10 Family-Friendly Bike Rides in the U.S. | PedalChef

Key Takeaways

  • Family bike rides offer fun and health benefits.
  • Trails exist for all skill levels and preferences.
  • Reliable recommendations enhance your planning.

Cycling as a family is a blast, isn't it?

The wind in your hair, the kids' laughter echoing behind you – there's nothing quite like it.

Now, imagine doing that surrounded by some of the most breathtaking landscapes the U.S. has to offer.

From coastlines to national parks, there are trails that cater to every family's taste and riding ability.

Biking together connects families and creates lasting memories.

It's not only fun but a healthy activity that can suit all ages.

Whether you're pedaling through serene trails or appreciating scenic vistas, there's a perfect ride out there for you and your brood.

When planning your next family adventure, you want reliable information.

That's why we've combed through trails known for their family-friendly appeal and scenic beauty.

Rest assured, each recommendation carries with it the joy and safety you're looking for in a family outing.



Virginia Creeper Trail (Virginia)

Ever dreamed of a bike trail that's both a breeze for the kids and a feast for the eyes?

Cue the Virginia Creeper Trail!

Did you know it spans 34 miles and is named after a steam engine that chugged along at a snail's pace?

Now it's your turn to set the pace, whether that's zippy or zero rush.

Starting in Abingdon, you'll pedal through forests and farmland, with the Whitetop Laurel River as your travel buddy.

Fancy a downhill cruise?

Catch a shuttle to Whitetop Station and enjoy an 18-mile descent to Damascus.

It's pretty much all downhill from there - literally!

Here's the scoop on this family-friendly adventure:

  • Trail Length: 34 miles
  • Start Points: Abingdon or Whitetop Station
  • Accessibility: Mostly downhill and gentle
  • Scenery: Forests, rivers, and quaint farmland

Now, you may wonder, what if I'm not up for the full 34 miles?

No sweat!

The trail has several entry points, so pick whatever suits your family's stamina.

Need wheels?

Local bike rentals hook you up with all the gear, often including a handy repair kit.

Plus, helmets are part of the deal because safety rocks!

Grab your sunscreen and water bottles, and get ready to make those two-wheeled memories on one of Virginia's best trails.

With a path as accommodating as this, there's simply no reason not to give it a spin.

Alright, ready to ride?

Katy Trail (Missouri)

Ever wanted to take your family on a bike adventure that's brimming with history and scenic views?

Look no further than Missouri's very own Katy Trail!

Can you believe this gem is the longest rail-trail in the United States?

With over 240 miles of trail, you and your family get to choose just how much of this magnificent path you want to tackle.

Why Katy Trail?

  • Flat Terrain: The trail is predominantly flat, so little legs won't get too tired.
  • Historic Sites: You're biking through a slice of American history.
  • Nature: Expect to see breathtaking river bluffs and serene farmland.

Here's what you can expect from this beauty:

  • Diverse Sections: Whether you're looking for a leisurely ride beneath towering bluffs or fancy a bit of farmland tranquility, Katy Trail has it all.
  • Ideal for Any Bike: You heard right; whether it’s a hybrid, road, mountain, or fat tire bike, all work well for this trail.
  • Family-Friendly: It's not a race. Soak up the fun at a pace that suits your family.

Planning to join a group event?

The BigBam ride happens from June 2 - 8, 2024, and October 6 - 12, 2024.

It's a no-pressure ride where the emphasis is all on enjoying the journey.

Considerations for Your Ride:

  • Start Point: The St. Charles trailhead is your gateway, just a short jaunt from St. Louis Airport.
  • Distance Options: Choose a distance that suits your family. From short rides for a day out to multi-day excursions.
  • Accommodation: Fancy staying overnight? Towns along the trail offer cozy inns and plenty of charm.

Remember, this trail is all about making memories.

Pack a picnic, bring plenty of water, and get ready to snap lots of photos.

Are you set to explore the Katy Trail with your loved ones?

Minuteman Bikeway (Massachusetts)

Ever felt like stepping back in time and enjoying a leisurely bike ride with your family?

Then the Minuteman Bikeway is just the picturesque outing you're looking for.

Winding through Massachusetts, this 10-mile paved trail takes you from Bedford all the way to Cambridge.

Why not kickstart your journey in Bedford, where you can conveniently park at Railroad Ave?

Hit the trail early and catch the chirping birds or plan an afternoon ride to bask in the glow of the sunset.

The trail is a historical gem, connecting you with America's revolutionary past.

Imagine the crisp air filling your lungs as you bike past landmarks breathing with stories of yore.

It's not only a workout for your legs but also for your imagination!

The path itself is well-maintained and smooth, making it accessible for the youngest of riders on training wheels or grandparents who enjoy active afternoons.

Here's what to expect:

  1. Mileage: A point-to-point path spanning 10 miles.
  2. Duration: Give or take 3 hours at a leisurely pace.
  3. Popularity: Loved by locals and tourists, it's a shared space bustling with cross-country skiers, road bikers, and runners.
  4. Parking Options:
  1. South Road (Bedford)
  2. Alewife MBTA Station (West Cambridge)
  3. 25 Drake Rd (Arlington)

Don't forget, with popularity comes company.

Prepare to share the bikeway with fellow nature enthusiasts.

Remember, smiles and 'hellos' make any ride better!

Fancy a break?

There are several spots to rest, rehydrate, and snap a few photos along the way.

So pack some snacks, layer on sunscreen, and set out on a journey that marries fitness with a sprinkle of American history.

What better way to spend a day with your loved ones?

Shark Valley Trail (Florida)

Ever felt like you're pedaling in a wildlife documentary?

That's exactly what you'll get at Shark Valley Trail in the Everglades National Park.

Imagine biking on a 15-mile paved loop, with sun-kissed skies above and the wilderness surrounding you.

Isn't it something?

  • Where? Everglades National Park, FL
  • Length: 15 miles (loop trail)
  • Width: Approximately 8 feet (great for side-by-side biking)

Here's the scoop: the trail's as flat as a pancake, perfect for all ages and no hill-training required.

Plus, it's wide enough for your little ones to ride without zigzagging into the path of fellow cyclists.

And hey, e-bikes are welcome here, so feel free to take a break from pedaling when you want!

One moment you're watching an alligator lounging by the water, and the next, you're marveling at a flock of birds taking flight.

Don't forget to stop at the halfway point, where an observation tower offers a 360-degree view of this unique ecosystem.

  • Wildlife: Alligators, birds, and more
  • Midpoint: Observation tower for panoramic views

And let's talk logistics:

  • Entrance Fee: $30 per vehicle (good for 7 days across all park entrances)
  • Trail Options: Walk, bike rental, or tram tour
  • Tram Tour: $27 (adults), $21 (seniors), $14 (children 3-12) for a 2-hour guided journey

You'll find the Shark Valley Visitor Center at 36000 SW 8th Street.

Planning to drive?

Admission is $35 per car.

If you're feeling adventurous and decide to bike in from outside, it's $20 per person.

Got a senior pass?

You're golden.

So, grab your helmets, pack some water, and embark on an adventure where the wild things roam.

Ready to meet some scaly neighbors?

Great Allegheny Passage (Pennsylvania and Maryland)

Ever daydreamed about a bike ride that takes you through picturesque landscapes with your family?

You're in luck!

The Great Allegheny Passage is a family-friendly trail with 150 miles of adventure stretching from Pittsburgh, PA, to Cumberland, MD.

Ready for some pedaling fun?

You don't have to tackle all 150 miles in one go.

Pick a section that suits your family's pace.

Maybe start in the vibrant heart of Pittsburgh and cruise along the rivers, or wind your way through the tranquil Pennsylvania countryside.

Remember to snap some photos as you ride through the historical Laurel Highlands.

You’ll create lasting memories with your loved ones while surrounded by beautiful vistas.

Let's talk numbers to get you excited:

  • Distance: 150 miles
  • Trail Surface: Gravel, hard-pack stone
  • Elevation Gain: +1800 ft (if you start in Cumberland)
  • Elevation Loss: -2300 ft (towards Pittsburgh)

The best part?

No permits needed, and it's a breeze for beginners to intermediates.

And when's the best time to go?

Aim for May to October when the weather is just perfect for a cycling escapade.

With the Majority of the trail in PA, you're truly traversing the heartland of American history.

Did I hear you ask about elevation?

Well, the highest point has an elevation gain of about 1,767 feet.

Manageable, right?

And since it's mostly a converted railroad bed, you can expect a smooth ride with your kids talking about this trip for years to come.

Imagine the stories you'll tell and the sights you'll see!

So, helmets on?

Water bottles filled?

Snacks packed?


Let's make those two-wheeled dreams a reality, shall we?

Marvin Braude Bike Trail (California)

Ever thought about cycling along the coast with the warm California sun on your back?

You're in luck!

Grab your helmet and kids' bikes for a day of adventure on the Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

A 22-mile stretch that gifts you with breezy ocean views and plenty of photo ops.

Why should you ride here?

  • Family-Friendly: The trail is flat and paved, making it easy for children and beginners.
  • Scenic Views: With the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop, expect an Instagram-worthy ride.
  • Accessibility: It connects two popular beaches — Will Rogers State Beach and Torrance County Beach.

Interesting Stops Along the Way:

  • Imagine building sandcastles during a pit stop at one of the many beach towns you'll pass through.
  • Savor ice cream or local snacks as you explore the pier or boardwalk areas.

Gear Up!

What to Bring:

  • Plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Sunscreen and hats to protect from the sunshine
  • A camera or phone — trust me, you'll want to capture these moments!

Curious about how long you'll be riding?

The trail spans over a comfortable 21.9 miles, so you're in for a good bit of exercise.

But hey, no need to rush.

Take your time, breathe in that fresh ocean air, and make memories with the family.

Remember, this trail is more than just a ride; it's a day packed with joy and stunning coastal scenes.

You'll leave with not only a sense of accomplishment but also a collection of smiles and stories to share.

Ready to pedal through one of Southern California's treasures?

See you on the trail!

Island Line Rail Trail (Vermont)

Have you ever imagined cycling over water, surrounded by picturesque landscapes?

Well, your dream can turn into reality on the Island Line Rail Trail in Vermont.

This isn't just any bike path; it's a 14-mile adventure where land meets water, giving you a ride filled with Instagram-worthy moments.

Starting in vibrant Burlington and stretching to the quaint town of South Hero, the trail treats you to the beauty of Lake Champlain.

As you pedal along, you'll be greeted by the expansive views of the water on one side and the scenic beauty of Vermont on the other.

Now, let's talk highlights—the Colchester Causeway is where the magic happens!

This narrow path juts right into Lake Champlain, making you feel like you're gliding on the water.

With the Green Mountains to the east and the Adirondacks to the west, the panoramic sights are truly something you don't want to miss.

  • Trail Length: 14 miles
  • Start Point: Burlington
  • End Point: South Hero
  • Main Attraction: Colchester Causeway

Remember, it's not a race; take your time to savor the crisp air and the soothing sounds of nature.

The trail is well-maintained and open year-round, so whether you’re here in the warmth of summer or the cool charm of fall, you're in for a treat.

And if you're lucky to reach the end of the causeway, a short ferry ride over a 200-foot gap will introduce you to the delights of South Hero.

Pack your water, charge your camera, and get your bike ready—Vermont's Island Line Rail Trail is waiting to give you and your family a memorable experience that's both an escape from the everyday and an embrace of nature's finest.

Ready to ride?

Cuyuna Lakes State Trail (Minnesota)

Ever pedaled along a trail where each turn greets you with a surprise?

Imagine cruising through the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail, a serene blend of Minnesota's history and natural beauty.

Let's dive into why this spot is a gem for families, shall we?

  1. Path Info:
  1. Length: 8 miles paved, 30 miles total
  2. Location: Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, from Crosby to Riverton
  3. Terrain: Combination of paved and mountain biking options

Starting in Crosby and making your way to Riverton, this paved stretch covers a comfortable 8 miles.

You're right—there's more!

A full 30 miles of trails beckon, with red dirt paths creating a fantastic ride through what was once a bustling mining operation.

Now, it's all yours to explore, where tranquility joins hands with adventure.

  1. What You'll See:
  1. Lakes: Over 20 picturesque bodies of water
  2. Views: Panoramic vistas draped in green

Are the kiddos of varying biking skills?


The trails in the Cuyuna Lakes are tailored for all skill levels.

Imagine the glee on their faces as you all glide beside calm lakes, with only the sound of nature as your playlist.

Calling All Nature Lovers: Did you know this area whispers the tales of yesteryears mining glory?

Abandoned over 35 years ago, nature has reclaimed its space, turning the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area into a playground for bikers and hikers alike.

  • Safety Reminder: Always wear helmets!
  • Family Tip: Pack a picnic and find a cozy lakeside spot.

So, ready to strap on your helmets and create memories on the trails worth every pedal?

See you there!

Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes (Idaho)

Have you ever daydreamed about a family bike ride surrounded by breathtaking scenery?

Imagine pedaling alongside crystal-clear lakes, with forested hills and meandering rivers as your constant companions.

Well, the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in Idaho is the real-life version of this dream!

This gem in the Idaho Panhandle is no short escapade; it's a whopping 73 miles of paved trail that caters to all levels of biking enthusiasts.

Whether you're introducing your little ones to the joys of cycling or seeking a leisurely ride amidst nature, this trail is a treasure trove of opportunities.

  • Accessibility: The trail is a delight for walkers, cyclists, e-bikers, and even in-line skaters. Got a Nordic skiing itch in winter? Yep, you can scratch that too!
  • Family-Friendly: Choose your own adventure with shorter segments that are perfect for families. There's no need to tackle all 73 miles in one go unless you're up for the challenge!
  • Amenities: Rest stops are sprinkled generously along the way, so there's always a spot for a picnic or a quick breather.
  • Speed Limit: Keep it safe and snug at a comfortable 15 MPH – just the right pace to soak in the views.

Are you worried about hills that feel like mini-mountains?

Fret not; the trail boasts a mostly-flat terrain with a subtle elevation change of around 1,200 feet, primarily on the easterly side.

Electric wheelchairs can roll smoothly, and snowshoers can glide in the winter.

By the way, remember that you're riding through a slice of paradise that skirts private land, so let's show courtesy by staying on the trail.

Encountering wildlife or flowers you've never seen before?

Chances are, you will!

So gear up and set off on a biking quest in North Idaho, where every mile is packed with potential lifelong memories.

Saddle up, and don't forget your camera!

Cape Cod Rail Trail (Massachusetts)

Hey there, ready to explore one of the most family-friendly bike trails the U.S. has to offer?

Buckle up your helmet, because we're heading to the Cape Cod Rail Trail in picturesque Massachusetts.

This gem stretches 25 miles from South Dennis all the way to Wellfleet.

Imagine pedaling through storybook towns and spotting local wildlife in their natural habitat!

Starting your journey in South Dennis, you'll be greeted by a smoothly paved path, just begging for bike tires to roll over it.

The trail is nicely flat, which means if you're biking with kiddos, they won't be huffing and puffing up any hills.

Plus, there's hardly a better way to soak in the Cape's natural beauty than biking through serene cranberry bogs.

  1. Trail Highlights:
  1. Distance: 25 miles
  2. Starting Point: South Dennis
  3. Ending Point: Wellfleet
  4. Scenery: Towns, beaches, bogs

What's a family adventure without a few pit stops, right?

The trail is peppered with cozy picnic areas, accessible beaches, and inviting parks, so pack a lunch and make a day of it!

Remember to bring along your camera or phone because you'll want to capture the charming views and maybe a few family selfies.

Who knows, you might even find the perfect spot for your next holiday card photo with a Cape Cod backdrop!

Finally, reaching Wellfleet marks the end of this scenic ride, but the memories?

They'll last much longer than any single bike ride.

So what do you say, are you ready to pedal the day away on the Cape Cod Rail Trail?