According to recent surveys, Fall appears to be America’s favorite season with more than a third of poll participants citing it as their favorite of the year. Even more impressive is over 50% reporting increased happiness in the Fall. It’s not hard to understand the appeal: mild weather, back-to-school relief for parents, pumpkin spice-everything and, of course, the glorious Fall foliage! It’s also perhaps the time of the year for an e-bike ride on some of America’s most scenic routes.
We’ve compiled a list of five most picturesque Fall e-bike rides in the U.S. Even if these are beyond your physical reach, they may well inspire you to find some picturesque roads and trails near you to go out and enjoy the happiest season in America!
The Northeast Fall foliage is hands down the country’s prettiest. And one particular route connecting west Maine to east New Hampshire is a 44-mile round-trip stretch with spectacular colors. Ideally, head here in the first two weeks of October when reds and oranges dominate the landscape. You can ride on pavement most of the way – the easternmost 19 miles are paved along North Road – and take your time enjoying the views. Start in Bethel, Maine – coined “Maine’s Most Beautiful Mountain Village” – and head north. Then you’ll veer onto North Road, which runs parallel to the Androscoggin River, and visually take in the White Mountains off in the distance. The route climbs gently to Evans Notch, a mountain pass with panoramas, and gradually ascends 1,700 feet in elevation as you head toward Gorham, New Hampshire – home of the Mount Washington Observatory. The last part is rural, so make sure to pack water bottles, snacks, clothing layers, and of course a roadside emergency kit. Anticipate morning temperatures in the 30s, before reaching the 60s in the afternoon. Finish back in Bethel, where you’ll find ice cream shops and cafes.
Natchez Trace Parkway
Yes, the South really does experience Fall foliage. Along the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, you’ll find plenty of visual pop between late October and early November. In fact, bloggers post that they’ve witnessed different Fall colors everyday as they’ve made their way north to south. The parkway, which is completely free of commercial vehicles, is described as an amazing aesthetically spectacular venue—the leaves start turning in Tennessee in mid- to late-October, and begin changing later on through early November as the trail meanders southward through Alabama and Mississippi. Pick a colorful stretch of the parkway to ride based on your schedule. We suggest the flat 32-mile stretch in Mississippi between the Parkway Visitor Center and Witch Dance campground that’s open to bicyclists only, and takes you right by Elvis Presley’s birthplace on the north end before heading through the scenic Tombigbee National Forest.
If you haven’t been to Northern Michigan, prepare yourself for incredible scenery any time of the year – let alone between early October and early November. The 17-mile path along Route 31 from Charlevoix to Petoskey stands out even more – and it’s popular among cyclists. Start your day in Charlevoix, and experience the restaurants, shops, and beaches. Motor your e-bike around town, taking in all of the sights before heading northeast on 31. You’ll be immersed in towering pines, firs, and evergreens as you ride past nature preserves and through several shoreline parks that border Little Traverse Bay, which is an inlet of Lake Michigan. Stop for ice cream at the stunning Bay Harbor Resort, before ending up in Petoskey – a quaint small city full of restaurants, bars, stores, and history. This is where Ernest Hemingway used to summer, and you can even find his old bar stool inside the Library – an establishment that happens to serve outstanding food. Then head back to Charlevoix, and finish up with libations at Stafford’s Weathervane, where you can watch the boats cruise by under an iconic drawbridge.
If you know of anywhere in America more beautiful than Lake Tahoe, please speak up now. And perhaps the prettiest part of this region that’s shared by Nevada and California is the iconic East Shore Trail that’s perfect for e-bikes. While there’s actually a popular full-day, self-guided electric bike tour available for $139, save your money and explore it on your own. The bike path is fully paved and free of traffic and stress – the entire way. There are plenty of e-bike rentals available, if you don’t bring your own. Pack some snacks, and see Lake Tahoe’s most scenic shoreline. Soak up the breathtaking views while you pedal or throttle from Incline Village to North Lake Tahoe’s spectacular Sand Harbor State Park. Make sure your camera is ready, too, as you’ll find no shortage of Instagram moments. It’s a relaxing way to spend the day, and you’ll see much more than you ever could traveling by car. Plus there will be no traffic or parking to worry about. Anytime in the late Fall here will not disappoint your visual appetite.
Erie Canalway Trail
The very long Erie Canalway Trail in Western New York has a particular 32-mile segment connecting Buffalo and Lockport. And in late October, the colors are spectacular. Start on the Shoreline Trail in Buffalo and head east on a mostly paved trail with some crushed stone along the way – which accommodates Class 1 and 2 e-bikes. It also happens to be flat, and follows the Erie Canal, which is one of the most famous man-made waterways. In addition to brightly colored leaves, you’ll get to see the incredibly cool-looking “Flight of Five” locks that help transport boats up and over an escarpment near Lockport. On an e-bike, you can ride the full 64 miles roundtrip in a day – provided you have a large battery or can recharge while you refuel your body for lunch in Lockport. You’ll surely want to stop at the various historic sites and iconic lift bridges along the way. And remember to wear or bring waterproof clothing, too, as the region tends to get rain in the Fall.
Ready to start exploring one of these five e-bike rides this Fall? Tag us on Instagram and show us where you’re riding! Don’t have an electric bike? Take our bike quiz to find the absolute best e-bike for you.