By Molly Ingram
Throughout the year and no matter what the season, you can always find a local spot to enjoy the outdoors in the town of Wolfeboro. The Cotton Valley Rail Trail, Wolfeboro Cross Country Ski Association, and local beaches around the area are just a few of the destinations where you can paddleboard, ski, bike, run, or kayak. New locations for recreational activities have expanded over time. In the past year, a group of locals put their skills together to construct a recreational location and to bring a new sport to the area.
Wolfeboro Singletrack Alliance is a non-profit organization actively developing multi-use, single-track trails designed for mountain biking and non-motorized users, in partnership with the Wolfeboro Conservation Commission. The trails are located in multiple spots, one being off the Cotton Valley Rail Trail’s Fernald Station, off Governor John Wentworth Highway (Route 109). Other locations throughout Wolfeboro where you can find single-track are Abenaki Ski Area and Sewall Woods. The trails are designed to sustainably work within woodlands to navigate a mountain bike as well as other multiuse activities. The mountain bikes aren’t the only ones welcome on these trails. Other adventurers are invited to run or walk the trails, along with their furry friends!
You may be wondering what a single-track is. Single-track is a type of mountain biking trail made for the width of one bike. It’s smooth, but may have technical rocky sections, banked turns, the track may go over tree roots, hills, or jumps. Many mountain bikers prefer single-track, as single-track is designed specifically for the sport, and has elements mountain bikers would opt for. The Wolfeboro Singletrack Alliance has been maintaining and planning to build more trails throughout Wolfeboro since 2018. They say their mission is “to work with land managers to ensure access to well-built sustainable trails, while protecting the environment at the same time and envisioning Wolfeboro as a destination with an expanding network of sustainable trails”. The trails are built by volunteers or local riders who utilize the single-track trails. The idea of building single-track trails is to construct them properly so environmental impacts are minimal, and people are able to stay on the trail and not make any additional trails throughout the woods. Single-track trails give the rider a different experience by immersing each person into undisturbed nature.
For a nonprofit to build these kinds of sustainable trail systems takes a lot of volunteer work and financial support. The Wolfeboro Singletrack’s website provides access for an individual to donate to their organization. The donations help maintain the existing trails, along with creating new ones and expanding the single-track. The donations are also used to help hire trail builders, purchase equipment to build, and for grooming trails for fat tire bikes in the winter. Volunteering is also needed to help with trail building and maintenance.
The organization meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Abenaki ski lodge, so if you are interested in learning more about the organization’s goals and plans, you are welcome to join.
The goal of building and incorporating single track trails throughout Wolfeboro is to not only expand the sport, but to drive a young demographic to town to help grow the economy. By embracing this adventure tourism as a low cost and environmentally sustainable way of generating more economic activity, local businesses and other services in town will be able to benefit from travelers coming to utilize the trail systems. This is why the goal of the Wolfebore Singletrack Alliance is to create more legitimate trail networks throughout town and to utilize volunteer labor.
Each week on Tuesday evenings at 5:30, a group will meet at the back parking lot of Nordic Skier Sports to ride. All ages and skill levels are welcome. By visiting the Wolfeboro Singletrack’s website, you will be able to learn more about the trails, such as skill levels, mileage, blog, events, and conditions. This nonprofit organization’s work has only just begun. It is quickly growing to better serve the local community and outdoor recreation.
If you like exploring New Hampshire’s beautiful woodlands, this will be an excellent source for you to see new routes and get outside. To learn more, visit www.wolfeborosingletrack.org.