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Surface Types

Adventure Cycling Tours travel on a wide variety of surface types. Each of our tours, whether it is less than 100 miles or more than 4,000 miles will have a variety of surface types on it. When we describe the surface type of a tour with the labels below, we're giving a snapshot of the most common surface type on your tour. A tour may list multiple surface types if each is a featured part of the tour.

Paved

Paved tours ride on typical paved roads, our most common travel surface. These range from smooth pavement to rougher secondary roads and some with chipseal. Paved Bike Trails may be part of these tours as well.

Dirt

Dirt tours are our mountain bike tours, and utilize mountain bike trails, forest service roads, and other dirt surfaces. These tours can see a range of single track, double track, and dirt and gravel roads. Most Dirt tours also have sections of paved roads which allow the tour to connect seamlessly. A mountain bike tire with aggressive tread is suitable for this type of ride.

Gravel

Gravel tours are those for which a mountain bike is not necessary, but you'll travel on gravel roads and trails. These roads vary from hard packed dirt to loose rocks and pebbles.  The difference between Gravel and Dirt for some can be subtle, and one major factor we consider is the recommended bike type for each surface type. For tours that have lots of gravel riding, you'll want a tire size that is at least 42c.

Bike Trail

Many of our tours utilize fantastic Bike Trails throughout the country, including the C&O Canal, Great Allegheny Passage, Mickelson Trail, Katy Trail, Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes and the American River Trail. Many of the trails we find ourselves on are part of fantastic rail trail networks, and range from paved to gravel surfaces. These car-free sections of the tour are true highlights!

Tour Team Top Picks

Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain

Self Contained. Lake Champlain and the picturesque views that it offers is the perfect spot for a relaxed, long-weekend getaway. By bike and boat, we'll loop around the lake, catching views and creating memories from both Vermont and New York.

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe

Self Contained. Crisp mountain air, stunning vistas, and a pristine alpine lake — what more could you want out of an epic weekend on two wheels? On this long weekend tour, we’ll enjoy the altitude of the Sierra Nevadas as we circumnavigate the stunning Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America!