Arcadia Management Area, Hope Valley, R.I.
Situated in the western part of the state, the 13,817-acre Arcadia attracts bikers from as far as Boston and New Haven. Over 30 miles of single tracks, double tracks, 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 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 that car on your tail, mountain biking offers a feeling of spontaneity. Here, you’re free to wander with rarely another biker in sight and the only obstacle an occasional horseback rider. All the while, smelling the pines and listening to birds. www.riparks.com.