Adam's niece, Mira Dow
Hungry for some singletrack twists, turns and rock features? Step up to Wolfeboro’s Buffet trail. Still hungry? Add some more sweet piece of cake stuff on Sunday Drive and Madison.
Wolfeboro’s mountain biking menu is expanding thanks to the efforts of the Wolfeboro Singletrack Alliance (WSA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working with various land managers and owners in town.
The group oversees the growth and maintenance of 16 miles of trails ranging from traditional hand-made trails to machine-built flow trails spread into several sections each with its own personality — Ferland, Abenaki, Sewell Woods and Trask Mountain.
Formed in 2018, WSA is steered by a board of directors and attracts a membership and donor base both locally and from many nearby states considering Wolfeboro’s a summer resort destination with a wealth of second-home owners.
“We saw an opportunity to expand the few trails in town, to a larger network that would give kids and adults another way to enjoy the beauty that Wolfeboro provides,” WSA president Cris Dow wrote in an email. “We also sought to mimic what other communities, such as Burke, Vt., had done, to make Wolfeboro a destination that would attract folks with a passion for bikes, whether it's for a day trip or long-term residence.”
Dow, a father of two young children, frequently rides the trails with his family due to the easy access and different challenges that will allow his kids to progress in skill over time.
Membership and donations fuel the work the group does, with many mountain bikers from away supporting WSA after they experience the trails while on summer vacation.
The board has members with diverse backgrounds like a lawyer, wetland scientist and local business owners. Dow’s a sales executive with marketing and web development experience.
The website (wolfeborosingletrack.org) is an excellent gateway into the trail systems, providing maps, parking locations, group ride information including some incorporating the popular Cotton Valley Rail Trail, membership and donation opportunities, events and more. Check Instagram and Facebook, too.
With Willey Brook running through it, Fernald, home of Buffet, is the go-to family spot for nearly four miles of largely easy machine-built trails with a few intermediate features.
“Even though there's not a ton of elevation, the trails are fun to ride and I've been bringing my kids out there to ride, as soon as they were confident on a balance bike,” Dow emailed.
Fernald is also the winter fat biking destination.
“We bought a Snow Dog groomer two years ago and have had great results in keeping the trails maintained,” Dow said. “There’s a weekly night ride in the winter that has a pretty good turn out.”
Fernald’s readily accessible from the 12-mile long Cotton Valley Rail Trail and parking by Route 109 near Fernald Crossing.
There’s also Sewell Woods featuring about five miles of novice singletrack and intermediate doubletrack not far from downtown with parking on Clow Road.
“There are singletrack trails and also wide doubletrack stone dust trails that anyone can enjoy,” Dow said.
Intermediate and advance riders looking for more challenging terrain wind through the five miles of Abenaki singletrack by the town’s rope tow Abenaki Ski Area.
“We have some technical singletrack, a downhill flow trail that construction started on last year, and there are some wider doubletrack tails, too,” Dow said.
There’s parking at the ski area at 390 Pine Hill Road.
Trask Mountain is the outlier pod (and a tad closer to Conway), with about four miles of intermediate singletrack and downhill trails on the side of a mountain off Route 28 (and Old Route 28).
One event that draws valley riders to Wolfeboro is the Summer Race Series that now doesn’t just stick to North Conway area trails, but moves around Carroll and Coos counties, and is slated for Abenaki on July 23.
“The Summer Race Series was great last year and we're looking forward to it again this year,” wrote Dow. “It brought folks in from out of town and helped spread awareness of what we're trying to do.”
With the help of volunteers on Trail Tuesdays and larger weekend trail days, WSA looks to finish a new trail and entrance to Fernald this summer, and hopes to complete a bi-directional switchback climbing trail and that downhill flow trail at Abenaki with more trails planned next year.
“We truly appreciate the community that surrounds us and has embraced WSA as a worthy organization to donate their time and money to,” Dow said.