The Best Black Diamond Mountain Bike Trail in Each US State

New Mexico: Angel Fire Resort

Photo: Fatbike1

Angel Fire is renowned as one of the most hardcore DH resorts in the western US. Riders will find it all here: tech trails, jump lines, and wooden features.

“Great place! From what I’ve tried it’s the best lift-assisted trails so far. There are trails for everyone and one day isn’t enough to try it all.” -stumpyfsr

New York: Windham Mountain Bike Park

Windham Mountain Bike Park offers true lift-served DH riding on trails designed and built by Gravity Logic–the builders behind the world-renowned trails at Whistler.  Riders will find both jump trails and technical descents at Windham.

North Carolina: Laurel Mountain

Photo: Aaron Chamberlain

By any standard, Laurel Mountain is a challenging ride, but the true test comes when it’s time to descend Pilot Rocks’ seemingly-endless rock garden, dropping steeply into the valley below. Add in tight switchbacks, exposure, and frequent moisture from the temperate rain forest climate, and this is one of the very best technical mountain bike rides anywhere.

North Dakota: Maah Daah Hey, North Unit

Photo: Maah Daah Hey Trail Association

None of the North Dakota trails in the Singletracks database have received a black diamond rating, but I decided to double check by contacting the Magic City MTB Club. According to Andrew Kent, while the Maah Daah Hey trail averages out to intermediate difficulty overall, some sections exceed. Most notably, “the north unit is rugged and has steep washouts with exposure.”

Ohio: Vultures Knob

photo: Mark Miller

Vultures Knob is Ohio’s oldest privately-owned, open to the public mountain bike trail system. Presumably, the private land ownership has provided the builders the latitude to build more technical trail features, making it the highest-rated black diamond trail in the state. Expect to find lots of wooden features, and some rocky sections.

Oklahoma: Lake Lawtonka

Photo: MTBCrash29

This 20-mile trail system is home to some easier trails, but the 20 trail reviews still assign it an average rating of black diamond. If you’re looking for the most challenging segments of singletrack, be sure to check out the orange, yellow, and black trails, which are reportedly very rocky.

Oregon: North Umpqua

At 79 miles in length, the North Umpqua trail in its entirety is a significant ride. However, bikepackers beware: the technical challenge means that these 79 miles are hard-won, and can be difficult to navigate with a fully-loaded bike.

Pennsylvania: Rothrock State Forest

Pick your line ???? #moutainbiking #rothrockstateforest #pennsylvania #mtb #justride #rocks #thisaintmichigan

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This 100-mile network of singletrack is exceedingly technical, leading to the overall black diamond rating. Popular routes within this trail system include the IMBA Epic Cooper Gap and Tussey Ridge. Trails with the forest can be combined into a seemingly infinite variety of rocky, challenging rides. “Excellent singletrack, assuming you like rocks,” quipped Aaron Chamberlain in his review. “Rocks, rocks, rocks, everywhere.”

Rhode Island: Diamond Hill State Park

Photo: joshcooknh

This 10-mile trail gets accolades from all of the riders who’ve reviewed it. “Lots of jumps, drops, berms, kickers, rollers, and big stinky rock wall to help keep things interesting!” said schwei.

South Carolina: Paris Mountain State Park

Photo: Guest

While the Paris Mountain trail system receives an intermediate rating overall, some trails, like the downhill race course, definitely exceed! As one of the only DH race courses in this area of the Southeast, Paris Mountain hosts a number of collegiate races.

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