Trails To Ales

One of my favorite things to do is bike riding with the family. We prefer rails to trails passages, and there are some great ones throughout the country. And I always enjoy finding that pot of gold at the end of each ride - in this case a cold IPA for my wife and I, and a good wood fired pizza for the kids. Below are some of my favorite rails to trails passages and other bike trails we have taken and - stealing the name from a great brewery/restaurant along the Samuel Justus Recreation Trail in Franklin, PA - the great breweries accompanying them. All family friendly places.

Trails to Ales - Franklin, PA

Here are some of my favorite trails and watering holes along those trails. All of the rides are about 20 miles round trip:

Ohio and Erie Canalway - the Towpath trail. This trail is 101 miles, so there are several favorites here:

  • Botzum Trailhead to Lock 15. Watering Hole: Lock 15 Brewery

  • Boston Trailhead to Peninsula. Watering Hole: The Winking Lizard

  • Canal Way Center to Scranton Peninsula. Watering Hole: Merwin's Wharf

  • Rockside to Tremont. Watering Hole: The South Side

Maple Highlands Trail - Ohio. Watering Hole: Bass Lake Tavern.

Leelanau Trail - Michigan. Watering Hole: Hop Lot Brewery.

Summit Bike and Hike Trail - Ohio. Watering Hole: Missing Mountain Brewing Co.

Headwaters Trail - Ohio. Watering Hole: Two Travelers Tavern.

Sanibel Island Florida. This is our family's favorite destination. Once we arrive on the island, we rarely drive our car and choose to take the miles and miles of bike trails. Favorite dining: Cip's, Doc Ford's, Lazy Flamingo.

Virginia Creeper Trail. This is a 30 mile downhill trail cutting through the vast Blue Ridge Mountains. Beautiful trail through the woods that bisects the Applacian trail along a bustling brook, but it is rough and would recommend mountain bike tires. Watering Hole: the Tavern, Abingdon.

Georgetown - Washington DC. The Rock Creek Trail runs along the Potomoc and connects Georgetown with all of the Monuments in DC. It also connects to the Chesapeake and Ohio towpath, which connects all the way to Pittsburgh via the Great Allegheny Passage. Dining: Clyde's Georgetown, Old Ebbitt Grill DC.

Macinac Island Michigan. There are no cars allowed on the island, and once you get away from all the "tourists" pounding down their fudge, the 8 mile bike trail around the island is just beautiful.

Glen Arbor Michigan - Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Home to the famous Sleeping Bear Dunes. Watering Hole: Art's

The Christmas Story House along the Towpath trail in Tremont, Ohio

Below is a link to the Rails to Trails Conservancy website. If you want to donate to a good cause, I would recommend this group. They are working on making the Great American Rail Trail become a reality. It is more than halfway complete.

Picture yourself … pedaling across the entire country on a safe, seamless and scenic pathway—or walking a local trail that connects along historic routes. Imagine the incomparable experience of exploring America’s heritage by trail—its potential, its beauty and bounty, its people and places. Consider the economic opportunities and the benefits for communities along the route of a multiuse trail that stretches more than 3,700 miles between Washington and Washington.