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The 10 Best Bike Paths for Commuters
Some large U.S. cities have developed particularly effective paths. Check out these 10 bike trails designed to help commuters navigate their way safely through some of the biggest metro areas in the United States.
Schuylkill River Trail
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1 of 11
Photo Credit: Montgomery County Planning Commission, https://www.flickr.com/photos/75012107@N05/
The Schuylkill River Trail, which is almost 50 percent complete, will eventually total nearly 130 miles. The 26-mile stretch from Philadelphia to Phoenixville is perfect for commuting into the city, where traffic jams can be a nightmare.
The Embarcadero and Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, California 2 of 11
Photo Credit: gigi4791, https://www.flickr.com/photos/85428086@N00/
Though only two miles, this bike path does provide a route to the Ferry Building, AT&T Park, the Fisherman's Wharf and thousands of businesses that can be difficult to navigate to by car. It also links to the bike path on the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the SF Bike Route 2, which can take you to other parts of the city.
Manhattan Waterfront Greenway
New York City, New York 3 of 11
Photo Credit: The City Project, https://www.flickr.com/photos/cityprojectca/
For those of you looking for a stress-free way to get around the island of Manhattan, the Waterfront Greenway offers a 28-mile route from Inspiration Point all the way down to Battery Park. The path has dozens of easy access points to break off into the city—making it easier for commuters to reach their workplace.
Lake Front Trail
Chicago, Illinois 4 of 11
Photo Credit: MichelleBikeWalkLincolnPark, https://www.flickr.com/photos/69734016@N06/
Go from one end of the city to the other on this paved 18-mile path along Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Cyclists who live north of the city in Lakeview or near Lincoln park can jump on The Loop to avoid heavy traffic while taking in breathtaking views of the cityscape and beaches along the lake.
Minuteman Commuter Bikeway
Boston, Massachusetts 5 of 11
Photo Credit: ptwo, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ptwo/
This 10-mile route, which connects the Boston towns of Cambridge, Lexington, Arlington and Bedford, follows Paul Revere's famous ride. If you're commuting into the city, you can park your bike at the "pedal and park," at the end of the path and then hop on mass transit to reach your final destination.
Cherry Creek Bike Path
Denver, Colorado 6 of 11
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall, https://www.flickr.com/photos/denverjeffrey/
This bike path, which begins at Confluence Park on the Platte River Trail, bisects the city of Denver. Its centralized location and easy entrance and exit points make this route a bike commuter's dream. For those looking to do some longer riding, it also links up with other trails in the area, including the 42-mile Northeast Denver Loop Trail.
Eastbank Esplanade and the Springwater Trail Corridor
Portland, Oregon 7 of 11
Photo Credit: camknows, https://www.flickr.com/photos/camknows/
Portland is one of the best cycling cities in the U.S., offering bicycle infrastructure that can only be compared to cities in Europe. Connect to the Springwater Corridor via the Eastbank Esplanade on the Willamette River downtown, where you'll find 21 miles of rail trail that will lead you all the way from the center of the city to the eastern suburb of Boring, Oregon.
Seattle, Washington 8 of 11
Photo Credit: Gene Bisbee, https://www.flickr.com/photos/77751108@N00/
You'll be hard pressed to find a better city trail than this one. Beginning in Puget Sound in North Seattle, you'll head down the shoreline all the way to Bothell, totaling 27 miles. There are plenty of access points to head into different sections of the city, and the flat terrain makes the cycling easy for folks heading to and from work.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 9 of 11
Photo Credit: npGREENWAY, https://www.flickr.com/photos/npgreenway/
The Greenway is more bicycle highway than bike path. It's completely separated from pedestrian traffic, there are no traffic breaks, it has its own suspension bridge and is even snow plowed in the winter. What more could you ask for? This 5.5-mile route runs through the middle of the city, is lit at night and has emergency call boxes. And like all highways, don't be surprised to see a few cops—they'll be on bikes too.
Marvin Braude Bike Trail
Los Angeles, California 10 of 11
Photo Credit: RadhaKirshna Balla, https://www.flickr.com/photos/rk_balla/
There's still a lot of work to be done to improve conditions for bike commuters in Los Angeles, especially downtown. One exception is the Marvin Braude Trail, a path that's useful for commuters who work or live along the coast. This 22-mile path starts at Will Rogers State Beach in the Palisades and takes you all the way to Torrance, which is a good way to avoid the headache of bumper to bumper traffic in L.A.