Best Bike Trails in Boston / Cambridge / Newton
There are few cities in the US older than Boston, and as it turns out, many of the mountain bike trails in the area pre-date the sport of mountain biking itself. Translation: expect to find former hiking trails that are as rocky as they are challenging in the Boston area.
Every trail on this list has been either directly or indirectly built, maintained, or influenced by the Northeast Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA). Hats off to the organized and involved local riders who make so many great, accessible rides available in the Boston area and beyond.
Harold Parker State Forest
With 35 miles of fire roads and singletrack trails, Harold Parker State Forest is not for the faint of heart or the directionally challenged. But for those who like getting away from it all and exploring raw, rocky trails, Harold Parker can be a very rewarding experience.
The trails at Russell Mill are known for being some of the most entertaining in eastern Massachusetts, and they’re also some of the most beginner-friendly trails around. This 7-mile-long trail system is located just inside a 25-mile radius of Boston, though with traffic it can take an hour or more to access from the city.
Wompatuck State Park
While there isn’t a lot of climbing to be found at Wompatuck, the state park has pretty much everything else from flowy to tech, and from man-made bridges and jumps to roots and rocks. The 15 miles of trails are rated mostly intermediate and advanced.
Middlesex Fells Reservation
Also known as “the Fells,” Middlesex Fells Reservation features an 8-mile outer loop that hugs the edges of the property. This diverse loop has it all–gravel roads, singletrack, short punchy climbs, and brief technical interludes. There are also plenty of singletrack trails branching off the main loop just begging to be explored. The Fells is located only about 7 miles from downtown Boston.
For beginning riders visiting the Boston area, the Landlocked Forest offers a good place to experience the forests of New England without getting in over one’s head. Located in the suburbs outside of Boston, the forest is a true gem so as always, be sure to ride respectfully.
F. Gilbert Hills State Forest
Thanks to its rocky soil, the trails at F. Gilbert Hills State Forest (aka Foxboro) tend to stay fairly dry year round. While the hills are short, don’t be deceived: these trails are rocky, technical, and can quickly take the steam out of even the most advanced riders. Ride all 11 miles in the park, and you’ve earned yourself a nice steak dinner.
Next up: Montreal, Quebec.