Lincoln Woods State Park
Lincoln Woods State Park is one of the most enjoyable riding areas in all of Rhode Island. At 627 acres it may seem a little on the small size, especially considering that a lot of that area is taken up by Olney Pond, a deep water lake. But don't let its size fool you. Lincoln Woods hosts some of the best riding in the state.
I usually park in or near the main parking lot which is on your right after the front gate off Route 146. Then heading North on Only Road I try to ride all of the trails that I find on the right side of the road.
It's not possible.
Despite the many times that I've ridden here, and despite having a lot of "favorite trails" I am constantly lured off the trails that I know onto something I haven't seen before.
Many of the trails are old woods roads. Leading off of them are almost countless singletracks. It's hard to ride for more than a few hundred yards without encountering a new 'trail option'. And that's what keeps drawing me back to Lincoln Woods. Every one of my rides there is different. And each is just as much fun as the last.
The forest's many trails have a long history. Dating back to the early 1800's much of the land was farmed, then it was used as an experimental forest to demonstrate good forestry practices. All of it has been logged. Though you'd be hard put to realize that as you ride through Lincoln's many dense forest stands. Logging roads, farm roads, cart paths, horse and hiking trails all have existed, overlaying each other for more than a century. Giving today's trail users an almost unending variety of trails to explore.
Recently a new stable opened just outside the entrance to the park. The trails closest to the stable, right near the entrance and to the West of Quinsnicket Road, are closed to bikes. See the MAP. The trails in Zone "A" are to be exclusively for equestrian use. While the trails in Zone "B" are multiuse.
Expect to spend a lot of time exploring the trails here. It will take you a lot of time to figure out where they all go. But long before you do you'll find yourself thoroughly addicted to the stony, hilly trails of Lincoln Woods.
Note: RI NEMBA usually holds a food bank ride here every fall before Thanksgiving. It's an awesome ride! Check the RI NEMBA Facebook page for more details.
Cautions / Miscellany:
Riding the paved loop of Olney Road is a great way to recover after your ride. But be careful, it's a one way road with automobiles traveling in a counterclockwise direction. There is no charge for parking, but there is a fee to use the beach or to rent a picnic site. Maps are normally available at the park's entrances.
Submitted by Bill Boles