Mountain biking really gets the blood pumping. Few things are better than crushing a challenging ride. Except maybe a celebratory drink after busting yourself up on the trail.
But you live in Boston, you might as well put your mountain bike in storage. Whoa, not so fast! There’s more to biking in New England than contesting with cobblestones, cars, and pedestrians. There are endless trails and parks just outside the city perfect for all the adrenaline-loving mountain bikers out there.
So, strap on a camelback and roll your bike out of storage, because you have to hit the best mountain bike trails near Boston.
The Kingdom Trails
This is arguably the best place to mountain bike on the entire East Coast, so it obviously has to be first on our list. Seriously, we can’t stress this enough: these trails are awesome. We’re talking mountain biking that rivals Colorado and Utah. It’s a big deal to us New Englanders. The Kingdom Trails are located in East Burke, Vermont, which is less than three hours from Boston. You’ll want to spend the weekend there – although it still won’t be enough time – exploring 150-miles of trails that change from double to single track in an instant. The only time you’ll want to stop is for meals, and luckily you can ride right from trails to town without missing a beat.
Great Brook Farm State Park
Some of the most passionate mountain bikers in the world have claimed that Great Brook Farm State Park ranks among their favorite trails in all of New England. And hold on to your hats, it’s only 30-miles outside of the city. You know what that means. Day trip! Pack up your gear for the day and head north of Boston to enjoy 20-miles of easy-to-moderate riding. Do a few different loops, break for a picnic lunch, and pick up right where you left off.
Leominster State Forest
Another straight shot from Boston, this highly rated mountain bike haven is only an hour drive from the city. And it’s well-suited for more advanced, adventurous riders. So, if you think you have what it takes and are up for a bit of a challenge, don’t hesitate to give Leominster a shot. When you go, be prepared for some technical riding, elevation gain, and a lot of single track. And fun, of course. But that’s a given when it comes to a park like this.
Yes, the Berkshires take up most of Western Massachusetts. And, yes, that leaves you with a lot of mountain biking options. But, frankly, you can’t go wrong with any ride in this part of New England. Go in the fall when the foliage is at its finest and the weather is cool enough for you to ride all day. We recommend staying near Pittsfield. That way you can hit several different trails – from the October Mountain trails to Pittsfield State Forest to Beartown Trails Epic – all in the same weekend.
Bradbury Mountain State Park
Just two hours north of Boston in Maine, Bradbury Mountain State Park, you’ll find biking heaven. It is not for the casual rider. Though, if you are dedicated to the sport, like a good challenge, and live in Boston, then this is definitely the place for you. There are few easy trails here – especially on the west side of the park. Most of it is split between moderately difficult trails, and nearly impossible (notice how we said nearly) single tracks. The good news is, after a day of tough but fun riding, you can stop in Portland for an unforgettable meal. Sounds like a pretty good Saturday to us.
Highland Mountain Bike Park
This New Hampshire bike park is unique for a number of reasons. First – and unfortunately – it’s not free like so many other mountain biking options in New England. Like with any ski resort, you need a pass. That’s the only downside, though. Everything else about this park is mouthwatering for any and all adventurous mountain bikers. It’s got trails for all levels, some of the best downhill riding on the East Coast, and even has an indoor training center. As an added bonus, it’s less than 90-miles from Boston.
Lake Massabesic Trails
You can sail through miles of technical single track just 50 miles from Boston when you visit Lake Massabesic. Any mountain biker will feel right at home, flying naturally from one trail to the next here. These trails are broken down pretty evenly into easy, moderate, and difficult trails. And they are all made by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers. There’s a healthy mix of rocks, roots, climbs, and well-maintained fire roads, so you can truly live in the moment.
Acadia Carriage Road
Beginners, rejoice! Here’s an easy and equally scenic trail just for you. Add this network of roads to your list of reasons for visiting Bar Harbor, Maine as soon as humanly possible. There are 57 miles of either gravel or paved trails, 45 miles of which sits within Acadia National Park. So, while this might not be for the biker who likes technical riding and steep climbs, it is for just about everyone else. The beautiful sites are endless along this ride and, if you do the whole thing, you’ll get a decent workout in too.
Pachaug State Forest
With 23,000 acres of trails to choose from, you are bound to find what you’re looking for at this Connecticut state park. The phrase ‘there’s something for everyone’ has never been truer. With a host of single and double track to choose from, you can easily adjust your course to cater to the beginner, intermediate, or advanced crowd. Just remember, there is plenty of ground to cover, so endurance is a must.
Blue Hills Reservation
You can actually see Boston’s skyline from some of these trails – that’s how close they are to the city. And that means this two-wheel fun is incredibly Boston. In fact, if you’re feeling ambitious, ride to and from the trails for a warm-up and cool down. In between it all, you can enjoy what Blue Hills has to offer. Varying terrain. Some steep climbs. Double and single track runs. There aren’t a ton of trails – at least not compared to some of the other parks we hit on – but there are enough to keep seasoned riders busy and happy. And you can’t really beat Blue Hills’ proximity to the city.