Apr 16, 2024, 06:00 PM IST

The 8 Best Rail Trails in the U.S.

Emily Horn

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1. Katy Trail State Park (Missouri) 

This is one of the longest rail trails in the U.S., stretching nearly 240 miles across most of Missouri. The trail follows the former corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad.

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2. Great Allegheny Passage (Pennsylvania and Maryland) 

Spanning 150 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Cumberland, Maryland, this trail connects with the C&O Canal Towpath to create a continuous 335-mile route to Washington, D.C.

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3. Virginia Creeper Trail (Virginia) 

Starting in Abingdon and ending near the North Carolina border, this 34-mile trail takes you through the Mount Rogers National Recreation area with stunning views of the Appalachian Trail.

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4. Bizz Johnson Trail (California) 

Following the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific railroad, this 25.4-mile trail near Susanville, California, offers dramatic landscapes of the Sierra Nevada mountains, especially during the fall.

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5. Paul Bunyan State Trail (Minnesota) 

As one of the longest trails in the U.S., this 120-mile route connects Brainerd to Bemidji and is well-known for its picturesque settings and wildlife sightings.

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6. Banks-Vernonia State Trail (Oregon)   

Just a short drive from Portland, this 21-mile trail cuts through dense forests and crosses several bridges and trestles, offering a peaceful retreat into nature.

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7. Elroy-Sparta State Trail (Wisconsin) 

Famous for its three rock tunnels and beautiful rolling countryside, this 32-mile trail was one of the first rail trails in the country and remains a popular spot for cyclists.

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8. Hudson Valley Rail Trail (New York) 

Stretching 7.1 miles through Highland, Poughkeepsie, and beyond, this trail offers breathtaking views of the Hudson River and connects with the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.

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