MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Hitting the trails

In this part of the country, you can always find a great place to ride.

Bicycling along the Mississippi in Minnesota.

© Beth Gauper

South of the Twin Cities, trails run along the Mississippi River.

This is a bike-crazy part of the country. We like twisting singletrack, floating on fat tires and even gravel grinding but we love our off-road touring trails.

Luckily, we have more than anyone: Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin rank No. 1, 2 and 3 for miles of rails converted to trails, and Iowa and Illinois also are top-tier.

Minnesota's trails are prized because they're paved, including the 121-mile Paul Bunyan State Trail. For more, see Bicycling in Minnesota.

In Wisconsin, you can ride a trail most of the way between La Crosse and Milwaukee. For more, see Bicycling in Wisconsin.

Michigan is quickly piling on new miles and building networks. For more, see Bicycling in western Michigan.

In Iowa, 200 miles of trails surround Des Moines. For more, see Bicycling in Iowa.

And Illinois has many touring trails, including the pioneering, 61-mile Illinois Prairie Path in Chicago's western suburbs.

For the best by state, see 15 great trails to ride in spring.

Last updated on April 14, 2016