What is so great about biking? There are a lot of benefits. Let’s take a look:
There are many health benefits that are associated with cycling. Let’s look at a few of the major benefits:
- Bicycling is easy to learn if you haven’t learned how to ride as a kid. Once you know how to bike, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a bicycle to get great benefits. Once you own a bike, the act of biking is free.
- Riding a bike builds strength, muscle tone, stamina, and has terrific cardio-vascular benefits. Every part of the body is involved in biking.
- Biking burns calories. You can burn about 300 calories an hour if you bike at a steady pace. You will also boost your metabolism, which will keep on working after your get off your saddle. (Though studies show weight training continues to burn more calories for a longer time than cardio-vascular activities.)
- As we get older we lose our balance. Biking is a super balancing act.
- Biking, like other physical activities, reduces stress. Fall is a great time to bike outside and enjoy nature.
A rail trail is the conversion of a disused railway easement into a multi-use path, typically for walking, cycling and sometimes horse riding. The characteristics of former tracks—flat, long, frequently running through historical areas—are appealing for various development. (Wikipedia) Biking on rail trails is super because there are no cars and they are usually off the road so you do not have to inhale exhaust. The Northeast has close to 5,000 miles of rail trail.
The total miles are given but obviously you can do as much as you want.
1. Down East Sunrise Trail
Ayers Junction to Washington Junction, Maine
This rail bed passes deep into the state’s woods, through swamps, and over streams. This route is occasionally interrupted by road crossings. You may see moose! This trail is perfect for a hybrid bike since the surface is made of gravel.
Distance: 85 miles one-way
2. Carrabassett River Rail Trail
Carrabassett to Bigelow Station, Maine
This scenic route follows an old narrow gauge railway (it’s also known as the Narrow Gauge Pathway) between the Bigelow Range and Sugarloaf Mountain. The crushed-stone trail passes along the Carrabassett River and through the woods. This route rises a bit so it isn’t totally flat like the one below. You will find wildflowers, beaver dams, and picnic benches along the river.
Distance: 6.6 miles one-way
3. Cape Cod Rail Trail (You may want to read Cape Cod Rail Trail is the best bike trail in MA)
Dennis to Wellfleet, Massachusetts
This is a popular trail, which passes woodlands, reservoirs, and ponds.
Distance: 22 miles one-way
4. Air Line Rail Trail
East Hampton to Thompson, Connecticut
This trail is stone-dust and gravel and run’s through Connecticut’s northeast corner. The trail passes massive viaducts, cuts through conserved land, and features views from some of the state’s most scenic ridgelines. The trail’s southern end is in the best condition.
Distance: 49.4 miles one-way
Read about more rail trails around the country here.