Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Burlingame State Management Area

75 Burlingame State Park Rd
Charlestown  Rhode Island  02813
United States

Easy

25%

Moderate

60%

Difficult

15%

Description

Burlingame State Park is located on Prosser Trail Rd just off of US Route 1 in Charlestown, RI. Free year round parking is easy to find, and the trails are a short ride from the Picnic Area parking lot. Additionally, the adjoining Burlingame Campground is a well known and popular campground if you feel like staying over. The campground is open from April 15th until October 31st, every year. The park offers about 17 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails, some of which include parts of the North South Trail. There is also a 5 mile loop of mostly doubletrack hills directly accessible on the north, in the Burlingame Management Area.

The 8-mile Yellow Dot Trail/Vin Gormley Trail (also the King of Burlingame race loop) winds around Watchaug Pond. The trail is accessed by riding either north or west out of the parking lot for about a mile up the road. It is the standard loop that most local riders know, and it is a fast rolling loop with some short technical climbs and a few rock fields. While there are a good amount of roots showing, fast and smooth-rolling stretches dominate the scene. The skill level on the Wednesday evening ride there is advertised as “Advanced Beginner”, and that assessment is accurate, as long as you stay on that loop. It is a fun trail to get out on and hammer away. The rock fields are a challenge for most, but it is generally a fast loop that even the roadies ride on those frigid winter days. I love being able to keep up with them for a change!

However, once you stray from the main, Yellow Dot loop, there are a couple of really fun intermediate and advanced trails. Starting with the intermediate; the “Wildlife Loop” starts in the southeast corner of the campground (riding west out of the parking lot), and skirts the park’s southern side. It is a swoopy, twisty couple of miles with some fast, high “G” curves and a couple of short, technical climbs. This trail eventually picks up the North/South Trail and heads into the Yellow Dot Trail. It has a few tricky left and right turns and is difficult to navigate without a guide for the first few rides. If the Yellow Dot loop is Mickey Mouse’s round face, then the Wildlife Loop is his left ear. That said, when you start from the Wildlife loop (going clockwise), you merge with the Yellow Dot and ride across Mickey’s forehead. You can then opt to pick up Mickey’s right ear. That is where the fun really begins.

This Mickey is like the one my 2 year old might draw, with a slightly oversized, angular right ear. The trail you now pick up is called the Sammy C trail. It treads to the east on the north side of the park and jogs south near the northeast corner, finally spitting you out near Mickey’s lower right cheek. It is relatively new, and only a couple of miles long, but offers by far the gnarliest riding in Southern Rhode Island.

Short, rough, rocky climbs are punctuated by death-grip, bumpy, babyhead studded descents. Anaerobic fiends will cackle on this trail as they wheeze up the steep rock and tree studded climbs, through jersey tearing twisties and down surprising, clunking drops. They’re usually left wishing they brought that second water bottle. There are a few low spots that can get pretty swampy, but they only add to the variety. This trail features climbs that you will not make the first, second, third, or possibly even the hundredth time on this trail. Seldom does a two-mile section rip you like this one does. It is always a challenge and it is always fun.

The Wednesday evening ride is probably the best way to get familiar with the terrain. It is pretty easy to learn the loops by looking at the map a few times before and after a guided ride. There is a good map available at the local shops, but it doesn’t show the newer, gnarlier stuff. There are GPS maps at crankfire.com and rinemba.org, as well.

After all that fun, a couple of miles up Route 1 north, on the south side of the road, is The Cove restaurant for a good burger and a Sammy’s. The towns of Wakefield and Westerly are located fifteen minutes up or down Route 1. They offer all the choices you would expect; Asian, Italian, Inn fare, etc. Beer geeks should be sure to make a trip to the Mews Tavern in Wakefield for your choice of 69 beers on tap. W.E. Stedman & Co. Read more about Burlingame State Management Area

Local Shops

Blackstone Bicycles

East Providence Cycle

Links to Relevant Resources

Local Eats

Cove Restaurant

Rhode Island

Big River / Carr Pond

100 New London Turnpike
West Greenwich  Rhode Island  02817
United States

Easy

25%

Moderate

55%

Difficult

20%

Description

Big River is a large tract (8600 acres) of land governed by Water Resources Board and located mainly in West Greenwich near exit 6, 6a & 7 along interstate 95 (south side of the highway from Amgen). It was aquired to build a reservoir many years ago but the project was never really started. Currently the north side (not shown in the maps below) is being considered for a well field to add to the local water system. The south side of BR and Carr Pond area hold a laborinth of trails mostly made over decades by the motorcycles and interwoven with old farmer and logging roads.

Around every Earth Day over the past several years (a weekend in April) a sizable group of NEMBAites and other environmental minded groups get together to help clean some of the rubbish out of Big River. 2008 turned out 100 volunteers filling 8 dumpsters with mostly historic trash from old homesteads deep in the woods, abondoned cars and tire dumps. Here’s a short film of our 2013 efforts (80 volunteers/3 hours/3 dumpsters)
When the use guidelines were written for Big River mountain biking did not exist. In early 2010 mountain biking in Big River was made legal through a bill in the house spearheaded by Representative Ray Sullivan. New use guidelines are being drafted that will likely be similar to Arcadia for riding in Big River.

We continue to take a proactive approach working with the WRB on projects like the cleanup.
Many people consider Big River to be the one of the best places to ride in the State. Give Big River a try and decide for yourself.


Parking:
Most people park in the Park and Ride lot just south of Exit 7 from Route 95  in West Greenwich. Read more about Big River / Carr Pond

Local Shops

Blackstone Bicycles

Wayfarer Bicycle

Links to Relevant Resources

Rhode Island

Arcadia Management Area

321 Arcadia Rd
Exeter  Rhode Island  02822
United States

Easy

35%

Moderate

35%

Difficult

30%

Description

If you referred to the Arcadia Management Area in southwestern Rhode Island as "Singletrack Central", everyone in Rhode Island would know exactly where you were talking about. Arcadia's more than 14,000 acres contain a dizzying amount of singletrack.

 

My mountain bike introduction to this area came more than 25 years ago on an EFTA race. The course consisted of a 25 mile loop, almost all of which was singletrack, and none of which was boring.

 

Since then, I've returned many times for other RI NEMBA EFTA/NEMBA events as well as for a lot of map and compass type exploring. After more than 25 years you might think that I'd ridden on every trail that there is. But I'm constantly surprising myself. I'll be riding a selection of my "favorite" trails, when I'll see an unfamiliar singletrack leading off to the right or the left. Following it leads to another. And that leads to another. Until I get back to something familiar, am done riding for the day, or get so lost that I need my map to get me "found". What fun!

 

Arcadia is bisected east to west by route 165. There are a number of good parking spots along route 165, all with immediate access to the trails. (Please avoid parking at the white church on Sundays.) The main parking lot is located on your right about ½ mile west of the White Church. The Browning Mill Pond parking area, located about 1 mile south of route 165 on Arcadia Road, is a good spot to access the southernmost portions of the trail network. And the pond is a great place to cool off in after a hot summer ride.


It will take you more than a few days to ride all of the trails in Arcadia. Probably the best way to begin exploring is to divide up your efforts by spending a day north of route 165 and another south of it.

 

Arcadia's singletracks are a gas to ride. Ranging from mildly to massively challenging, they meander all over Arcadia in a confusing but uncongested manner. There's not a lot of elevation change in Arcadia as a whole. But you will find yourself challenged by a lot of short ups and downs as the singletracks wander over and among drumlins and eskers.

 

The Mt Tom trail starts on route 165 and heads south. It's an extremely technical trail that follows an exposed stone ridgetop for about a quarter of a mile. It's among the most technical of trail sections in Arcadia. And choosing the correct lines will require a lot of thought. It's really fun but not for the novice rider. Most of Arcadia 's trails though, are suitable for the majority of riders.

 

Freeriders will also love Arcadia's "Ledges Area" It's located in the western part of the management area, north of route 165 near Mt Tom. The ledge's trails were created years ago by trials motorcyclists who wanted more challenging terrain to ride on. And in a relatively small area you'll find trails that will rival the best that Vietnam or the Lynn Woods has to offer. No maps exist of these very convoluted trails. But you'll have no trouble figuring out where you are once you get there.

 

In addition to about 40 miles of singletrack, Arcadia has quite a few old woods roads and many miles of graded dirt roads. And many of these lead out of the Arcadia Management Area.

 

What would otherwise be total confusion can avoided by getting a good map. The map provided by the state at the Arcadia Management Area's headquarters doesn't show most of Arcadia's singletracks. Don't expect signage or much in the way of trail labeling. There are a few trails marked out with different colored blazes on trees. For example: The 6 mile Arcadia Trail, the 5 mile Breakheart Trail and the 9.6 mile Tippecansett Trail all are marked with yellow dots. In addition there are white and blue dot trails. I hope that this sounds confusing to you. Because, hey, without a good map, or a guide, you're going to be lost.

Check out the new map produced by Great Swamp Press. It has everything and is printed on Tyvek so it's pretty indestructible. Most of the local bike shops have copies.

Whether your introduction to Arcadia was through an RI NEMBA EFTA/NEMBA fun ride, following friends through the woods or by personal exploration you will return. Singletrack Central RI is too attractive to sample only once.

RI NEMBA Has a great description of the Arcadia Management Area on it's website. 


Directions:
To get there take exit 5A from route 95. Go one mile on route 102 to route 3 south. After a mile bear right on rt. 165 south until you pass Arcadia Road on your left. You are now in the Arcadia Management Area. Turn left on Arcadia Road to find the Browning Mill Pond parking area. Headquarters is located about 1 mile past Browning Mill Pond. For more information call the Arcadia Wildlife Management Agency at 401 539-2356.

 

Cautions: During the hunting seasons everyone is required to wear 200 inches of blaze orange.

 

By Bill Boles Read more about Arcadia Management Area

Local Shops

East Providence Cycles

Blackstone Bicycles

Wayfarer Bicycle

Links to Relevant Resources

Rhode Island

RI NEMBA began in August of 1997 when about 30 concerned mountain bikers met at a local bike shop to discuss what we needed to do to keep our favorite trails in Arcadia Management Area open. We organized and created a unified voice for RI mountain bikers. Over time we have developed positive relationships with the Arcadia land managers and other trail user groups. We also do a lot of riding and stewardship in the Big River, Burlingame and Lincoln Woods.

In addtion to many weekly trail rides, we host larger EFTA/NEMBA Fun Rides in various parks throughout the season. Come ride with us (making sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season), and join us so that we can promote Rhode Island mountain biking.

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