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Special Features : Best Fall Foliage Bike Rides in Mid-Atlantic States

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Autumn Mountain Bike Trails In Delaware

White Clay Creek State ParkFall brings cooler temperatures and low humidity to Delaware. The forested regions of the state often have brilliant foliage displays. Peak color for Delaware is late October-early November.

Autumn is one of the best times to pedal the miles of greenways and trails from the New Castle County Mountain Bike Trails and the Chesapeake Bay bike paths and rail trails including the Junction and Breakwater Trail to Delaware' s Southern Heritage Trail Bike Routes.

35+ miles of well-groomed multi-use trails at White Clay Creek State Park (pictured right) provides access to one of the best places to view the changing leaves and migratory birds such as hawks and eagles as they make their annual long-distance trips between their summer breeding grounds and winter residences.

Learn the basics of identifying raptors in flight at one of the special Autumn Nature Programs offered at the White Clay Creek State Park Nature Center. Additional miles for mountain biking are available in the adjacent county-managed Middle Run Valley Natural Area (late October).

As the summer gives way to fall, the pine forest trails and unspoiled marshland of the Atlantic coast of Maryland and Delaware take on the sere colors of Autumn. It is the perfect time to cycle along the quiet roads along the back bays and inlets bordered by wetlands. The area supports one of the largest concentrations of migratory birds especially during the southbound autumn migration. See Southern Delaware By Bicycle





Autumn Mountain Bike Trails In Maryland

C & O CanalWith October comes Maryland’s glorious fall foliage season. Splashes of Autumn reds and yellows will begin to streak the western Maryland mountains around the end of September. In Garrett County, the foliage spectacle will be well underway by the first week of October and will peak around the middle of the month. The Savage River State Forest Trails including the New Germany State Park Trails, Garrett State Forest Trail System, Swallow Falls State Park, and Herrington Manor State Park are among the best locations for viewing the early changes (late September-mid October).

In general, the leaves in central Maryland will peak in mid- to late October, with the colors along the Eastern Shore reaching their full potential in early November.

For riding while enjoying brilliant fall color, bike the C&O Canal Trail (pictured top right) which follows the Potomac River in the Western and Capitol regions and passes many natural and historic wonders or try the Northern Central Railroad Trail, which combined with the historic York County Heritage Trail in Pennsylvania, makes a perfect weekend cycling trip through the scenic rural countryside of Central Maryland and the Pennsylvania Dutch Region. Though the southern section of the NCR passes through Gunpowder Falls State Park, avoid busy fall weekends and bike the northern section of the NCR trail.

The Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area in the Eastern Shore region offers 75+ miles of trails, with single-track for advanced riders and double-track for easy and moderate riding. Enjoy the park’s oaks, poplars and sycamores, all decked out in the their autumn best.

When exploring southern Maryland and the lower Eastern Shore, keep in mind that these areas tend to have heavy concentrations of pines. Even when the fall leaves are at their best, much greenery remains, but it actually compliments the autumn colors.

Fall is the perfect time of the year to bike at the beach on the Assateague National Seashore Trails. The weather is mild this time of year on this 37 mile Barrier Island, which encompasses a part of both Maryland and Virginia. Bike paths wind among coastal forest, salt marshes and along secluded beaches, spectacular dunes and back bays. The best time for shell collecting is during the fall, especially after a big storm has sent waves crashing to shore. Collecting is limited to one gallon of unoccupied shells. Take less to ensure a supply for beach dwelling organisms like the hermit crab. Into birdwatching? Waterfowl stop here in large numbers for a break during their southward fall migration.


Maryland Fall Foliage Guide: Peak color for the western mountains is early October with the colors moving from higher elevations to lower by mid-October. Garrett County's foliage turns around the end of September and peaks toward the middle of October. In southern and central Maryland, late October and early November colors are the best months for peak displays.

For weekly updates on where the leaves are changing and what fun fall events are taking place, call Maryland Fall Foliage/Events at 1-800-532-837. or visit the Maryland Fall Foliage Hotline, a cooperative effort of DNR and the Maryland Office of Tourism.



Autumn Mountain Bike Trails In Pennsylvania

Pine Creek Rail TrailPennsylvania’s changing foliage creates a breathtaking backdrop for biking and hiking. There are thousands of miles of trails, from easy to challenging, from well-traveled trailheads and rail trails to remote wilderness. They take you through sweeping valleys and old-growth forests and climb far-reaching hills and mountains.

The Lehigh Gorge Trail, along the Lehigh River follows the winding Lehigh River Mountain offering breathtaking vistas, cascading water falls and in the fall season, mountain sides covered in a blanket of red, orange and yellow. After riding, enjoy a scenic train ride, take a fascinating historic house tour and come play in the leaves at the Jim Thorpe Annual Fall Foliage Festival traditionally held during the second weekend of October.

The McDade Recreational Trail winds along the Delaware River between the low forested mountains of Pennsylvania and New Jersey offering awesome views and ever changing backdrops -- Summer greens give way to brilliant fall hues of reds, oranges and golds and goldenrods and asters dominate the landscape.

One of the most spectacular natural areas in the Commonwealth, the Pine Creek Gorge is often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania." Besides beautiful fall scenery, forests of old growth Hemlock and native Red Pine, dramatic rock outcroppings and waterfalls,  there is plenty of wildlife viewing opportunity here. The Pine Creek Trail (shown above right) in the Susquehanna Valley region is a rail trail conversion, taking  you through a spectacular Gorge and two state parks (early-mid October).

The Youghiogheny River Trail, in the southern Allegheny region is part of the Great Allegheny Passage, a 152 mile biking and hiking trail that will connect Pittsburgh with the C&O Canal in Cumberland, Maryland. The 27 mile section of the trail within Ohiopyle State Park is exceptionally beautiful during the autumn with red, orange and gold hues framing the many spectacular waterfalls, rock outcroppings and scenic overlooks (mid October).

Prince Gallatzin State Park is a great fall and winter outdoor recreation destination. The trails are a lot less crowded then. Enjoy reflections of fall color while mountain biking along the forest rimmed shorelines of Glendale Lake or Slate Lick. Bike singletrack through beautiful woods of red, orange, and yellow and look for Bald Eagles perched in the bare trees or flying over the ice when they arrive in the park in late February.

Mountain biking the Allegheny National Forest Trails in the Northern Allegheny region will provide you with some of the best fall cycling adventures in Pennsylvania. There's a variety of terrain and trails to suit every skill level. Forest service roads, cross-country ski trails, atv trails and rail trails are open all year round, even for winter biking - - weather permitting.

The Two Mile Run County Park Trails just south of Lake Erie in Western Pennsylvania offers some of the best singletrack mountain biking in the area.This gem of a County Park is surrounded by rich and colorful fall scenery and industrial and cultural history replete with forts and inns dating from the French and Indian Wars and the oil boom years.


Pennsylvania Fall Foliage Guide: Peak color for the northern region is expected by the first week in October. The central region typically reaches full color around October 8 - 14. Southeastern Pennsylvania usually peaks during the last two weeks of October.



Cool cycling tips. Get ready for biking in the autumn months. Winter cycling tips