News & Politics

Best of Washington: Best Bike Rides

See more from the Best of Washington

What makes theOxford/St. Michaels trail in Maryland one of the region’s best cycling routes is the flat straightaways through farms and small towns and the proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. What makes the route attractive to weekend riders might be the Oxford/Bellevue ferry over the Tred Avon River.

The ride from the village of St. Michaels to the ferry is about seven miles on two-lane blacktop. Talbot County has done a good job of building well-marked, wide bike lanes that make for a safe ride. For a sweet Sunday tour, start at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, bike to the ferry landing, enjoy the ride across the river, rest and meander through the lovely village of Oxford—then head back.

More-ambitious bikers can ride the 30-mile loop from St. Michaels through Oxford to Easton and back. It’s flat, but what locals call the “county breeze” can be a steady headwind that makes it seem like an uphill climb.

Talbot County recently published excellent maps of six trails. Our other favorite is the 38-mile tour down the narrow peninsula from Claiborne south to Tilghman Island. The roads are less traveled, and the payoff in water views is spectacular.

The drive from DC to St. Michaels is less than two hours. For maps and information, visit

This article first appeared in the July 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.