3 Must-Ride Mountain Bike Trails in New Hampshire

Bear Brook (Southern NH)

At nearly 10,000 acres, Bear Brook is massive and loaded with incredible riding opportunities. The extensive network of trails here can accommodate all abilities too. Trails consist of dirt roads, double track, single track as well as an abundance of natural features and scenery.

Access the trails from the hiker/biker lot off Podunk Road, which links directly to favorites like the Bear Brook, Big Bear and Hemlock Trails. For technical terrain – try Carr Ridge and for the best flowing singletrack – try the Big Bear Trail.

Many thanks are owed to the local Southern New Hampshire chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) who takes really good care of these trails; maintaining near perfection and performing several new trail projects every year.

Bear Brook State Park Trail Map: http://www.nhstateparks.org/uploads/pdf/Bear-Brook_Trail-Map.pdf

One example of the excellent riding here can be found on the Hemlock Trail (highlighted in the video below) – a super fun, downhill, single track through shaded conifer forest with views looking down into the brook:

Ahern State Park (Lakes Region)

While smaller in size (128 acres), Ahern State Park is packed with sweet singletrack without a lot of climbing. The parks lies on the shore on Lake Winnisquam, so in addition to challenging rock drops, short technical sections and interesting features there are plenty of lakeside views.

The trail system includes roughly 10-15 miles of terrain and it has everything from easy double track/fire roads to more advanced technical trails with rocks, roots, tight trees, and switch backs. It’s the perfect spot to drop by for an hour or 2 of riding.

Park at the gate (closed in the off-season) and look for singletrack entry points along the fire roads around the park. Each of the singletrack trails will lead to another and eventually end up back on the fire road.

Again, the excellent quality and condition of the trails here is all thanks to a local chapter of NEMBA who is responsible for building and maintaining these trails.

Ahern State Park Trail Map: https://www.nhstateparks.org/uploads/pdf/Ahern-State-Park_Trail-Map.pdf

Highlighted in the video below are trails such as Backbone, Psycho, Upper and Lower Jakes, Sunset, Rusty Bedspring, Alcatraz and Escape:

Moose Brook (White Mountains Region)

Thanks to the Coos Cycling Club, Moose Brook and surrounding areas of Gorham NH are evolving into a premiere mountain bike destination for the White Mountians region.

The park is home to a variety of nicely flowing singletrack trails, scenic dirt roads and it has plenty to offer for riders of all abilities. The Coos Cycling Club has done a great job developing Moose Brook for mountain biking along with nearby Power Island (see maps below). The club has added even more terrain this year: Hinchey Trail and Pumphouse Trail.

From the park’s visitor center, ride up Berry Farm Road and look for single track entry points along the sides. Pretty much everything in the park loops back to Berry Farm Road which is a double track/dirt road.

Some of the best single track riding can be found on the Borderline Trail (upper, middle, lower). This section of trail was created a few years ago, rides really well and has a few narrow wooden bridges and bank turns. After riding Borderline drop into Keg Cup (also highly recommended) and at the end of the trail – cross the road, onto Antler, which will take you right back to the group camping area above the Visitors Center.

Moose Brook Trail Map: https://cooscyclingclub.wordpress.com/moose-brook-trail-map/

Gorham NH (Power Island) Trail Map: https://cooscyclingclub.wordpress.com/gorham-trail-map/

The video below features trails Borderline (Lower, Middle, Upper) and Keg Cup.

Other NH State Parks for Mountain Biking

Here are a few other NH State Parks that offer mountain biking opportunities:

  • Echo Lake State Park (Conway) – Network of singletrack trails developed with help from NEMBA.
  • Franconia Notch State Park – Recreational Trail; aka Franconia Notch Bike Path
    This paved trail parallels the Parkway. The 20-mile round-trip brings riders within easy reach of park attractions, including Flume Gorge, The Old Main of the Mountain Profile, Profile Lake, Boise Rock, The Basin, Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, and Echo Lake. There’s no fee for the use of the bike path. However, fees are charged at some attractions.
  • Hopkinton-Everett Reservoir (Dunbarton, off Route 13)
    The “Hop-Ev” recreation area is over 8,000 acres and offers advanced intermediate to expert terrain with nearly 20 miles of trails. As a reminder, be prepared for other trail users, this is a multi-use system and is open to ATV’s, trailbikes, hikers, and equestrians, too.
  • Northwood Meadows State Park (Northwood, Route 4)
    This park is really excellent for the beginner and for family riding. There are trails around Meadow Lake and farther afield.
  • Odiorne Point State Park (Rye, Route 1A)
    A paved recreational path is available, and an extensive network of trails wind through the dense vegetation and traverse the park.
  • Pawtuckaway State Park (Nottingham, off Route 156)
    This park has over 5,600 acres to explore and all levels of riding terrain are offered. For singletrack, check out the Woroonocco Trail and Split Rock.
  • Pillsbury State Park (Washington, off Route 31)
    Crossed by a network of hiking and mountain bike trails, the park is an important link in the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, a 51-mile trail that connects Mount Monadnock with Mt. Sunapee to the north.
  • Pisgah State Park (Winchester/Chesterfield/Hinsdale, Route 119, Route 63)
    This largest state park in New Hampshire offers specific trails for mountain biking. Intermediate and advanced terrain are encountered within the park.

Grant Klene

Digital Marketing Manager for New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation

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