Any riding near UMass/Amherst?
what up folks, I'm applying to grad school at UMass next year, and I was wondering if there's any trails close to campus. I know that Lynn Woods is legendary, but I'm hoping that there will be something closer to home. Thanks.
Hey Fat Weasel,
Originally Posted by fat_weasel
This is no joke or the ramblings of a home town enthusiast--I'm a transplant to the pioneer valley myself-but to put it plainly:
Amherst is Ground Zero for the Best Riding in the Northeast. Period.
Let's Start with the Biggies-on the south end of Town sits the Holyoke Range-comprised of two sizeable state parks (Holyoke Range State Forest and Skinner State Forest) These are known locally as Bachelor St. (rocky and delightfully challenging-around 20 miles of expert level SINGLETRACK) and Earle's Trails (20 miles of super smooth, tight twisty singletrack delight on the Skinner side)-yeah-dang near 40 miles of the goods: Here's a link to the detailed info color coded Map of the area--it's missing about 6-7 miles of new singletrack since it's last update!
Awesome though Bachelor and Earle's are-their just the tip of the Iceberg.
There is a Host of smaller, but great local rides that are connected by long range trail corridors (The M & M and THe Robert Frost Trails in specific)-that are great for quick after hour workouts and weekday burners or can be turned into all day (even multi-day) long range epics-places like Amythest Brook (in Amherst), Mt Toby, Deerfield Ridge/ Sugarloaf North, Greenfield Ridge, Dry Hill, NorthField Mountain. .
Within 20-30 minutes drive from Umass (and easy country drive I might add) are two more Big Top Flight Trail Networks--The DAR state Forest in Goshen (awesome Picturesque trails) and the Rugged Wendell State Forest due North on Rte 63 in Wendell, MA. These are phenomenal additions to an already ample amount of trail opportunities.
And, if you want to look even a little further afield for an adveture trip-MA is loaded with excellent riding-the Berkshires (one hour due west) have miles and miles of the finest mountain biking trails anywhere. Places like Vietnam, Leominster and even, yes lynn woods (though that's probably the farthest place away) are only two hours (tops) away.
Also-the Epic and special Kingdom Trails of East Burke VT are only 2.5 hours due north--a lot of folks down here do occassional weekend(or a long-day) jaunts upo to KT for the goods.
On top of all this, the Road Riding is pretty spectacular here as well-there are ALOT of very good bike shops to work with and a pretty vibrant Mountain Biking and Road Biking culture. I was shocked by how phenomenal Western Massachusetts was when I first moved here--for reasons including the riding opportunities (which I'm thoroughly engaged in creating as well as exploiting) but extending far beyond them culturally and community-wise as well-I've got no intentions of leaving.
At any rate-as far as Mountain Biking factors into your choice of Grad School you won't be disappointed with UMASS-Amherst.
Anyway-feel free to drop me a PM if you want to hear more-or hook up for some local tour guiding.
Sounds awesome. Now I just have to get accepted.
A friend of mine goes to Umass and has been looking for someone to ride with, but recently he's had more fun partying and breaking his hand(no joke, he got pissed and punched his car)......Make sure you stay chill on the partying, too many of my friends have become consumed by the party scene at UMASS
My epiglottis is full of bees!
There's a big divide betwen the UMASS Grad School and Undergrad though---The Undergrad party scene is over the top (but not in a fun way--rather in a highly violent-lawless-vadalistic way--seriously, my wife is a Physician there and it's really shocking)--but since Fat weasel is looking at Grad Schools (which at UMASS are dominated by very serious, hard working, mature foreigners of top quality) I think the Booze up and Riot scene won't be a big deal). G-Vegas, Your Friend's experience sounds par for the course at UMASS!