Best Bike Trails in Hartford / West Hartford / East Hartford

Hartford is known as the insurance capital of the world, which to most people, sounds like a major snooze. But rejoice–there are great mountain bike trails near the capital city of Connecticut!

Rockland Preserve

Photo: variableconditions

With about 25 miles of trails in the network, Rockland Preserve is bristling with berms, log rides, jumps, and of course, sweet singletrack. Most of the trails here are designed for mountain biking, and as a result, Singletracks readers give Rockland Preserve high marks. Some riders report the trails are fairly technical, so keep that in mind if you’re a beginner. Rockland Preserve is located near Madison, CT and is pushing our self-imposed 25-mile radius from the city of Hartford, so it may be best to carve out a full day for this ride.

Cowles Park

#CowlesPark #eastgranby #ct #mtb

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On the opposite end of Hartford, Cowles Park packs a ton of variety into just 8 miles of trails. The trails are reportedly well-maintained and flow nicely, making it a top pick not just for the Hartford area but for the entire state of Connecticut.

Penwood State Park

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Northwest of Hartford, Penwood State Park features about 7 miles of trails dotted with plenty of roots and slate rock to keep riders entertained. Plus, Penwood offers some of the most scenic views in the state of Connecticut, as the bike trail traverses the edge of a 200-foot cliff.

Millers Pond

Photo: Rider51

We recently featured Jordan Byron’s video showcasing the rocky trail features at Millers Pond, and many were truly surprised at how technical the trails are. Singletracks readers seem to agree that the trails at Millers Pond are among the most technical in the state. However, even novice riders should be able to enjoy Millers Pond thanks to regular ride-arounds and separate XC trails within the park.

Grayville Falls Town Park

Photo: ac90002

Getting to Grayville Falls Town Park from Hartford will take at least 30 minutes, even without traffic, but judging by the photos and reviews, it’s totally worth the trip.  These trails are well-suited to intermediate riders, and offer a variety of short descents and quintessentially New England rocky, rooty trails. The 8 miles of riding available in Grayville Falls Town Park is mostly all killer singletrack, with little fire-road filler.

Do you need trail recommendations for Northeastern USA / Southeastern Canada cities we didn’t cover? Ask around on our forums–we’re sure Singletracks readers can point you in the right direction!

# Comments

  • PGH Rider

    Just an FYI for the Pittsburgh section of your article. PORC stands for Pittsburgh Off Road Cyclists. Your link takes you to Pittsburgh Offroad which is a motorized mud bogging/lift kit type of group. Additionally, PORC does not as a group build or maintain trails in Pittsburgh (maybe as volunteers for other other groups or illegally). The main groups that build and maintain trails are Trail Pittsburgh (http://trailpittsburgh.org/), the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy(https://www.rachelcarsontrails.org/), Allegheny Land Trust, Hollow Oak Land Trust, Allegheny County Parks, and the Mount Washington CDC. If you need help reporting on Pittsburgh mountain biking in the future, please let me know.

    • Jeff Barber

      Good catch on the URL and thanks for the shout out to other groups in the area!

  • kevindsingleton

    Two more excellent Pittsburgh singletracks are the Bavington trail, in Hillman State Park, near Burgettstown (southwest of Pittsburgh, search for “Haul Road Trailhead”), and the trails at Brady’s Run Park, in Beaver County, a little north of the airport.

  • juarez

    Cool article!
    It’s great to see other people writing about our quiet, humble riding area (Ottawa-Gatineau).

    Of course it’s FAT season here now. We have some crazy good shared single track is 2 riding areas, plus Kanata, Larose, and city trails.

    You can learn more about our fat riding areas here:

    Our local networks are growing by leaps and bounds too. Advocacy over the last 10 years is paying off and our Gatineau Park Trail Network will be growing exponentially as previously limited bike access is increased overall rate next 5 years.

    And we have a brand new riding area called Larose Forest that is multi-use, purpose machine built flow trail. Larose has BIG plans to expand and local riders love the first beginner and intermediate trails that are now open. (Did I mention how FUN these trails are?) The Larose management team has a BIG vision for the area.

    Larose Forest Primer:

    Have fun everywhere.


  • Downhill Mike

    Also got to add Durham Forest, Dagmar, Walker Woods and Glen Major. Its all can be connected together by bike in one day and easily has over 100km of singletrack.

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