Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

Connecticut is known to be home to the best biking trails in the United States, and this article will help you narrow down which one to trail to ride first.
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Last updatedLast updated: November 08, 2022
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When you’re planning a trip for mountain biking in CT, don’t forget to figure out your location or locations. No matter where you go within this beautiful state, you’ll be amazed at its rich history and gorgeous views.

Do you long to meditate on top of the mohawk mountain right beside the end of the mountain biking trail at mohawk state forest? Wouldn’t it be grand to bike up to the peak of a mountain buff point and watch the sunset? Do you daydream of having a picnic near the historic sloping hillsides at Mooween state park during a well-deserved break along a trail by the red cedar lake? Read on to know why Connecticut is a stunning state to visit and why it’s a fantastic location for biking paths and breathtaking sightseeing scenes.

10 Top-Rated Places for Mountain Biking in Connecticut

Some of the best MTB trails in CT provide a wonderful view of nature. Places that are designed for biking are more popular for biking. These biking trails are no different. They are designed with bicycle riders in mind. Bike-safe communities make for a bike-friendly America. A quarter of all bike riders in the United States of America ride mountain bikes.

Make sure that you’ve got the best equipment for the job. Many users highly recommend Micargi bikes for their quality, such as the Micargi Men’s M40 that boasts knobby tires for grip and adaptability as well as 18 differing speeds for control and handling. Having a proper mountain bike will help increase speed, improve relations, and decrease injuries.

Looking for mountain biking (MTB) in Connecticut (CT) can be difficult because of the sheer number of options. Below we dive into the trails for the best mountain biking in ct.

1. Nepaug State Forest

With lots of wonderful winding tracks, Nepaug State Forest is a fantastic trail for beginners. Not only is it simple, but it’s also versatile. With single tracks, it’s certainly a comfortable ride.

Taking in the smell and sights of a pine forest, there’s nothing else like it. There’s also camping, cross country skiing, fishing, hiking, letterboxing, and even hunting within the same forest. It creates a magnificent atmosphere for a mountain bike trip.

2. Gay City State Park

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

A view of Gay City State Park

Along these 10 miles of easy single-track trails, you’re able to see a beautiful range of nature. While biking along this path, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some of Connecticut’s flora and fauna. This includes deer, bears, wolves, foxes, raccoons, muskrats, porcupines, weasels, and even beavers.

Not only is this of natural value but also historical value. Travel along the forested trails while traveling back in time. This site offers a glance into the past. Connecticut’s industrial origins can be seen throughout the mill town ruins and stone foundations throughout the Gay City State Park.

3. Mohawk Mountain State Park

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

A biking trail in the Mohawk Mountain State Park

Along the 15 miles of easy-going trails, this forest is beyond breathtaking. There’s one trail that leads to a phenomenal view at the very top of the mountain. From this spectacular view, you’re able to see such amazing sights.

This entire loop only takes an hour and a half to finish. This means that you don’t have to spend the entire day seeing the sights. It also means you can do the loop multiple times. Each you could see a slightly different view of the sunlight over the plants.

4. Mansfield Hollow

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

A view of Mansfield Hollow lake

Within the 18 miles, there are mostly single-track trails with great flow and a smooth ride. There are little drops and few declines. There are also many water features and views around Hollow Lake.

Developed with the assistance of the Land And Water Conservation Fund, this natural area is beautiful. Don’t forget to stop and take a break to enjoy the sights. Take a moment during your ride to have a fantastic picnic near the water’s edge under the shadow of this Mansfield’s Forest!

5. Mianus River State Park

The natural beauty of Connecticut includes many beaches and waterfronts, as well as arboreal hills. Along these natural areas are some of the most beautiful mountain biking paths in ct. In this park, you get to see all three of these.

The beautiful Mianus river flows along the furthest east border and through a small portion in the middle of the park. Nestled in between Stamford and Greenwich, this is a beautiful park.

6. Nassahegon State Forest

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

A biking trail in the Nassahegon State Forest

Explore the seemingly limitless forest in this massive 1352 acres within Burlington, Connecticut. There are a total of 15 miles of biking trails. Combining gorgeous views with amazing trails, this is a wonderful trail regardless of your level.

Within this plot of land exists many diverse types of terrain and trails. This means that all levels of experience can find an area that suits their skill level. These trails are known for their quick drops and sharp inclines.

7. Pachaug State Forest

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

Top view of the Pachaug State Forest

This forest is one of the largest throughout the entire state of Connecticut. It totals over 27,000 acres in size. This massive park has been declared a national natural landmark due to its Atlantic white cedar swamps growth.

While hiking on these trails, it won’t be a shock to see horses. This spot is also immensely popular with equestrian communities. Mountain bike riders are about half of the hiking participants in terms of numbers. However, they are much higher than other trail activities, such as horse riders.

8. Bluff Point State Park

If you’re looking for coastal mountain bike riding, this is the perfect place to ride. Unbelievable sites combing with an unchallenging ride make this a perfect destination. Not only does it have both single and double tracks but also slight elevation changes. For beginners, this is an ideal location.

These trails are known for their gorgeous edges and terrains. Make sure you pack a bike that can manage the rough yet beautiful edges. Models like the Micargi Women’s M40 are highly suggested by users because of its hi-ten steel fork, lightweight plastic frame with steel v-brakes.

9. West Hartford Reservoir Recreation Area

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

Next to the West Hartford Reservoir Recreation Area

Near the capital of Connecticut, Hartford, there are countless beautiful spots. However, one that stands out is the West Hartford reservoir recreation area. With practically no elevation, this is a straightforward path to practice riding.

Beyond being a wonderful biking trail, it’s also a known archaeological site listed on the national register of historic places. This revolutionary war campsite is a piece of American history right there. The historic biking trail is the site of an encampment of continental army soldiers.

10. Jones Mountain Preserve

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

Top view of the Jones Mountain Preserve

Simply known as the ‘bare spot,’ is a beautiful view that overlooks the top of this preserve. With miles and miles of view, this trail is over 2,300 feet above sea level. Located in New Hartford, this is a beautiful preserve to spend an entire day simply riding and visiting.

The view will leave you breathless. This preserve is an award-winning nature reserve; it’s a winner for its beautiful homestead. Nicknamed ‘the woodland,’ this is a place right out of a fairytale!

17 Perfect MTB Trails and Parks in Connecticut

MTB stands for a mountain bike. These MTB trails and parks throughout Connecticut are renowned throughout America. Finding an excellent trail for downhill mountain biking in CT can be a challenge.

1. Millers Pond State Park

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

Mountain biking in the Millers Pond State Park

Comprised of a 33-acre reservoir and 250 acres of woods, this is a breathtaking place to bike.

The Park prides itself on difficulty. Although these aren’t specifically long trails, they are uniquely tricky. This isn’t the best spot for beginners. It’s a beautiful place for intermediate to advanced riders and beyond.

For difficult bike trails like this one, don’t forget to adjust, maintain, or upgrade your suspension before your trip. A working suspension makes for a comfortable ride.

2. West Rock Ridge State Park

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

Top view of West Rock Ridge State Park

Ride with a view when you head to this park. It’s beautiful. There are two main views that you’ll see. Both the views of the New Haven Harbor, as well as the long island sound, are visible from the top of the west rock.

Historically, this was the original site of the regicide judges Edward Whalley and gen. William Goffe hideout. There’s a specific trail that honors their history, called the regicide trail. There are 11 miles of wide trails perfect for beginners or anyone wanting a relaxed bike ride.

3. Penwood State

Penwood state provides some of the most intense trails available. With over 800 acres, quick turns, and a tight trail, this is an advanced trail. Add to an evaluation rise of nearly 1,000 feet; it’s a workout for sure.

Many riders, even experienced ones, notice the steep inclines, steep declines, sharp rocks, tripping roots, and surprising drops.

This is an all-seasons park within Bloomfield and is just a noticeably short distance from the capital city. It’s handy and accessible!

4. Mianus Maze Trail

This 14-mile loop trail goes alongside the Mianus River in Greenwich. The river adds to the difficulty of the terrain because of the watershed, soil runoff, humidity among other factors. Located near Stamford, Connecticut, it’s an easily accessible trail.

There are many different paths, each with exciting sights and obstacles. For the tougher trails, professional MTB riders suggest having a bike with full suspension. It may sound like a daunting addition, but the price is worth the comfortable ride.

5. Miller’s Pond

This is a gorgeous gem hidden in Connecticut. Nestled in Durham and Haddam, Millers State Park has been run and maintained by the state since the mid-1950s.

This state park provides some of the best technical mountain bike riding in. There are quite a few log rides, uphill climbs, steep slope jumps, and freeride-type stunts. Overall, this is great for XC riding, with easy and legal access to stunts.

6. Rockland Preserve, Madison

This is a park that’s known for its gorgeous drops, trails, and rough terrain. Regardless of the trail, be prepared to see pheasants, turkey, deer, coyote, fox, and occasionally black bears.

In this local preserve, you’ll find purpose-built bike trails created by volunteers. Preserved by the single tracks of Rockland MTB club, in Madison Connecticut, this is a fantastic area for biking. Enjoy naturally crafted and hand-maintained trails along with amazing views.

7. Collis P. Huntington State Park

Through this park, riders can expect 10 miles of trails. Each trail is slightly different and provides diverse levels of difficulty. Some are short, easy loops around the ponds, while others have rougher terrain and steeper climbs.

Throughout the park, there lies beautiful artwork of Connecticut’s wildlife. With life-like figures of bears, wolves, and other creatures, It’s an outdoor art exhibit. There’s art imitating nature in nature. The Huntington family donated the Collis p. Huntington state park to the citizens living in Connecticut.

8. Upper Paugussett State Park

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

Lake view in Upper Paugussett State Park

Ever wanted to mountain bike while surrounded by water? This is a portion of lands like a peninsula that’s jutting out into both the Housatonic River and Lake Lillinonah. A section of the Paugussett State Park Forest totaling 800 acres is bordered by water on three sides. With 6 miles of marked trails, this is an intermediate park for riders, for sure.

The best trails throughout this state forest are often ones that are very adventurous and wonderful for groups of bikers or family members. With other activities such as boating, sightseeing, fishing, hiking, outdoor yoga, biking, letterboxing, and hunting, nobody will be left out!

9. River Highlands State Park

With unique topography, this park provides an incredibly unique ride. Located in Cromwell, Connecticut, there are seven miles of paths. Many of these are apprentice-level trains with double tracks.

What may not be so beginner-friendly is the sheer cliffs that look down onto the river. There are many narrow bridges with exceptional water views. Although the trails are simple and short, they do provide many technical challenges for a spectacular and unique biking experience.

10. Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

Mountain biking near the cable car in Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort

This is one of the few locations that are offering a multifeatured with both mountain bike riding as well as a ski resort. The resort is open during all seasons with both summer and winter activities.

Beyond just biking, this resort also has a 500-foot zip line, a disc golf course, and a gorgeous hiking trail. Don’t hesitate to bring the entire family even if they don’t bike ride. There’s something for everyone!

11. Cowles Park

This Park is beyond gorgeous. If you’re looking for magnificent sightseeing, this is the place to go. Located near East Granby, CT, there’s no shortage of stunning natural landscapes. Within this park are over 20 km of trails with a total descent of 556 meters and nature as far as the eye can see. Steering across bike bridges gives beautiful water views.

It’s not only easy on the eyes but also easy on the legs. With less than 200 feet elevation throughout 8 miles of trails, it’s a great and steady trail. There are more than 25 mountain bike trails for your riding pleasure.

12. Pequannock River Valley State Park

Spanning over 16 miles, this gorgeous track has tight tails, great challenges, and beautiful views. Ride along the beautiful Pequannock River, which adds to the intensity of this trail.

As the river was caused by glaciers, there are many fascinating drops. These range from 2 feet to a terrifying 20 feet in elevation. This is an advanced trail for pedaling.

It’s nicknamed the ‘Trumbull’ by the local community. One of the rock formations has one as well; locals refer to it as the bat cave. With about 1,000 feet elevation, this is sure to provide a workout for your legs.

13. Rockland Preserve

This is a 650-acre property that’s been a popular destination since 2012 for mountain terrain bikers of all difficulty and experience.

Whether you’re riding a professional bike, a beginner’s bike, or in between, this is a terrific opportunity to work on your bike riding skills. Bikes don’t have to break the bank regardless of their difficulty level. Enjoy nature without having to sacrifice your lifestyle with affordable options.

14. Mooween State Park

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

Lake view in Mooween State Park

With lovely spots to see, this beautiful Connecticut forest features miles of well-maintained trails. With both paved and unpaved tracks, it provides a well-mapped trail perfect for riders of all levels.

It was known as the red cedar lake park for nearly a decade before having it switched. It’s been a state park since 1989. These gorgeous sloping hillsides have been quickly and quietly reclaimed by mother nature. Rest assure, these landscapes provide a beautiful example of art in nature.

15. Paulk Hill Conservation Area

With the southern portion of the Appalachian Mountain Trusted Source Appalachian Mountains | Definition, Map, Location, Trail, & Facts | Britannica Appalachian Mountains, North American highland system that extends for almost 2,000 miles from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador to central Alabama in the United States, forming a natural barrier between the eastern Coastal Plain and the vast Interior Lowlands of North America. www.britannica.com  system, Connecticut has access to gorgeous views. This includes fantastic views of forests, woods, wildlife, water features, lakes, beaches, shores, rivers, and so much more!

This Park is near Tolland, CT, and provides the same beautiful landscape. Spanning over 42 acres, this area is packed with trails that you’ll want to ride on repeatedly. This cross-country trail is managed by the town of Tolland to provide tip-top maintenance and excellence.

16. Thompson Dam

Over 10 miles of trails promise a grand and full day of cycling. This is typically a leisurely ride with an impressive range of views. Although there are some technical difficulties and features, it’s very much worth the drive.

This is stunning to view in the fall. With the gorgeous fall leaves, you won’t be disappointed. Make sure to share your autumn views with the community of Connecticut bikers with #fullcolourct!

17. Grayville Falls Town Park

Though it’s a small park with few short trails, it’s a wonderful place to start as a novice. There’s minimal elevation change, slight declines, and inclines. However, Grayville falls town park also provides its riders with unique challenges. The trails, although usually simple, are narrow and contain some technical aspects.

Along with the beautiful sights of Connecticut’s nature, there are many varied species of wildlife spotted in the area. Many locals claim that this area has the traditional “new England rocks and roots.”

12 Mountain Biking Clubs in Connecticut, (CT)

Connecticut mountain bike communities have grown substantially in recent years. With more of an interest in the activity, there’s more activity in the community clubs around the state.

Bike communities are gaining support from individuals and organizations combined to bring awareness and support to the community of bike riders. Mountain biking clubs in specific are popular throughout Connecticut. Below we’ve listed a few of the fantastic mountain biking clubs here in Connecticut.

1. IMBA

 

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

The International Mountain Bicycling Association ( IMBA Trusted Source About IMBA | IMBA We create, enhance and protect great places to ride mountain bikes by partnering with communities on more trails close to home. www.imba.com ) spans the entire country as a leader in mountain bike advocacy. They encourage the increase in the quantity and quality of mountain bike trails and their communities throughout the USA. With over 30 years of advocacy, they have built 5000 trails with the help of over 200 thousand supporters and volunteers.

2. Laurel Bicycle Club

LBC is committed to promoting the activity of biking, as well as the benefits to one’s quality of life. They also work towards furthering public knowledge and awareness of the bicyclist’s needs, rights, and responsibilities. They have numerous regular events throughout St. Woodbridge.

3. Ct Mountain Bike Sports League

This is a group that provides a centralized place to increase mountain biking and rider presence throughout CT. Sharing tips, tricks, and trails, this is a fantastic group operating throughout the seasons.

4. Southern Connecticut Cycle Club

The SCCC is a cyclist club with a focus on fun. With rides ranging from gentle social rides to advanced training rides. These cyclists are cycling for causes. With a regular event, autism, which raises funds for autism awareness and donations for the SARAH Foundation.

5. Sound Cyclists Bicycle Club

Mountain Biking in Connecticut – the Best Views Seen by Bike Trails!

Located in Fairfield County, CT, this club is meant to bring cyclists together. The SCBC provides a safe, fun, and social atmosphere for bicycle riders of all skill levels. Throughout the years, they schedule off-road riders that use mountain bikes due to the rough terrain.

6. Eastern Bloc Cycling Club

This is a cycling group based in Connecticut, providing a wonderful place to connect with other riders and increase overall cycling skills and knowledge. EBCC is always encouraging and welcoming new and returning bike members.

7. Pequot Cyclists

Based in the town of New London County, CT, this is a club that promotes the overall health benefits of bicycling. This Pequot cyclist club is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based bicycling club founded in southeastern Connecticut. They promote healthy lifestyles by promoting recreational activity and a budding bicycling community.

8. New Haven Bicycling Club

In New Haven, CT, this group consists of a unique and diverse group of cyclists dedicated to the lifestyle on two wheels. These individuals are all cycling enthusiasts, daily commutes or cycling racers.

9. Simsbury Bike

Simsbury bike is based in well, Simsbury. This group is dedicated to increasing safety and accessibility to biking and walking trails; this has gained a great deal of traction as Simsbury is a bicycle-friendly community.

10. Connecticut Nimbi Chapters

This New England Mountain Biking Association ( NEMBA Trusted Source About NEMBA | New England Mountain Bike Association NEMBA, a community of mountain bikers committed to creating epic riding experiences, preserving open space, and guiding the future of mountain biking in New England. www.nemba.org ) is one of the largest groups in the state. On their website, you’re able to find information on countless trails throughout Connecticut and find a riding buddy ranging from new riders to professional mountain terrain bikers.

11. Friends of Mianus River Park

For those local to the area or planning to visit the Greenwich area, this is a wonderful local club. This nonprofit organization is run by an all-volunteer team to sustain and protect the Mianus river park.

12. Single-Tracks of Rockland

This is a club that prides itself on maintaining and promoting the local trails around its community. The Single Track of Rockland is a determined group of bicyclists. Even though it’s much smaller than the NEMBA chapters, its quality club that’s focused on maintaining a set of trails in the Rockland preserve.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of what you’re looking for in a mountain biking trail, Connecticut has you covered. The state of Connecticut has many options for you to choose from. You don’t only have to choose one.

Drink a cup of hot cocoa at the ridge side tavern after a long day of biking at the powder ridge mountain park & resort. Watch the sunset descend into artwork in the sky in Pequannock River valley state park on top of your mountain terrain bike! Ride through a dense pine forest, forgetting all your troubles as you breathe in the scent of pine!

Are you looking for even more trails to bike along? Check out the trail map to find everything from paved baths to bike lanes to even unimproved rural paths. Mountain biking in CT is a wonderful adventure with an enormous number of choices.

References

1.
Appalachian Mountains | Definition, Map, Location, Trail, & Facts | Britannica
Appalachian Mountains, North American highland system that extends for almost 2,000 miles from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador to central Alabama in the United States, forming a natural barrier between the eastern Coastal Plain and the vast Interior Lowlands of North America.
2.
About IMBA | IMBA
We create, enhance and protect great places to ride mountain bikes by partnering with communities on more trails close to home.
3.
About NEMBA | New England Mountain Bike Association
NEMBA, a community of mountain bikers committed to creating epic riding experiences, preserving open space, and guiding the future of mountain biking in New England.
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