We are spoiled by the mountain bike riding available to us here in Hanover. Few places have the variety and extent of possible rides that Dartmouth does.
It is no surprise that this is only a partial guide to the wealth of mountain biking terrain in the region. This section focuses on the trails nearest Hanover — rides accessible from the Green. There are a lot of great trails in Norwich and east of Hanover that are not included. Likewise, the section detailing the ride around Smarts Mountain is certainly not the only loop you can do from the Skiway.
Use this section as a starting point from which to begin exploration on your own. Check out new or old USGS topographic maps. Many roads on 1930s maps are now challenging mountain biking tracks. The Northern Cartographic map books include many of the old woods roads and town right-of-ways.
A few scattered words of advice. During deer season, don’t wear white but lots of blaze orange, even just outside Hanover — hunters are everywhere. If a woods road deposits you in someone’s back yard, be respectful of landowners. In the spring, please stay off the trails until they are firm (call the Outing Club to find out about trail conditions). Try to minimize tire damage to trails by not skidding down soft-soiled trails. Don’t ride alone. Carry enough tools to make emergency repairs. Carry enough water, and food if it’s going to be a long ride, as well as extra clothes in the fall.
The Cycling Club of the DOC is a great place to learn the ins and outs of mountain biking around Hanover. Many enthusiasts of all levels meet several times a week to ride. The Cycling Club also plans weekend excursions to places such as the Second College Grant. You can surely expand on the possibilities listed in this chapter through the knowledge of those in the Cycling Club. Call Robinson at (603) 646-2429 to find out meeting times, or email Cycling.Club@Dartmouth.edu for more information.