New England might be home to some of the smallest states in the country, but it also houses some of the most epic backcountry biking trails. From Maine to Connecticut there’s no shortage of singletrack and switchbacks to shred. When fall comes around it rivals any Western region trails you might read about.
The Kingdom Trails, Vermont
Vermont’s Kingdom Trails system is one of the largest trail networks in the country and arguably the best. Its 150-plus miles of single and doubletrack are made up of a healthy mix of uphill grinders and flowy, downhills set amidst some pretty gorgeous scenery. The area is laid out like a spider web and covers a wide range of the state. Since Vermont is one of the smallest states in New England, you can probably cover the entire span of it biking here over just a week or two. Moose Alley and Troll Stroll are two trails in the system that offer excellent drops and speed.
Upper and Lower Hansels, Massachusetts
The Upper and Lower Hansel trails in Massachusetts are on the shorter side compared to some, but are perfect for adrenaline junkies. They’re located in and on the outskirts of Leominster State Forest, a region characterized by dense greenery and the stunning Crow Hill ledges. Upper Hansel is prized for its aggressive, rocky path that boasts dozens of obstacles that’ll easily throw you over the handlebars if you’re not careful. Lower Hansel, on the other hand, provides a more flowy trail that’ll give you the speed you crave without the hassle of boulders and numerous switchbacks. Come in the spring or fall for the best views.
FOMBA Trails, New Hampshire
The Lake Massabesic Watershed near Auburn, New Hampshire, is an outdoor wonderland full of great fishing, hiking, bird watching and, of course, biking trails. The FOMBA Trails, named for The Friends of Massabesic Bicycling Association, is a 13+ mile series of trails with something for both beginners and experienced mountain bikers. The singletrack here was designed with mountain bikes in mind, so you’ll find that the trails are hardened and hold to a lot of wear and tear. The FOMBA trails are somewhat convoluted, but are filled with a dense array of rocks, roots, and trees to maneuver around, making for great obstacles. The hills in these parts are small, so don’t expect anything too strenuous.
Harold Parker State Forest, Massachusetts
Harold Parker State Forest is located just outside Andover, making it easily accessible for locals and those coming from out of town. Its variety of singletrack and hilly obstacles make it surprisingly difficult to conquer. The 3000+ acre woods house over 30 miles of old wood roads and singletrack trails, with most of them covered in rocks and roots to dodge. With some of the most technical biking trails in New England, it’s definitely a favorite among mountain bikers across the U.S. Hunting season can pose a problem, as the forest becomes packed with guns, but most of the year it’s open and ready.
Mt Agamenticus Loop, Maine
Mt Agamenticus is the southernmost mountain biking region in Maine and contains some of the best technical downhill in the state. The 8-mile loop is part of a larger network of trails on the mountain, but is arguably the best section available. However, experienced riders will want to look to the south of the mountain for the faster trails in the region. Largely untouched, they contain a good mix of hardwood trees, rocks, roots, and brush to test your skills without the large crowds you’ll find on the main loop. Mt Agamenticus might not be the most difficult downhill in New England, but it’s easily one of the best options in all of Maine.