Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States, with only 1,045 square miles of land mass. Since it’s located on the ocean, with many large inlets and bays, the land that it does have is pretty flat, too. The highest point in the state is only 812 feet above sea level.
While Rhode Island might seem an unlikely candidate as a location to mountain bike, according to the Singletracks trail database there are at least 14 trails in this small state–and probably even more that we don’t have listed. While Rhode Island might not top your list of places to travel specifically for mountain biking, if you ever find yourself in the state, here are 5 trails to check off your list.
While in the grand scheme of things Rhode Island is flat, Diamond Hill State Park stays true to its name, providing some of the hilliest terrain in Rhode Island. With 1,400 feet of climbing (and descending) in a 9-mile loop according to our topo map, that’s a decent workout, especially for Rhode Island.
“There are a lot of places that people say ‘has a little bit of everything,’ but this place truly fits that bill. Overall it leans toward XC, but there is plenty there to keep the DH guys entertained! Lots of jumps, drops, berm, kickers, rollers, and big stinky rock wall to help keep things interesting! To be perfectly clear though, you earn every inch of descent there is to have in this place. There is about 150ft of climbing per mile, but the descents are totally worth it! The parking lot is right across the road from The Ice Cream Machine and to get to the trails you have to cross the road and head down what kind of looks like a driveway on the west side of 114 just south of the ice cream place. There’s also a pump track on the east side of the road behind the parking lot….. see? This place really does have everything!” -schwei
This network consists of 35+ miles of riding with some sandy roads mixed with singletrack. This spot is great for beginning and intermediate riders. If you look around you may even find some skinnies, but be sure to pack a GPS: this network can get confusing!
“A very nice mix of trails. Its really a ‘what are we in the mood for today’ type of place. You can stick to the dirt road and offshoots that are quite easy, head up around Carr Pond and get into the rocky rooty stuff, go over near exit 6a for a bit more climbing, down by exit 6 for some fast trails and to hit up a few skinnies.” -yzedf
Located near Watchaug Pond, the main loop here is a 17-mile singletrack ride, with some doubletrack extensions if you’re looking to add on more mileage.
“Great place to ride! Great technicality for the more advanced riders on the Sammy-C trail and even some good drops and other huckable stuff if you know where to look. Has a tendency to be a bit ‘buggy’ at times but let’s face it…. we are mountain bikers and enjoy choking down some flies every once in a while. There is camping here as well if you wish to make a night of it however since it’s state land I am sure you will all leave your beers at home or at least use your best beer hiding via ‘solo cups’ technique!” -bmxking45
Presumably the North South Trail runs almost the entire length of the 48 mile-tall state, with a claimed 30 miles of distance according to our database. However, information is scarce, with even NEMBA only showing a low quality map. But if you want a challenge, this trail will offer it in spades, with techy sections and some steep descents.
“Check nemba’s website for this trail, they have some nice information and a bad map. I have only been on pieces of this trail but depending on your riding style you will love it or hate it. If you like to be challenged, constantly picking lines and what not, then its great. Technical. There’s even a few sharp downhills that will scare you.” -Guest
Lincoln Woods is home to plenty of techy singletrack, but if you want an easier ride there are plenty of dirt roads to keep you happy. This is a great in-town trail system that’s easy to access.
“I’ve ridden trails all over New England and now consider this to be my favorite network of trails besides the awesome riding in Vermont. This had everything ranging from casual fire-road riding toa few decently long downhill lines with great, well carved jumps and berms. The variety and extent of trails is immense. Most trails aren’t listed on maps. You just need to start finding trail heads and exploring to get familiar with what’s out there. Bring plenty of food and water so you can really get a good ride in while exploring. There are two major trails maintained by NEMBA that are marked by GREEN and YELLOW arrows. Check them out but don’t be afraid to stray in order to find the awesome side trails as well.” -rypoc
Your Turn: Have you mountain biked in Rhode Island? Be sure to review the trails that you’ve had the pleasure to ride!