This is our original and largest public mountain biking network, and can be accessed from both the Ascutney Outdoors Center and Town Forest trailheads. This network consists of about 35 miles of trails for non-motorized recreational use, located at the base and western flank of Mt. Ascutney. Below are some suggested loops and notes as to what’ll find out on the trails. A note to the stronger rider: you can access each of the following areas from either trailhead and make a day of it, traversing across the mountainside and back. Good times!
Ascutney Outdoors Center
Trails from the AOC offer riding for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders with primarily single-track terrain: switchback climbs, bridges and boardwalks, technical rock features and cruisy mountain traverses. This is the only trailhead that offers ebike access.
From here you can easily access the ‘Streets of NYC’ and ‘Gracie’s’ hillsides. Although virtually every trail in this network is rideable in both directions, the best uphill routes from this area are either up Lou’s Loop to Broadway (for the intermediate to advanced), or up Wind Up (for the beginner to intermediate rider). From the top of the climb you can begin your traverse West towards Gracie’s Loop and all the fun trails on that hillside. Drop down for some flow on Falls From Grace, Just Smile or Sluice and continue West via The Falls to the top of Mile Long Field to enjoy the views from the picnic tables and contemplate your further riding options.
Town Forest Trailhead
This trailhead provides an information kiosk, porta john, changing area, and much smaller parking area than Ascutney Outdoor Center. Riding from here is better suited to intermediate, advanced and expert riders and offers a variety of primarily single-track terrain: rock gardens, rollers, bridges, up and down through forest glades, bermed flow trails, and some ‘old school’ technical sections.
You can cruise easily over to the same Mile Long Field vantage point and picnic tables mentioned above by making your way up Cloud Climber and flow down Nimbus. The Cloud Climber route can also be used to access spectacular options once you’ve gained some altitude. For a central lap, follow Cloud Climber all the way to the top and descend twisty-techy Pass the Buck. Alternately, head further West over to Paradise Hill (truly its namesake) via technical connector trail Lynx and hit some wild features along the way. Either way, intermediate, advanced and expert riders are in for a treat over here! For those ready to challenge their nerves and endurance, the RidgeBack/South Ridge Run loop is a gem!
Mountainside Drive Trailhead
Here you’ll find a small (and we mean small!) parking area to allow for quick and easy access to the privately-owned Mile Long Field and Mountain View Loop. Cross over the bridge to stroll, run or ride up the expansive Mile Long Field, allowing for easy access to the central section of the Ascutney Trails network suited to beginner & intermediate riders. The field is also perfect for those looking for a gentle walk or hike with a rewarding view from the top of the field across the West Windsor valley.
Swoops and Loops
This trailhead provides an information kiosk and a small roadside parking area. The 3.5-mile trail network here is novice and kid-friendly, though intermediate-enjoyable with single and double-track terrain: flat and gently undulating through the woods, bridges and boardwalks, switchbacks, dirt rollers and one big hill to challenge all skill levels. This gem that was built specifically for the beginner/never-ever rider to hone their skills. The reality is, this fun and fast loop will create challenges for the most experienced riders as you build speed and endurance. This trail can be high-traffic, so we ask that you please be courteous to everyone on this popular little trail.
Additionally, this parking area is a back side access point to the Weathersfield Town Forest which has an excellent double track trail-running loop with plans for future MTB trails. Access through the gate just south-east of the state park entrance before the interstate bridge.
Weathersfield Town Forest
Currently this is open as a several-mile double track loop on rolling terrain and is very popular for trail runners. But wait! Plans are in the works and energy is high to create some multi-level mountain bike trails in this beautiful setting. This area will also begin the route to the south side of the mountain along the future ‘ATA Tour Route’ around the mountain.