ride through a slice of Georgia's abandoned railway splendor?

John Wayne Pioneer Trail, Washington

Ever imagined pedaling through history?

On the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in Washington, you can do just that!

This enchanting path, part of the sprawling Iron Horse State Park, follows in the faded tracks of the old Milwaukee Road railway.

Picture yourself cruising along a 100+-mile corridor where steam trains once roared.

You’ll be riding over high trestles with awe-inspiring views and zipping through dark, cool tunnels that whisk you back in time.

Here's what you can expect:

  • Historical vibe: Ride the same route pioneers traveled on their iron steeds.
  • Variety of terrain: From forested areas to vast scrublands – there’s a view for every mood.
  • Family-friendly: The trail slopes gently downhill, so riders of all skill levels can bask in the adventure.

Want to make the most of your ride?

Check out these highlights:

  • Renslow Trestle: Take a break and soak in panoramic views.
  • Hyak to Rattlesnake Lake: A popular 22-mile stretch that's perfect for a day ride, with easy access for bike trailers, hybrids, or cyclocross bikes.
  • Mileage: The trail extends over 200 miles, with about 250 miles actively managed by Washington State Parks.

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or you just want to take the kids for a memorable weekend pedal, the John Wayne Pioneer Trail caters to all.

Remember, no adventure is too small, and this trail proves it!

Ready to capture some snapshots and make enviable memories?

Grab your bike and head to the John Wayne Pioneer Trail – where every pedal brings a new discovery!

Norway's Secret Abandoned Road, Hardangervidda

Ever imagined pedaling through a place that feels like a secret hidden from the world?

Well, pack your bike because Norway's Hardangervidda region has just that—a secret abandoned road.

This remote road takes you through the expansive Hardangervidda mountain plateau, which is not just any ordinary plateau.

It's Europe's largest!

Imagine cycling in an area that boasts wild and untamed beauty as far as the eye can see.

And the best part?

It's like you've got the whole place to yourself.

Let's talk terrain.

You're looking at:

  • Surreal barren landscapes
  • Wide-open spaces that scream freedom
  • A history-rich path, once an escape route in World War 2

Feeling adventurous?

You could even try the steep path that the war saboteurs once used.

Or, take the more civilised Norway's National Cycle Route to enjoy the plateau without the thigh-burning climb.

Cycle at your pace and take in views of the lush valleys below.

And keep an eye out for:

  • Wild reindeer — they're known to roam these parts.
  • Unforgettable views of Fjords from certain vantage points.

With over 21 hours of riding and almost 4,000 meters in elevation gain, tackling this trail is no Sunday park ride.

It's an enthralling journey through a stark landscape that tells tales of endurance, both natural and historical.

So, are you ready for this epic bike ride?

Don't forget your camera, because this is one for the books—and your social media feeds!

Load up on layers, pack your sense of adventure, and embark on a ride that's truly one of a kind.