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  1. #1
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    Mohawk state forest

    Had anyone done any significant riding here?

    I didn't ride on any of the ski trails but found one probably abandoned ski trail that runs down the side of the mountain that is ok.

    Has anyone ever explored building more singletrack here, I don't know the routine for getting permissions in CT, but Mohawk seems like the perfect spot. On those lazy days when you just want to ride a lot of downhill you could even shuttle back up to the top here.

    Also maybe if the ski area that is on the state land saw enough interest a lift might be possible in the future?

    Any other northwest corner folk have any interest in riding here?

    If so maybe we could do a group ride here one day and scope it out a little better!

  2. #2
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    I grew up in the area agree 100%. That being said I left. One reason is because I don't see anything like that happening for MTB in CT. Aside from that I ran/hiked/and tried to ride in there. I never found much but always believed there was potential. Hell I could name far better areas of public land in that area worth exploring.

  3. #3
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    Mohawk state forest

    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    I grew up in the area agree 100%. That being said I left. One reason is because I don't see anything like that happening for MTB in CT. Aside from that I ran/hiked/and tried to ride in there. I never found much but always believed there was potential. Hell I could name far better areas of public land in that area worth exploring.
    What makes Mohawk most appealing to me is the ability to easy shuttle back to the top by car or even the ability to pedal back up.

    I see what you mean but I think with support from the community it could happen. I mean if it didn't cost the state anything and people volunteered to build the trail(s) I think it could happen.

    Other areas in the state have had pretty good success and not many of them have such a good layout with the possibilities of such good downhill / free ride type terrain.

    Living in bantam it's just a little far for me to travel to Nass or anything else in the area with ease.

    I ride daily in white memorial but the terrain is pretty tame and nowhere to really unleash.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, white memorial wouldn't cut it for me haha. I think a lot could happen, and it being state land that already has a ski hill might help the effort. I guess more of my "CT won't allow that" attitude is more from folks than the state. People just don't want anything to change. Although I would be lying if I didn't say the state strikes me as conservative in these respects (look at VT).

    I would fully support, in anyway I could, singletrack in my home woods. There are many other state or publicly owned lands that could use a revamp. I think you'd want to reach out to NEMBA. They might be willing to help with the nitty-gritty (land manager talks).

    I just experienced sour woes from everyone I mentioned riding to. Which while in no way drove me away, it certainly helped.

  5. #5
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    Mohawk ran their lifts for bikes many years ago, but they probably made no money doing it. And I'm sure they didn't maintain any trails, that's their MO. I taught snowboarding there years ago, and all they are interested in is skiers. They never put benches at the top of the lift to strap in. And for the few years they built a half pipe and a terrain park, they thought once it was built it never needed anything else, like grooming or maintaining-lol.

    There is actually some cool singletrack from the Rt 4 entrance and parking lot going thru the park, pretty technical. Across Rt 4 also. For lift access you have Jiminy Peak not too far away, and I'm not sure if Butternut or Catamount still do it.

    I have been riding the trails in Morris off 109 and they aren't bad. Also found some new stuff popping up in Burr Pond recently, both are close to you,

    Tom

  6. #6
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    I heard of these old lift run days. But without knowing much I'd agree with tomboy, people are stuck in their ways. I always wondered why Butternut didn't put some in. I've talked to people from Sundown but hear the same story.

    As for the trail out of 4 through the park, yes techy and fun but kind of short. Crossing 4 to the north won't bring a hell of a lot.

    Remember this is the Mohawk trail, old AT, and a blue blazed (as most are in CT forests/parks) which means no bikes. See that? CT is not very MTB friendly IMO.

    Also props on Burr, I had some fantastic trail runs from the ramp around the loop out to Sunny and back. Saw many a tire track.

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    What do you mean by 'Sunny'? I have ridden the trail around the pond for years, and occasionally found short trails off that main one. But I'm talking about new stuff at the top of the pipeline. Some was already there but really grown in, now its great. But as you ride away from the pond towards Newfield Rd, and you cross fire roads, and old paved roads, there are some new trails in there. Reminds me of Nass And has lots of potential. Contact me if anyone needs help.

    Tom

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    http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/stat...eforestmap.pdf

    Sunny Brook State Park.

    As mentioned earlier I no longer live in the area, just voicing knowledge/concerns/etc. Never explored Burr much, sounds like there is more than I knew. Also, as I've said, there is A LOT of land in the NW corner that has potential.

  9. #9
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    Mohawk state forest

    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/stat...eforestmap.pdf

    Sunny Brook State Park.

    As mentioned earlier I no longer live in the area, just voicing knowledge/concerns/etc. Never explored Burr much, sounds like there is more than I knew. Also, as I've said, there is A LOT of land in the NW corner that has potential.
    I agree lifts would need a lot of money to make feasible but I think shuttle riding would be cheap.

    I've also ridden some of the stuff on the reservoir side of 63 beaver pond area but have been hitting dead ends after really hard rides That are discouraging.

    Burr pond isn't that far but kind of a pain in the butt for me to get to I live on bantam Litchfield live.

    I've heard rumors of old singletrack that runs through the wigwam reservoir off of 109 but don't know anyone that knows the trails.

  10. #10
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    It sounds like you're more into downhilling than XC, but there are some trails on the side of the mtn opposite the ski area. There was an XC race held there in the late 90's and early 2000s. The race would start at the base of the ski area and go up over the mtn. I'm sure the trails are still there. I never rode the trails and I don't know what they're like.

    I can remember visiting those parks in Torrington and found them to be in really bad shape, almost abandoned. They have a lot of potential, though. If you want to start a building program contact the Northwest CT NEMBA chapter. They do most of their work a Nassahegon but Torrington is their territory. It would have to be legit- you'd need permission from the state, but that's not as hard to get as you might think although it might take some time.
    I am not repeating myself I am not repeating myself!

  11. #11
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    Mohawk state forest

    I'm going to look Into it more.

    Some other areas I though about are the dams in thomaston, the army corps lets people ride dirtbikes down at the thomaston dam. The other dams also have some good terrain that might be good.

  12. #12
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    Man some interesting discussion here. I used to ride Mohawk a lot back in the early 1990's....they ran the lifts for a few years but stopped as it wasnt making them a profit and the trail damage wasn't worth it. Using rim brakes and blasting down that place....think we needed new rims after one year....LOL.

    Also as Sugar said we ran a race there.....not sure how many years they held that race before the whole hobby died a big death for some years.

    Last time in there....a few years back...its not biker friendly and don't try to make any trails. Its way to used by hunters and hikers who will rat you out instantly and like my buddies did elsewhere and got ratted out, get busted for some serious coin too.

    Getting permission is very possible like Sugar says....look at Waldo....Upper Paug...and many other spots. Its better to work via NEMBA....the DEEP guys like them a lot and its a lot easier then doing it yourself. The issue is there probably aren't enough riders over this way to do much. And it takes a crew to maintain whatever you cut...its work to do it right which the DEEP will insist on. We (4 of us) have a trail on private land and its a lot of work keeping that thing clean esp after storms. We don't think we'll bother with it next year.

    The trail around Burr pond is not really legal to ride on....but that land manager who didn't like the bikes there....and booted us one night a few years back...is now over looking Nass and other areas so its probably all open to ride with nobody whining to much. All the trails in there are illegal but we still rode them till last year. Just don't cross up with the John Muir trail crew. Same for Sunnyside....stay off those trails they have marked no biking. They over see those trails too and take it seriously. I know CT NEMBA (not NEMBA Nass) was looking to make some trails in there (Burr/Paugnut Forest) and asked me to help out. There is a fair amount of single track in there as you are finding out.

    The RT109 trail is called the HoChi Min trail.....it used to be really long but the water co guys went insane about us being in there and blocked off their end of it....so then it wasn't worth the bother as it was to short. Might still be there....tricky to find though. We used to ride from the bike shop in Litchfield....through WMemorial....and down to the Hochi min and back.

    Last time I looked into it....Thomaston dam is off limits to all bikes of any kind. I talked to them last year and it wont be open anymore to dirt bikers unless you are part of the club that the army corp/state gave permission to be in there legally. Now that might have changed for this year...I know guys in that club I can ask. But the state said for sure they did NOT want mountain bikers in there. Actually when I rode my dirt bike in there we are ripping around pretty good....I wouldn't want to be on those trails on my mountain bike.

    Whats Black Rock like these days???

  13. #13
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    Mohawk state forest

    My wife's sister is army corps of engineers and is stationed in the thomaston/black rock dam. They were closed for all riding for awhile after the storms but were open this year for a short season. They just closed to dirt biking last week and I made a few trips down there, it's pretty flat for the most part and the hilly parts are to rough to pedal but it was still pretty fun.

    She said army corps dosent really care about mountain bikes down there and the state / deep really have no jurisdiction there since it's federal land.

    Black rock dam has some fun fast fire road type trails that run parallel to 109 but it is pretty short. We crossed the river behind the water shed and found some really fun terrain but it took a lot of
    Hiking and would need some work to really make rideable.

    I rode / hiked some of the blue trail that runs through the dam before I knew that you couldn't ride the blue trail and it's probably better off. Some really fun decents but most of trail in rideable. I ride the red trail down from the rock in the state park and that is fun but really short.

    I was talking to guy who owns ridgeline cycles in canton last weekend and he was telling me the back side of white memorial / ho chi min / wigwam trails used to be pretty sick. I started into the trail where the dead end road is gated above the pond the other day but ended up dead end on side of pond at bottom of about 400 foot cliff. I ended up climbing back up to the whites woods trail with my bike on my back but it sucked. I was told of a cool feature that was almost like a natural spine in there I have yet to find.

    I also know that off of the road with the windmill in Litchfield on the otherside of the reservoir (wigwam rd.?) there is single track that goes from behind my friends house into water company land. I could definitely get access there but haven't checked it out yet. He lives In this complex with old barns and there are a bunch of old 26ers in the back barn that looked like they have seen hard trails. Some high end old cannondales too. Guy who owns complex name is Morosani I don't know if any of you guys know him.



    First three are the abandoned fire road that runs from the wigwam reservoir holding lake to the black rock dam, last is just the typical single track on the flat side of the thomaston dam.

  14. #14
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    Pretty sure it was DEEP that told us only the Pathfinders dirt biker members were allowed behind the dam area. Thought DEEP oversees the hunting and fishing in there but they might also be giving army corp info out too. And I know for sure before the storms you had to be a PathFinders member (we were told to leave by their group riding one day) but like I said that might have changed this year. I work with one of their members....have to ask him as if its totally open to anyone again....sell the Stumperjumper and go back to that....way easier than pedaling a bike....LOL.

    It wasn't all the great for mountain bikes anyway....at least the type of riding I like to do.

    To bad this post is about 4 years to late. We had a nice group of guys based in Torrington looking to make trails up our way....Winsted/Canaan area. They all had saws...trucks....trail making tools...one trained under Mrs Trail.....Paula Burton....so the DEEP would be relaxed about what was being made. But all have left the sport other than me/two other guys and next year will probably be my last year too.

    Hookup with the NEMBA Burlington guys....once they are set with Nassy they might start something over your way.

  15. #15
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    Mohawk state forest

    Is this 4 years late or are you guys four years early? MTB in my generation is blowing up with the help of all the new bike tech and companies like red bull putting downhill and free ride in the national spotlight!

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    Faus I think we made contact on someone's post looking for riding near Limerock?

    Anyway I see Jim is more of a DH guy and while I say to each their own, I would've loved to see more XC trails around.

    As Faus pointed out all Blue Blazed trails are illegal to ride on, I also made that point earlier in the post in regards to John Muir/Burr/Mohawk. I agree Faus trail work is hard work but I rode with a core of guys who build and maintain miles, I'd say well over 50, in the NW corner.

    Their issue was always TOO much use. They were "our" trails and they would stay "ours". These are known as "locals only" trails around the world.

    Since moving I've seen NEMBA take up more work but I wasn't aware they had a decent relationship with DEEP. I'm in the same boat you are Faus, its too late! The Winsted/Canaan area is my "home turf" and as I said much potential there. I've just alway seen the State (and the people in in the State) as not wanting any of this. I believe the term is... NIMBY.

  17. #17
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    Mohawk state forest

    I like xc style riding too but there seems to be an abundance of decent xc in the area, what is really like to see is some gravity assisted trails with a mix of XC / All mountain.

    I'm planning to hike the water company / Morris reservoir trails this weekend and ill GPS track it so you can tell me if it's the Ho Chi Minh of legend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RunawayJim View Post
    Is this 4 years late or are you guys four years early? MTB in my generation is blowing up with the help of all the new bike tech and companies like red bull putting downhill and free ride in the national spotlight!
    Oh back in the early to mid 1990's mtb'ing was HUGE....I can remember going to some places that today you see a few bikes but then I couldn't find parking. Then it took a massive dive and some bike shops hardly sold any. A lot of that was land issues....today even the hikers are a lot more easy going. Back then we had more than a few throw downs and the troopers showing up. My buddy got into it good at BlackRock with some walkers and the troopers showed up. THe other issue was you couldn't make jack for trails....the DEEP wanted to know nothing...the Rez had all types of issues. We cut one trail up in Colebrook and got busted.

    Today its bums me out that the DEEP is ALOT more accepting of it....even at NASS where things looked to be souring abit....NEMBA is helping out keep it open. Down at Waldo....nice amount of new Xcrossing trails are going in....Millers....the FC guys...even at Session Woods NEMBA helped get a trail in there. I say it bums me out as I've been doing this since 1985....my body is shot (to many years pounding away on a rigid frame 23lb bike) and just to old for where my heart rate needs to be. Its very hard to keep it down where it needs to be and pedal a mountain bike around the Rez. So when the Dr says to go back to hiking or rail trail it....time has run out.

    But the soften stance by the DEEP has allowed a lot more trails to be made...which is what got my buddies back into it. Also being all the same age we needed more exercise and so they followed me to the new places. But after 7 years of riding every other night they got wore out and had medical issues that parked them. Sucks getting old but what can you do when most of them had double knee operations...hip operations....bad backs...neck issues. If we saw this post like 5 years ago....we could have worked with NEMBA/DEEP and made some legal fun to ride xcountry stuff but for us its winding down...just ride Nass and places like Waldo...ect.

    If you like downhill check out the new Powder Ridge stuff...should be cool!!! Also check out Nepaug....every year my DEEP buddy vents about closing that all down but they never do. They have some wild stuff in there. Shouldn't be there...but it is.

  19. #19
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    I wish I was in the area. Anyway you could give more info on the Colebrook trail? That is right around the old home. There is a lot of state forest land from Colebrook to Goshen to Canaan that as far as I know only sees hunters and ATVs. Always dreamed of stuff in there but the general consensus was not worth it, hence I never actually talked to anyone (NEMBA or DEEP).

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    >>They were "our" trails and they would stay "ours". <<

    Yea....that's how the Burlington water company land WAS....till the net /Facebook helped ruin it. It might reopen I heard (via a NEMBA rider) but not sure if that will every happen.

    We've done the same in Torrington....we have a few trails on public land but the guys making them wont share them. Right no one even knows about them with how they camo'd them....and recently one of the bordering landowners ran into one of the bikers...buddy of mine on his Stumpjumper. He was wearing his orange hunting vest as they do hunt in this area. But that made him very visible. They asked for no more bikers romping around in there or they would let the state know. I still ride those trails now and then but have to watch that damn dog one landowner has....big chow with teeth. So I can see why your crew also keeps it quiet. Again if this was 5-6 years ago I know for sure who the land manager is....get NEMBA into it....and make those trails legal so anyone could use them....or wear them down to much which I should have added in "Jim's" post. That was another issue we had with so many riders....bad trail wear.

    >>Winsted/Canaan area is my "home turf"<<

    The same Stumper rider from above....his uncle used to own 135 acres of land up above the old Winsted Hospital...we had some great trails in there but now its all blocked off. I used to ride where they had the ROOT66 course (in Winsted) but that's all on private land so I stopped going in there.

  21. #21
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    Mohawk state forest

    Any of you guys ever did any riding in steep rock or housatonic meadows? I also heard about some trails in Macedonia brook.

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    Honestly all the riding I did was in my one town. Like I said well over 50 miles out my front door. Why drive?

    That being said these were often illegal and "locals only" trails.

    Housy Meadows? Feel like there couldn't be much there?

    The places I keep mentioning as having potential are in that area,

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunawayJim View Post
    Any of you guys ever did any riding in steep rock or housatonic meadows? I also heard about some trails in Macedonia brook.
    For sure Steep Rock is a no no....well you can ride that dirt road but other than that forget it. Those horse crews (of which we used to be one) down there are a powerful group (and very $$$) and they asked for no bikes on anything but the dirt road.
    I used to know the guy running that whole deal and I asked him about making a trail down there or over in Death Valley(lol) or whatever the place up the road is called which would be ALOT better for biking. He almost stroked out.

    I agree with Ice....Housy meadows doesn't have much. Not sure about Macedonia.

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    >>I wish I was in the area. Anyway you could give more info on the Colebrook trail?<<

    Out of state now? I couldn't remember where in Colebrook we did that so just emailed a buddy from back then. He said it was Hartland. I keep getting that area messed up.

    I was thinking about riding these local areas....I'll never forget a urban ride we organized....through Torrington....using the old Conrail tracks....and all this "hit and ride" single track through out the town. We get down to where Ifflands pond is and one rider is telling us about these hobo's that live in there. Everyone was laughing...when I see this guy from Deliverance....barefoot with overalls on. He starts going wild screaming and yelling then running at us. Everyone goes blasting down the trail only to get stopped at the fence the garbage company put up. SOB!!! So we toss the bikes over and get on the other side...safe from the wild man....only to ride about 100ft and now face the guard dogs the garbage company let run free in there.

    We rode for our lives and got back to the town dump trails....then behind the cemetery where there was some cool single track.....and a mean arse group of drug dealers plying their trade. All in all a pretty exciting ride....lol.

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    I had PM'ed you Faus. I've ridden Hartland trails. Awesome story. I've had my run ins but not like that!

    And yeah I'm still in New England, out on Cape.

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