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  1. #1
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    Anyone ride Freetown State Forest?

    I used to ride almost exclusively there back in the day, it seemed like that place was full of mtb'ers in the late 90's.

    Anyone still go out there? I was talking to a neighbor of mine, he said he used to ride there but was very unmaintained the last time he went, about a year or two ago.

    That's a shame, there were some great trails there. Now that I'm getting back into, I'm hoping to head out there again soon to check it out.

    I'd be into joining a group if anyone goes out there.
    Last edited by StuntmanMike; 09-01-2012 at 07:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    I still ride there occasionally. Your neighbor is right, unfortunately the trails are in tough shape. There was an insect infestation that killed thousands of trees so there is a LOT of blowdowns after each storm. The added light getting to the undergrowth has choked trails off too. The moto damage adds up each year too.

    I try to cut as much blowdown as I can, but its a losing battle. Every so often the dirt bikers come through and cut it too. Mostly I've been riding the southern part of the forest, which gets less moto damage, but is more overgrown.

    I see you're in Newport. Have you ridden Weetamoo woods? Much smaller but marked, mapped and maintained. About 7-8 miles of fairly fun trails, mix of wider carriage road type trails and tight technical singletrack.

    I think most riders in the Fall River area are now riding Abrams rock (Village Park) in Swansea. Its a newer network myself and a couple of other guys have carved into shape. Smoothish, flowy, mostly flat trails around a bunch of big puddingstones. About 8 miles of trails. Not marked, but very densely packed, you can't get lost.


    To be honest I'd really like to get some guys out in Freetown and cut back some of the trails in the southern part of the forest. I do a pretty good loop that starts at Copicut Woods and loops all the way up to the hunters lot on Copicut road and back.

    Let me know when you're heading out, I'm always looking to ride at any of the above spots.

  3. #3
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    Hey Jay, thanks for the info. That's a shame about Freetown, I always had great rides there. I remember the moto riders, we'd here them coming and quickly get off the trail and out of the way. So many of those trails had the deep ruts left behind by them, usually full of water.

    We used to ride both sides, we'd park at the ranger station and ride that side, or drive through the forest and ride the Copicut side. I remember there was one great loop trail over there, I don't know the "real" name, but we used to call it Rollercoaster.

    I've never heard of Weetamoo Woods, whereabouts is that? And Abrams rock sounds interesting, I'd be down for that. I was talking to one of the guysat the local bikeshop, he told me Acadia was pretty good, and my neighbor also mentioned some trails in Warwick, not too far off 95. I was going to head out there yesterday to check it out, but I figured I'd get stuck in holiday weekend traffic on Rt. 1 or the Npt bridge.

    I'd also be down for joining your trail maint group in Freetown. Any plans at all for that?

  4. #4
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    No plans yet for organized maintenance. I've been doing a bit of work each time I go out there. I'll try to round up some other people and maybe we can get something going this fall once the mosquitos are gone.

    Weetamoo woods is in Tiverton. Right near the four corners where Grays Ice Cream is located.
    http://www.tiverton.ri.gov/governmen...WWandPGmap.pdf

    Arcadia is good stuff, I've only been a handful of times. Its a big place with lots of trails, I've only ridden a handful of the trails so I'm no expert, but there is definitely a lot of riding out there.

    The other hot spot in RI is Big River. Maybe those are the Warwick trails mentioned. I know RI NEMBA does group rides there. Thursday nights I think. Anyway I've never been to Big River, which I mean to remedy this fall. I found some GPS tracks on Crankfire.com so I'm looking to get out and explore.
    RI NEMBA Big River / Carr Pond

    I usually ride at odd times (weekday afternoons mostly) but I usually have Saturday afternoon free to ride. I've been rotating between Weetamoo, Freetown, and Swansea. Once the ice cream shop closes (Oct 8) I'll have a lot more flexibility.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info.

    Weetamoo sounds good, I'll have to check that out soon. I drive right through Tiverton on my way home from work.

    I looked at the link for Big River, and that must be what my meighbor was talking about. He said it was right off 95, and the trail info says it's off exits 6 & 7. Gotta be the place.

  6. #6
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    I rode Freetown almost exactly a year ago when visiting relatives in Fall River. Not a destination location, but I definitely had some fun, especially on the trails around the quarry. My route, which I wouldn't copy but might make a good reference, is here: Freetown Fall River State Forest Ride by quaestionis at Garmin Connect - Details

  7. #7
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    Freetown

    I ride Freetown twice a week, lots of great trails if you know the trail system. Blowdowns are a constant problem but I ride with a group so we stop and move as many as we can.

  8. #8
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    Lobujitracer, I agree that there are still a lot of great trails. I think the biggest problem is navigating without a guide. I've been riding there since the early nineties, so I pretty much know my way around by now, but there are still areas that I don't ride often that confuse me. I think its hard for anyone who doesn't know the place to put together a good ride.

    I was the guy that started building trails in Swansea, and once the ball started rolling it picked up speed quickly. From me, to me and my friends, who broke their 10 year old bikes and went to Bikeworks, which got the shop guys out there, who told their customers, some of whom started building trails and the rest is history.

    Basically having some success there has got me dreaming about the huge potential of Freetown, especially since the Fall River Water Supply land is now open to bikes. If they'd let us build there, and if there was enough of a crew to actually do the work....

    So I'm interested in networking with anybody that rides Freetown. I also plan on trying to meet with the local land managers, even if just to ask permission for maintenance and try to build a relationship. I also carry tools with me every time I ride there, but its overwhelming, between the blowdowns and stuff growing in where the clearcuts are.

    A map and marked intersections would really be needed to make it a great place to ride, but planning that out makes my head spin, and would have to go through DCR and probably Fall River water dept.

    Anyway do you ride with the group that goes out? Is it wednesday nights? I'd like to join up for a ride or two, if just to see the loop you ride and meet some people.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, lots of space/potential in Freetown.

    I used to ride with a couple of different people in the 90's that knew the area quite well, so I got to see alot of great trails. I haven't been there in over a decade though, so I probably don't remember very much of it. I think I remember all of the fire roads, even after I stopped riding I'd go back there occasionally with my Jeep, usually after a good snowfall. Most of the trails we rode ended up meeting back up with the fire roads at some point, so that's one good way to not get lost, just learn the fire roads at least.

    Like I said the other day, definitely count me in on any trail work you want to do in Freetown.

  10. #10
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    I live in Fairhaven, not too far from Freetown. I used to ride there also back in the 90's. I think Yesteryear used to put on some races there. Count me in also for trail work.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatsbullshark View Post
    I live in Fairhaven, not too far from Freetown. I used to ride there also back in the 90's. I think Yesteryear used to put on some races there. Count me in also for trail work.
    That's cool, now there's at least 3 of us for trail work! lol

    I always loved the varied terrain out there. That and the size...it was nice to go out there and be able to ride totally different trails from one weekend to the next.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    That's cool, now there's at least 3 of us for trail work! lol

    I always loved the varied terrain out there. That and the size...it was nice to go out there and be able to ride totally different trails from one weekend to the next.
    Definitely! Good to have more people helping and out riding and the size and diversity of Freetown are its greatest strengths, that and the rocks! Gonna ride there this weekend and assess things again, then hopefully get out there with some power tools.

  13. #13
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    Im in east taunton and massasoit gets to be a bore, id be into helping out and at the same time learning my way around freetown.
    Ive been told its quiet easy to get lost.

  14. #14
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    Also......
    Looking to take my girlfriend (hardtail 29er) and her 10year old son(hardtail 26er) on "family rides"
    Looking for something with like 8-12 mile loop of fireroads or double track.
    they wants to mountain bike with me(and i want them to love it as much as i do!), but having then follow me down singletracks with drops and rockgardens is surely going to make there interest in trail riding fade until they have gained confidence and control on their bikes.
    anyone know of areas in southeastern mass or close by that might be right for us?

  15. #15
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    Ksousa81, check out Copicut Woods or Destruction Brook.

    Copicut Woods abuts the southern part of Freetown State Forest, but its completely different experience. Wide old farm lanes with a bit of singletrack, some of which is very rideable for the beginner. Just avoid the Soggy Bottom Trail as it is mostly unrideable bridges and bogs. Very scenic and mellow. Probably only about 5 miles of trails, but there is a trail that leaves from main parking lot on Indian town road that leads into the Fall River watershed lands to the west. The trail has a really technical section about 15 feet after you leave the parking lot, but after that it gets easier and then you hit a bunch of fire roads. This area isn't marked and its not on the Copicut woods map, but the fire roads are mellow.

    Copicut Woods | Bioreserve | Fall River, MA | The Trustees of Reservations

    Destruction Brook is in South Dartmouth and it has about 8 miles of old farm roads and singletrack. Its not very technical but there are some roots. The marked trails are pretty easy, some of the unmarked trails are bit more technical, but honestly still pretty tame by regular New England MTB standards. Easy to navigate, quiet, and scenic, as soon as my kids are old enough to hit the trails, this is where I'm taking them.

    Destruction_Brook_Woods

    Good luck and have fun!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksousa81 View Post
    Im in east taunton and massasoit gets to be a bore, id be into helping out and at the same time learning my way around freetown.
    Ive been told its quiet easy to get lost.
    Yeah, frankly the place is a navigation nightmare, though truth be told that was part of why I liked it so much when I first started riding there. Getting lost added excitement and miles.

    We'll have to get a group ride together soon, do some riding and pruning.

  17. #17
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    Icecreamjay thanks for the info we will defiantly ride both those locations!
    As for getting lost that is defiantly the truth! Just keep on enjoying yourself cranking away at the miles and thinking that eventually you will find a familiar trail.... Or back track haha

  18. #18
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    I'll vouch for Copicut Woods. I just rode it today with Jay and had a great time. It needs some work, but all in all it was a lot of fun and a great ride.

    A great tip I learned from Jay is to keep a small pair of one handed pruning shears on you, it's a great way to do some quick maintenance on the fly. Branch hit you in the face? Stop and trim it and enjoy NOT getting hit in the face the next time you ride there.

    I'm actually now thinking about some way to mount them to my bike so they're super easy to access and aren't bouncing around in my pocket.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Branch hit you in the face? Stop and trim it and enjoy NOT getting hit in the face the next time you ride there.
    Yep, 485 branches down, only 14,274,987 left to trim.

    Seriously though, good ride today. We also bumped into a guy who works for the Trustees of Reservations, which is the organization responsible for Copicut Woods. Apparently they have been working on a comprehensive map of the Southeast Mass Bioreserve. And its finished!

    If you're not familiar with the bioreserve, its a conglomeration of conservation land including Freetown State forest and all the conneced DCR land as well as the Fall River Watershed land and several local town and charity owned pieces. At 13,000 acres its a pretty decent chunk of land.

    So this guy handed me a 16" by 24" map with every single trail in the greater Freetown area. He says they will soon be available at the Copicut Woods main parking kiosk. I looked it over and I know Freetown very well and there are trails marked that I haven't ridden, or maybe I did and was too lost to even know where I was. The map also includes at least 50 marked intersections. The guy says the signs should be up in the next month or two. So Freetown is getting a Wompatuck/Trail of Tears intersection marking system. With corresponding map. Its my dream come true.

    This makes me want to get out and clear these trails even more. We rode today and the stuff we rode needs a chainsaw pretty badly. Then major pruning on several trails. But definitely something thats doable. Mike and I are planning or riding next Saturday afternoon, maybe do some more cutting. I'll try to get out with a chainsaw one of these days.

    And as they say, pics or it didn't happen

    2012-09-15 002

    2012-09-15 004




    And this one shows the intersection marking better

    2012-09-15 005

    Funny how just yesterday I was *****ing about how hard it is to navigate out there.

  20. #20
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    I ride there sometimes. What part of the forest are you looking to clean up?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

  21. #21
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    Specifically the trails south of the first hunters lot on Copicut Road that lead out towards the Copicut reservoir and the long singletrack that winds out there and also the trail up and down Copicut Hill.

    Once those intersection markers are up and the maps are available it'll be a lot easier to identify the trails that are getting overgrown. Some of the trails are OK, but there are a few choked with blowdowns that could use a chainsaw. I haven't ridden most of the more popular trails up near the ranger station and triangle since before the summer, so I don't really know how much maintenance is needed up there.

  22. #22
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    I would be willing to put some time into cleaning up some of those trails. Usually I ride Massasoit but it gets a little stale


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  23. #23
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    Cool, I'm definitely gonna be trimming some of the trails back, but I'm trying to figure out the best way to organize and get other people out there.

    Maybe a Saturday or Sunday some time in October? Stuntman Mike and I rode most of the good singletrack in the southern part and found a couple of trails that need some attention. We're thinking about riding either around the ledge or from the ranger station next. I figure once we've checked out most of the trails we can see what needs to be done, then plan a ride/trimming day.

    I figure we'll have most of the problem trails identified by then so we can prioritize and pick a route and prune it out.

    I'm gonna go by the ranger station and talk to them about the use of power tools (chainsaw specifically). I think I'll try to chainsaw the blowdown as soon as possible as I'll probably hike to do that.

    I'll keep this thread updated and hopefully we can get a group together to do some basic cleanup. It would be nice to have the trails in good shape by the spring, hopefully the intersection signs will be up and we can recommend some routes that people can use to do their own self guided rides out there. Nothing like a lot of tires to keep the trails in good shape.

  24. #24
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    Hey guys, I've got time Saturday afternoon so I plan on riding in Freetown from around 12:30-4 or so, give or take a half hour either way.

    I've been working on the loop Stuntman Mike and I rode last weekend, so that's what I plan on riding. My plan is to clear those trails, as they're in pretty tough shape.

    Let me know if any of you guys want to come. There are several sections that need pruning and a bunch of blowdowns to cut.

  25. #25
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    Smile count me in

    Brand new to mtb but I live in the area so hit me up when there is sometrail fixing going on!

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