With spring well underway, many people are looking for ways to get outside and enjoy themselves while spending time in nature, especially after such a long winter. Mountain biking offers the perfect mix of physical challenge and calming natural beauty, and it’s a fantastic way to stay fit. Extreme sports enthusiasts and cyclists who have been putting off their travel plans for the past year can read on to find out about the top mountain biking destinations for 2021.
The Alps mountain range in France is a prime destination for serious mountain bikers. Grab some mountain bike goggles and book a plane ticket to check out the region’s highlights. These include the mountains in Chamonix for serious adrenaline junkies and the tamer hills of Morzine for intermediate-level cyclists. Some areas even have chairlifts in place to remove the need for pedaling up steep ascents.
Not ready to travel internationally quite yet, but want to get outside? Park City, Utah, is a beautiful place for mountain bikers of all levels to get back in the seat and out on the trails. The area has over 400 miles of well-marked trails and technical singletrack, so it’s impossible to get bored. Most newcomers start by checking out the Prospector Area, but there are plenty of other places to explore. Just make sure to get used to the altitude first because the area’s nearly 7,000-ft elevation can induce altitude sickness.
Whistler is located along the west coast of British Columbia in Canada and has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best mountain biking destinations on the continent. Not only are there over 100 miles of idyllic trails designated for different skill levels, but Whistler also operates many of its skiing and snowboarding chairlifts year-round and makes them available to cyclists. Newcomers to mountain biking can’t afford to skip this trip for its beginner-level trails and more experienced cyclists will find plenty of more advanced challenges to keep them occupied.
New Zealand has a reputation for its scenic beauty, so it should come as no surprise that this country is home to one of the top mountain biking destinations of 2021. The area surrounding Rotorua has plenty of cross country trails and is known for its impressive downhill courses, though only experienced mountain bikers should try the downhill rides in this area. There’s also an added bonus for planning a trip to Rotorua. The area has some of the best thermal hot springs in New Zealand, so it’s easy to soak those sore muscles after a hard day of riding.
The beauty and wonder of the Alps brings both winter and summer sports enthusiasts to the area. In addition to mountain biking in the French Alps, you can also ride some amazing trails in Austria. The Tyrol area of Austria, in particular, offers plenty of challenges and well over 600 miles of scenic trails. Beginners may want to try the Inntal Cycle Path, which is idea for families with children. More advanced cyclists can jump straight to the Bike Trail Tirol, the longest cycling trail of the Alps. Just keep in mind entering the bike parks requires a fee.
After a long year indoors, outdoor sports enthusiasts are ready to get a head start on the 2021 season. Those who have some money saved up are looking forward to resuming international travel, but there are also plenty of trails closer to home. It’s time to get geared up, buy some plane tickets, and start making plans.
Happy travels and enjoy the ride!