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Bear Brook State Park

dlague

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I have never been to Bear Brook State park for mountain biking - only snowmobiling years ago. However, wanted to get out with my family on Father's Day and my older son picked the location. Now we did not do the most technical trails but we did get in out share of hill climbs, natural stair cases (roots and rocks), switchbacks. We started on One Mile Trail which is a double track which seems easy but do not let it fool you. There was a lot of sandy spots and some down hill sections with loose rocks - not that it was hard but it was not just a ride in the park! We came upon Cascade trail which looks fine on the map but it is a single track the climbs and climbs. We then bailed on that trail since our older son said it would get much harder - not that it is bad but it was our first real venture out. My 12 year old son graduated from a 24" to a 26" so we cut him a break. we fond an unmarked trail and followed it back down which turned out to be a nice single track with tight turns that sneak up on you.

Next we went on Bear Brook Upper which is a very cool trail which parallels the parks namesake. This trail tuns in to a narrow ridge style trail that is fun to ride. About mid way we started doing some hill climbs loaded with switchbacks that got the heart pumping. There was a section going down hill where we encountered lots of roots and some rock that formed a staircase per se and that was a blast. Not really knowing where we were we came across a trail called little bear with was about a 1+ mile loop that starts off with lots of climbing but the return trip is worth it. The ride down had two hair pin turns and a boat load of switch backs that forced us to keep speed in check. The the end of that trail we came across a parking lot and rode along the road for a bit.

I decided to hit another trail that was fairly new and not named yet. This trail involved biking of softer terrain, lots of rock & roots and even some lifting the bike over fallen trees for this past winter. We did this trail for about a half mile before my family thought that it was time to head back. We did find an old well! The rest of the ride was basically following the road back - that was fun too since we climbed gradually and then had a refreshing run down hill to cool us off!

All in all, we really had fun there did about 8 miles of riding and barely touched the surface. There is lots to explore and there are trails for all abilities. We will definitely return for another trip.

Trail Map (better then the one they hand out at the park)

Cascade trail head

cascade trail.jpg

Bear Brook in the side of Bear Brook Upper trail

colors.jpg

Bear Brook Upper along the brook's bank

narrow trail.jpg

Do not take pictures while riding!

glade.jpg

Old well on unnamed trail

well.jpg
 

snoseek

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This place is my goto spot, so easy to get a 15+ mile loop of both tech and flow on trails that actually go somewhere vs, just twisting around to make the most of space. Did you ride down big bear after climbing little bear? Also this place is stunning in the fall, go back in October for sure


Anyone that ever wants a moderate paced tour of this place (12-20 miles) definitely pm me although my schedule is very odd in summer
 

dmw

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Anyone that ever wants a moderate paced tour of this place (12-20 miles) definitely pm me although my schedule is very odd in summer

I may take you up on this!
 

BackLoafRiver

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Sounds like a great day to be out there! I dug this place the last time I was there. The Old Well pic is awesome. I love finding stuff like that. Glad you got a chance to get out and explore.

Anyone that ever wants a moderate paced tour of this place (12-20 miles) definitely pm me although my schedule is very odd in summer

My schedule is pretty loose in the summer so expect a PM sometime.
 

dlague

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I think this a great idea! Lets work this - who is in? We can work on the specific day later!
 

snoseek

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Well that is a little quick for most of us!

yeah, im a bit spontaneous. It's really hard for me to plan anything more than a couple days in advance...my schedule is whacked.

Anyhow I changed my mind and am going to Horse hill, which is rapidly growing into another southern NH gem.
 

dlague

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yeah, im a bit spontaneous. It's really hard for me to plan anything more than a couple days in advance...my schedule is whacked.

Anyhow I changed my mind and am going to Horse hill, which is rapidly growing into another southern NH gem.

Looks cool! Is there a designation or meaning with respect to colors used on trail maps? I noticed on the map I liked to and the map at Horse Hill use multiple colors.
 

snoseek

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Looks cool! Is there a designation or meaning with respect to colors used on trail maps? I noticed on the map I liked to and the map at Horse Hill use multiple colors.


I think the colors are just there to differentiate.

Lots of good new stuff not on the map yet. Blodgett hill is a good area to start. Also if you follow that purple trail (quarry), cross the road and poke around theres lots of new unmapped singetrack. High quality built
 

Bumpsis

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I'm glad that the topic of Bear Brook was brought up. I "discovered" it last fall and it just gorgeous. I made a promise to myself to come back as soon as the mud season was over with. Here we are, beginning of summer and I haven't made my trip up, even though it's an easy drive from Boston.
Thanks for sharing the stoke. I'll put this on my calendar soon. Oh, thanks for putting up the map. It is much better than the Park's copy.
 

dlague

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I'm glad that the topic of Bear Brook was brought up. I "discovered" it last fall and it just gorgeous. I made a promise to myself to come back as soon as the mud season was over with. Here we are, beginning of summer and I haven't made my trip up, even though it's an easy drive from Boston.
Thanks for sharing the stoke. I'll put this on my calendar soon. Oh, thanks for putting up the map. It is much better than the Park's copy.

Yup the parks copy is tough to read IMO.


i typed with my i thumbs using AlpineZone
 

xwhaler

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I hiked in Bear Brook yesterday afternoon with my dog. Goal was to do a little exploring and get some exercise in---figured on a couple miles.
I started on the Bear Brook trail after parking at the lot closest to the Archery pond (I came in from the East on Middle Rd)
Bear Brook trail to Cascade and finally up the the top of Catamount Hill. Took longer than I expected with lots of up and downs.
Nothing to see at the wooded summit but I did find the 2 overlooks a bit further down that were ok. I ten attempted to go down to 1 Mile trail but got a bit confused due to lack of signage at what I later realized was the bottom.
So I hiked back up the Bear Brook trail to where it met Cascade again and followed that down and around and out. My dog and I were happy to get back to the car 6+ miles later. Saw only a couple people in the very beginning and end on bikes.

Its a nice park, you get the feeling of being remote wilderness given how big it is. The trail map the lady handed me was confusing at times combined with the lack of signage at trail intersections and the numerous off shoot trails that presumably are used by mtn bikers.

I'll go back with my wife and son but likely wont go to Catamount Hill again---we'll try and explore the central/SE corner of the park next time.
 
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