When the pandemic hit, bike shops around the country sold out their inventory. In a place like Miami, it’s not hard to see why demand is so high. From Florida City to Miami Beach, there are plenty of local trails, roads, and paths perfect for a leisurely (or intense, that’s up to you!) ride. To make planning your next excursion a little easier, we’ve rounded up five of the best cycling spots Miami-Dade County has to offer.
No list of biking destinations in Miami could be complete without mentioning the M Path, a 30-mile trail running from downtown Miami to Florida City on what Visit Florida describes as a nearly continuous paved path. The route runs along and under the county’s Metrorail and South Miami-Dade Busway transit lines, offering riders an airy alternative to public transportation or a great trail to get out and exercise.
And it gets better: ten miles of the trail under the metro, spanning from Brickell to Dadeland South, are slated to become the Underline in coming years. The first half-mile phase of the Underline, known as the Brickell Backyard, is already open and features biking and walking paths, an outdoor gym and basketball court, seating, tables, and more. Phase two, Vizcaya Station, will be 2.14 miles and is already in the pre-design phase.
Virginia Key Mountain Bike Park
You might want to leave the road or racing bike at home for this one. Many people may not associate Miami with mountain biking, but this former dump-turned-bicycle-playground proves them wrong. Trails are built and maintained by volunteers from the Virginia Key Bicycle Club, and according to their website, the park boasts over 15 trails ranging from easier to advanced. With views of the water from many trails, the site also features a skills area, pump track, and jumps and drops to practice on.
According to its website, the concept for the park began when a group of bikers pitched the idea to Miami officials working on the Virginia Key Master Plan. “The bikers painted a pretty picture of how an old dump and dredge disposal area could be used to make mountain bike trails here in Miami,” it says. “And then the bikers told the city the one thing that will make even the most conservative of politicians jump on the bandwagon… it would cost the city nothing!”
Miami Beach, said Kevin Amezaga, President of Miami Riders Alliance, is a step ahead of many Florida cities when it comes to sustainability, and that carries over into some of its biker-friendly initiatives. And, let’s be honest, the view from the Beachwalk is hard to beat. This path, sometimes called the Miami Beach Boardwalk, runs from South Point Park to Bal Harbour with mostly paved paths and a few sandy stretches according to miamiscapes.com. The Beach has only ramped up its cyclist-friendly efforts since Covid started, adding protected bike lanes on Washington Avenue and starting a “Slow Streets” pilot in its Flamingo Park neighborhood, which encourages motorists to drive slow and share the road.
Old Cutler Trail/Matheson Hammock Park
This roughly 13-mile trail takes riders past gorgeous Coral Gables real estate and venues like Fairchild Tropical Garden, but beware of flooding if you choose to take the short offshoot that runs to the beach at Matheson Hammock Park. According to Traillink, cyclists can also connect to the 2.7 mile Biscayne Trail from Cutler’s southern point for a longer ride and views of the bay. Watch out for roots though- this beautiful trail is well-shaded, but it can definitely be a bumpy ride.
Key Biscayne/Rickenbacker Causeway
From the second you roll onto the Rickenbacker, you’re in for a treat. This highway connects mainland Miami to Virginia Key and Key Biscayne, and it’s as runner, walker, rollerblader, and cycle-friendly as it gets. Painted bike lanes grace the shoulders on both sides of the road, with the right-hand side (if you’re heading toward the Keys) boasting a wide, protected sidewalk. At the bridges’ end, the trail is picked up by a long bike and walking path, which spans around 9 miles according to Traillink and promises beautiful views. If you live far but want to explore this path, just take the Metrorail to Vizcaya Station- from there the bridge is a short 5-10 minute ride away.