Consider a 39-mile singletrack that rolls east-west along an Arkansas mountain ridge, following the course of the Ouachita River. The trail begins at one lake (North Fork) and ends at another (Ouachita). It passes through the thick hardwoods and dark pines of the Ouachita National Forest, opening occasionally to spectacular bluffs above the river. This is rolling terrain - ranging between 1,000 and 1,600 feet in elevation - but it all adds up. How do six hours of riding and 6,000 feet of climbing sound?
In the early 1800s a Cherokee Indian named Tsali escaped into North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains, fleeing the US Army's attempt at a forced relocation. He bargained with his life so that his people could remain in the region.
Today, one of the Nantahala National Forest's greatest recreation areas is named after the brave man. Mountain bikers have been tested on Tsali's Left and Right loops for years - even if their situations are seldom as perilous as that of the defiant Cherokee's.
When John Fremont stumbled upon Lake Tahoe in 1844, he was searching for a mythical river. What he found was even better. The azure lake is home to spectacular scenery and fantastic riding, courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail.
The Rim Trail climbs high above alpine lakes, through thick conifer stands and across steep, flower-strewn slopes. This segment is celebrated for magnificent views, stretching across Lake Tahoe and the high Sierra and past the jagged ranges of the Great Basin. The terrain is variable, with rocks, switchbacks and plenty of climbing.
Near the Cherokee National Forest, the Tanasi Trail system offers 30 miles of fast, flowing singletrack that riders of all levels will savor. The ride begins on Old Copper Road and climbs to Brush Creek. It is a steep climb but fairly easy. For those of you who desire a more challenging ascent, you can take the advanced version of the climb, which is super technical and steep. Old Copper Road cruises along upper stretches of the Ocoee and dumps you onto Brush Creek, which is chock full of fun singletrack. Traveling at a slower pace? No problem.
Looking for the ultimate singletrack adventure? Then the South Yuba Epic has your name all over it. Located about 20 miles north of Nevada City on the far west side of the Sierra Nevada range, the South Yuba is more than 35 miles of mountain bike bliss. A highlight of this ride is the nearly 17-mile stretch of singletrack along the South Yuba River.
Although you'll be hard pressed to find a rock or root on this trail, don't be fooled into thinking this is an easy jaunt. The tight singletrack and numerous short, steep climbs will test you.
Straddling the north fork of the Potomac River's south branch, the Monongahela National Forest's Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area offers two rides that feature the very best wild and wonderful West Virginia has to offer.
Nestled in the Sylamore District of the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, the Syllamo Trail is one the finest purpose-built mountain bike trail systems in the country. Arranged in four intertwined loops, the 50 miles of trail provides options for an all-day epic, or for shorter tours.
Some liken it to riding on the moon. It might be since riding across the Plains of Abraham is riding on one of the newest landscapes in the lower 48 states. Wiped by searing heat, pelted by hot rocks, and washed clean by mudflows from melted glaciersthe Plains were sterilized on May 18, 1980 by Mount St Helensleaving few recognizable landmarks. What was left is one of the most unique riding areas anywhere. Vegetation is now returning after 30 years, the early summer wildflower display rivals that anywhere with large areas of Paintbrush, Mimulus and Lupine.
The guidance on this website, and in other IMBA documents, is for reference only and should not be interpreted as a standard, specification or regulation. Mountain biking is inherently risky and could result in injury or death.