Cowles Park

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SHARES
  
AVERAGE RATING
****
4.44 out of 5
View Topo Map

Intermediate
8.0
miles

Singletrack
↑ 1,200 ft
↓ 1,000 ft
184
elevation (ft)

Loop
Trail Description
About this trail
Very well maintained trails with a great variety: some downhill, some hill ups and downs, flat technical sections, and fire roads. Just a fun wide range of trails. Would go back any day. Most of it is not too rocky but still has its technical sections.
added by mitchpGranny Gear
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Rockland Preserve
Millers Pond
Pequonnock River Valley State Park / Trumbull
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (42 total check-ins)
  Ian Newman   1 week ago
  Ian Newman   on Mar 26, 2019
  Ian Newman   on Dec 5, 2018
  ridge   on Oct 7, 2018
  roguesherpa   on Jul 20, 2018
Photo & Video Gallery (13)
Trail Photos & Videos (13)
 
Reviews (16)
 

Bunny Hop

January 5, 2019
bikerag Bunny Hop  
 
Review: Mistake, meant to give it 3 stars. Did not want to diss the builders.

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Bunny Hop

January 5, 2019
bikerag Bunny Hop  
 
Review: Pretty decent trails when dry, but they do not drain well. Some fun lines, some rock, some views. Builders did a great job.

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Granny Gear

November 21, 2018
 
Review: Very unique trails, Fast and fun. Nothing else like it in CT. Hats off to the builders - thank you.

Similar Trail: Kingdom trails

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Bunny Hop

November 21, 2018
bikerag Bunny Hop  
 
Review: Certainly one of the best places to ride in CT. Really impressive flow.

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Granny Gear

October 31, 2017
 
Review: Much more here than advertised! Think of it as a big hill bordered by Rt 189/Tarrifville to the Southwest, Rt 187/Bloomfield to the east, Hatchet Hill Rd/East Granby to the north. What is given here, is that you can access this park from 187 in East Granby, which is the best trailhead. Beginner flowy flat sections are a blast to warm up on. Head southwest toward power lines and you climb to the top of the hill. You are met with the Metacomet Trail, in which there are several trails that diverge off. The crown jewel is Smaug's Lair to Keg Roller! Perhaps the best downhill in CT! This takes you down to the Tarrifville side of the mountain where there are several XC trails that take you along Farmington River. There's even a hidden natural jump park to session! Climb back up to the ridge and head east on Metacomet for flows, some chunk, climbs and descents! Head back down to the power lines and look for Tobaggan Run back down to Cowles park. Looking for an epic ride in the Hartford area? Link the West Hartford Reserviors to Penwood State Park riding north via Metacomet Trail to Tarrifville. Cross bridge in Tarrifville center, immediately turn right into woods at Metacomet trailhead, ride along river and climb to the ridge, down to Cowles and return. Not for the feint of heart, and truly epic single track riding! I did this last week starting from West Hartford Reservior off Rt 4. Five hours of very challenging riding!

Similar Trail: Rockland

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Granny Gear

October 11, 2017
Tower Granny Gear  
 
Review: This place is much bigger than it seems from online descriptions. With the amount of connector trails and un-marked / named trails in the area, it's probably double the listed length. I was able to do 8 easy miles (with some backtracking) and felt I didn't see more than half the system. That leads me to my "con", the place isn't well marked. There are a few trails that are named and marked with signs at the trail head, but for the most part you need to know where you're going. There are blazes often enough but unless you know what they mean, it can be a pain. I was lucky enough to find a local who lead me to where I wanted to go (Smaug's Lair to Keg Roller) - but I shouldn't have to rely on that. Even the map at the parking lot seems like it's out of date / missing information. However, it's not the most confusing trail system i've even been to. As for the pros - the trails themselves are amazing. I would actually say, based on my limited experience so far, that I might prefer them to Rockland (mostly because of the scenery and speed). They are very well maintained and feature a large variety of styles and difficulties. It's the kind of trail system you could spend all day at and not get bored even though it's on the smaller side. Smaug's Lair and Keg Roller were phenomenal, and you don't find many trails like them in CT. Wish they were a little bit longer. The climb out of the valley was technical and challenging, but not so difficult or taxing that you hated it. I was blown away. The only part of the system that's a let down is having to go through the tall grass under the power lines, but it's more than made up for once you're back in the woods. Highly recommend this trail system to anyone who can make the drive.

Similar Trail: Rockland Preserve

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Granny Gear

September 10, 2017
IRONMN Granny Gear  
 
Review: Nice trails for all levels. Took my son on his bmx bike. Mtb, bmx, no matter. Just ride and pump those legs lol

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Gramcounter

August 2, 2017
 
Review: This is the first time I've really had time to explore more than an hour or so. I really like this place. However, it could really benefit from more signage and an updated map. I've met a number of riders who have difficulty finding trails. Whether this is on purpose I don't know, but if you want to find Smaugs lair stay right and hold on.

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Bunny Hop

June 2, 2017
 
Review: For a small place there's a lot to cover, lots of varying terrain, brutal climbs and fun downhills. The inner areas use space very well, nice tight weaving switchbacks. Hard to get lost as everything loops back into each other.

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Granny Gear

May 20, 2017
 
Review: Awesome trail system. Probably the best flowy riding in the state outside of Rockland. Trails are named and mapped out relatively well, there are well constructed berms and a few drops. Make sure to ride Smaug's Lair--challenging, but an absolute blast.

Similar Trail: Rockland Preserve

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Cowles Park MTB Trail 4.44 out of 5 based on 16 ratings. 16 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed
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