Fat biking in the snow

The Best Fat Biking Near Boston

Go for a ride in any conditions at these three winter-ready spots.

Fat-tire biking (aka fat biking) is basically winter mountain biking. The biggest difference, of course, is the tires: Unlike traditional mountain bike tires, fat tires have an extra broad footprint and can be filled to a lower pressure. That gives them better stability, grip, and flotation in all kinds of terrain—including ice and snow.  

By some accounts, fat bikes were first invented for the inaugural Iditabike race across Alaska back in 1987. After all, ultra-thick tires (or, in some cases, wheels welded together three rims wide) were the only way to avoid sinking in the deep snow or slipping out on ice. But it’s not until the last decade that fat biking has really started to take off as a sport. Today, you’ll find fat-biking races and festivals, as well as specialty bikes designed to handle all kinds of terrain. 

Fortunately for Bostoners, local land managers and clubs have caught wind of the sport’s rising popularity. Today, you’ll find a number of Boston-area trails designed and maintained with fat bikers in mind. Here are three recommended favorites. 

1. Winnekenni Park 

With more than 10 miles of trails surrounding scenic Kenoza Lake, Winnekenni Park is one of the best places to fat-bike in the state. (Fittingly, its name, which came from the land’s original Native inhabitants, means “very beautiful.”) Because the trails are too narrow for motorized use, volunteers manually groom them after every snowfall, walking in snowshoes and dragging a weighted sled. The result is a carefully maintained network of routes that’s suitable for riders of all ability levels (and free to ride). Bonus: It’s just a 40-minute drive from North Boston.

2. Wompatuck State Park

Located in Hingham—just 35 minutes southeast of Boston—Wompatuck State Park gets its name from its original owner, Massachusett Chief Josiah Wompatuck. Today, the land is home to a vast network of multi-use trails, including a number of fun, swoopy mountain bike trails installed by the New England Mountain Biking Association (NEMBA). During the winter, volunteers from NEMBA and Friends of Wompatuck groom the paths, ensuring smooth, safe riding for fat-tire bikers.

3. Prospect Hill Park

Part of the ancestral homeland of the Pawtucket and Massachusett peoples, Waltham’s Prospect Hill Park has become one of the best winter riding destinations in Metro Boston. Its paved roads close at the end of October, which means bikers have full reign as soon as the snow starts falling. And if you’re trying to pack a few more thrills into your weekend ride, head to one of the many trails tackling Prospect Hill itself. (The steepest ones cram more than 300 feet of elevation gain into half a mile, so don’t be afraid to hike-a-bike.) Note that there’s no official grooming in Prospect Hill Park, but heavy traffic leaves the trails well-packed. 

More Info

For more fat-biking beta, as well as information about races and events near you, check out the New England Mountain Biking Association at NEMBA.com.


All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.