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Cockaponset State Forest

Cockaponset State Forest is a 15,600 acre forest that extends across several Connecticut towns. Early in the 20th century, this forest was alive with agricultural development and many forest rangers. Today, there are very few rangers and the forest is only used for recreational purposes. Because the trails are not extensively used by hikers, all of the trails have been opened to mountain bikers in order to help attract visitors to the forest. On any given day, you will be lucky to encounter more than five other riders.

There is no access fee, there are no facilities and there is no waste disposal.

This forest has biking trails for all levels of riders. There is a network of dirt roads that wind through the forest. Off the dirt roads are some 30-plus miles of tight technical singetrack. The terrain varies from hard packed dirt to very challenging rock gardens. The trails are well marked and in great riding condition. You are best off exploring the trails with someone who is familiar with them because it is very easy to get lost in this vast network of trails.

Cockaponset is ripe with rock gardens, stream crossings, ladder bridges, logs and some off camber trails. There are a few short technical climbs that make you work a little, but the climbs are not very difficult. During your ride, you will cross a few dirt roads. When you encounter a dirt road, simply ride for a bit along the road and you will come across more singletrack. Cockaponset has arguably the best XC riding Connecticut has to offer. There is not much here in the way of freeriding, but there are a few natural obstacles for you can play on.

The Haddam trails found in the Southern region of the forest, surrounding Pattaconk Lake, found off the Chester exit of Route 9:
From the parking area, following the blue trails will give you a good ride. Start by riding up the access road and the trail is to the right, immediately before the first gate you see (the gate is very close to the parking area). Follow the singletrack for about 50 yards and take your first left. This will take you into a short climb that will get your legs warmed up. At the top of the climb, go right. This trail will take you deep into the forest. You will encounter numerous forks on the trail that take you in many different directions. If you can not ride with someone who knows the system, your best bet is to take a day and go exploring. You can easily spend the better part of a day exploring Cockaponset.
Trail Location
Haddam, CT

Something for Everyone

Milage of trails

There are dirt roads and doubletrack for beginner riders, singletrack, rock gardens, technical climbs, logs and streams for the more advanced and some Technical singletrack, rock gardens, technical climbs, logs and streams. This place also has some of the best XC riding in the state of Connecticut.

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Cockaponset State Forest
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Cockaponset State Forest

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