This time of year, there aren’t many better ways to experience the beauty of East Texas than by pedaling down a rolling trail on your mountain bike. Tall pine trees reflecting off secluded bodies of water and crisp Fall air; East Texas is a perfect mountain bike destination for all ages. Tyler is the hub of East Texas and has several mountain-bike trails, but if you venture out of the city, you will find other fun and challenging trails for the entire family. If you are looking for a fun activity to do with your kids, a different kind of date night, or you want to get away from life’s daily grind, then dust off your bikes and hit the trails. Below is a list of the top ten best mountain bike trails in East Texas:
- Emory, Texas
Lake Tawakoni State Park
- Kilgore, Texas
BigHead Creek Mountain Bike Trail
- Lake Bob Sandlin
Bob Sandlin Bike Trail
- Longview, Texas
Mobberly Baptist Church Mountain Bike Trail
- Lufkin, Texas
Kit McConnico Bike Trail
Mineola Nature Preserve
SFA Recreational Trail Tour
According to an article by Harvard Medical School, here are some great health benefits of cycling as well:
- It’s easy on the joints. When you sit on a bike, you put your weight on a pair of bones in the pelvis called the ischial tuberosities, unlike walking, when you put your weight on your legs. “That makes it good for anyone with joint pain or age-related stiffness,” says Dr. Safran-Norton.
- Pushing pedals provides an aerobic workout.That’s great for your heart, brain, and blood vessels. Aerobic exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals—which may make you feel young at heart.
- Cycling builds muscle.In the power phase of pedaling (the downstroke), you use the gluteus muscles in the buttocks, the quadriceps in the thighs, and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calves. In the recovery phase (backstroke, up-stroke, and overstroke), you use the hamstrings in the back of the thighs and the flexor muscles in the front of the hips.
Cycling works other muscles, too. You use abdominal muscles to balance and stay upright, and you use your arm and shoulder muscles to hold the handlebars and steer.
- It helps with everyday activities.“The benefits carry over to balance, walking, standing, endurance, and stair climbing,” says Dr. Safran-Norton.
- Pedaling builds bone.“Resistance activities, such as pushing pedals, pull on the muscles, and then the muscles pull on the bone, which increases bone density,” says Dr. Safran-Norton.
We’d like for you to Meet Leigh, one of our Medical Assistants at Azalea Orthopedics for Dr. Dennis.
Leigh and her husband, Nevada, ride mountain bikes and have for many years. Nevada is actually a Pro level racer and races TMBRA (Texas state series) DORBA (Dallas offroad) Louisiana. He actually won the first ever Louisiana State Championship! (2011) Leigh actually advocated for Azalea to sponsor a mile at Lindsey Park and it was approved! (Find us at MILE 12!)
They are both active members of the Tyler Bicycle Club and ride all over the country, but the trails around Tyler that they ride the most (two of which her husband, designed/built) are:
- Lindsey MTB Trail at Lindsey Park
- Blackhawk Trail (recently built) in Whitehouse
- Faulkner (which they have helped update since its grand opening in 2011)
Leigh, thanks for the riding tips and for sharing your story! #stayactive #easttexaslife #cyclesafe
Azalea Orthopedics supports a healthy and active lifestyle. Be sure to check with your Doctor if you have conditions that may limit your aerobic activity, or have physical impairments. Cycling is a great activity to decrease body fat levels, increase muscle strength and flexibility, and improve joint mobility. Bike riding is fun for families and people of all ages, and we hope to see you out on the trails!