Escape traffic and expand your backyard by adding a little dirt to your bike rides. There's dirt riding to be savored on all sorts of different types of trails, paths and roads. These run the gamut from smooth (soft-surface paths and rail-trails) to rougher (gravel roads and doubletrack trails). But you don't need a mountain bike to try it.

One-third of all the roads in the U.S. are still unpaved—that's more than 1.4 million miles.1 Here are some places to scout a dirt ride near you:

Talk to your local bike shop
They should be able to recommend a good route for you and even connect you with a dirt-friendly team or club in your area. Don't have a local bike shop? Find one on our Get Local Map.

Surf the web
Websites like Strava and RideWithGPS offer routefinding tools. Search for rides near you with the keyword "dirt" to see dirty routes in your area.

Other online resources include:

» TrailLink.com - This database of rail-trails from the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy allows you search for dirt trails near you. Filter your search by choosing trails with a dirt, gravel or cinder surface.
» MTBProject.com - A search for green circle trails in this mountain bike trail database will turn up some smooth doubletrack trails. 
» GravelMap.com - Heavy on Midwestern rides, this national map of gravel and dirt road loops is great for planning longer adventure rides.
» ColoradoGravelRoads.com - Nearly every dirt road in the state of Colorado is recorded on this map.
» IowaGravelRoads.com - Same thing but for Iowa
» RideOregon.com - Choose the "Gravel Roads" filter to see dirt rides in Oregon.
» Pennsylvania Unpaved Roads - This map from Penn State University displays a comprehensive map of unpaved roads in the Keystone State.
» National Park Service Dirt Roads - Our friends at IMBA compiled a list of national parks that allow bicycling on dirt roads and trails.

Know of other resources? Tell us about them.