9 Exceptional Mountain Biking Locales, Including Arcadia Management Area, Hope Valley, Rhode Island

Mountain Biking Rhode IslandSituated on the western part of the state, the 13,817-acre Arcadia attracts bikers from as far as Boston and New Haven. Over thirty miles of singletracks, doubletracks, and dirt roads snake through the forest. Hop on your bike and dip into a shaded thicket of pine, beech, and oak trees. You’ll quickly learn that this rural section of Rhode Island near the Connecticut border does indeed have hills. Ride along streams, pass forgotten fishing holes, eventually making your way to the yellow-blazed trail in the far right hand corner of the park that lines Breakheart Pond. Then get lost on a web of trails that branch off like spokes on a wheel. That’s the beauty about mountain biking at a place like Arcadia. Unlike road biking, where you always seem to be staring at a map or have that annoying car on your tail, mountain biking offers a liberating feeling of spontaneity. Here, you’re free to wander with rarely another biker in sight and the only obstacle, the occasional horseback rider. All the while, smelling the pines and listening to birds.

This entry is excerpted from my latest book, New England in a Nutshell. The book/ebook is slated to published tomorrow, July 2nd, and you can pre-order now at Amazon or at the independent bookstore, Northshire, located in Manchester Center, Vermont and Saratoga, New York. The ebook includes all hyperlinks to listings. The paperback includes front and back cover illustrations from Manhattan-based artist, Sarah Schechter, and a small sampling of photos from Lisa Leavitt, who accompanied me on many of my assignments, resulting in published work for the Boston Globe.