Arkansas River: For a ride along the river, turn east on Arkansas Street from U.S. 24, then turn left onto CR 371 where Arkansas Street ends. Alternatively, ride 0.25 mile east from the stoplight at U.S. 24 and Main Street then turn left (north) onto N. Colorado Ave. (N. Colorado becomes CR 371 at the Buena Vista city limits). This is an easy ride on a dirt road; along the way you’ll pass through four tunnels from the days of the old Colorado Midland Railroad. You’ll also pass beautiful rock formations where local climbers perfect their moves. It’s 10 miles to the end of the road at the Otero Pump Station; turn back sooner for a shorter ride.
Whipple Trail: Local bikers like to work out on the loops of the Whipple Trail. Access this trail network from the footbridge crossing the Arkansas at the end of East Main Street. There are four main segments open to mountain bikers, though all the area is open to them: the Midland Bike Trail (South Loop), the Midland Stage Road, the North Loop and the Broken Boyfriend (on the east side of CR 304). It’s possible to create several fun looping circuits in this area. This is part of the Buena Vista River Park, a 100-acre public area that includes trails, fishing access, kayak and rafting play areas, picnic spots, sports fields and more.
Fourmile Road: For a more difficult ride, turn right onto CR 375 from CR 371 (just south of the tunnels). Called Fourmile Road, this route climbs steeply for more than 6 miles to a magnificent viewpoint of Buena Vista, the Sawatch Range’s Collegiate Peaks and the Arkansas Valley. From the intersection of CR 371 and CR 375, climb up CR 375 for a little more than 5 miles. At the intersection with CR 377, continue straight and uphill on CR 377 until you cross the crest of the ridge. Glide downhill for another .75 mile to a large pullout on the left. Watch for traffic on your way back to the river.
Lenhardy Cutoff: This rugged road, CR 376, is the gateway into the limitless riding options on the OHV trails of the Fourmile Recreation Area. From the intersection of CR 371, climb up CR 375 for 1 mile. Turn right onto CR 376 (the Lenhardy Cutoff). After passing several OHV trails, you’ll cross Fourmile Creek in just under a mile. Continue climbing for another mile and you’ll reach the intersection with FSR 311. From here you can either stay on the Lenhardy Cutoff until it merges with the Midland Bicycle Trail or bear left to climb on FSR 311 all the way to Trout Creek Pass.
Crossman Avenue rides: Several rides start at Crossman Avenue (CR 350), west off U.S. 24 at the north end of town. For a leisurely ride along the foothills of the 14,000-foot peaks of the Sawatch Range, take Crossman to CR 361, then ride north along CR 361.
North Cottonwood Creek: For a more difficult ride, take Crossman to CR 361, then make a sharp left onto CR 365. Follow the U.S. Forest Service signs west to North Cottonwood Creek. Plan on a substantial elevation gain.
Buena Vista Pump Track: Located at the corner of East Main and South Main streets across from the community center, the pump track was constructed by volunteers using donated materials. The pump track is open to bicyclists of all ages from dawn to dusk, weather permitting. Helmets are recommended; no motorized vehicles are allowed.