10 Hidden Bike Paths in Major Cities Revealed | PedalChef

Key Takeaways

  • Urban bike paths offer a unique way to explore cities.
  • These trails present both tranquility and stunning views.
  • The article is your go-to guide for hidden urban cycling routes.

Cycling through a city is like uncovering its secrets pedal by pedal.

For urban adventurers, hidden bike paths in major cities offer a unique blend of escape and exploration.

You're not reading a typical travel brochure, no sir.

This is your insider’s guide to pedaling the less trodden paths that weave through urban landscapes.

Imagine gliding along the waterfront of the Hudson River Greenway, with Manhattan's bustle on one side and the tranquil river on the other.

Or how about cruising the sunny stretches of LA's South Bay Bicycle Trail?

Whether it's Chicago's Lakefront Trail or Seattle's Burke-Gilman Trail, these gems provide not just a great workout but also mesmerizing cityscapes and peaceful retreats from the urban rush.

You can trust this guide to unveil those tucked-away trails that promise both serenity and a touch of adventure.



Hudson River Greenway (New York City, NY)

Ever dreamed of biking along the scenic Hudson with the wind in your hair and the city skyline at your back?

You're in luck—the Hudson River Greenway is your go-to urban oasis.

Imagine pedaling down 11 miles of picturesque waterfront, all while waving goodbye to the hustle and bustle of New York City streets.

So, where does this journey begin?

You'll kick off at the southern heart of Manhattan in Battery Park.

And hold onto your helmet, because this trail will escort you all the way to the iconic George Washington Bridge.

Here's a highlight that'll make your eyes twinkle: this path is less crowded than others, giving you ample space to take in the views or push for that new personal best.

  • Length: 11 miles
  • Start Point: Battery Park
  • End Point: George Washington Bridge
  • Surface: Paved

Did I mention the ease of access?

With numerous cross streets welcoming you onto the Greenway downtown, you're never too far to jump in on the adventure.

The trail is also a cinch to navigate, offering a paved pathway that ranges from easy to moderate—thanks to varying levels of bike traffic as you approach downtown.

This isn’t just a fair-weather friend either; the trail is perfect for a crisp morning ride or a serene sunset cruise.

Plus, with its paved surface, casual riders and seasoned cyclists alike will find it welcoming.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Popularity peaks as you near downtown, so watch out for fellow bikers.
  • You've got the seal of approval from the East Coast Greenway—a whopping 3,000 miles including this gem.
  • Want to make a day of it? You'll find parks, piers, and play areas dotted along the route.

So grab your bike, some hydration, and maybe a camera to capture those riverside moments—your urban cycling adventure awaits on the Hudson River Greenway!

South Bay Bicycle Trail (Los Angeles, CA)

Have you ever craved a breezy ride along the coast of sunny Los Angeles?

The South Bay Bicycle Trail is calling your name!

Stretching a scenic 22 miles from Will Rogers State Beach all the way to Torrance County Beach, this coastal path is a serene escape amidst the urban sprawl.

Imagine cycling along the beach, feeling the sun on your skin, and smelling the salty breeze—sounds idyllic, doesn't it?

  • Length: 22 miles
  • Start: Will Rogers State Beach
  • End: Torrance County Beach
  • Terrain: Mostly flat and paved
  • Views: Ocean, beaches, and beach towns

As you pedal, you'll encounter several iconic beach towns that are perfect for a quick stop or a leisurely stroll.

Here's what you can expect:

  • Marina del Rey: Grab a bite or watch the boats.
  • Venice Beach: Soak in the eclectic vibes and street performances.
  • Santa Monica: Visit the famous pier or relax on the beach.
  • Manhattan Beach: Enjoy the local shops and seaside charm.
  • Redondo Beach: End your trip with a picturesque sunset.

This path isn't just for seasoned cyclists; it's generally considered easy, making it perfect for a leisurely day out regardless of your biking skills.

And don't worry about feeling lonely on this trail; it's a popular spot for both locals and visitors engaging in mountain biking, road biking, and even running.

Need a bike?

No problem!

Local bike stores along the path offer rentals, so you can jump in on the fun even if you didn't bring your own wheels.

Just remember, always slot in your sunscreen before you head out—you wouldn't want to turn as red as a lobster, would you?

Whether you're in it for the workout or just a chill day by the beach, the South Bay Bicycle Trail delivers a perfect blend of fitness and leisure.

Why not invite a friend and make a day of it?

After all, good company makes any ride twice as nice!

Lakefront Trail (Chicago, IL)

Have you ever taken a pedal through Chicago and longed for that scenic route, where cityscape meets serene water?

Well, guess what?

The Lakefront Trail is your go-to spot!

Stretching out to 18 miles, this isn't your average bike path.

It's a full-blown biking utopia, tucked alongside the glistening Lake Michigan.

  • Distance: 18 miles
  • Surface: Paved
  • Accessibility: Year-round, during park hours

What makes it a gem, you ask?

Just picture this: the sun's glimmering on the water, a cool breeze on your face, and you're cruising with the most picturesque Chicago skyline view keeping you company.

Plus, here's a little scoop — this trail isn't just for biking.

It’s been smartly split into two parts:

  1. A Bike Trail for those with wheels.
  2. A Pedestrian Trail of 18.5 miles for the foot-lovers, reducing the hustle-bustle and keeping things smooth.

Don't worry about getting lost; signs along the way have got your back.

And whether you're into birding, fishing, or simply soaking in the sights, the Lakefront Trail is your canvas.

What's the route?

It's simple!

You start at Ardmore Street (that's 5800 N.

Sheridan Rd, if you're revving up your GPS) in the north and glide all the way down to 71st Street (a.k.a. 7100 S.

South Shore Drive).

That's a decent stretch, right?

So, pack your water bottle, slap on some sunscreen, and get ready to pedal through parks and beaches like Edgewater, Uptown, and more.

Whether you’re an early bird or a sunset chaser, the Lakefront Trail is ready for you.

Who knows what you'll discover around the next bend?

Cherry Creek Trail (Denver, CO)

Have you ever wanted to zip through the heart of one of America's vibrant cities while being enveloped in nature?

Let's take a ride on the Cherry Creek Trail in Denver, Colorado.

This gem stretches an impressive 42 miles, whisking you away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Denver to the quaint areas of Franktown.

Why should you consider Cherry Creek Trail for your next ride?

Let's look at the facts:

  • Distance: 42 miles
  • Surface: Mostly 8-foot-wide concrete
  • Accessibility: Easy, family-friendly

Imagine pedaling through a mélange of urban landscapes, suburban serenity, and rustic charm—sounds pretty sweet, right?

You can start your journey at Confluence Park, which also connects with the Platte River Trail.

As you head out, don’t be surprised if you cross paths with fellow cyclists, runners, or bird watchers, especially considering this trail is well-loved for its accessibility.

What will you see along the way?

A few highlights include:

  • Hidden parks that are perfect for a picnic break
  • Shopping centers for those much-needed snack stops
  • Ritzy country clubs with manicured landscapes to gawk at

While it's true that the trail can be bustling in some areas, don't worry; there's plenty of space for everyone.

Most of the trail flaunts a concrete surface, which makes for a smooth ride whether you’re on a road bike, mountain bike, or pulling a kiddie trailer.

Remember to stop by a Dazbog Coffee near Cherry Creek Drive North and grab a craft coffee—yours truly insists it's the best fuel for the journey.

If you're up for it, cruise all the way down to the Cherry Creek Reservoir, where a natural retreat awaits.

So, grab your bike, some friends, or maybe just your thoughts, and hit the Cherry Creek Trail.

Believe me, you won't regret spending a day exploring Denver's outdoors this way!

Burke-Gilman Trail (Seattle, WA)

Have you heard about the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle?

If not, you're in for a treat!

This 27-mile gem stretches from the vibrant neighborhood of Ballard all the way to Bothell.

It's where the urban pulse meets the serene views of nature—a perfect blend for your next biking adventure.

The trail lines part of Lake Washington, offering breathtaking sights that make any day better.

  • Length: 27 miles
  • Start: Ballard
  • End: Bothell
  • Views: Lake Washington, UW Campus

Imagine pedaling along, with the University of Washington's lush campus on one side and the serene Lake Washington on the other.

Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for the unique murals and art installations that pepper the trail—Seattle's creative spirit is alive even in its bike paths!

What Can You Do on the Trail?

  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Skating
  • Commuting

The Burke-Gilman is a no-brainer for cyclists, whether you're commuting or just out for fun.

But guess what?

It's also a haven for runners, walkers, and even skaters looking to enjoy the Seattle scene.

Why Burke-Gilman Trails Is a Must:

  • It follows a historic railroad route.
  • It's a mixed-use trail—everyone's welcome!
  • Easy to navigate with excellent wayfinding.
  • Safe, separated, and paved for comfortable riding.

Feeling hungry after a good ride?

Swing by the shops near the University Village for a bite or a quick shopping spree.

Remember, this trail is functional year-round, so no excuses, even when it's a little drizzly – this is Seattle, after all!

Grab your bike, your jogging shoes, or just lace up for a calming walk on the Burke-Gilman Trail.

It promises to be time well spent.

Capital Crescent Trail (Washington, D.C.)

Ever wanted to escape the city buzz for a bit?

The Capital Crescent Trail might be just your hidden path to peace.

Picturing yourself cycling through serene parks and besides the calm Potomac River?

That's exactly what this 11-mile gem offers!

Starting from the historic neighborhood of Georgetown, did you know this trail takes you right through to Silver Spring, MD?

You'd be amazed at how it transforms an old rail line into your personal scenic route.

Don't just take my word for it; let's check out what makes it special:

  • Trail Length: 11 miles
  • Terrain: Mostly paved, tree-lined, with park and residential areas
  • Access Points: Georgetown, Bethesda, and various others along the way for easy entry and exit.

Fancy a quick break or need some water?

You've got bike repair stations, drinking water sources, and restrooms readily available.

It's perfect for all your fitness activities, whether you're biking, jogging, or even rollerblading.

And yes, it's a shared-use trail, so be ready to greet fellow nature-loving enthusiasts.

With a rich history tracing back to the early 20th century as the Georgetown Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, this trail isn't just a ride or a jog—it's a journey through time.

So, are you ready to hit the Capital Crescent Trail?

Remember, it's super popular on weekends, and a bit quieter on weekdays, making it your convenient urban escape any day of the week.

Just remember the friendly trail etiquette: stay to the right, pass on the left, and always share a smile!

Schuylkill River Trail (Philadelphia, PA)

Ever wondered where you can pedal past moments in history and catch some urban vibes all at once?

Let me introduce you to the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia, PA.

Stretching 30 miles from the heart of Philly to Parkerford, this trail has got it all.

  • Urban Sights: Starting in the bustling city, you'll get to experience the Philadelphia skyline from a whole new perspective. You can hop on the trail and instantly be part of that iconic scene—skyline backdrop, river gliding alongside, you're in the heart of the action!
  • Historic Spots: Now, it's not every day that your bike ride crosses paths with the birthplace of American history. With each pedal, you're treading alongside the very river that powered the Industrial Revolution. Imagine cruising where George Washington might have mused over the very nation you're zigzagging through.
  • Greenery Galore: Need to breathe in some green after all that city concrete? The trail has that covered too. It will lead you through Bartram's Garden, where every blade of grass seems steeped in stories, to rural areas where the trails are hugged by lush scenery.

So here's what you need to know to get going:

  • Distance: That's a 24.7-mile stretch for you to conquer. Will you take it head-on or leisurely roll through it?
  • Accessibility: This trail is built for everyone—whether you're in for the long haul to Valley Forge or just want to savor a morning ride by the riverside.

Grab your bike, your running shoes, or just your curiosity, and hit the Schuylkill River Trail.

You're not just burning calories; you're traveling through time and cityscapes.

And each journey here tells a different tale.

What will yours be?

Minuteman Bikeway (Boston, MA)

Ever felt like rewinding time and following the tracks of a revolutionary hero?

The Minuteman Bikeway is your chance!

Spanning 10 miles from the bustling streets of Cambridge to the quaint town of Bedford, this trail lets you pedal through history.

Hey, did you know?

The bikeway traces the legendary ride of Paul Revere.

Imagine pedaling and hearing the echoes of "The British are coming!" It's not just a trail; it's a history lesson on wheels!

Here's what you'll love about the Minuteman Bikeway:

  • Urban to Suburban: Start in the urban landscape of Cambridge and watch the scenery morph as you glide into Bedford's suburban charm.
  • Access to History: Zoom past major historical trinkets and landmarks without the hassle of city traffic.
  • Parks: Dotted with green spaces, perfect for a quick rest or a picnic to recharge.

Thinking about convenience?

This trail is a favorite for both cross-country skiing and running, so it's well-tended all year round.

Plus, it's an easy ride, meaning you'll have more time enjoying the views and less time huffing and puffing.

Whether you're a local or a tourist, the Minuteman Bikeway is a slice of Boston not to be missed.

So, what are you waiting for?

Grab your bike and make some history of your own!

Silver Comet Trail (Atlanta, GA)

Ever heard of the Silver Comet Trail?

Nestled just outside of Atlanta, this gem is a cyclist's paradise.

At 61.5 miles long, it stretches all the way from the bustling suburbs of Smyrna, Georgia, to the tranquil Alabama state line.

Why should you ride the Silver Comet?

Well, for starters:

  • Scenic Beauty: You'll encounter forests, streams, and a touch of rural charm, perfect for a refreshing change of scenery.
  • Serious Mileage: With its epic length, you can truly test your endurance or simply pick a segment for a leisurely ride.
  • Historic Path: You're traveling an old railway corridor. Imagine the echoes of trains from days past as you pedal!
  • Accessibility: The trail is a smooth, fully paved 12-foot wide path. It's accommodating for everyone, whether on wheels or on foot.

Points to Consider

  • Duration: On average, it takes cyclists about 20 hours to conquer the whole trail—good thing you can tackle it in parts.
  • Amenities: Across the trail, find 17 access points, 15 restrooms, and 10 water fountains. Rest assured, you’re well-covered!
  • Solitude or Socialize: The trail provides peace and quiet if you’re after solitude or the chance to mingle with fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

Remember, you don't have to rush.

Take your time to soak in the sights, sounds, and smells.

You'll be surprised at how quickly the hustle and bustle of Atlanta fades into the background, replaced by the calming presence of Georgia's natural landscapes.

So, why not give it a try?

Grab your bike and explore what the Silver Comet Trail has to offer—trust me, it's worth every pedal!

Katy Trail (Dallas, TX)

Have you ever wondered where you can enjoy a leisurely bike ride right through the bustling heart of Dallas?

Welcome to the Katy Trail!

This scenic gem stretches for 3.5 miles, a repurposed pathway that breathes new life into the historic tracks of the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad.

Imagine the chug-chug of trains of yesteryear transformed into the soft whir of bike wheels!

  • Length: 3.5 miles
  • Location: Through the heart of Dallas
  • Accessibility: Year-round

Cycling the Katy Trail, you'll be enveloped in a lush tapestry of greenery.

It's a wonderful escape that's conveniently close to the urban vibe of downtown Dallas.

Whether it's a workout you're after or a tranquil roll under the trees, this trail has got you covered.

Features to Look Out For:

  • Scenic spots: Nestled amidst parks and residential areas
  • Historical roots: Following the historic MKT Railroad
  • Community love: A popular, well-supported local haunt

Are you bringing the kids along, or maybe just taking your trusty bike for a spin after work?

The Katy Trail serves up a slice of nature with a side of cityscape, giving you the perfect backdrop for a daytime adventure or a sunset cruise.

No need to worry about getting lost; the trail is well-marked, so you can focus on enjoying the ride.

Remember, you're sharing the path with joggers, strollers, and fellow bike enthusiasts, so keep it friendly – a smile goes a long way!

So, what are you waiting for?

Pump those tires, grab your helmet, and discover this urban oasis on two wheels.

Happy cycling!