We ventured out to Rocky Point for some old fashioned mountain biking and we discovered a great trail for families and enthusiasts. This is no adventure for the weak-legged, instant gratification posers or whining quitters. This trail is hardcore!
This mountain bike trail is located in the Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest which is home to 6,000 acres of pine barrens and open land. The area was once operated by RCA (Radio Corporation of America) and you can still see remnants of lines and towers hidden along the trails. This park offers mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, hunting and trapping within the different seasons. Check the website for any permits, certificates, and rules mandatory for your adventure. The park offers free entry and free parking. DEC permits for mountain biking and hiking are also free.
Mountain Bike Trail
The trail here is a “single track” trail. (For you novices, this means everyone rides single file in the same direction.) Traffic is one way and the paths are narrow. The main loop is relatively flat with twists and turns and small climbs. A beginner can navigate this trail, but the length is something to consider. There is a bail out trail, but you have to get to it and then it’s quite a ride back to the parking lot. We took the bail out trail our first time due to time constrains and we couldn’t believe how long it was. We honestly thought we were lost for most of it. The next visit we completed the entire trail and learned that even though the bail out seemed like it must’ve been as long as completing the trail, it wasn’t. It is much further to complete the entire trail!
The Black Diamond Loops are a more difficult terrain and offer different challenges for you to navigate. All of them start and end off the Main Loop so you won’t get misdirected off the trail. Most of the Black Diamonds are relatively short with some steep climbs, descents and technical maneuvering. You can get some “air” if you’re a thrill seeker or simply roll over the humps. There are some areas that really require at least intermediate level experience, but with courage and persistence some beginners could take the plunge (I do not suggest this for younger kids). The Black Diamond Loops are our favorite part of the trail!
Trail Map–We find it helpful to have a copy of the trail map on our trail rides. We’ve used it for determining where we are so that we can plan breaks, bail outs, and adding extra loops. You can print it or download it to your device. If you’re riding with beginners or children, you may need some breaks or even a bail out due to exhaustion or time (get out before sunset). We found the trail to be marked well. Using the map in conjunction with the trail markings will allow you to know exactly where you’re going, what’s up ahead, and how far along the trail you are.
One of the best features of this park is the trail options. You can opt to add on loops to increase your ride and even add difficulty. The Main Loop by itself is 13 miles, but if you add the West Side Loop and all of the Black Diamond Loops you’re up to at least 21 miles (some report 24 miles). Completing the entire trail should take you 2-3 hours, but leave more time if you include breaks or walking. The DEC website lists the trails with their degree of difficulty and length for your convenience.
- Main Loop 13 miles
- optional West Side Loop 4 miles
- Advanced Black Diamond Loops Add about 4 mi for all combined
- Family Trails
- Firestone Loop 3 mi
- Pine Loop 4.8 mi
- Outback Loop 5.8 miles
- Bail Out Trail- cuts through the middle
- It is highly suggested you use a mountain bike or similar with rugged tires for these trails
- Helmet and Eye Protection is mandatory at the park
- DEC permit required- online, easy, print out, keep with you while using bike trails, good for two years. Call (631) 444-0270 for info.
- This area is closed From Nov. 1st to approximately April 1 for hunting
- Main parking lot (for general park) on Route 21 just North of Whiskey Rd, on the West side
- Second parking area (for general park) on Route 25A just East of Route 21 (Rocky Point Rd)
- **Parking at Bike Trail on west side of Rte 21 (Rocky Point Rd), just off Whiskey Road
- No fee to enter the park or park a vehicle (DEC permit must show in vehicle window).
- Be advised, the trail crosses a two lane public road that runs through the middle of the park
- Bring your own water and don’t forget a first aid kit and bicycle repair kit in case of emergency
Like Mountain Biking? We found this interesting festival you might enjoy: CLIMB Flat Tire Festival, October 13, 2018 Link
Family Adventure Rating ♥♥
Cost– This adventure costs nothing but travel if you’re already equipped with a bike, helmet, and glasses. The permit is free. A family of five can do this for the cost of gas to get to and fro.
Parking & Transportation– Although where there’s a will there’s a way, your best bet to access this park with your bike is to drive. The parking is free and ample.
Location– This park may be quite a distance for most, but the remote area makes it terrific for such a long and varied trail. You are surrounded by nature– sights, sounds, and smells.
Day Trip or Overnight- This is a day trip. You will find hotels and other things to do on Long Island, but this immediate area is pretty sparse unless you have camping and other park recreation in mind.
Experience– This is a wonderful healthy experience for anyone interested in biking. Prepare to sweat and feel the burn, but enjoy fun challenges. There is terrific bonding in a family or group that can conquer a trail this size with its Black Diamond Loops!
Combination– The activities in this area are centered around the different types of recreation in the park. There is not much to combine this trip with unless you drive outward about 20 minutes for food. After 2-3 hours of mountain biking you will most likely not be looking to spend a day shopping or strolling around sight seeing. However, the surrounding towns have things to offer if you’re up to it, especially Riverhead.