The Mixed Surface route category covers all routes that have some combination of paved and dirt or gravel surface. On routes designated “mixed surface,” be ready to ride over some combination of paved roads, loose gravel, dirt, or sand, and hard-packed dirt or gravel, all in a single route.
Mixed surface routes don’t include paths or trails that would otherwise be classified as mountain bike routes. A mountain bike trail might intersect or connect with this type of route and offer another option, but it won’t be an integral or unavoidable part of it.
The best set of two wheels for these routes is a super-versatile bike that’s at home on various surfaces. Sometimes called gravel bikes, adventure bikes, or hybrids, they’re made for riding on all surfaces, whatever the mix. A skinny-tire road bike may, in some cases, be able to handle the routes we’ve listed in this category but check the route details to make sure you won’t find yourself walking long stretches with your bike on your shoulder.
Riding one of these routes can take you further afield, into forests or more remote terrain where both emergency and non-emergency help, if needed, may be more difficult and take longer to get. So, as with mountain bike routes, it’s best to ride prepared on a mixed surface outing.