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The Most Popular Riding Areas in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon & Vermont According to Trailforks Data

Oct 20, 2021
by Sarah Moore  



We tasked Brice Shirbach with sifting through the data and intel on our sister site Trailforks to find out what trail networks are most popular across Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon and Vermont.

Before anyone gets disappointed that their favourite loamer zone isn't on here, this is driven by data on legal trails from Trailforks usage. It might not be our list of favorites per se, it's simply a means of showcasing some useful data features available on Trailforks. This information can make for some good trash talk, but more importantly, it's especially useful for advocacy orgs looking to leverage the data for trail building and financial purposes.





ARIZONA
Brown's Ranch


A multi-use network that is also popular with hikers, runners, equestrians as well as mountain bikers. The trails are remarkably different than the rest of the valley. The vast majority of the trails are buff smooth, with very few on-trail obstacles. There is also very little elevation change in the area. The steeper climbs tend to be very short and punchy, and the longer climbs are easy and gradual--most well below 5% grade. All of this adds up to a great place for beginners, kids, and anyone looking to build their skills.

See the 5 Most Popular Riding Areas in Arizona According to Trailforks here.





COLORADO
Lunch Loops


The Lunch Loops are a stacked singletrack trail system just two miles from downtown Grand Junction. The proximity to town gave the system its name; a trail system you could enjoy on your lunch break. A technical trail system, many riders who come from other areas learn there is another level of riding when exploring these trails. Rocky in nature, the trails cut through the multi-colored desert landscape with frequent step-up and drop moves, steep climbs, and ripping downhills.

See the 5 Most Popular Riding Areas in Colorado According to Trailforks here.






OREGON
Post Canyon


Post Canyon is situated along a ridge in the Cascade mountains just outside of Hood River, OR. Mount Hood looms large to the south and the Columbia River sits at the very bottom, 3,200 feet below the highest trail in the network. Post Canyon is a shared use network, allowing mountain bikes, hikers, equestrians, dirt bikes, and ATV users access to various segments of trail depending on the mode. Post Canyon contains over 60 miles of multi-use trails, with a vertical relief of 3,357 feet, and is built on both Forest Service land as well as the Hood River County Forestry dept.

See the 5 Most Popular Riding Areas in Oregon According to Trailforks here.
Local Flavours Hood River OR





NORTH CAROLINA
Dupont State Recreational Forest


DuPont State Recreational Forest is a 10,473-acre state forest, located in Henderson and Transylvania counties of North Carolina. Expect to find plenty of massive slabs to play on and rhododendron tunnels to nuke through, with a pitch that is a bit more mellow than what you'll find throughout Pisgah National Forest on the other side of Brevard. Dupont is home to over 90 miles of trails for mountain bikers, with a maximum vertical relief of close to 1,500 from its highest trail to its low point.

See the 5 Most Popular Riding Areas in North Carolina According to Trailforks here.





VERMONT
The Kingdom Trails


Kingdom Trails is an enormously popular trail network located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. There are over 100 miles of off non-motorized recreational trail, the overwhelming majority of which are built on private land. The trails are well known for their flowy and playful nature, and are built and managed by the Kingdom Trail Association, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, which was established in 1994 by a group of visionary residents and business leaders in the area.

See the 5 Most Popular Riding Areas in Vermont According to Trailforks here.
NEMBA Fest 2016





Download offline trail maps for your rides.






122 Comments

  • 103 21
 Internet riders: we want enhanced public lands access and privileges. We want credit for the economic benefit derived from trail usage by riders. We want political power commensurate with our trail usage and our economic contribution to trail locales. We want a pace of product development and low prices only possible with economies of scale, growth. Also internet riders: don’t come to our trails, they suck. The etitled elitist grievance babies strike again
  • 27 42
flag willis1021 (Oct 20, 2021 at 11:26) (Below Threshold)
 Ah good ol name calling. That'll get 'em. Spoken like a non-elitist
  • 11 1
 Dupont’s 5 parking lots fill by 10am most weekends. Netting was put up along with signs to stop roadside parking. By 11am there is a circle of cars at the visitor center with turn signals on waiting for people to pack up and leave.
  • 3 3
 @Randy-Verified: I'm surprised the #1 trail wasn't a poach like Jail Trail.
  • 26 2
 @blowmyfuse: Top 5 places to leave your Dasani water bottles.
  • 6 0
 So which region/trails would the Internet rider recommend a Euro dude visting this November. I'd even sign up to outside+ for any recommendations...
  • 7 0
 @Burnhardx: SoCal or the desert SW if ya wanna enjoy nice mild weather to ride in.
  • 5 0
 @Burnhardx: Honestly a lot of Oregon/ Washington/ Colorado are covered in rain or snow in November, California or Arizona are great options for winter riding.
  • 1 1
 @Burnhardx: ct is pretty good at that time, but our trails actually suck.
  • 5 0
 @Burnhardx: if you're from Zurich you likely can handle some tech.

For good conditions in November I would be heading to Phoenix area or perhaps Ste George nearer to Las Vegas. Pay attention to snow and freezing levels. From there you can rent cars for good prices and if you bring camping gear you can rent a van where you can camp and sleep.

Despite being concrete paradise Phoenix has good riding. That South Mountain Park is pretty tech up and down and will be dry and fun. Also if you have the car you can then visit Sedona and Tucson ( different directions).

Ste George has lots of access to hiking and biking too (Gooseberry, Little Mesa, Hurricane area).

Very different to CH
  • 7 2
 @Burnhardx: WIndrock. The XC trails are pretty gnarly, but you might do one loop on them. Shuttle the living crap out of the DH park & rent a side by side & go rip around the backwoods on your day off.

And Knoxville Airport is technically an international hub so you can fly there quick & cheap & land 30 minutes from the park
  • 27 0
 I think a lot of this "dont' come to our trails" stuff is joking. That said, like many jokes, it is founded in truth.

The problem being that while we get economic benefits from visitors here, we get other issues also. Mainly a*sholes. A lot of them. They come here, they trash our forests, they yell at other trail users, they yell at us, they act entitled, they poach sensitive areas/trails, they cut through the woods rather than stop for others (happened a week ago to me), and then leave. Like ants consuming a corpse, they flock until nothing is left but bones then move onto whatever else is next after sucking the life out of it and those that live here are left with the consequences when access is lost or trails get rerouted.

I've had so many obnoxious encounters with people from out of town here, I don't blame other trail users for wanting to restrict bikes, and all of these encounters when I was on a bike also. I think a lot of this negativity is based on how people from out of town are treating others. I say that as someone that fully endorses people visiting here and sees the benefit, but I also see the ugly side of it and I wish the rest of the community would also, because a lot of mountain bikers are a*sholes and treat others very poorly.
  • 3 0
 @Randy-Verified: I don't even bother going to DuPont anymore unless it is off hours or during the week. The Lake Imaging parking lot mess they made last year was a bad decision from start to finish. It (along with the mess they tried to make to Ridgeline a few years ago) should have been taken as a shot across the bow to the mtb community to stop acting entitled to the forest, but I think that point got missed.
  • 2 0
 @willis1021: Not in Oregon. Unless you cross over the cascade mountains. Wet yes, but snow is not as common as it should be.
  • 2 1
 @shinook: I’m not joking about Connecticut trails, there’s just so many better trails and trail systems out of state. We have a few good places, but they’re often not maintained super well. Of course I also haven’t ridden every trails system.
  • 1 0
 @Burnhardx: November.....AZ, NM, CA if talking western US.
  • 1 0
 @Randy-Verified: That means they'll soon start moving to California.
  • 2 0
 @willis1021: never heard of a fat bike?
  • 1 0
 @Burnhardx: I'll echo some of the other guys and say SoCal or AZ would be pretty hard to beat in November. Ton of stuff from Santa Barbara all the way down to San Diego that will be a perfect 60-70 degrees for most of the winter, only issue might be some sporadic rain.

For AZ you have all the riding around Phoenix plus if it's dry you can head north and ride up in Sedona/Flagstaff or head south down to Tucson. Plenty to keep you busy whichever one you choose!
  • 4 0
 @Randy-Verified: They can have Dupont. You have to pass all the good stuff to get there. I don't fully understand the obsession but whatever.
  • 2 0
 @Randy-Verified: New environmental project - stand at the trailhead and hand out Dasani compatible water bottle holders to everyone who has one perched in their regular holder just waiting to bounce out
  • 4 0
 @Burnhardx: you’re welcome in AZ as long as you’re not bringing that first guy
  • 2 1
 @scary1: you are one of the OGs of that region. Beer
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: come on, it’ll be rainy and swampy, give the guy a break, he wants warm and dry.

Southwestern US is the place to ride in winter.
  • 3 0
 @Burnhardx: Sedona, don’t waste your time with anything else
  • 1 0
 @willis1021: California riding season=fall-spring
  • 2 0
 @leelau: « very different to CH »… I can confirm. And just a heads up: There are no fountains!!
  • 1 0
 How’s Tahoe & Downieville early November..?
I’ll be arriving in SoCal this weekend and want to do a quickie roadtrip up to Boise the first week of Nov. is it worth it stopping by Downieville / Tahoe or would you say drive straight to Boise and back to SoCal again..?
I might have the possibility to throw in a day or two in Sedona then also…
Would love to hear from the locals.. Thanks!
  • 2 0
 @Randy-Verified: come on, we live in the era of @sprintervansofbend (which you should follow on Instagram). They’re Smartwater bottles.
  • 2 0
 @DutchmanPhotos: Tahoe will be hit or miss(lots of the forest has burned around the south and west shore recently so it's mostly closed) north and east shores good to go! Tahoe is currently getting snow as low as 5000'(1520m) with the Fall rain/snow mix happening in earnest. Some high elevation north slopes are not melting out with back to back storms. Downieville(Lakes basin if you want rowdy) will likely be your best bet. Top of the Downieville descent is like 6500'(1980m) and could see bits of snow, but the vast majority of the trail should be awesome with recent rain storms. Smoke all summer has kept alot of the riders away from the "lost sierra" so Downieville's been riding good! Enjoy your trip.
  • 2 0
 @DutchmanPhotos: Everything at high elevation will be likely snow covered. Large storm coming in today expecting to dump on Tahoe/Dville.
  • 1 0
 @Sugarbrad: Exactly my thoughts as well. Now if they moved Dupont to the middle of the state ....
  • 1 0
 @dualcrownscottspark: Nothing to see in CT. That's for sure.
  • 1 0
 @powpowpow: But there is Chue Scheisse! Somethings are universal
  • 1 0
 You meant businesses, not riders when you said economic benefit right? Because automatically believing mtbers want some tourism bubble in their backyard is flat out wrong. Trail orgs use economic benefit as a grant writing tool. A very few local riders build the trails (if they weren't already) and you and the rest of those commenting try butchering their progress and beliefs into fake concepts you're not even a part of. And even if some local businesses are rider owned, gentrifying the people making riding possible for them is something nobody who has respect for community wants.
  • 53 0
 We have offered Dupont as a sacrificial lamb to the tourists.
  • 8 0
 worth it
  • 3 4
 But now the Dupont sanitization project has taken Black & consumed it whole because reasons...
  • 8 0
 @blowmyfuse: pour one out for the real ones that remember old Black mountain.
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: That is sad. RIP Black. Gone but not forgotten
  • 39 11
 I can't believe Outside isn't even publishing the top trails in The Mountain Biking Capital of the World!? You'd think that the Mountain Biking Capital of The World would be the first location to be featured.
  • 7 5
 What are you talking about? They posted Sedona.
  • 13 1
 @ihatton929: I think the Bentonville chamber of commerce would beg to differ Wink www.visitbentonville.com/sp/bike
  • 35 1
 @chacou: That's cool, I labeled myself "The Lord Master of Single Track, Slayer of Berms and Liberator of Rock Gardens".

I'm glad we can pick our nicknames now.
  • 17 0
 @ihatton929: My house is officially the "World Capital of Procrastination and Bullshit", don't dare try to steal my title Wink
  • 1 1
 LOL, why does everyone gotta hate on Bville? The title is... aspirational... hopeful... think of movies like Rudie etc. I could've moved anywhere with trails, but I love Bville and I'm glad it's not on the list. Everyone stay away, we're all good here in NW Arkansas Smile
  • 25 0
 So, avoid all of these places, then. Thanks for the heads up.
  • 3 0
 Yep, trails in Canada are garbage, not worth the trip…

(You think they bought it?)
  • 21 0
 I can't lie...as a Carolina boy, i'm super stoked none of my spots showed up on this.
  • 4 1
 @preach what if it showed Rocky River ? But really it was just the data counting every overlapping switchback as a new ride?

"Trailforks said I rode the gully 8 times in one ride"
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: possible, but gloriously it left out the entire NW section of the state. :-)
  • 5 0
 Same. I’m glad the best and gnarliest trails in the state, Tanglewood Park, are still unknown to all the Floridian tourists.
  • 20 1
 I was prepared for the most popular areas to also be the lamest but Post Canyon is actually dope. Brown's Ranch confirms my thesis though.
  • 16 0
 most popular and best are two different things sometimes
  • 6 0
 I'm perfectly okay with visitors going to Brown's
  • 20 4
 What is the point of this article? Like who in the pInkbike audience is this targeted towards? It's not journalism... it's... a buzzfeed list...
  • 2 0
 Yes
  • 4 0
 “it's simply a means of showcasing some useful data features available on Trailforks.“

Ah so this is click bait and advertising shoddily veiled as a journalistic piece. Should rename it “Pinkbile”
  • 1 0
 @bonkmastereflex Couldn't agree more. Is there so little happing around the world that they needed to scrape the barrel to come up with page filling ideas.
  • 11 1
 Real question: does anyone actually use Trailforks on the local trails they love and regularly ride? I sure don't.
  • 5 0
 Yes. I'm routinely generating ride logs and using them to do trail reporting. I also track what others report in case there's issues that the volunteers need to know about. And then there was summer 2020 when nearly every riding area in the entire state of Oregon was closed due to wildfire risk or the secondary risk of all the local firefighters being pulled away to help fight the raging fires in the Cascades.
  • 5 0
 This is a good point. Strava useage is probably more relevant. To some extent, Trailforks usage is a better proxy for how confusing a trail system is, and that's validated with Post Canyon, which is quite a spider web of trails.
  • 2 0
 Nope, but it's nice when you go somewhere new!
  • 1 0
 It's a super helpful map, be it a place I've not been to, forgotten a bit, or when I have to hike out. As for recording rides, I've found it to be a very useful tool for gauging when I'm supposed to service things compared to when it feels like I should. Alot of people talk about importing recordings from Strava, but frankly at this point I'm almost always doing the opposite, recording in Trailforks and syncing that to my Strava.
  • 2 0
 @stalkinghorse: I don't use trailforks (at least mobile) anymore since they started charging. However all my strava rides still automatically sync to my trailforks. So I imagine there's a lot of that going on too.
  • 2 0
 @tbmaddux: Its a great tool for this, trail closures for logging happen all the time here too, pays to check trail forks.
  • 8 0
 Could you make the same thing with France ?? Would be pretty interesting
  • 113 3
 it's just a map of peeps cutting corners
  • 2 1
 @artistformlyknowasdan: Or riding the wrong way.
  • 7 0
 Hard to believe lunch loop have more traffic than the front range or Boulder ?!?
  • 4 0
 I'd bet that if they combined this with Strava data then you'd see a front range network or two on the CO list. However, western slope is very popular with front rangers as well as many others outside the front range
  • 2 0
 I'd imagine that since there's so many options on the front range the traffic is fairly spread between Ft. Collins down to Evergreen but Lunch Loop is the go to for GJ locals
  • 7 0
 Trust your instincts. Few people in Colorado use Trailforks and those that do aren't in the Front Range. So according to the Trailforks database...Lunch loops is most popular with those people.
  • 2 0
 @Sycip69er: That, plus it’s likely not as common for people to use a trail finding app to ride local trails that they know very well.
  • 5 1
 Boulder is for bearded urban lumberjack hipster trustafarians w overbuilt and under used tacomas!!@chacou:
  • 4 0
 @Tigergoosebumps: I'm sorry, I'm a bit confused are you playing the game "pick a CO locale and complete the stereotype"? Cause that's a pretty good one, but gonna have to dock you points for not using "Commiefornia", "CALIrado", or "NATIVE" Wink
  • 3 0
 Boulder is in the Front Range, and outside of Valmont, there’s really no place to ride.
  • 7 3
 Surprised Lunch Loops beat out 18 Road in CO. For beginner or intermediate riders, Lunch Loops wouldn’t be my first suggestion. Lots of big moves and blind drops with landings you won’t get right without scouting.

What I’d like to see from this; some Friday Fails. If you get rocked on Holy Cross or Free Lunch, Friday Fails that $h!%.

What I don’t want-a bunch of Gumby’s gaping the lines and trying to penguin walk their bike down a steep roll or drop. Send it or get wrecked and have your carcass off the trail. Don’t make Lunch Loops another Enchilada.

And…..f#€k you if you penguin walk/gape Enchilada!!!
  • 6 0
 Will be ripping lunch loops this evening. Primo temps and conditions.
  • 3 0
 Same here
  • 3 2
 @sarahmoore trail tourism is awesome but there are no shortage of great trails. Why not shine a light on areas that take pressure off congested trail centers? Unprecedented traffic combined with a long period where trail work was not permitted has left a backlog of trail work in a lot of areas.
  • 5 0
 Delete your social media, and rider trackers.
  • 4 2
 Why do people use Trailforks when MTB Project is free? In Colorado everything is on MTB Project but in Canada very little was and I kept having to make new Trailforks accounts and select my local area.
  • 4 1
 The link to the top five trails in North Carolina just takes you to the article about the top five trails in colorado.
  • 4 0
 All the links go to the Colorado page.
  • 6 0
 I've fixed that!
  • 4 0
 As it should. DuPont doesn’t need any more pressure than it already has.
  • 4 4
 I'm an economic data scientist who has long wanted to analyze the regional differences in rider preferences for different trail types. That is, will the characteristics of the most popular trails vary by region, and, if so, is it because of relative scarcity of those trail types or because of truly different preferences? Help me out @sarahmoore ?
  • 2 0
 There is this state called West Virginia, they have a world cup there actually, it's not on the list.. Probably for the better.
  • 2 0
 I thought the World Cup was in East Virginia?
  • 3 0
 @hardcore-hardtail: north Virginia actually
  • 5 4
 I for one welcome all trail users—I don't care how secret they are. My only hope is for respect to both the myriad of other users and to the environment itself. Done and done.
  • 2 0
 Hmm. I've lived in most of these states. I guess it's a sign I need to pack it up and head to North Carolina for a few years.
  • 2 0
 This confirms my theory rhat most people aren't riding Enduro tracks, they're riding flowy singletrack. Yet marketing pushes Enduro bikes harder than ever.
  • 1 1
 If y'all are actually interested in Outside beyond Today, then maybe you wouldn't publish promotions in unsustainability like this. Or if you did, maybe offer some suggestions on making needless, self serving, travel, like this, less destructive. C'mon grow where you're planted. Live local.
  • 2 0
 Yess yesss it's all coming together. Go visit DuPont sooooo much better than pisgah. Yesssssssssssss
  • 3 0
 The most popular riding areas are not always the best riding areas.
  • 6 2
 #RestoreOutsideCEO
  • 2 0
 Here so I can see where’s trending and load up the yeti in my sportsmobile and be an influencer. Thanks trailforks!
  • 5 3
 Post canyon actually not that fun, not worth the drive
  • 2 0
 I see pockets-the-coyote got ya
  • 2 0
 Nah, I have no doubts this compilation article was planned well before my sarcastic ass showed up.
  • 2 0
 we used to ride moto at Browns Ranch. It was way better as a moto place.
  • 1 0
 I couldn't help but notice that there is such a thing as Transylvania County. Who'd a thought.
  • 2 0
 Latin for beyond the forest. Trans - Beyond. Sylva - Wood
  • 1 0
 Go big, huck your meat in DuPont and go to Transylvania general and give blood this Halloween ‍♀️
  • 2 0
 I remember when Lunch Loops were just a Jeep trail.
  • 1 1
 I mean Browns is definitely not the best riding in AZ but for a quick after work ride or a jumping off point to the Maricopa trial and into Cave Creek its not too bad.
  • 2 0
 You see I wouldn't know because you guys killed trailforks.
  • 1 0
 Browns Ranch......................... wow
  • 1 0
 Sioxon Huffman peak ftw.
  • 1 0
 Now about to get even more congested!
  • 1 0
 Outside: "Hey PB, we need some SEO material"
  • 1 0
 'Most popular' does necessarily equate with 'best'.
  • 1 0
 Nor does “most popular on TrailForks” equate to most popular in real life. This data is pretty useless unfortunately.
  • 1 0
 Good, everyone keep going to the Kingdom.
  • 2 1
 What, no Delaware?
  • 2 0
 Hi, I'm in Delaware.
  • 2 0
 Psh, Delaware
  • 2 0
 Dela-where?

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