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  1. #1
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    Rultland SP and surrounding area

    I just heard from the owner of Fritz's that mountain bikes are not allowed on the trails in Rutland/Oakham/Barre/Hubbardston, only the rail trail and fire roads. Some people have been warned of fines and that it is going to be patroled. I know a lot of people ride there, but does anyone know what happened?

  2. #2
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    My guess is the rouge trail building around the watershed area and that people are posting the rides on Strava which are creating more traffic. This is noticed by the rangers which got the attention of some of the big wigs and the rest is history. I know that there are people who are working on a solution, I believe NEMBA is involved as well. But until there is some kind of decision made or hearing for this issue, please do not ride the trails that are off limits, this will just give them more reason to close them down for good.

    This is not the only place where people are getting fined either. The old AMC trails in worcester/paxton and holden are and have been off limits. But until recently the reservoir security wasn't cracking down. Now if you get caught in there it is a $250-$1000 fine and they take your bike. Ride at your own risk, they also have game cameras to take your pic and if your car is parked near the green gate on Howard st you will automatically be fined as well, ask me how I know this.

    -Nolan

  3. #3
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    Okay, that makes sense. I did a road ride in the area today and actually read the access sign. It clearly states which blazes are for bikes. I just have to now look for them or ride somewhere else until things are resolved. I live a half mile from the old AMC trails and stopped riding there years ago when someone pointed out the No Tresspassing sign. The last thing I need at my age is to get in trouble for riding my bike...

  4. #4
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    This all really bums me out! Here's hoping that there's some resolution. Until then, I will abide (and ride my road bike more).

  5. #5
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    Does this include the midstate trail (within Rutland SP?) and the "T" trails?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by goingblankagain View Post
    Does this include the midstate trail (within Rutland SP?) and the "T" trails?
    Good question, I would say do not ride that either for the time being just in case. The rail trail and fire roads do allow biking though.

    -Nolan

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by goingblankagain View Post
    Does this include the midstate trail (within Rutland SP?) and the "T" trails?
    Yes, bicycles are, and have been since 2000(?), banned from ALL singletrack throughout the 25,000 acre Ware River Watershed. What's new are the enforcement threats. It's important to note that Rutland State Park is a tiny ~250 acres comprised mostly of Whitehall Pond and the picnic/beach area. Normally when you ride in Rutland, etc, you are in the Ware River Watershed.

    I am actively working this issue with several other locals and NEMBA. Lots of meetings have and will be taking place. Here is the official statement thus far:

    Ware Watershed & Mountain Biking | NEMBA

    Stay tuned...that web link should be updated as we know more.
    Last edited by icycle; 01-05-2015 at 07:52 AM.
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the update and your work on this issue.

  9. #9
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    Fritz's said there was an update and it doesn't look too good. See icycle comment below:
    Last edited by vw_steggie; 10-07-2014 at 01:47 PM. Reason: asked to by another user

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vw_steggie View Post
    Fritz's said there was an update and it doesn't look too good
    Thanks for updating the group VW, I'd neglected to do so after we posted the message. Would you mind editing your post to replace the copied content with the link:

    Finding Solutions and Improving Mountain Biking in the Ware Watershed | NEMBA

    We've found that having the content in one spot (NEMBA website) is preferable to copy/paste since we've had some clarifications come in since we originally posted the statement; one copy is better than many to edit if needed.

    Thanks
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  11. #11
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    Rather disappointing. I get the watershed needs protecting, but horses and walkers have less impact?

  12. #12
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    I think it is more politics and the new director's opinion of cyclist that is the issue. That land has been torn apart so many times by logging and farming that the recreation users should have little effect. Anyway, in the first NEMBA link, horse are allowed on only two trails. I would think the snow machine use in the winter and the walkers that throw their trash everywhere polute more.
    Last edited by vw_steggie; 11-06-2014 at 06:51 PM.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vw_steggie View Post
    We have a date now, 2019...
    Don't despair, the rules can and have changed between access plan revisions. We are awaiting a response to this:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/n1j0b0wclu...o_DCR.pdf?dl=0
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  15. #15
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    I know, I know. It just made me a little sad when I saw the date. On another note, did they stop enforcing the trail ban? I've been riding the dirt roads the past couple weeks and still see groups coming in and out of the trails during the day and after dark...

  16. #16
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    Ware River Watershed trails info meeting: Wed Jan 14, 7pm at the Rutland Library. Spread the word and read on for more info... The date is set and the venue is secured for the January meeting that we polled people for ( Doodle: Ware River Watershed Trails Informational Meeting ).

    We've closed the poll and are announcing the date as Wed Jan 14. We booked the large room in the downstairs of the Rutland Town Library, 280 Main St, Rutland, MA. The library is in the center of town, on Rte 122A, just to the left as you face the two churches. Enter in the lower rear library door. The meeting will start at 7pm but we've got the room starting at 6:30pm so feel free to come earlier so we can start on time. Please spread the word of this, would like to reach as many as possible. Thanks!

    With that, we will begin spreading the word and your help is welcomed and needed to do this. To be sure, we are working to help solve the issues the DCR is facing in the watershed while at the same time balancing access for non-motorized trail users. We want more than anything to create a win-win arrangement and welcome you to join us on this journey.

    Thanks for your help and hope to see you there
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  17. #17
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    Reminder: this meeting (see post #16 above) is tomorrow evening.
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  18. #18
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    Final reminder, see you tonight.
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  19. #19
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    How did it go?
    My MTB themed graphic tees:
    https://www.mteeb.com

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangur View Post
    How did it go?
    It went very well. Packed room (~60 people), very interactive discussion, lots of questions answered and suggestions made. Stay tuned for more info.

    If anyone here cares about the outcome of this issue, just PM me your name & email address and we'll keep you in the loop on the latest and how you can help.

    Thanks!
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  21. #21
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    Hi folks,

    The beginning of a solution for Ware River Watershed public access issues is here. If you enjoy spending time in these beautiful 25,000 acres in Barre, Hubbardston, Oakham, Petersham, Phillipston and Rutland, MA, please visit:

    Friends of the Ware River Watershed

    Thank you!
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  22. #22
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    Hi folks,

    Despite the silence on this and other public forums, NEMBA has been hard at work on this issue.

    This article was published today:
    Mark Conti: Mountain bikers seek compromise on riding in watershed - Sports - telegram.com - Worcester, MA

    The proposal mentioned in the article will soon be released publicly. Then we'll schedule another public meeting to catch everyone up and talk about next steps.
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  23. #23
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    Good job! Thanks for sharing.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by icycle View Post
    Despite the silence on this and other public forums, NEMBA has been hard at work on this issue.

    This article was published today:
    Mark Conti: Mountain bikers seek compromise on riding in watershed - Sports - telegram.com - Worcester, MA

    The proposal mentioned in the article will soon be released publicly. Then we'll schedule another public meeting to catch everyone up and talk about next steps.
    Here is a summary of where things are. This article also has a link to the submitted proposal:
    http://nemba.org/news/nemba-presents...proposal-eoeea

    We just set up a poll to choose the best date for the promised public informational meeting in mid-January. Vote here: Doodle: Ware River Watershed Public Access Update

    If you are interested in this issue, I highly encourage you to read through the proposal, vote for all the info meeting dates you can attend and hopefully we can accommodate the majority and see you there in January with your thoughts and questions.

    Thanks all.
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  25. #25
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    Newsletter just published with details on a public info meeting we're hosting Wednesday January 13th at 7pm:

    Inaugural Ware River Watershed Newsletter
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  26. #26
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    First, I wish you success in this land-access issue. Dealing with the state and/or state agencies is about as effective as talking to a wall most of the time in MA.

    Illegal trail building is generally a statement on what's available (or not) at a particular riding destination. When you have land managers that indicate you have many miles of roads to ride on and you don't need additional trails, you're not likely to convince them otherwise.

    Regardless of one's opinion on rogue trail building - the picture in the newsletter (if it's the trail next to Prison Camp) is the best built trail at Ware, and it's sustainable in it's current form - except maybe the small techy area near the end that collects water sometimes.

    The "official" argument about trail access/building and trail user's polluting water is BS. Any drinking water there is underground in a aqueduct heading to Boylston. Are they protecting the beaver ponds or the Ware River? If the river, then one could easily "pollute" the water from the bike path or outside of the actual watershed land.

    One thing that is depressing in addition to Ware was how quickly access to the Mid-State in this area was also lost.

    Thanks for volunteering your time. It is appreciated.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by berkshire_rider View Post
    Thanks for volunteering your time. It is appreciated.
    Thanks!

    The trail pic in the newsletter is at the end of one of the trails that wraps around Muddy Pond, fairly close to Rte 122 just south of Old Turnpike Rd. But I agree, many of these unauthorized trails are well designed, especially the "East Prison Camp" trail with a few exceptions that are easily remedied.

    I also agree that rogue trailbuilding flourishes in areas under-served with trails. The area between the Quabbin and Worcester is extremely lacking in trails, especially on public land. The mentality that all of these citizens should just "go somewhere else" is not a solution. If the use is harmless, as it is in this case, then we need to find a way to authorize it.

    REMINDER: PUBLIC MEETING TONIGHT (WED 1/13) 7pm RUTLAND LIBRARY
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  28. #28
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    How'd the meeting go?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2blt View Post
    How'd the meeting go?
    I thought it went very well, but I'm a biased source

    We will write up a meeting summary and send it out in the next newsletter to the (currently) 123 people signed up here: Friends of the Ware River Watershed
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

  30. #30
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    I believe I signed up for the Friends of Ware River...

  31. #31
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    Mountain bikers hope for happy trails in Ware River Watershed | January 28, 2016 | www.thelandmark.com | Landmark

    "Last year, watershed protection officials told students from the Central Tree Middle School Mountain Biking Club that they were forbidden to use the trails on their rides."

  32. #32
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    The Friends of the Ware River Watershed published a newsletter yesterday:

    Late Winter Updates for the Ware River Watershed

    If you didn't receive it, either you're not signed up at Friends of the Ware River Watershed or it's trapped in your spam box. In any case, read it here and post what you think.
    See you at the Treasure Valley Rally XC MTB race in Rutland, MA on Sunday August 28, 2016!

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