Mountain Biking in Mt. Washington Valley - from the mouth of Pro Rider, Brice Shirbach, “…North Conway, New Hampshire is home to the best trails on the east coast.” Come find out why!
Groups and non-profits like Upper Saco Valley Land Trust (USVLT), Tin Mountain Conservation Center, Ride NoCo preserve, build, and maintain trails that visitors can bookmark for mountain biking.
Redstone Preserve is a multi-use parcel of land that serves bikers, hikers, neighborhood dog-walkers and snowmobilers. It’s preserved by USVLT, and accessed from Hemlock Lane, just behind the Wal-Mart in downtown North Conway, NH. Users of the trail will also come across remnants of the Redstone Quarry - a nod to the history of granite miners from the late 1800’s. The land also abuts The Nature Conservancy’s Green Hills Preserve, another protected area for outdoor recreation.
The Green Hills Preserve is a parcel of protected land located on Thompson Road in North Conway. It’s home to trails that take you up to Middle and Peaked Mountains, as well as trails that connect hikers to Black Cap Mountain at the top of Hurricane Mountain Road. Mountain bikers can also find a slew of trails in this preserve that are maintained by White Mountains NEMBA.
One of its sanctuaries, the Tin Mountain Timberlands, also known by the name "East Bear Paw," this trail network appeals to mountain bikers looking for trails to ride. It can be found off of Route 302 by the Conway, NH/Fryeburg, ME state lines. Known formerly as the Bear Paw lands bikers will find a logging road that splits off into a mountain biking single-track trail network that offers a variety of biking for different abilities. A walking path exists at the end of the logging road, that is only open to those making their way by foot. Motorized vehicles and e-bikes are not allowed on the path.
Travel to Mt. Washington Valley with your bike or rent one from outfitter such as Gorham Bike and Ski, Bob and Terry's, REI North Conway or Stan and Dan Sports- (who also hosts a weekly group mountain biking ride). You can rent, or buy bikes, and learn more about accessible trails from their friendly staff.
For more contained and closed-loop riding, plan a day at the Mountain Bike parks found at Cranmore Mountain, and Bretton Woods, and Mountain Bike trails at Great Glen Trails. Opening seasons typically start in May, and run through October.
Learn more from Pro Rider, Brice Shirbach's 2020 visit to Mountain Bike in North Conway, and his take on some of the area’s best trails for all abilities, and insight into why the locals love to ride here.
There's a lot to see by the seat of a road bike!
Cyclists who plan to pack their bike for their Mt. Washington Valley vacation should consider joining the Mount Washington Valley Bicycling Club for access to its guided rides. Hosted regularly throughout biking season to its members this group welcomes riders to join its rides for a local’s perspective on where to ride in the valley.
By joining you’ll find new routes to ride the next time you visit the valley, that take you from Fryeburg to Conway, and up to Gorham, NH by following a network of roads that provides rolling hills, steep elevation climb, or casual rides that keep a pace that would allow you to carry a conversation are also offered.
For a family of riders looking for a track that is contained, and away from traffic, Fryeburg, Maine offers the Mountain Division Trail. This eight-mile paved path runs from the Visitor Center, just minutes from the NH state line on route 302. It’s relatively flat, with only two small inclines that present shortly after leaving the visitor center. This is a perfect trail for a group with small children, a family with varied ages and abilities, and individuals looking fora very leisurely ride.
Mt. Washington Valley is full of cycling enthusiasts. While support and stoke for the sport is high, it's important to be mindful of ever-present danger when road biking. Some places are better than others when road biking in the North Conway area, and beyond. North South Road and West Side Road to River Road, both in North Conway, NH, and Haley Town Road in Fryeburg, Maine, offer common ground between long rides and safer road conditions.
Also stay tuned for the completion of the North Conway Recreation Path, developed by the MWV Rec Path. This 2.9 mile path will be paved, multi-purpose and accessible to walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and provide connections to the Pudding Pond and Sticks & Stones trailheads for hiking and mountain biking. Completion is slated for summer of 2023.
Avid road bike riders and competitive sports enthusiasts can challenge themselves to an array of competitive events focused on challenging hill climbs and long distances throughout the valley; many of which support fundraising efforts for valley non-profits.
Crank the Kanc is a timed trial 21.3 mile race on the Kancamagus Highway. It’s presented by the Mount Washington Valley Bicycling Club and Kennett High School Mountain Biking Team.
Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hill Climb in support of Tin Mountain Conservation Center. Cyclists climb the 7.6 mile road up Mount Washington and face elevation gain of over 4,000 feet.