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  1. #1
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    Flowy Smooth Singletrack

    Alright, this has probably been specifically done, or indirectly done, but I couldn't find it so I am hoping to have this come through. I am new to mountain biking (basically) after a 15 year hiatus, and like many of you, love fast flowy singletrack. I realize its not what Mass trails are all about, but I have come across some good choices, but would love to find more. So the criteria is that there has to be a 1. substantial number of miles of 2. fast 3. flowy 4. singletrack. My list so far, in no particular order, is:

    1. Landlocked Forest
    2. Duxbury
    3. Willowdale
    4. Stratham Hill
    5. Russel Mills
    6. Cutler
    7. Franklin Falls
    8. Bear Brook
    9. Western Greenway

    Any other recommendations would be great. I have GPX/TCX files of all my rides if interested in "doing" any of my routes.

  2. #2
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    Big River, Adams Farm, Rayburn, Uxbridge (Goat Hill, Ribbon Candy, West Hill Dam), Otis Air force Base, Trail of Tears, Willow Street and Nickerson come to mind.

  3. #3
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    Hello, Earls trails!
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

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    Robinson SF in Agawam

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    I will second Otis being pretty smooth but I gotta veto Adams farms just got done with the race and some of it is pretty smooth the other have is not at all. Adams farm is definately a cool place to check if you haven't yet

  6. #6
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    Flowy Smooth Singletrack

    Earls.

    Hawley.

  7. #7
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    Agree on earl's but disagree on Hawley. 1. it's awesome (just rode there today) and perhaps compared to Wendell, DAR and B-Street it qualifies as smooth, but not in any general sense can the root and rock strewn trails of Hawley be called smooth.

    2. Flowy...old school flowy, for sure (which I love) but by today's standards (think the KT effect) it's way to tight and turny to be 'flowy' as a whole.

    Neither of which decries the place, as I said, it rules, but only compared to the harsher rides of western, ma can hawley meet the 'smooth and flowy' description.

  8. #8
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    Flowy Smooth Singletrack

    Agree on Hawley: very flowy but yes roots and such. You're right that I was comparing to other Mass fare instead of the rest of the world. Still, my absolute favorite when I'm looking for that flowy feel. The walls!

  9. #9
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    OK my list for fast and flowy in descending order (for MA) :
    -Earls. Close to KT level but there isn't much of it.
    -Cutler Park. Again, not very much but so close to Boston.
    -Otis. I would go here more if it wasn't for the traffic. Great place to ride in winter as it typically is snow free.
    -Trail of Tears. See above.
    -Russell Mill. Fun but not a lot of miles.
    -Goat Hill. My "go to" local ride.
    -West Hill Dam
    -Ribbon Candy
    -Robinson. Probably not worth the drive from the Boston area and not a lot of miles but fun stuff. That said, I haven't been there in a while so they might be chewed up.
    -Rayburn is great but it is not fast and flowy. Sutton WW is probably a little faster and flowier but can also be techy so it doesn't make the list.

    Out of state:
    -Allegrippis Trails in PA. Amazingly fast and flowy. Think 30 mile pump track. Around here a fast ride for me will average 8-9mph. There my average is 10-12 with much more climbing. Dirtfest in May is a must do for the tons of vendors, demos, and free beer. 2013 Dirtfest - Allegrippis Trails - Hydro Loop - YouTube
    -KT sets the bar for flowy, scenic, well build st. With 60+ miles of st it is an awesome place for a long weekend of riding.
    -Ascutney, VT. I was very pleasantly surprised when I was there for VT bike fest. Really great stuff and only 2 hours from Boston.
    -Stowe/Waterbury, VT. Same as above when the fest was there the previous two years. VT is turning into the "go to" place for great st. I've heard Pine Hill, Millstone, and Green Mtn trails are also great but haven't had a chance to ride there yet.
    -FOMBA although there are some tech trails. And I haven't been there in a couple years. FOMBA - Woodpecker - YouTube
    -Big River. Would be really great if they could keep the dirtbikes and atvs off the st.

    It should be noted that I haven't ridden some of the places mentioned (LL, Willowdale, etc).

  10. #10
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    This is great, thanks so much for contributing everyone. I'm excited to try so many of your recommendations. Please keep them coming everyone else!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSumner13 View Post
    Big River, Adams Farm, Rayburn, Uxbridge (Goat Hill, Ribbon Candy, West Hill Dam), Otis Air force Base, Trail of Tears, Willow Street and Nickerson come to mind.
    Some great stuff on this thread, but Rayburn? C'mon, that's like the land of technical switchbacks. I wouldn't call that "flowy" in the least. But I loooooove riding there!

  12. #12
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    Also, if anyone has GPS/TCX routes they could provide, especially if the routes are completing the fast/flowy ST trails in a given area, that would be great. As I mentioned, I have GPS/TCX files for all of my rides and am on Strava, Mapmyride, and Runtastic MTB. Recently mounting the iPhone on the handlebar and following people's routes has been immensely helpful.

  13. #13
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    I'm surprised to see Otis on here multiple times. My definition of flow is based on something akin to KT. I know its the Cape, but Otis is a bumpy ride. I typically describe TOT as the more "flowy" of the two main Cape riding areas, with Otis having more technical riding.

    But I do refer to both as "SS heaven" in that they are quick and fun.

    I'll also second Allegrippis! I went to Penn State and spent a few weekends down there after they built it, it became my mecca and defined the "roller coaster in the woods feel" until I came back to New England and hit KT.

  14. #14
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    Groton town forrest has around 8-10 miles worth. With minimal road work it can be linked into 20+ miles worth with some good climbs in the mix.

  15. #15
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    Do you have any GPX/TCX routes for a Groton Town Forest ride?

  16. #16
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    I have some on garmin connect. Under D.J.Burnham.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVID J View Post
    I have some on garmin connect. Under D.J.Burnham.
    Do you know whether or not its possible for people without a Garmin device to download the files?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lstone84 View Post
    Do you know whether or not its possible for people without a Garmin device to download the files?
    It sure is. Sign up for a Garmin Connect user ID, then search for activities. Select "export", then you can save a gpx file to use in Google Earth, iphone app, etc.

  19. #19
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    Thanks djb2.

    I've sent a garmin connect friend request David J, I think you need to accept before I can view your activities. I went to high school in Groton so I am somewhat familiar with the area.

  20. #20
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    It's always difficult to answer these things because fast and flowy means so many different things to different people. To me, for it to be "fast and flowy," it has to be smooth. That's not true for everyone. My favorite trails to ride are Earle's trails in Amherst/Hadley, mentioned by a number of others. A lot of the good riders call them fast and flowy, but I wouldn't. Compared to B street or Charlemont (also great trail systems), then yes, they are. And it's probably accurate to say that they are pretty flowy in their design. But they are very rooty and have some very tight turns with those exposed roots on a lot of trails, so they really aren't fast IMO. I would say almost every beginner trail and intermediate trail at KT is easier and generally faster than most of Earle's.

    There are 16 miles of single-track in Earle's, which yields a ride with little repetition of anywhere from two hours for an expert rider who is hammering and taking pains to minimize double track to 4 hours for a more leisurely ride with a bit of double-track mixed in. One thing it is not is flat (which is one reason I like it).

    I second the suggestion of Robinson - only ridden there a couple times, but it is fast. I hear from others there is more flow hidden than I experienced.

    Only other place I know of out in this general area is one I just rode for the first time last week, which is Chicopee State Park. There are a few miles of the smoothest flow you'll ever see, but not enough miles to make any significant journey worth it, and I suspect most intermediate and expert riders would get bored quickly. I haven't found a better place to introduce a kid safely to winding single-track around here, though.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVID J View Post
    I have some on garmin connect. Under D.J.Burnham.
    It looks like the rides aren't labeled, do you have the dates for the Groton town forest rides?

  22. #22
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    I would throw charlton street school in southbridge on there as well. I always end up back there. One of my favs.
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  23. #23
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    I'll label a few of the Groton loops to make it easier to pick and choose.

  24. #24
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    If you ride this route it's fast and foley.
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  25. #25
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    I would also add Callahan and the XC Nam trails to this list. I've ridden Callahan twice now and the south side is almost all flow, I'm not sure exactly how many miles are there but my guess is 10ish. I rode both sides last night and put in about 15 miles total and I believe the north side was only 6 of that.

    I'm interested in checking out anything that is 20-30 minutes from the 495/90 interchange. I think Goat Hill might be close to that distance. Not sure about Groton. But if anyone is planning a ride, post up and maybe we can all find some new flow trails.

  26. #26
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    This thread is perfect! I'm coming to Boston to attend a conference in early September. I'm gonna return here as I get closer to plan out my MTB strategy. I have a couple questions:

    Any suggestions on a good place to rent a full suspension bike? Also, aside from flow, what are suggestions on the most scenic trails? I'd be willing to drive (rental car) anywhere that is highly recommended.

    And if anybody finds themselves in Vegas, look me up or contact www.facebook.com/SNMBA and I'll be happy to show you around our neck of the woods.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnar602 View Post
    I would also add Callahan and the XC Nam trails to this list. I've ridden Callahan twice now and the south side is almost all flow, I'm not sure exactly how many miles are there but my guess is 10ish. I rode both sides last night and put in about 15 miles total and I believe the north side was only 6 of that.

    I'm interested in checking out anything that is 20-30 minutes from the 495/90 interchange. I think Goat Hill might be close to that distance. Not sure about Groton. But if anyone is planning a ride, post up and maybe we can all find some new flow trails.
    Hey...there's a number of good ST places within that radius, which ones on the list have you done? Russel Mills, LLF, Great Brook, are all pretty close and awesome for ST. I have some GPX's from many Groton rides and will be exploring that soon. It looks like there is a ton of mileage outside (but connected to) the suggested Groton Town Forest to make for a long ride with lots of ST. If you're interested in doing the ride with me let me know and I will post when I plan on doing it.

    Western Greenway in Belmont is awesome too, one of my favorite rides bc its ST and rather than tightly winding and looping in a small area it makes a huge ST loop through many towns.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluejudad View Post
    This thread is perfect! I'm coming to Boston to attend a conference in early September. I'm gonna return here as I get closer to plan out my MTB strategy. I have a couple questions:

    Any suggestions on a good place to rent a full suspension bike? Also, aside from flow, what are suggestions on the most scenic trails? I'd be willing to drive (rental car) anywhere that is highly recommended.

    And if anybody finds themselves in Vegas, look me up or contact www.facebook.com/SNMBA and I'll be happy to show you around our neck of the woods.
    JRA Medford or Riverside Newburyport, I like riverside.

  29. #29
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    Blue- Do you have a weekend full day to see something scenic? If so do you know what weekend? I'd suggest VT for the most scenic and flow trails around here. The top of Burke at KT is pretty phenomenal but that's about a 3 hour drive each way, KT is tough to beat though, something like 100 miles of singletrack, some lift service machine built trails and some great stuff that descends about 2200 feet off the top of the hill- roughly a 20ish minute downhill on some great flowy hand built trails. If it happens that you're here 9/7 weekend I'll be up in the north country somewhere, either KT or the White Mountains of NH, another place for great views.

    Immediately around metro Boston you've got the Fells (good view of the skyline off the skyline trail lookout, you can't ride skyline trail on a bike but you can take a fireroad to this lookout point). The fells isn't super techy but it's not flow either, it's kind of in the middle. That is going to be the closest MTB trails to Boston, about 5ish miles from the FiDi.

    If you want to see the best trails, and some great views, head up 128 to either exit 17, 15, or 14. All have great trails and some awesome views, mainly of landscape like the ocean and rolling NE style hills.

    Close to Boston you also have Landlocked, Needham Town Forest, Hale Reservation/Satans Kingdom, Lynn Woods (one of the most technical rated trail systems in the country), Vietnam, Fells (mentioned above), Wompatuck, Willowdale (mentioned above), Pisgah, Callahan, and if you get a bit further out the options keep expanding.

    I've ridden Vegas a bunch of times Bootleg, the stuff out by Red Rock Canyon. You're not really going to find views like that around here, we just don't have that kind of vert that close to the city. The climbs close to Boston tend to be short spurts here and there but add them all up and you can easily link together 1000+ climbing, just doesn't come quite as easy as heading up the trails to the top of bootleg. Also the trails here aren't marked nearly as well, since there are trees everywhere it's best to go with someone who knows the area, almost all of these places have group rides going most weekends and quite a few weekdays.

    Anyways, hope that helps. Can't wait to go back to bootleg again, great stuff there!

  30. #30
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    Ward Reservation in North Andover is a good mix of great scenery and great trails. Also, Appleton Farms in Ipswich provides a great scenic look at Massachusetts, if you know the route to ride, with woodsy single and double track trails as well as some meadows, pastures, farmland, and more, really beautiful.

  31. #31
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    I find it really hard to call anything in Massoftwosh!ts flowy, or in New England for that matter. For those who have been lucky enough to ride the real flowy single track in the west, it means one thing. For those who have only ridden in New England, it means another thing entirely.

    I moved back here after getting into mtb riding seriously in California. I regret that decision every day. I have ridden a good amount in New England in search of that West coast like single track and after 6 years of searching I can honestly say it cant be found. No long 2-3 hour climbs that you can bomb down in half an hour. While in California the thought of getting on a road bike was an anathema to me. Now that I live in Mass, I have 8 road bikes and 1 mtb. I like speed and I just cant find much of it on my mtb.

    I just got a new mtb and am again feverishly searching for that smooth fast flowy-ness we all crave so much. I don’t mind techy stuff just as long as I can carry some speed through it and am not teetering around trying to unclip or trials my way out of eating it. All I want is some flow, some views (not much), some open meadow-ish trails and some water (river, lake, stream) so my dog can drink and I can stop and think.

    There are some nicer places to ride where some nice speed and flow is to be had. Calahan is great, both the Marlborough and Framingham sides. Cutler is super flowy, especially that little peninsula and the wooden bridges are a blast (just watch out for that last puddle in the swamp, you’ll know what I mean). Great Brooks Farm is awesome, plus you can get ice-cream! Groton Town forest is nice but pretty claustrophobic, no meadows or views, nice river trail though. Same for Stow town forest.

    Lynn woods…meh, Vietnam (aka Satan’s @$$#0le)…meh, Blue hills…meh, Gilbert hills is ok been there a few times and left somewhat satisfied, Leominster town forest…meh. Wachusett is a great road climb though!

    Rode to Mt.Holyoke once, I guess that is what people call B-street. 1.5 hours drive for me, it was great but turned pretty technical at the top and had to hike a bike some. Have to check out Earls for sure!
    If your willing to drive, Killington is the best single track downhill I have found. Highland was ok if you don’t mind all the DH clones and grommits, but I have not been there in years. Made the mistake of climbing Gunstock once, basically a grueling fire-road hike a bike session, never again! Oh and Mt. Snow was way too technical, not worth the drive IMO.

    Never been to Kingdom trails, want to but the drive is insane. Skied Burke once and promised myself never to drive that far again. I can see Maine having some good single track. Acadia is great for road biking even on the carriage trails.

    Did my first ride in the Fells yesterday. I got lost, its pretty big and has some nice single track hidden away. I guess the orange trail is the way to go. Skyline was not bikable at all from what I saw. Overall impression at the end of the ride was meh, but I need to go back and do/find the whole orange trail (looks like clockwise is best). I guess there is a lot of drama between the dog walkers/mtb riders and the environmental wackos the “Friends of Fells”.

    Alas, truly flowy trails are very hard to find around these here parts, we have the glaciers that ravaged New England thousands of years ago to thank for that.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMjunky View Post
    Alas, truly flowy trails are very hard to find around these here parts, we have the glaciers that ravaged New England thousands of years ago to thank for that.
    Very important to keep this in mind - someone above had said that "flow" means different things to different people, and one thing is perfectly clear: Massachusetts' riding is way more technical in nature than pretty much the rest of the country.

    We get something like KT and it's a God-send, where as NC, GA, CA, etc have that as local trail. Hey, I say learn to love what you got!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMjunky View Post
    I find it really hard to call anything in Massoftwosh!ts flowy, or in New England for that matter. For those who have been lucky enough to ride the real flowy single track in the west, it means one thing. For those who have only ridden in New England, it means another thing entirely.

    I moved back here after getting into mtb riding seriously in California. I regret that decision every day. I have ridden a good amount in New England in search of that West coast like single track and after 6 years of searching I can honestly say it cant be found. No long 2-3 hour climbs that you can bomb down in half an hour. While in California the thought of getting on a road bike was an anathema to me. Now that I live in Mass, I have 8 road bikes and 1 mtb. I like speed and I just cant find much of it on my mtb.

    I just got a new mtb and am again feverishly searching for that smooth fast flowy-ness we all crave so much. I don’t mind techy stuff just as long as I can carry some speed through it and am not teetering around trying to unclip or trials my way out of eating it. All I want is some flow, some views (not much), some open meadow-ish trails and some water (river, lake, stream) so my dog can drink and I can stop and think.

    There are some nicer places to ride where some nice speed and flow is to be had. Calahan is great, both the Marlborough and Framingham sides. Cutler is super flowy, especially that little peninsula and the wooden bridges are a blast (just watch out for that last puddle in the swamp, you’ll know what I mean). Great Brooks Farm is awesome, plus you can get ice-cream! Groton Town forest is nice but pretty claustrophobic, no meadows or views, nice river trail though. Same for Stow town forest.

    Lynn woods…meh, Vietnam (aka Satan’s @$$#0le)…meh, Blue hills…meh, Gilbert hills is ok been there a few times and left somewhat satisfied, Leominster town forest…meh. Wachusett is a great road climb though!

    Rode to Mt.Holyoke once, I guess that is what people call B-street. 1.5 hours drive for me, it was great but turned pretty technical at the top and had to hike a bike some. Have to check out Earls for sure!
    If your willing to drive, Killington is the best single track downhill I have found. Highland was ok if you don’t mind all the DH clones and grommits, but I have not been there in years. Made the mistake of climbing Gunstock once, basically a grueling fire-road hike a bike session, never again! Oh and Mt. Snow was way too technical, not worth the drive IMO.

    Never been to Kingdom trails, want to but the drive is insane. Skied Burke once and promised myself never to drive that far again. I can see Maine having some good single track. Acadia is great for road biking even on the carriage trails.

    Did my first ride in the Fells yesterday. I got lost, its pretty big and has some nice single track hidden away. I guess the orange trail is the way to go. Skyline was not bikable at all from what I saw. Overall impression at the end of the ride was meh, but I need to go back and do/find the whole orange trail (looks like clockwise is best). I guess there is a lot of drama between the dog walkers/mtb riders and the environmental wackos the “Friends of Fells”.

    Alas, truly flowy trails are very hard to find around these here parts, we have the glaciers that ravaged New England thousands of years ago to thank for that.
    It is all relative, for sure. The geography certainly prevents long gradual climbs with big fast descents as a reward. Although NE fast and flowy is relative, there still is great variation among NE singletrack. Albeit somewhat limited, there are areas to ride, or sometimes individual trails, that are fast with minimal obstacles and are reasonably flowy. Compared to the other end of the spectrum, where singletrack trails wind unfathomably tight and full of huge roots and sometimes impassible jagged rock piles, the 'smooth' NE singletrack seem like heaven. There are a number of those types of trails around where you can keep a good speed, avoid 180 degree windy turns, and face minimal rocks and roots. But, they are outnumbered by technical singletrack, and that is why I started this discussion, in order to identify all of the smoothEST, fastEST, singletrack in Massachusetts (all of NE as well). So far the list is pretty good, although sometimes requires some driving.

    It should also be noted that within most NE towns where a forest exists there is some nice singletrack. There have been tons of locations I have biked in where this exists, there just usually isn't a ton of mileage so it doesn't make the list.

  34. #34
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    If anyone wants an extended tour of Groton I'd be happy to give a tour.
    As far as comparisons to the west coast,this is Boston,not L.A. This is Boston, F*CK L.A. !!!
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  35. #35
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    All hail Lord Humongous! Flow is where you make it.

    But, I've had better luck making it some places than others. Lowell-Dracut has great flow IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    All hail Lord Humongous! Flow is where you make it.

    But, I've had better luck making it some places than others. Lowell-Dracut has great flow IMO.
    I did LDTSF last weekend. While some of the singletrack was reasonably flowy, the majority of it was the opposite of flowy. It was tight and windy and littered with small to large jagged rocks and rock formations. While I like a challenge during parts of my ride, there was way too much of this technical type of singletrack to call it flowy. It wasn't the most tech ST I've rode around here, but it was reasonably tecnical for most of most of the ST trails. I think there were some St trails that were more flowy that I missed, but even still a large portion of them were not flowy at all, based on the definition we are using and based on other's ST recommendations.

  37. #37
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    3 hours is an insane drive? Hmm. I grew up riding the west too, Arizona. We drove 5 hours to the closest DH park there, we would drive up at 4am ride until dark, and be home by 1am or so the next morning, almost a 24 hour day. I can't say any drive I do around New England even remotely compares to what I drove out West. It seemed like everything there was 200-300 miles minimum. And now you've got one of the best single track places a mere 180 miles away and it's too far?

    I've been able to regularly put in long climbs in New England. They're not going to exist within 128 or even 495 for that matter but there's enough climbing close by to keep you in shape for weekend trips. White Mountains, Holyoke Range, Green Mountain Trails, Charlemont, Bear Brook, Waterbury, Stowe, Millstone, all have west coast caliber climbing on any substantial mileage you put in.

    The fells isn't my favorite but if you haven't done the the stuff along 128 you're missing out on the best Mass has to over. From exit 17 on up through Gloucester you can connect something like 50-60 miles of trails. They are technical however.

    You're right that you're not going to find a 4000 foot sustained climb next to the boston waterfront. But after being here for about 4 years now I can say that if I did move back west I would seriously miss New England riding.

  38. #38
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    Willowdale is your spot. Along with Vermont. Very little rocks and very little technical challenges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnar602 View Post
    I've been able to regularly put in long climbs in New England. They're not going to exist within 128 or even 495 for that matter but there's enough climbing close by to keep you in shape for weekend trips. White Mountains, Holyoke Range, Green Mountain Trails, Charlemont, Bear Brook, Waterbury, Stowe, Millstone, all have west coast caliber climbing on any substantial mileage you put in.
    There are no long climbs in the Holyoke Range (where I ride a couple times a week). We're talking at most 400 feet of vertical and there are very few single tracks that take that in one shot. But the rest of those places you mention, absolutely there are, though it seems true that you don't have the same kind of steady 3000-4000 foot climbs they have out west.

    And I agree, 3 hours to KT doesn't seem that bad for a couple times a year.

    As others have mentioned, some of the disagreements have to do with the difference between a "smooth" trail and a "flowy" trail. I have ridden quite a few trails that are flowy in design, but many of them have too many rocks and roots for me to consider them flowy. This morning I rode Earl's much more slowly than I usually do and it also hit me that a lot of it has to do with how fast you ride it. Some trails that I have wouldn't consider flowy at my normal speed seemed much more flowy today. Roots don't interrupt the flow as much at 5 mph compared to 10 or 12.

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    Good point. I think 400 was about my longest climb at B Street/Earls. My total ride there was something like 2500 climbing, spread across 25ish miles, so it felt like a good climbing day in my mind. Are you interested in riding next Saturday morning, 8/10? I've been trying to get back out there for a while now but it's been a few months. I've only ridden it 5 or so times, I don't know it very well yet. But I would consider it one of my favorites in New England.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnar602 View Post
    Good point. I think 400 was about my longest climb at B Street/Earls. My total ride there was something like 2500 climbing, spread across 25ish miles, so it felt like a good climbing day in my mind. Are you interested in riding next Saturday morning, 8/10? I've been trying to get back out there for a while now but it's been a few months. I've only ridden it 5 or so times, I don't know it very well yet. But I would consider it one of my favorites in New England.
    Yeah, if you ride 25 miles, you'll definitely get at least 2500 feet of climbing for sure. Earl's in particular I normally get about 1000 feet an hour (I'm kind of a mid-range sport level rider, a little better at climbing, a little slower on some sorts of tech).
    There are one or two double tracks that climb about 400 feet.

    I am riding at the Great Glen race on 8/10 so I won't be able to take you up on your offer, but I'm more than happy to do it a bit later in year if it works out. Feel free to PM me. I know Earl's extremely well, while B street I know the general layout but still whip out Maprika from time to time if I want to know exactly where I am. What I haven't ridden is the less technical area on the southwest side of the notch - I have heard it's mostly double-track.

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    I strongly believe, that even if we had 4000' peaks around here, no-one would be building trails like the OP is looking for. The typical NE trail builder is going to build trail that circles the hills, following the natural contours, mixing in descents into all climbing trails. Unless you're building by machine, and moving tons of dirt, nothing in New England is going to be Western smooth. Hardwood forests and glacial till, yield rooty, rocky trails. Is there flow? Absolutely, but not the 12mph, all down hill flow the OP is looking for...

    Enjoy what you have guys, the variety in New England makes this arguably the best MTB riding anywhere.
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    Fundamentally I think Harold is right, although some of the non-machined trails at KT are pretty much smooth. But they also have a full-time trail crew of 9 (I think) in the summer.

    Me, I love all sorts of trails. Trails I can't ride without getting on and off a lot (Lizard King at B street for instance) and trails like the few miles in Chicopee State Park that really are 100% smooth. Trails like the rugged but very rideable stuff Harold's done at Charlemont and trails like Jester at KT (one of the machined lift-accessed downhill jump trail)trail. Given how New England trails are and how different people's opinions are as to flow, the details people have provided in this thread are very helpful in figuring out which ones to try. So thanks to lstone84 for starting the thread!

  44. #44
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    Trail of Tears on Cape Cod or Duxbury Town Forest are flowy to me. Bu I've never been out of Mass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eparrot View Post
    Fundamentally I think Harold is right, although some of the non-machined trails at KT are pretty much smooth. But they also have a full-time trail crew of 9 (I think) in the summer.

    Me, I love all sorts of trails. Trails I can't ride without getting on and off a lot (Lizard King at B street for instance) and trails like the few miles in Chicopee State Park that really are 100% smooth. Trails like the rugged but very rideable stuff Harold's done at Charlemont and trails like Jester at KT (one of the machined lift-accessed downhill jump trail)trail. Given how New England trails are and how different people's opinions are as to flow, the details people have provided in this thread are very helpful in figuring out which ones to try. So thanks to lstone84 for starting the thread!
    no problem, i've greatly appreciated the responses here. I have never rode outside of NE, so I only know NE fast and flowy, and thats fast and flowy enough for me.

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    Harold Parker has got some great technical flow.

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    Gnar... thank you so much for the information. I may be there for the weekend you mention. My conference starts on the 8th. I don't have a flight yet, but, perhaps I can get up there for that Saturday and Sunday you mention. I can message you privately when I know more details of my schedule. I'd love to do that IMBA 'Epic' in Vermont. A friend and I are having a race to do the most Epics. We're tied at about 6 a piece. I'm heading to Idaho this Monday to knock out another. I will need to rent a bike... and a car for that matter. And find a place to stay.

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    Give me roots or give me death! This is Boston not BC!

    Yes, flow exists in the colonies. Just look at how many trail reviews there are for MA on mtbr, and then pat yourself on the back for riding any of them. Except the thorns and bugs, they can go to hell.

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    I can ride my CX bike comfortably at HP, Greenway and Willowdale. I can also do the fire roads at the Fells but its not much fun, otherwide I beat the rock and roots on my MTB.
    As for East Coast vs West Coast, many many years ago I used to ride the national AMA enduro circuit for Husqvarna and KTM. We New England riders found that rest of the country was a lot less challenging than here although there were good races in PA and Michigan. We used to say that if you can ride New England you can ride anywhere. Skiing is like that too since we are used to icy rutted conditions compared to the groomers of the West.

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    Another voter for the old Trail of Tears... to me flowy isn't a calculation of how many times i have to pedal or push limits. Flow to me is the whole conglomeration of environmental challenges laden with scenic serenity. Then again i was never one for shuttle or lift riding so maybe my whole spec of flow is rubbish. For every downhill there is a greater climb. I've ridden only on New England soil, so I can't say anything bad about freshly mowed and carpeted trails of the mid west, the north shore, or even far west. I watch a ton of videos on the tubes though, that make me pro internet jockey ?

    I frequently ride a 15 mile loop i setup around my town. It takes me from my home on the cove and down the ave, behind the industrial and commercial businesses, through the shopping center, out through a nature preserve, and down through the village. From there I enter the town forest and jaunt a few trails through there and make my way onto more public roads. A hop and a wheelie away and I'm back into more land trust property and into yet more nature preserve trails. I got three main loops and try to never take the same trail out and back. According to Strava ( the fibbing crap app it is ) I only climb on average 375 feet... Yet, I would consider my ride to have some pretty sweet Flow.
    Get it ?
    I also throw a vote in for Otis, although Otis doesn't seem to get the grooming care that ToT gets so it tends to be more of a challenge in some areas.

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