Special Features : Best Summer Bike Rides: Bikes and Beaches Mountain Biking Trails in Southern New England
Mountain bike and rail trails for some of the best summer biking in Southern New England including Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Bike, then go for a swim on a picturesque barrier beach, in a crystal clear pond surrounded by pine forest or bask in the spray from a sparkling waterfall.
Keep your cool while biking on the trails this summer. Summer cycling tips
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Bikes and Beaches Mountain Biking Trails in Connecticut
Wadsworth Falls State Park
During your mountain bike ride make it a point to stop and cool off in the mist of Wadsworth Falls, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Connecticut. Swimming is not allowed in this area of the park, but the trail system at Wadsworth Falls State Park connects the swimming pool and picnic area with the waterfalls. The pool is a saucer-shaped basin hollowed out of the level plain. The water is pumped from a series of inter-connected wells near the Coginchaug River and directed into the pool, creating a circulating effect. Facilities include restrooms and drinking water.
Pachaug State Forest
Pachaug State Forest offer miles mountain biking opportunities on a network of single and doubletrack trails and dirt fire roads. After your mountain bike ride, head for the man-made Green Falls Reservoir on the Green Falls River. The shoreline is undeveloped but it is a very scenic spot and the clear water is perfect for a post ride swim. A guarded swimming area is located on the southern shore of the Reservoir adjacent to the boat launch and camping area. Facilities also include hiking, and picnicking. A fee is charged on weekends and holidays.
Nearby Hopeville Pond State Park which adjoins Pachaug State Forest is noted for it's glacial geologic features and a serene lake surrounded by cool pine forest. The beach is located at the 80 site wooded campground. Facilities include restrooms with flush toilets, changing houses, drinking water, a boat launch and concession.
Nepaug State Forest
Head for Nepaug State Forest for a combined mountain bike and river tubing outdoor adventure filled day or weekend trip. It is even more fun with a group of friends. Start early and mountain bike on the small, scenic forest's mix of dirt roads and challenging singletrack trails. After the ride, head for Satan's Kingdom State Recreation Area just down the road for a refreshing river tubing run down a 2.5 mile stretch of the Farmington River. It's a quiet, relaxing float for the most part, the highlight being the Satans Kingdom Gorge
rapids which will certainly wake you up from your reverie! Lifeguards are on duty where the water is turbulent. There are local outfitters who rent tubes and provide shuttle service to and from
You must be at least 10 years old, at least 4'5" tall, and you need to know how to swim. The current is very strong in places.
Bluff Point State Park
Mountain biking at Bluff Point State Park Coastal Reserve in Groton, Connecticut is a unique experience as you ride along the main gravel trail along the Pequonnock River which juts out into the Long Island Sound. The trail leads to picturesque Bluff Point Beach and rocky Bushy Point. This is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the views across the Long Island Sound. The kids just love to explore among the rocks and discover fantastic hidden sea creatures.
Bikes and Beaches Mountain Biking Trails in Massachusetts
Nickerson State Park / Cape Cod Rail Trail & National Seashore Bike Trail System : Southeast Region
Nickerson State Park offers a totally different experience than what you would expect on Cape Cod. Swimming here is in “kettle” ponds, surrounded by piney woodlands. These crystal clear freshwater ponds are not fed by rivers or streams but, were formed by the retreat of glaciers during the last ice age. There is a sandy beach at Flax Pond (pictured above right) where you can swim or paddle. Facilities include a campground (yurts available) with showers, picnic area and restrooms. You may also be able to swim at Cliff and Higgins Ponds (no lifeguard).
From Nickerson State Park you can link up with the 25 mile Cape Cod Rail Trail and/or the Cape Cod National Seashore Bike Trail System for miles of riding. There are many opportunities to get right off the trail and visit a beach. Many services are available along the trail, in nearby towns and at beaches.
A sampling of some good spots for beachcombing, sunbathing and ocean swimming are:
- LeCount Hollow Beach (Wellfleet)
- Marconi Beach (National Seashore Headquarters and Marconi Area)
- Nauset Light and Coast Guard Beach (Eastham)
- There are other beaches on Nantucket Sound to the south and on Cape Cod Bay.
Manuel Correllus State Forest : Southeast Region
Manuel Correllus State Forest occupies over 5,100 acres in the heart of Martha's Vineyard. The 40 mile network of trails that crisscross the forest are so extensive it is possible to bike and not see anyone else for hours. After your ride, head for the beach.
- Norton Point : Three miles of barrier beach on the south shore in Edgartown at the end of Katama Road. Surf on one side with protected salt pond on the other.
- Fuller Street Beach : At the end of Fuller Street near Lighthouse Beach in Edgartown.
- Joseph Sylvia State Beach : (pictured top right) Two miles of mild beach along Beach Road between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. The Edgartown end of this beach is known as Bend-in-the-Road Beach. Edgartown has lifeguards in season.
- Lighthouse Beach : A harbor beach at Starbuck's Neck, off N. Water Street near the center of Edgartown.
- South Beach State Park : One mile between Herring Creek Road and Katama Road. Rough surf, lifeguards in season
Beartown State Forest : Berkshires Region
The Berkshires offer an abundance of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds for recreational use. During the summer months, pristine 35-acre Benedict Pond in Beartown State Forest attracts swimmers and boaters. Its sandy beach and beautiful forested setting make it a great place to unwind and get wet after a day on the trails. The pond is located just inside the main entrance to the forest and facilities include a campground, picnic area and restrooms.
Marblehead Rail Trail : Northeast Region
Pack your swimsuit for this 5-mile spin on the Marblehead Rail Trail affectionately known as “The Path”! The ride winds through picturesque seaside communities on the way from Marblehead to Swampscott, ending up near the water’s edge. The scenic, rocky coastline is studded with beaches overlooking Marblehead Harbor. One small, but somewhat famous beach is called Singing Sand Beach. Dragging your bare feet on the dry sand will cause it to “sing”, or make a humming sound. Other beaches include Crowninshield (Brown’s) Island and Devereux Beach, the largest public beach in the area with lifeguards and numerous services.
Otter River State Forest / Birch Hill Management Area : Pioneer Valley Region
This beautiful area of north central Massachusetts is home to the popular Otter River day-use facility, centered on Beamon Pond ( near the main entrance). It includes a campground (yurts available) with restrooms and showers, picnic areas and a designated swimming beach. To the north is the larger Lake Dennison Recreation Area. It also has a campground, picnic area and lifeguarded swimming beach. It is adjacent to the more than 50 miles of mountain bike trails in the Birch Hill Wildlife Management Area.
Bikes and Beaches Mountain Biking Trails in Rhode Island
Block island : Block Island Region
What better way to complement a Block Island Bicycle Tour than to relax on one of the island's many pristine beaches. Each is unique. Some are best for basking in the sun and admiring ocean views, others are ideal for swimming and body surfing or exploring among cobbled shores to discover fantastic sea creatures hidden among the rocks. Whether you are looking for a beach ideal for the whole family with all amenities nearby, or a more secluded beach experience, over 17 miles of pristine sandy beaches gives you lots of bike to the beach options.
Some of the popular beaches around the Island are: Fred Benson Town Beach (also known as Crescent Beach), Ballards Beach, Clay Head Beach, Mansion Beach, Charleston Beach and Scotch Beach.
See Block Island Bicycle Tour for detailed information, directions and route descriptions.
George Washington Management Area : Blackstone River Valley Region
The 3,500 acre George Washington Management Area is located in Rhode Island’s remote northwest upland region. Because most of the people venturing to the park are locals, don’t anticipate crowds here, even on summer weekends. Whether cruising the easy woods roads or tackling more challenging singletrack, rest and relaxation await at 225 acre Bowdish Reservoir. There is a swimming beach, 45 site campground with minimal facilities and picnic area. This is the perfect place for a refreshing swim or leisurely paddle by canoe or kayak (no rentals).
East Bay Bike Path : Newport - East Bay Region
The paved East Bay Bike Path travels along the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay for 14.5 miles from Independence Park in Bristol to East Providence, linking the towns of Warren, Barrington and Riverside. There are about 35 designated shoreline public access points. Some lead to town beaches ideal for wading and swimming, others offer benches at ideal spots for boat and birdwatching as well as scenic views of the Harbor. For more details see East Bay Bike Path