Looking to get the adrenaline pumping and get some mud in your teeth? Whether you want to huck ten foot drops or just cruise through some singletrack, here are some of our favorite mountain biking trails and areas:
Middlesex Fells Reservation
The Fells is possibly the most accessible and most varied park in the Boston area; from challenging rock gardens on the west side to smooth, rolling single-track and bare rock hilltops on the east, there’s truly something for everyone. Parking can be had at one of the many lots around the area, or the park is a short ride from the Oak Grove MBTA station.
For more information about mountain biking in the Fells, check out fellsbiker.com!
Great Brook Farm State Park
Great Brook State Park is perhaps the best family-friendly mountain biking area in Massachusetts. The park includes ample parking, a working dairy farm (and home-made ice cream stand.) There’s a variety of trails through meadows, around pastures and through woods. In addition to double-tracks are a variety of very easy single-tracks, many of which are routed around the perimeters of meadows and pastures. Because it’s such a popular family area, it’s wise for advanced riders to avoid this park on nice summer weekends.
Check out the Great Brook trail map and the NEMBA website for more information.
Cutler Park has a lot to offer – long, smooth trails that are somewhere between fire roads and single-tracks, interspersed with technical sections and some fun features such as berms, banks, and small jumps.
The best way to get there is driving, but cruising down the VFW Parkway is a fine way to warm up before your ride. Just be careful of traffic! And on the way back, be sure to check out the shops and restaurants in Jamaica Plain – JP Licks and the Purple Cactus are great places to refuel after a long day!
The Neponset River Reservation is an extensive and largely wild park in Hyde Park, Boston’s southernmost neighborhood. There are plenty of tight, unmarked, highly technical trails to explore in the park, most of which are accessible by a fire road of sorts which extends in a straight line from the north to the south. The forest is extremely thick and the scenery is breathtaking in the summer months.
Public transit is available nearby (the Readville MBCR station), but there’s also a small parking lot right on Brush Hill road as it meets the Neponset River Parkway.
While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the abandoned highway in the southern end of the park. It’s part of the Southwest Expressway, a proposed highway project which was scrapped in the late 1960s. The overgrown pavement gives an eerie, post-apocalyptic feel to this corner of the park.
Wompatuck State Park
Wompatuck, or “Wompy” as many call it, is a fairly large and varied park in the South Shore area, near Hingham. Excellent singletrack attracts mountain bikers from all over, and on weekends the trails can be quite busy!
As usual, be sure to check out the DCR website before you ride. The trails are extensive and it is easy to get lost!
The Nantasket Junction MBCR station is the nearest public transit stop, but there’s plenty of parking for your high-fuel-efficiency vehicle as well. On your way out, be sure to check out the many seaside restaurants and cafes that Cohasset and Hingham have to offer.
Harold Parker State Forest
A favorite of technically-inclined riders who aren’t afraid to travel for superior riding, Harold Parker is a superb destination. Offering a wide range of terrain from easy to extreme, there’s nothing intimidating within. NEMBA hosts an annual ride here, and they rightfully suggest downloading the maps to enhance your riding experience within the park.
Visit NEMBA’s page for more info about Harold Parker, and be sure to check out the DCR’s page to get up-to-date information about conditions and restrictions.
The Ballardvale MBCR station on the Haverhill line is about five miles from the trailhead. There is also a parking lot and campgrounds if you prefer to stay a while!