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10 Best Rail Trails

3 Katy Trail
St. Charles to Clinton, Missouri (225 miles)
America's longest rail trail runs east-west for almost the entire width of Missouri, following a section of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. Favorite spots: the towering bluffs along the Missouri River and the V-shaped petroglyph on a cave east of Rocheport.

STAY AT You can sleep in a converted boxcar at the Katy O'Neil Bed & Bikefest (101 Lewis St., Rocheport; 573/698-2453; www.katyoneil.com; doubles from $110, including bike rental; small extra charges for kids). The Ramada Inn in Jefferson City (1510 Jefferson St.; 800/272-6232; www.ramadajeffcity.com; doubles from $74) offers a free shuttle to the trail. The Katy Roundhouse (Mile 189, Katy Trail, New Franklin; 800/477-6605; www.katyroundhouse.com; tent sites from $24 for a family of four) has a depot turned restaurant that serves chicken and ribs on weekends.
RENT FROM Chuck's Bikes (200 E. Morgan St., Boonville; 660/537-2048).
WHEN YOU CAN'T BIKE ANOTHER MILE Watch Madagascar hissing cockroaches race at the University of Missouri's Enns Entomology Museum (Columbia; 573/882-2410; www.museum.insecta.missouri.edu).
TRIP TIP The terrain is as flat as a pancake, so even a novice will be able to handle this trail. Be sure to carry bug spray.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Go to www.katytrail.showmestate.com. The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook is available from Pebble Publishing (573/698-3903; $16.95).

4 Little Miami Scenic Trail, Ohio
Milford to Springfield (68 miles)
Take a spin under lush maple, sycamore, and walnut trees beside Ohio's Little Miami River. Listen to the rushing water and smell the honeysuckle as you meander past farms, woodlands, and small towns.

STAY AT The Hatfield Inn Bed & Breakfast (2563 Hatfield Rd., Lebanon; 888/247-9793; www.bbonline.com/oh/hatfield; doubles from $88, plus $25 per child seven and older) is a 19th-century farmhouse overlooking a pond. Other choices: the Little Miami Scenic Trail Resort Village B&B (Loveland; 513/683-0090; cottages $145, including bike rental) or Morgan's Riverside Campground (Morrow; 513/899-9166; sites from $16).
RENT FROM Loveland Bike Rental (206 Railroad Ave., Loveland; 513/683-0468); Siemer Station (New Burlington Rd., Corwin; 513/897- 6465); or Corwin Peddler (69 Maple St., Waynesville; 513/897-3536).
WHEN YOU CAN'T BIKE ANOTHER MILE Attention, aspiring archaeologists: you can learn about Hopewell Indians at Fort Ancient (6123 State Rte. 350, Fort Ancient; 800/283-8904), a 2,000-year-old ceremonial site surrounded by earthen walls.
TRIP TIP For an easy ride, start at the trail's southern end, in Milford (10 miles northeast of Cincinnati), and bike downstream.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Pay a visit to www.ohio4fun.org.

5 Pinellas Trail, Florida
St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs (35 miles)
An easy ride along the Gulf of Mexico. Hop off your bikes at the old seaport of Dunedin, which was revitalized with the opening of the trail. Be sure to be in Clearwater at sunset, when artists, magicians, and jugglers entertain the crowds on Pier 60.

STAY AT The Best Western Yacht Harbor Inn & Suites (150 Marina Plaza, Dunedin; 800/447-4728; www.bestwestern.com; doubles from $79, plus $10 per child 13 and older) is three blocks from the trail. Also consider the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort (400 Mandalay Ave.; 800/445-8667; www.hilton.com; doubles from $229).
RENT FROM In Dunedin: Pinellas Trail Bike Rentals (357 Scotland St.; 727/734-5976). In Tarpon Springs: Neptune Cyclery (13 S. Safford Ave.; 727/943-5805).
WHEN YOU CAN'T BIKE ANOTHER MILE It's Our Nature (727/441-2599; www.itsournature.com) offers family-oriented guided walks of two Gulf islands: Honeymoon Island, where ospreys nest, and Caladesi Island, where there are three ecosystems within 3 1/2 miles.
TRIP TIP The 15-foot-wide paved trail is flat, so bikers—and rollerbladers and wheelchair users—breeze along. Don't worry if you can't make it back to your starting point; all buses in Pinellas County are equipped with bike racks.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Call Pinellas Trail Inc. (727/464-2312).

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