Mountain or "off-road" biking has become increasingly popular in New Hampshire, with the presence of many different volunteer organizations that are building and maintaining trails for the greater use.
Whether you are looking for an exhilarating and technical ride, or something scenic and leisurely, we have it here in New Hampshire State Parks, Forests, and on the Recreational Rail Trails!
Please be aware that most of the trails are closed for mud season in the spring but, all trails are open unless posted closed.
New Hampshire has some great trails for mountain bikers. Our Division of Parks and Recreation welcomes mountain bikers to utilize the following parklands and trails. Trails closed to "biking" will be signed with the "NO BIKES" symbol. Also, most of our trails close for "mud season" in the spring.
Bear Brook State Park (Allenstown, off Route 28)...
A multitude of trails criss-cross the 10,000 acre park. Bear Brook offers a varied level of challenges for the mountain biker.
Franconia Notch State Park Recreational Trail; aka Franconia Notch Bike Path (Franconia, I93 Parkway)...
This paved trail parallels the Parkway. The 20-mile round-trip brings riders within easy reach of park attractions, including Flume Gorge, The Old Main of the Mountain Profile, Profile Lake, Boise Rock, The Basin, Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, and Echo Lake. There's no fee for the use of the bike path. However, fees are charged at some attractions.
Hopkinton-Everett Reservoir (Dunbarton, off Route 13)...
The "Hop-Ev" recreation area is over 8,000 acres and offers advanced intermediate to expert terrain with nearly 20 miles of trails. As a reminder, be prepared for other trail users, this is a multi-use system and is open to ATV's, trailbikes, hikers, and equestrians, too.
Weeks State Park (Lancaster, off Route 3)...
The grounds provide a 360-degree panorama of mountain splendor, including the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Kilkenny Range, the Percy Peaks, and the upper Connecticut River Valley.
Moose Brook State Park (Gorham, off Route 2 of Jimtown Road)...
Moose Brook is one of the oldest parks in the system. The trails were originally laid out and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. The four-mile loop within the park has advanced terrain.
Northwood Meadows State Park (Northwood, Route 4)...
This park is really excellent for the beginner and for family riding. There are trails around Meadow Lake and farther afield.
Odiorne Point State Park (Rye, Route 1A)...
A paved recreational path is available, and an extensive network of trails wind through the dense vegetation and traverse the park.
Pawtuckaway State Park (Nottingham, off Route 156)...
This park has over 5,600 acres to explore and all levels of riding terrain are offered.
Pillsbury State Park (Washington, off Route 31)...
Crossed by a network of hiking and mountain bike trails, the park is an important link in the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, a 51-mile trail that connects Mount Monadnock with Mt. Sunapee to the north.
Pisgah State Park (Winchester/Chesterfield/Hinsdale, Route 119, Route 63)...
This largest state park in New Hampshire offers specific trails for mountain biking. Intermediate and advanced terrain are encountered within the park.
Here are a few biking resources we use at the Bureau. If you have a favorite resource you would like to share, please let us know so we might add them for others to use.
For Community-Level Bike Issues:
For Mountain Bikes:
New Hampshire Bicycle Groups:
- Mountain Biking New Hampshire's State Parks and Forests, by Linda Chestney
- New Hampshire Rail Trails, Charles F. Martin
In New Hampshire's State Parks and Forests you can encounter both on-road and off-road riding opportunities. We have provided the following information to help you understand some of the safety concerns regarding your sport. Please be courteous to other trail users - it goes a long way toward insuring that everyone has a good time out on the trail!
Bike Helmets are now REQUIRED for those under 16, beginning January 1, 2006.
Why? Bicycle crashes are a major cause of brain injuries. Helmets prevent 85% of these injuries and 75% of the deaths. Helmets should be buckled and worn properly to protect your brain.
Why? Brain injuries cause life-long problems and huge medical costs. Life will never be the same!
Why? Safe helmets can cost less than $10. Look for a sticker from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to be sure that it meets safety standards.
Helmets prevent BRAIN injuries!
This law is for kids riding bicycles on public ways.
Helmets protect ALL heads. ANYONE riding a bike, skateboard, scooter or
skates anywhere should wear a helmet.
Safety questions? Call NH SAFE KIDS at 1-877-783-0432.
Brain Injury issues? Call the NH Brain Injury Association at 225-8400.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Wear bright-colored clothing so you will be seen.
- Obey signs and rules of the road.
- Be sure that your bicycle is in good working order.
- Use hand signals.
- Don't ride in heavy fog or other adverse weather conditions.
- When taking a break, make sure you are off the highway.
- Be predictable. Don't make sudden moves.
- Drink plenty of water while riding and don't wait until you are thirsty for a drink.
- When passing another cyclist on the road, make your presence known by calling out "On your left" as you approach.
- Carry a spare tube and/or patch kit, tire pump, tire levers, and whatever tools you may need to remove the wheel.
- Be extra cautious in passing or manuvering around parked cars. That door just may swing out into your path. It's best to be at least three feet away from parked cars and to ride slowly past.
- Carry a snack for when you lose energy. Hint: energy bars, fruit, raisins and fruit bars work much better than candy bars.
For additional information check out the N.H. Department of Transportation's online (pdf) Road Warrior Brochure.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Riding with someone else is safer. If you like to ride alone, always carry identification. Be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you should be back. Then be sure to stick to that plan.
- Always carry some type of pack or bike bag with supplies such as fresh water, snacks, a flashlight, a bike tube repair kit, tire levers, and an assortment of band-aids.
- If you ride into the evening, be sure your headlight and tail light are working before you get on the trail.
- If you ride on trails that are frequently shared with horses, familiarize yourself with Trail Etiquette for Multi-Use Trails.