The Monadnock Region is home to some of the best bike trails in New Hampshire. Whether you’re lucky enough to live in the area or are taking in the amazing views while touring through, you’ve come to the right place! From beginner and kid-friendly trails to moderate and advanced rides, this is a list of our picks for the top 6 bike trails in the Monadnock Region.
Monadnock Recreational Rail Trail
Stretching almost 8 miles from Jaffery to Rindge’s southern border with Winchendon Massachusetts, the Monadnock Recreational Rail Trail is one of the best scenic bike rides in Southern New Hampshire. The landscape includes forests, wetlands, and a breathtaking view of Mt. Monadnock, one of the most climbed mountains in the world.
Pisgah State Park
Pisgah State Park spreads across 13,000 acres of forested terrain in Chesterfield, Hinsdale, and Winchester. In fact, it’s the largest parcel of land in the New Hampshire Park System. It hosts a network of loops, out-and-back routes, and multi-use woods roads ranging from easy to challenging. Pisgah has something for every skill level.
Ashuelot Recreational Rail Trail and Fort Hill Recreational Rail Trail
The Ashuelot Recreational Rail Trail runs over 20 miles along the Ashuelot River through Keene, Swanzey, Winchester, and Hinsdale. You’ll encounter iconic covered bridges, original granite train mile markers, and keep an eye out for moose.
If you want to extend your ride, the Fort Hill Recreational Rail Trail picks up at the southern end. At the Hinsdale terminus, cross the street to continue on the Fort Hill route. This 7-mile, one-way trail brings you to an old railroad bridge spanning the Connecticut River. The unmaintained bridge is not safe to cross over into Brattleboro, Vermont. But it’s an epic place to take in the view.
Peterborough Rail Trail
The Peterborough Rail Trail is divided into two sections, totaling almost 9 miles, intersecting at Route 202. Both legs have mostly flat terrain, the Old Railroad Trail to the north and the Common Pathway extending to the south.
The Common Pathway follows the Contoocook River corridor 6.5 miles through Peterborough to Noone Falls, including some paved sections. One detail we don’t love: parts of the trail require riding on roads and navigating traffic. But the enjoyable ride between may be enough to make it worth it.
The Old Railroad Trail leads north along the river and through forests on hard-packed trails to Hancock. A bonus option is to follow a side trail to the Hancock-Greenfield Covered Bridge, another classic Granite State locale.
Cheshire Recreational Rail Trail Plus Stonewall Farm
One of the longest rail trails in New Hampshire, the Cheshire Recreational Rail Trail reaches from Fitzwilliam to Walpole, tracing through Troy, Marlborough, Keene, and Westmoreland along the way. Once individual southern and northern legs, they are now linked with the Historic Industrial Trail through downtown Keene for a continuous 42-mile route.
Just off the rail trail in Keene, mountain bikers will find a network of singletrack trails at Stonewall Farm. Stonewall is a working educational farm, open to the public and free, but consider supporting them and leaving a donation. Restrooms are available, and be sure to stop in for some farm-fresh ice cream.
Drummer Hill/Goose Pond
Want to get a little more technical? This is known as one of the most compelling and expansive singletrack areas in the region. A significant portion of this mountain bike trek has a typical trail of about shoulder-width, though some is doubletrack. Both require the ability to navigate roots, rocks, and other natural challenges.
In summer, you may find other cyclists taking a dip in Goose Pond after an energetic ride. And in winter, don’t hesitate to hit the trail with other fat bike enthusiasts. A cross-country gem for dedicated mountain bikers, riders with experience will likely come to call this a favorite.
Heads up that these trails are used year-round for biking, hiking, and everything in between. So be ready to share the trail and download a map before heading out. While some sections are well-marked, others have been reported as short on blazes. But with a well-planned route and a dose of adrenaline, you’ll definitely enjoy putting your skills to the test here.
With so many excellent rides in our neck of the woods, we had a hard time narrowing down our picks for top trails! These are just some of our favorite bike rides in the Monadnock Region.
Before you head out, stop by LBS Norm’s Ski and Bike Shop to check out our awesome collection of bikes and gear. Whether you need a tune-up or a new bike and accessories, we’ve got you covered. While you’re here, ask our friendly team for more recommendations on favorite bike trails in the area.