The Providence area is full of hidden gems when it comes to venues for outdoor activities. For example, mountain bikers of all skill levels will find a welcoming home at Lincoln Woods State Park, in the town of Lincoln. I visited the park on a mid-summer afternoon, and met up with REI Co-op Local Experiences instructor Greg Klim, who led me on a ride over some of the local trails.
REI offers guided introductory mountain-biking excursions at Lincoln Woods through its Local Experiences program. During these outings, novice riders learn the basics of safe riding, how to navigate trail obstacles, mountain-bike features, and more.
Lincoln Woods features over 16 miles of single-track that wind through woods, over boulders, and connect with the paved loop road that circles Olney Pond, a manmade reservoir. Trails range from beginner-level easy to steep, rocky pitches better suited to advanced riders. There’s plenty of parking, and no entrance fee.
Other activities at Lincoln Woods include horseback riding, paddling (kayak and paddleboard rentals are available on Olney Pond), fishing (the pond is home to bass, pickerel, sunfish and trout), swimming, bouldering, and hiking. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the park, and there’s a large grass field. The park is also dog-friendly.
To sign up or learn more about the REI Local Experiences program, visit the REI Co-op Classes and Events page. By the way, REI also offers bouldering classes at Lincoln Woods.
Note: REI Co-op Local Experiences programs vary by location, so be sure to check the REI website to see which experiences are offered in your area.