While Rhode Island is more well-known for its ocean views, the littlest state still has plenty of spots for mountain bikers to enjoy. The state chapter of the New England Mountain Biking Association (NEMBA) supports a variety of trail systems.
Whether you’re looking for challenging flow trails, twisty networks of seemingly endless singletrack, or a family-friendly spot to take the kids, you can find it in Rhode Island if you just know where to look.
To help you plan your summertime riding in the Ocean State, here are 5 of the best mountain biking spots in Rhode Island.
Diamond Hill, Cumberland
Situated in the northeastern corner of Rhode Island, locals claim that Diamond Hill has some of the best riding in the state, if not all of New England. As you’ll see on Trailforks, there are two distinct areas of the park on either side of Diamond Hill Road and your parking choice will depend on what trails you’re looking to ride.
The eastern half of the network is located on the town-owned ski hill. There you’ll find some quintessentially New England tech trails and the Diamond Hill Park Pumptrack. The more advanced “flow trails” are located in the western half of the park. If you love jumps and drops, this is the section of Diamond Hill for you. Local favorite trails include “Rhody-O,” one of the original trails built at Diamond Hill and “Chuck Norris” which includes a variety of drops. If downhill flow trails aren’t your thing, the western half of the park also features the 10-mile cross country loop.
Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln
Lincoln Woods State Park is another favorite of local Rhode Island riders. Here you’ll find miles of old woods and roads that connect up to an amazing amount of singletrack. The hills and rocks of Lincoln Woods are known to be addictive and you’ll find a mix of beginner to advanced trails to explore. With many short, interconnected trails you’ll constantly encounter chances to try something new and you’ll want to use Trailforks to navigate all the options.
Nestled between routes 146 and 122, Lincoln Woods is close to Providence, Pawtucket, and Cumberland. There are several spots to park, but the main parking area on Les Pawson Loop will give you the best access. Just hop on “Warm Up Trail” to Quinsicket Road and after a little bit, you’ll find yourself at “Roll Into It” which is the perfect way to get into the thick of the trail system.
Arcadia Management Area, Exeter
Arcadia Management Area is the state’s largest recreation area with 14,000 acres of mostly forest where you’ll find around 40 miles of singletrack and a variety of dirt roads to enjoy. Located in southwestern Rhode Island, Arcadia features trails for all ability levels. The trail system is known to be winding and can be hard to navigate for those unfamiliar with Arcadia, so you will want to use Trailforks to ensure you don’t get lost.
Do note, the trails are multi-use and you may see hikers or horses while on your ride. The park is bisected by Route 165, creating a northern and southern section of rails. With the vast number of trails available to explore, you could dedicate a day to each section and still not ride them all.
Woody Hill, Westerly
Despite being less than a mile from the ocean, Woody Hill features a surprising amount of climbing. This relatively new trail system was developed by R.I. NEMBA between 2017-2020 with a little something for everyone. There is a mix of fast-flowing, beginner-friendly trails and technical trails designed with advanced riders in mind. You can use Trailforks to find the trails that are best suited for your riding style and ability. The most advanced trail in the system is Little Sister, which boasts 4 miles of relentless technical features.
A fun fact about the trail names, all the trails on the town land are named after local craft beer – which has been a big hit with the mountain bikers and local brewers alike. According to RI NEMBA, the best place to park is at the lacrosse fields on Bradford Road, you’ll find the trails heading into the treeline at the back of the fields.
Ryan Park, North Kingston
Ryan Park is the smallest trail system on this list with about 10 miles of mostly beginner-friendly trails. It’s an excellent spot to bring the family or a beginner rider as the trails feature fewer rocks and roots than other Rhode Island trails. Ryan Park is also easier to navigate than some of the other more winding trail networks in the state. With a glance at Trailforks, it’s easy to plot out a route without having to constantly check your map to determine what trail you’ve landed on.
There are three designated parking areas for Ryan Hill, and the one on Oak Hill Road closest to Route 4 is the best access to the larger section of trails to the west of Belleville Pond. Just head north on the “Ryan Park Main Access Trail.” If you park on Lafayette Road, you can take the “Ray Park Main Access Trail” south to the west section of trails or take “Freeway Trail” to check out the smaller section of trails to the east of the pond.