Bike Your Park Day: Not Just for National Parks

March 28, 2017

Your Bike Your Park Day ride can be on any public lands.

Does traveling to a national park feel like a barrier for you to participate in Bike Your Park Day?

Well, the good news is that you can ride ANY public lands on Bike Your Park Day. And no matter where you live, public lands may be closer than you think.

There are 59 national parks in the U.S., but national parks are just one type of public land. Here are some other possibilities that may be more accessible ...

And Before You Go ... Call the park or public land managers to check for:

  • Road closures
  • Permitting requirements
  • And make sure the area allows bicycling. Some parks and public lands require cyclists to get a permit, especially if they are part of a group and particularly for groups charging a fee to participants.
Explore a national parkway like Natchez Trace Parkway. Here Mayor Gene McGee of Ridgeland, Mississippi and a park ranger enjoy a snack after their 2016 Bike Your Park Day ride.

Other National Park Service lands

Explore a National Wildlife Refuge by bicycle, like the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge in Stevensville, Montana.

National Wildlife Refuges – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  • 562 Wildlife Refuges
  • 150,000,000 acres
  • Not all Wildlife Refuges are open to bicycling, so check before you go. You can search for these on the interactive map at www.findyourpark.com/find/ Click the checkbox “Other Public Lands.”
The BLM has amazing mountain bike trails that can be explored on Bike Your Park Day.

Recreation Areas

The proximity of public lands in Nebraska made it possible for Michelle Rooney and her friends to visit to two state parks and a recreation area, including Platte River State Park, on Bike Your Park Day in 2016.

State Parks – America’s State Parks

  • 10,234 state parks
  • 18 million acres
  • America’s State Parks’ website has a search tool by state where visitors can learn about individual state parks and bicycling opportunities.
Give back by joining a service project on Bike Your Park Day, also National Public Lands Day. The group pictured here built a mountain bike trail near Missoula, Montana on Bike Your Park Day in 2016.

National Forests – Forest Service

If you live in a city, you won’t have to go far to explore urban parks, like the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.
Visit urban parks, like the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C.

Urban Parks

  • Many U.S. cities have several historic sites, monuments, and memorials within a few miles.
  • Bikeabout provides routes, maps, public transportation resources, and lodging for a number of metropolitan areas in the U.S.
  • This bike share map includes cities — and some national parks — with bike share programs.
  • If you’re hoping to get out of the city on Bike Your Park Day, Amtrak’s routes travel through and near many parks and public lands — and now several lines allow you to bring your bicycle onboard.
Travel to a park or public lands by taking your bike on a train or other public transportation.

These resources and others are available on the “Bike Your Park Day Ideas” page at BikeYourParkDay.org.

Start planning your Bike Your Park Day ride on September 30, 2017 and explore the undiscovered parks and public lands in your backyard. Bike Your Park Day registration is now open at BikeYourParkDay.org. You could win prizes, but even better, you’ll be helping us spread the love of bike travel. Thank you!

Photo 1 courtesy of Primal Wear | Photo 2 by Mina Thorgeson with Visit Mississippi | Photos 3 & 6 by Saara Snow | Photo 4 courtesy of Advocate Cycles | Photo 5 courtesy of Michelle Rooney | Photo 7 courtesy of Mary Gersema | Photo 8 courtesy of Blue Ridge Revolutions | Photo 9 by Tom Robertson

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Bike Your Park Day Bike to or within nearby parks and public lands with thousands of people around the country on the same day — Bike Your Park Day on September 30, 2017. Bring friends and family to join the ride and discover the outdoor adventures in your backyard. Make it your own experience: ride any distance; go with friends, family, or join a group; bike on trails or roads. Visit a national or state park, monument, historic site, river, seashore, recreation area, preserve, forest, wildlife refuge, or parkway.  #BikeYourPark

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