Happy trails to you
Bike along the Oklahoma River Trails or around Lake Hefner or Lake Overholser.
This city of almost 600,000 is currently building a trail system that will link all neighborhoods and city corners for hikers, walkers and bikers. The city planners completed the 7.8-mile Hefner-Overholser Trail in 2008, linking popular Lake Overholser and Lake Hefner in the northeast quadrant of the city. Another seven miles can be gobbled up along the 7.3-mile Katy Trail, which conveys journeyers past the well-regarded Oklahoma City Zoo and through Remington Park to Adventure District, ending in Deep Fork Creek. If you'd rather be on the river instead of up the creek, traverse the Oklahoma River Trails, 13 miles of designated pathways adjacent to the Oklahoma River. South Oklahoma City residents are served by the 11.1-mile South Grand Trail for their commuting and recreational needs.
One can't discuss autumn trail trekking without a shout out to New England and the environs of Manchester, N.H. Rails-to-trails programs near the Granite State's largest city, including the 5.5-mile Goffstown, 3-mile Derry and 6.7-mile Mason railroad trail, which takes bikers and hikers on a secluded excursion into the quintessential New England backwoods. The Boston & Maine Railroad laid the groundwork for the fabulous Rockingham Recreational Trail, a 26-mile playground for mountain bikers, cross country skiers, backpackers and every other motivated adventurer. "Leaf peepers" also favor the Nashua River Trail that runs along level terrain for 12.3 miles from Ayers, Mass., through several quaint hamlets before letting the trekker off in Nashua, N.H.
Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minn.
Plenty of Pacific Northwest eyebrows rose when Minneapolis displaced Portland, Ore., as the #1 biking city in the U.S. How could a city besot with snow from November to April be so cycle-centric? The answer is simple: The Twin Cities' progressive trail system allows winter bike commuting to thrive. Of course, these fit cities of Scandinavian ancestry also step out on Nordic skis and even snowshoes when traveling to town on trails from scores of access points in neighborhoods and downtown districts. Additionally, Minneapolis leads the universe in construction of above ground labyrinths, as any visitor who's attempted to negotiate the warren of skyways would attest. Too modest to rest on past laurels, the Twin Cities continue to develop its "Transit for Livable Communities" program into the outlying burbs including St. Louis Park, Edina and Brooklyn Center, as well as offering online trail-trip planning assistance.
Beginning even before the trail to Sutter's Mill was established in 1848, paths defined this area's landscape. Sacramento's single nugget remains the American River Bike Path (AKA Jed Smith National Recreation Trail), which follows the river for 32 miles from downtown to the Folsom Dam, while gaining just 450 feet in elevation. The 10-mile Sacramento Northern Bike Trail takes off in another direction, connecting outlying neighborhoods with the urban core. A stroll along the short Delta Meadows River Park Trail will reveal every stripe of nature enthusiast from birder to angler and, hopefully, some of the birds and fish he has come to see and catch. Since the mountain biking boom began in Northern California, the rock jumpers will want to head to the Truckee River Trail for four miles of riverside riding with plenty of jump off potential.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Which of these extreme outdoor sports would you be brave enough to try?
- BASE jumping
- Ice climbing