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Biking

The statewide multi-use trail system offers a wide variety of experiences for cyclists from technical mountain biking to scenic family rides. Bicycling can be a year round adventure on a groomed network of winter trails in select parks.

Bicycling is permitted on state parks and state forests per RSA-216-F:2 with special rules for electric bicycles per RSA 265:144-a.
Class 1 and 2 E-Bikes can be used on DNCR managed trails where traditional bikes are allowed.
DNCR strongly recommends a 20 MPH speed limit on all trails for the safety and enjoyment of all trail users.


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If you are unsure if an e-bike is allowed on a state park or state forest trail network contact the property manager.


Trail Information

New Hampshire State Parks has some great trails for bicycling and below are recommended trail systems. Trails closed to "biking" will be signed with the "NO BIKES" symbol. Trails may be temporarily closed to use during “mud season” to lessen trail damage.

Ahern State Park (Laconia)
Approximately 5 miles of single track technical mountain bicycle riding for skilled bicyclists.

Bear Brook State Park (Allenstown, off Route 28)
Over 40 miles of designated trails and roads in the park offer year-round adventure. Parking is available at Catamount Pond and Podunk Road year-round. All levels of terrain are available.

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 Trail System (Dunbarton, off Route 13)
The 20-mile round-trip Franconia Notch bike path parallel the Franconia Notch Parkway brings riders within easy reach of park attractions. E-bike classes 1-3 are permitted on the bike path, which has a 20 mph speed limit (RES 7305.04(a)). Bicycling is not permitted on the ski trails and hiking trails in the park.

Moose Brook State Park (Gorham)
The Civilian Conservation Corps originally laid out and constructed the trail system in the 1930's. Wide forest access roads and narrower trails are available year-round. All levels of terrain are available.
 
Northwood Meadows State Park (Northwood)
The wide forest access roads in this park are recommended for the less experienced bicycler and families.
 
Odiorne Point State Park (Rye, Route 1A)...
Bicycling is permitted on the paved recreational paths in the picnic area and along Route 1A. Recommended for children learning to ride.
 
Pawtuckaway State Park (Nottingham)
There is over 5,600 acres to explore by bicycle on trails, forest access roads and park roads. All levels of terrain are available.
 
Pillsbury State Park (Washington)
The trail network is suitable for more experienced bicycler. Trails connect to Max Israel State Forest and the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway.

Pisgah State Park (Winchester/Chesterfield/Hinsdale)
This largest state park in New Hampshire has trails suitable for mountain biking. E-bikes are permitted on park roads open to motor vehicles and trails open to ATVs. Terrain is suitable for more experienced bicyclists. 

Urban Forestry Center (Portsmouth)
For those who like to experience the outdoors firsthand, the Urban Forestry Center offers a series of self-guided trails. The Goodwin Trail is a two-mile (round-trip) trail that takes visitors through scenic woodland setting, where native wildflowers, birds, and animals can be seen. Terrain is suitable for all bicyclists.

Weeks State Park (Lancaster)
The approximately two mile Around the Mountain Trail links to the Heritage Trail network to provide a 12 mile route beginning on the Lancaster/Northumberland line to Whitefield. Bicycling is allowed on the park road, however, the road is narrow and winding and care should be taken. Bicycling is not permitted on the Mount Prospect Ski Tow trails.

Recreational Rail Trails 

 

Need to Know Information

Where Bicycle Riding is Not Permitted

Bicycle use on trails is not recommended at the following properties due to sensitivity of the natural and cultural resources on the property and/or terrain. Park your bike once you arrive and explore on foot!

 
  • Bear’s Den Natural Area
  • Cathedral Ledge State Park
  • Cardigan Mountain State Park
  • Cotton Valley Recreational Rail Trail
  • Crawford Notch State Park
  • Daniel Webster Birthplace State Historic Site
  • Echo Lake State Park (designated trail)
  • Fort Stark State Historic Site
  • Franconia Notch State Park (except bike path)
  • Franklin Pierce Homestead State Historic Site
  • Miller State Park
  • Monadnock State Park
  • Mount Sunapee State Park
  • Mount Washington State Park
  • Odiorne Point State Park (except paved paths)
  • Ossipee Lake Natural Area
  • Rhododendron State Park
  • Robert Frost Farm State Historic Site
  • Rollins State Park
  • Upper Cohos Recreational Rail Trail
  • Wantastiquet Natural Area
  • Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion State Historic Site
  • Winslow State Park

Safe Riding

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!
 

Helmets

Bike Helmets are REQUIRED for those under 16, as of  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.
 

On-Road Riding

  • 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.


Off-Road Riding

  • 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.

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.

Bicycle Groups and Resources

Here are a few biking resources we use at the Trails Bureau. If you have a favorite resource you would like to share, please let us know so we can add them for others to use.


New Hampshire Bicycle Groups:

For Mountain Bikes:

For Community-Level Bike Issues:


​Books:

  • Mountain Biking New Hampshire's State Parks and Forests, by Linda Chestney
  • New Hampshire Rail Trails, Charles F. Martin

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