Mountain biking has been growing in popularity in recent years and trail networks are growing to match the demands. Thanks to the New England Mountain Biking Association (NEMBA) and local mountain biking enthusiasts across Massachusetts, the region has a lot to offer in terms of places to ride. Massachusetts in particular has a large variety of trail systems, from spots that feature technical rocks like Vietnam Trails in Milford to the smooth flowing trails at Abram’s Rock in Swansea– there is something for everyone if you know where to look.
One of the great things about mountain biking is unless you are seeking a lift-access experience, getting onto the trails is often free or low cost. If you’re looking for a local trail to ride, the NEMBA website has a comprehensive list and many NEMBA chapters and local bike shops offer group rides at popular trail systems.
To help you plan out your summer shreds, we’ve collected 5 of the best mountain biking spots in Massachusetts.
Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham
Often known as “The Fells,” Middlesex Fells Reservation is a great intermediate mountain biking spot just north of Boston. The Fells is extremely popular as it’s nestled among the towns of Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham and Winchester. Visitors to the Fells will enjoy intermediate trails, including some flowy singletrack, hard climbs, and technical features. The Reservoir Trail Route is 5.2 miles of predominantly singletrack.
Middlesex Fells is a popular hiking destination and the Skyline Trail (white blazes) is closed to bikers. The park is bisected by Interstate 93 and there is good riding on both sides, but only one trail connection between the sections. Check out Trailforks before you head over to choose a parking location near the trails you want to ride.
Wompatuck State Park, Hingham
Located just south of Boston, “Wompy,” as local riders call it, is a must-visit and contains a variety of singletrack options. The newer singletrack trails are often fast and swoopy, while older trails are full of technical turns, log overs, and rocks. No matter what type of trail you’re looking for, you’ll find it at Wompatuck State Park. You can see a map of the trails on TrailForks.
If you don’t have a car, you can still easily get to the park via commuter rail. Wompatuck State Park is near the Cohasset Commuter Rail Station and it’s a short ride to the park thanks to the Whitney Spur Rail Trail. Mass DCR recently installed wayfinding signage to make it even easier for riders to navigate between the park and the commuter rail station.
Abram’s Rock/Village Park, Swansea
If you’re near the South Coast and looking for a beginner-friendly to intermediate ride, you need to check out Abrams Rock/Village Park. You won’t find much climbing here, instead, smooth, fast-rolling trails will greet you. Village Park features several unusual rock formations, like Wildcat rock and Lion rock. Some of these formations are bikeable, and some are hike only, but the views you’ll find from ascending them are well worth the climb. For those who enjoy some technical features, this trail system also includes rock drops, log-overs, and teeter-totters which you can find on the TrailForks map.
Riders can put together a solid 10-12 mile journey by looping trails within the park. Some favorite trails of local riders include Bridges and Rusty Cars. Advanced riders should check out Thing 2, which features a teeter totter, and Superman, the system’s only Double Black Diamond-rated trail. Abram’s Rock is located behind Joseph Case Jr. High School.
Vietnam Trails, Milford
If you are looking for a technical challenge, Vietnam is the trail system for you. While there are some mellow trails, the further South you ride the more technical it gets. Most of the network is served by a few spine trails, The Main Line and the Fairbanks Trail will help you get to the more advanced trails, which feature big drops and rock features.
Vietnam Trails is part of a 47-acre parcel owned and maintained by the New England Mountain Biking Association. Due to the large variety found in this trail system, you should check out TrailForks before you head over to plan which trails you want to hit. There are four parking areas that offer direct access to the Conservation Land surrounding Vietnam. The most popular trailhead is the Adams Street parking area where riders can easily access the more technical southern portion of the system.
Thunder Mountain Bike Park, Charlemont
For those seeking a lift-service downhill mountain biking experience, Thunder Mountain Bike Park is a must-visit. It has everything from beginner-friendly green trails to Pro-Line jump trails. Visitors to Thunder Mountain enjoy expertly maintained trails and a great atmosphere. The beginner-friendly Sugar Line is smooth and fast-rolling, excellent for downhill beginners. While The Gronk is a popular intermediate jump trail suitable for folks with good handling skills who want to gain experience with jumps. For advanced riders, there are plenty of black and double-black trails to play on, like Juggernaut and Hawleywood.
If you don’t own any downhill gear, don’t worry, Thunder Mountain has rental bicycles and gear. They also offer lessons if you’re a beginner or just want to level-up your skills. For the 2022 season, a weekend/holiday lift ticket will cost $65 and a weekday ticket is $54. Pro tip: the lift lines can get long on the weekend, plan yourself a weekday trip to enjoy shorter lines and save some money.