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  1. #1
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    SE Mass Bioreserve / Freetown SF

    Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve

    This thread is to post the lastest in MTB info/news concerning the SE Mass bioreserve/ Freetown SF.

    The Bioreserve is a joint effort between DCR, Fish and Game, Fall River, the Trustees of Reservations, the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, and some other municipal and conservation land. It is over 13,500 acres and includes all of Freetown State Forest.

    The bioreserve is managed to protect biodiversity, provide recreation, protect the Fall River water supply and manage forestry assets. It is open to hunting, biking, motorcycles (in the northern part of Freetown SF), hiking, fishing, etc.

    The bioreserve has over 50 miles of dirt roads and trails. Freetown SF has long been in a popular riding spot but has been in a slow decline for the last 10 years or so. A major insect infestation, loss of land and trails due to a new highway ramp, increased motorcycle use, budget cuts, and general neglect have all contributed.

    The good news is that with the creation of the bioreserve, the Watuppa reservation has been opened to the public. A federal grant was secured to create a unified map. Also, local riders have finally had enough and have begun working with NEMBA to improve the trails. So far about 15 miles of trails have been cleared of blowdowns. The trail corridors have been pruned back and we are in the process of installing intersection markers.

    In the interest of making this whole project manageable I'm dividing the bioreserve into 3 riding areas. The ledge trails, the ranger station trails, and the Copicut trails.

    So far all work has been concentrated on the Copicut trails. These trails are not open to motorcycles and as such, were in the most danger of being completely overgrown.
    Last edited by icecreamjay; 12-16-2012 at 08:52 AM.
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    The biggest development so far concerning the Bioreserve is definitely the map. The map is 16'x24" and shows almost every trail in the bioreserve. Most intersections are marked, with codes corresponding to nearby natural features.

    Unfortunately the map is not available online. I have been given permission to post my own modified copy here and also on the nemba places to ride page (when I get around to it). So far I only have the Copicut Trails map ready. This is only a portion of the official map. I have marked the trails that are ready to ride by circling them with pink.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33175822@N06/8275560462/" title="Copicut Trails temp by Ice Cream Jay, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8058/8275560462_0a8446bf2c_b.jpg" width="798" height="1024" alt="Copicut Trails temp"></a>
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    Also, not all the intersection markers are up yet. So far the KP, MB and CH signs are up. I should have the HS signs installed by the new year. BR, QG, and DD should be up in January.

    If you're wondering,

    KP - King Philip
    MB - Miller Brook
    CH - Copicut Hill
    HS - Hex Spring
    BR - Bell Rock
    QG - Queens Gutter
    MP - Mowry Path
    DD - Dr. Durfee
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    AND ... if you haven't ridden the Copicut trails I highly recommend them. These trails are quiet, remote and technical. The terrain is gently rolling, not many steep ups and downs like the ledge. I gps'd a 16 mile loop and did just over 1000 ft vertical climbing/descending. The trails are a nice mix of tech rocks and roots and some smoother old moto trails. Less rocky than the ranger station, not as sandy as the ledge.

    If the ranger station and ledge turned you off, please don't let that experience stop you from riding these trails. There is nothing that I would call amazing, just long singletrack trails through some beautiful and quiet woods. The trails are also quite dry by Freetown standards. Come check em out and make your own opinion. Personally I think these are great trails and a good complement to our other local spots.
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  5. #5
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    Awesome work on this, now I want to check it out...

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    Great, keep in mind that work is ongoing as well. The main trails are mostly clear, and I've leaf blown some of the trails, but some of the side trails still need a bit of pruning and raking/blowing. And the more tires we get rolling over these trails will help out too.

    Hopefully by spring I'll have everything in this part of the forest cleared and leafblown.
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    Awesome job Jay!!

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    Sounds like a lot of positive momentum is going down here. I'd be up for making the trip down there, is there any way we can get an address for one of the parking lots? I assume the Copicut trails are best accessed from the Copicut Lot?

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    Nice work Jay!

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    Sounds great, thanks for putting the time in working on both the trails and the map! I've never ridden there but will have to check it out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnar602 View Post
    Sounds like a lot of positive momentum is going down here. I'd be up for making the trip down there, is there any way we can get an address for one of the parking lots? I assume the Copicut trails are best accessed from the Copicut Lot?
    Good point, forgot about parking.

    I fiddled around with google earth and I found addresses that take you close to the parking areas. I'm not sure if these would translate to other GPS' as they aren't real addresses as far as I know, they just put the google earth arrow in the right place.

    The best parking from the east (New Bedford, Cape Cod) is the Miller's Brook Lot. It's on Copicut Road in Fall River. This lot only holds 2-3 cars, but you could park on the side of the road nearby.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=500+C...tts+02747&z=16

    From the West (Fall River, Providence) the easiest parking is the Copicut Woods Lot located on Indian Town Road in Fall River. This lot holds probably 10-12 cars and you could also some spots where you could park on the side of the road nearby. I also included a link to the official Copicut Woods site.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=1750+...tts+02790&z=16

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


    There are two options for those of you coming from the north (rt 24). I think the best option currently is either to park at the triangle (the corner of Copicut road and Bell Rock Road/High St.) and ride up Copicut road to the hunters lot, or to keep going up Copicut road towards the Hunters lot and just park at the end of the pavement. If you have 4 wheel drive and are feeling adventurous you could continue up to the Hunters Lot. Here's a link to the end of the pavement. The Hunters lot holds a lot of cars, but is inaccessible to non 4x4's. I don't see a problem parking along Copicut road on this stretch. It sees very little traffic and everybody used to just park on the side of the road at the triangle anyways. Now that there are houses at the triangle I don't see it as a great parking area anymore.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=85+Co...tts+02702&z=15

    The other spot from the north is to drive down Bell Rock Road to the Canfield lot. This lot only holds 2-3 cars, but once again, side of the road parking shouldn't be a problem, the hunters all do it. Drive all the way down Bell Rock Rd, which is now paved. Look for a small parking area on the right with some boulders shortly after the pavement ends. The dirt road here is in good shape and can be used by any vehicle. It gets pretty rough south of here though.

    The trails around this parking area haven't really be worked on yet, so I don't recommend this parking for now. I think in a year or two this will be an excellant place to park when coming from the north.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=10+Be...tts+02790&z=17

    One thing I wouldn't do is try to drive the other roads in the bioreserve, as many of them are in very, very rough shape. For instance there is a second hunters lot in the middle of copicut road. You need a 4x4 with good clearance and the guts to drive through massive, deep puddles to get to that lot. The section of Bell Rock between the Canfield lot and the Watuppa pond is very rough as well as almost all the roads in the Watuppa Res. The roads on the map with the black and white dashed markings are the roughest.
    Last edited by icecreamjay; 12-18-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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    Thanks for the info! As long as conditions allow for it I'll try to get a couple of guys who are up for exploring a new area to head down there. The only other south shore locations I've been to are Wompatuck, Boarderland, and Foxboro. Judging from the terrain I've always known there was tons of potential anywhere a nice tract of undeveloped land exists.

    Thanks for all the hard work. If/when you post up trail days I'm always happy to help expand what we have to ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    Good point, forgot about parking.

    I fiddled around with google earth and I found addresses that take you close to the parking areas. I'm not sure if these would translate to other GPS' as they aren't real addresses as far as I know, they just put the google earth arrow in the right place.

    The best parking from the east (New Bedford, Cape Cod) is the Miller's Brook Lot. It's on Copicut Road in Fall River. This lot only holds 2-3 cars, but you could park on the side of the road nearby.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=500+C...tts+02747&z=16

    From the West (Fall River, Providence) the easiest parking is the Copicut Woods Lot located on Indian Town Road in Fall River. This lot holds probably 10-12 cars and you could also some spots where you could park on the side of the road nearby. I also included a link to the official Copicut Woods site.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=1750+...tts+02790&z=16

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


    There are two options for those of you coming from the north (rt 24). I think the best option currently is either to park at the triangle (the corner of Copicut road and Bell Rock Road/High St.) and ride up Copicut road to the hunters lot, or to keep going up Copicut road towards the Hunters lot and just park at the end of the pavement. If you have 4 wheel drive and are feeling adventurous you could continue up to the Hunters Lot. Here's a link to the end of the pavement. The Hunters lot holds a lot of cars, but is inaccessible to non 4x4's. I don't see a problem parking along Copicut road on this stretch. It sees very little traffic and everybody used to just park on the side of the road at the triangle anyways. Now that there are houses at the triangle I don't see it as a great parking area anymore.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=85+Co...tts+02702&z=15

    The other spot from the north is to drive down Bell Rock Road to the Canfield lot. This lot only holds 2-3 cars, but once again, side of the road parking shouldn't be a problem, the hunters all do it. Drive all the way down Bell Rock Rd, which is now paved. Look for a small parking area on the right with some boulders shortly after the pavement ends. The dirt road here is in good shape and can be used by any vehicle. It gets pretty rough south of here though.

    The trails around this parking area haven't really be worked on yet, so I don't recommend this parking for now. I think in a year or two this will be an excellant place to park when coming from the north.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=10+Be...tts+02790&z=17

    One thing I wouldn't do is try to drive the other roads in the bioreserve, as many of them are in very, very rough shape. For instance there is a second hunters lot in the middle of copicut road. You need a 4x4 with good clearance and the guts to drive through massive, deep puddles to get to that lot. The section of Bell Rock between the Canfield lot and the Watuppa pond is very rough as well as almost all the roads in the Watuppa Res. The roads on the map with the black and white dashed markings are the roughest.

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    Cool, just remember its a work in progress. There is a lot of technical singletrack, but its almost throwback stuff, old moto trails, no bridges or rock work of any kind, no skinnies and not many drops, just old school trails. Just sayin, cause I read the Charlemont thread....
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    Cool, just remember its a work in progress. There is a lot of technical singletrack, but its almost throwback stuff, old moto trails, no bridges or rock work of any kind, no skinnies and not many drops, just old school trails. Just sayin, cause I read the Charlemont thread....
    That thread got way out of hand, a few people don't represent the view of the majority of riders. I've never been to those trails but even Lynn Woods didn't start has 10 miles of gnarly single track, at the end of the day every trail system is a work in progress. They're always changing, some for the good, some for worse.

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    Ok, so I rode these trails (Copicut Section) for the first time today. I've ridden nearly every trail system in New England and can truly say this is one of the best places is the area and has the potential to be among the best trail systems in the region. What you'll find here is classic NE singletrack that is such a refreshing change from the engineered, twisty, trail mazes that have become so common. Long 2+ mile stretches of singletrack, rock gardens with no obvious line, deep woods feel, fast and flowy but you constantly have to pay attention. The trails have elements of Arcadia, Wendell and Bear Brook. We rode almost every trail within the pink circle and ended up doing 20 miles. The Copicut Hill Trail section, CH3, CH4 and CH5 is going to be incredible once is ridden in. My helmet goes off to you, Jay and all the work you and your team have been putting into these trails! Please post up when you'll be doing trail work because my wife and I would love to help!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails SE Mass Bioreserve / Freetown SF-img_6655.jpg  

    SE Mass Bioreserve / Freetown SF-img_6664.jpg  

    SE Mass Bioreserve / Freetown SF-img_6663.jpg  

    SE Mass Bioreserve / Freetown SF-img_6658.jpg  

    SE Mass Bioreserve / Freetown SF-img_6656.jpg  

    Last edited by JSumner13; 12-22-2012 at 06:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSumner13 View Post
    Ok, so I rode these trails (Copicut Section) for the first time today. I've ridden nearly every trail system in New England and can truly say this is one of the best places is the area and has the potential to be among the best trail systems in the region. What you'll find here is classic NE singletrack that is such a refreshing change from the engineered, twisty, trail mazes that have become so common. Long 2+ mile stretches of singletrack, rock gardens with no obvious line, deep woods feel, fast and flowy but you constantly have to pay attention. The trails have elements of Arcadia, Wendell and Bear Brook. We rode almost every trail within the pink circle and ended up doing 20 miles. The Copicut Hill Trail section, CH3, CH4 and CH5 is going to be incredible once is ridden in. My helmet goes off to you, Jay and all the work you and your team have been putting into these trails! Please post up when you'll be doing trail work because my wife and I would love to help!
    Nice trail report! Sounds like a refreshing change from the norm, which goes a long way in these parts! I'm looking to come down in January if the snow allows for it. Do you get the impression that this area is close enough to the water that snow will be less of a factor here? I know Otis for example is usually snow free when HP, Vietnam, etc... are covered in many inches of white stuff.

    If you plan on going again and don't mind a few North Shore riders coming along let me know. 20 miles of what's in these pictures sounds really nice!

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    JSumner,

    I'm glad you had fun. Thanks for the kind words and good pics. I'll definitely be doing some more maintenance days as well as hopefully doing some group rides. I'd like to do one of each per month. I'll definitely post up here. If you don't mind me asking, where'd ya park?

    Gnar,

    We usually get a bit more snow than Otis (except Nor'easters) but less snow than anything north of 495.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    JSumner,

    I'm glad you had fun. Thanks for the kind words and good pics. I'll definitely be doing some more maintenance days as well as hopefully doing some group rides. I'd like to do one of each per month. I'll definitely post up here. If you don't mind me asking, where'd ya park?

    Gnar,

    We usually get a bit more snow than Otis (except Nor'easters) but less snow than anything north of 495.
    Awesome! We parked at the Millers Brook Lot but will likely park at the Copicut Woods lot next time.

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    Cool, Millers Brook is good if you're looking to add on extra mileage, the official "Copicut woods" area is a good warmup, but too flat and wide for most advanced riders. The Copicut Woods parking area (if this confusing look at the map) is closer to the singletrack as well as being a real parking lot with a map kiosk.

    The trails in the Watuppa Reservation are all mostly clear too, but they are almost all wide fire roads. The guy in charge there is the guy in charge of the signs, so I've been working closely with him. My ultimate dream is to be able to build trails through the Watuppa res north of the Copicut woods lot and wrap them around Copicut hill, tying them into the existing singletrack. Download a USGS topo and look at the contours in this part of the woods, the terrain looks to be awesome for sustainable, contour surfing trails. And because this land has been closed to the public for about a hundred years there are no existing trails to work around or have to fix.

    So far the policy is no new trails, but I plan on taking it slow and trying to convince the land manager to let us do our thing. One good thing is that it is city land, no dealing with DCR or the state. I even think this area has the topography and space to consider a whole new machine built network. That's a serious long shot, but why not? Fall River is dying to reinvent itself.

    Anyway, one thing at a time. If these trails take off it will give me more leverage. I think I'm gonna request Nemba and Imba comp him their magazines. Let him read about all the other awesome projects nemba does around here. He has been in Swansea and knows I was involved, I think he's still a bit scared I'm gonna start building bridges and teeters. For the record I didn't build any man made structures in Swansea, I was just the first one that started building there and connected some loops and made it rideable, it wasn't till Bikeworks actually got permission from the town to build that all kinds of stuff started popping up.
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    Road some of the Copicut trails today for an hour. LOVED THEM! parked at the Copicut Woods lot. rode horseshoe then turned left onto CH7. Note there is a tree down on horseshoe that you need to dismount and climb over. followed CH7 up past CH3 then the trail got pretty wet. i think there was a line around / past the water but I decided to stay dry and turn around. On the way back cut over to CH9 and rode that. Great mix of all types of terrain with the exception of any really steep climbs. I came from Fairhaven, took the Reed Rd exit and should have parked at Millers Brook lot but kept going then turn left onto Indian Town Rd. Glad I have a 4x4 truck : )

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    New trails to try out?

    Nice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatsbullshark View Post
    Road some of the Copicut trails today for an hour. LOVED THEM! parked at the Copicut Woods lot. rode horseshoe then turned left onto CH7. Note there is a tree down on horseshoe that you need to dismount and climb over. followed CH7 up past CH3 then the trail got pretty wet. i think there was a line around / past the water but I decided to stay dry and turn around. On the way back cut over to CH9 and rode that. Great mix of all types of terrain with the exception of any really steep climbs. I came from Fairhaven, took the Reed Rd exit and should have parked at Millers Brook lot but kept going then turn left onto Indian Town Rd. Glad I have a 4x4 truck : )
    We've been working like mad to keep the blowdowns at bay, but there are still hundreds of dead oaks standing. I'm pretty sure this last storm will take at least a few out. Expect some blowdowns, but we'll be cutting them pretty regularly.

    The wet spot between CH 5 and CH6 is on my list. There really isn't any room to reroute so I plan on just fixing up the line around it.

    I warned you about driving on the rough roads I'm glad you had a truck.

    Quote Originally Posted by antonio View Post
    New trails to try out?

    Nice!
    Not really new, just refurbished.
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    Lead a group of 19 out there today...mostly NBX, Union velo and Team Bums riders. Many will be back!!

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    Here is a video I recorded from John Sumners ride. The place was in great shape and we had a blast!

    John and Haley's Copicut Ride 12-29-2012 - YouTube

    John Robertson

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    i think it will be extremely hard to keep up with all the falling dead in this forest......i have been out there over a dozen times with good result for a short time until more dead had fallen, and why does it always have to fall across the trail.........the other hard part is the amount of time it takes........i hope you have a team...there's always people that say they wana, wana, wana help.....but when it comes down to go there never there.........

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    not to sound negative with that previous entry.......its great that your out there, and i hope you get the help needed to clear the trails......if you can let me know when you can or will be out there, and i will try to lend a hand.......i have a full size family that makes times when i want to get out tough....but i do get a random day here and there.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisdurand View Post
    not to sound negative with that previous entry.......its great that your out there, and i hope you get the help needed to clear the trails......if you can let me know when you can or will be out there, and i will try to lend a hand.......i have a full size family that makes times when i want to get out tough....but i do get a random day here and there.........
    No problem, you're right about the number of dead trees and keeping up with them. Dougiestares and I had been trying unsuccessfully to keep these trails clear for a couple of years. It wasn't until we teamed up and started getting a few other people out there that we caught up enough to actually do a nice long ride without getting off the bike every tenth of a mile. I gotta credit Stuntman Mike too, he's done a lot.

    I think just getting a team out there has been huge. While working we bumped into another guy who had been plugging away, but he had just gotten discouraged. Now that we've made a dent he's carrying his hand saw again. We also saw evidence of someone else who chainsawed a bunch of stuff. Still don't know who did that, but it seems like everyone who rides here is pitching in a little bit. There are still a lot of dead trees standing, but there are only so many, eventually they will all fall.

    There will be more trailwork days. I really want to keep the ball rolling, keep these trails clear, and get to a couple of other nearby trails that really need it.

    Hopefully the snow melts off, but I'm not optimistic. I have a feeling its gonna be fatbike season for a while.
    Last edited by icecreamjay; 01-02-2013 at 08:37 PM.
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    cool....i will keep an eye on the forum so i can get on one of those trail work days...........once i see whats going on and what wants to be achieved, i am a total animal when i comes to trail work, haha

    say do you know the fella out there that leaves those lizard tags on some of the trails....you might have seen one hanging from a branch, about eye level......???

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    I'm the one that usually maintains some trails on the motorcycle side. I used to maintain one that is within the pink area but when I went there last year it seemed someone claimed it so I let them have at it. I haven't been back to chain saw as it was hunting season and the hunters don't like a saw running while they are stalking prey. And I can't do Sundays. I usually start trimming in March and yes, there is alot of deadfall but if you love to ride there, it's never been a problem. I mark the areas on my gps and head back. Have to say when I headed back the last time, I only cut two trees as the rest were cleared. Kudos!

    The only problem I see going forward is when spring comes around and it's dirt bike season, that map doesn't really tell you clearly where motos are allowed. In the past there has been some really chewed up spots (Edmunds House and Grinnell) but it was done by trucks and quads than mx. Go figure. I sometimes ride with mx on the other side as I have friends that ride, but really...how is that going to be enforced?


    BTW..in honor of Dougiestares, the trail that loops between Indian Town (I think) Rd and the Power lines is named the Dougie Trail. Since it had no name, we had to call it something...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    I'm the one that usually maintains some trails on the motorcycle side.
    Awesome, thanks, I really just started working in earnest last year. It wasn't until this fall that things really started moving.

    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    The only problem I see going forward is when spring comes around and it's dirt bike season, that map doesn't really tell you clearly where motos are allowed. In the past there has been some really chewed up spots (Edmunds House and Grinnell) but it was done by trucks and quads than mx. Go figure. I sometimes ride with mx on the other side as I have friends that ride, but really...how is that going to be enforced?
    .
    Funny, I talked to Mike at the Watuppa res about this today. He really wants to crack down on illegal motorized use. Mostly he is pissed about the 4x4 and quads. He's working with the gas and elec companies to gate off their access roads.

    But he mentioned that its easier to get grants for moto trails than hiking/biking. On account of there are only 3-4 parks in MA that can apply for those funds as opposed to 80 parks fighting for the hiking trail money. Less competition for federal recreational trail money and the state has a certain percentage they have to spend on motorized trails.

    As far as the moto's, I think the plan might be to mark the moto trail better and put signs in place to keep the motos in the northern part of the bioreserve, basically the State Forest. There are 6 choke points we've found to put up signs that would keep the moto's out of the southern part of the forest. Obviously some people will ride it anyway, but I think that most or at least many will respect the signs. But like said, a few motos are not going to ruin the trails. He also wants the state to help fix some of the rutting in the ledge area. I suggested rock armoring for some of the really deep ruts and he seemed to like that idea. Then plant or reclaim the stuff on the sides to narrow the trails. The idea is to fix up the moto trail so that the motos will want to ride it and not the "illegal" stuff. Will it work? I think so, for the most part, if it gets done.

    Enforcement is up the environmental police. They do patrol it, but I admit its spotty. I think fixing up and marking the moto loop, as well as signs marking the "boundaries" is the best bet. There's plenty of room for bikes and motos out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    BTW..in honor of Dougiestares, the trail that loops between Indian Town (I think) Rd and the Power lines is named the Dougie Trail. Since it had no name, we had to call it something...
    Nice, the Dougie Trail. I second (or third or whatever) that one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    He also wants the state to help fix some of the rutting in the ledge area. I suggested rock armoring for some of the really deep ruts and he seemed to like that idea. Then plant or reclaim the stuff on the sides to narrow the trails. The idea is to fix up the moto trail so that the motos will want to ride it and not the "illegal" stuff. Will it work? I think so, for the most part, if it gets done.

    Enforcement is up the environmental police. They do patrol it, but I admit its spotty. I think fixing up and marking the moto loop, as well as signs marking the "boundaries" is the best bet. There's plenty of room for bikes and motos out there.


    .
    i think as long as you have riders that are going to go out after a soaking rain......the trail maintenance would be destroyed as fast as it was made.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisdurand View Post
    i think as long as you have riders that are going to go out after a soaking rain......the trail maintenance would be destroyed as fast as it was made.....
    For sure, that's one of the biggest issues with the moto's, they don't respect the "don't ride wet trails rule", I don't think they even think about it. Thats why I haven't put any effort into any of the trails that are commonly ridden by moto's.

    Anyway the HS signs are up and I'm starting on BR. Doug and I pruned some of the trails behind Bell Rock and around the Esker Trail too.
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    i just got a map today.......really nice..........if i think of it i will post a map that i had made up from the old freetown forest map.............hope i can find it

    where is Esker T. on the map....??

    i might be able to get out there on tuesday...are there any trails in mind that would need pruning??

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    It doesn't matter when they ride as there are many areas in the forest that either have an underground spring or a high water table, where the dirt until someone gets a little stuck and throttttllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeee eeee until they are unstuck. You are right about posting signs and having most people turn around, that has been one of the complaints my mx friends have had, they didn't know what was off limits.

    I have photos of Edmunds House Trail that are dug out due to motorized vehicles (notice the word VEHICLE) nailing it to get out. This was always a little damp 4-5 years ago, and late this summer it was awful. I haven't been down there as it is a highly hunted area, and with the closing of deer season, I will probably go and will take some pics. This is one area that would highly benefit from narrowing it down using either blueberry bushes (all over the place there) or saplings. Not high on the list but would be a good project.

    I have experience writing grants (not my regular job but it's my way of giving back), mostly for 501c3 nonprofits, if the Wattupa res needs some help let me know, I do it for free for the things I love (animals and bikes). I also maintained trails out west for a long time, so I still have some grant connections and resources should you need it.

    BTW Chris, I think the Esker Trail is across from the Mill Pond off of Bell Rock. I had initially thought they 'closed' these trails as they piled dirt up in front of them when they paved. I hope it's gone.

    An additional BTW...two actually -1) WHAT were all the wooden stacks of rather LARGE looking railroad ties by the power station about a month ago (I got the flu haven't been back yet) and 2) What's going on with the big dig south of the mx parking lot on Bell Rock Road? I think that's south anyway...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    BTW Chris, I think the Esker Trail is across from the Mill Pond off of Bell Rock. I had initially thought they 'closed' these trails as they piled dirt up in front of them when they paved. I hope it's gone.

    An additional BTW...two actually -1) WHAT were all the wooden stacks of rather LARGE looking railroad ties by the power station about a month ago (I got the flu haven't been back yet) and 2) What's going on with the big dig south of the mx parking lot on Bell Rock Road? I think that's south anyway...
    Mill Pond, i know that.......but is the Esker Trail "br2" or "br1"........br2 to me and the wednesday night freetown riders is known as the Hiking Trail,......from Bell Rock it has a "only if you know its there kinda entrance".....and br1 had the old ratty sign hung across the entrance...if i remember right it was more a double track.......at the point from bell rock where they meet @ br3...has anyone seen the little lizardman tag ?? is that Esker ??

    Again if there are any trails in mind for the near future........i would love to get out there and help........

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    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    It doesn't matter when they ride as there are many areas in the forest that either have an underground spring or a high water table, where the dirt until someone gets a little stuck and throttttllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeee eeee until they are unstuck. You are right about posting signs and having most people turn around, that has been one of the complaints my mx friends have had, they didn't know what was off limits.
    I agree, signs are the first step, and as far as those spots where its wet practically all the time, I suggested rock armoring to the land manager. He really liked that idea. Its a big project so who knows if it will happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    I have photos of Edmunds House Trail that are dug out due to motorized vehicles (notice the word VEHICLE) nailing it to get out. This was always a little damp 4-5 years ago, and late this summer it was awful. I haven't been down there as it is a highly hunted area, and with the closing of deer season, I will probably go and will take some pics. This is one area that would highly benefit from narrowing it down using either blueberry bushes (all over the place there) or saplings. Not high on the list but would be a good project.
    Too bad, I liked doing that loop out to the gas line and by the boiling spring trail (its the trail that comes out by the rod and gun club). Agreed, a worthy project but not high on the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    I have experience writing grants (not my regular job but it's my way of giving back), mostly for 501c3 nonprofits, if the Wattupa res needs some help let me know, I do it for free for the things I love (animals and bikes). I also maintained trails out west for a long time, so I still have some grant connections and resources should you need it.
    Great, I meet with Mike from the Watuppa res every thursday. I'll mention this to him and bug him to get some signs for the moto trail again.

    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    BTW Chris, I think the Esker Trail is across from the Mill Pond off of Bell Rock. I had initially thought they 'closed' these trails as they piled dirt up in front of them when they paved. I hope it's gone.
    Yep thats the Esker trail. Its marked as "feature" #6 on the map. The dirt is gone and these trails are definitely still open.

    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    An additional BTW...two actually -1) WHAT were all the wooden stacks of rather LARGE looking railroad ties by the power station about a month ago (I got the flu haven't been back yet) and 2) What's going on with the big dig south of the mx parking lot on Bell Rock Road? I think that's south anyway...
    1. Electrical company is fixing up their lines. They use the huge railroad ties to make temporary bridges over the wet spots.

    2. The "big dig" is private property. As far as I know he's excavating aggregate and plans on building houses (or selling lots) there when thats done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisdurand View Post
    Mill Pond, i know that.......but is the Esker Trail "br2" or "br1"........br2 to me and the wednesday night freetown riders is known as the Hiking Trail,......from Bell Rock it has a "only if you know its there kinda entrance".....and br1 had the old ratty sign hung across the entrance...if i remember right it was more a double track.......at the point from bell rock where they meet @ br3...has anyone seen the little lizardman tag ?? is that Esker ??

    Again if there are any trails in mind for the near future........i would love to get out there and help........
    Esker trail is BR2. BR1 is more of a double track and flatter and wetter.

    I haven't seen the lizardman tag yet.

    As far as the next trails on the list, I'd like to get the trail from BR11 to BR7 cleared. Its got a lot of blowdowns and is getting overgrown. Its really technical. Also there is an trail that is not on the map that I'd like to clear. If you head dead south from BR4 and cross Canfield trail there is a faint old singletrack that goes south then turns west and comes out on Bell Rock road just south of the Canfield Trail lot. There is an old white rug on the side of the road right near the trailhead on Bell Rock. Its a nice singletrack, but its gonna need a lot of pruning and cutting. I was saving both those trails for trailwork days because they are such big jobs, but if you want to go chip away at them, go for it.

    Other than that, go nuts, clear your favorite trail. Every little bit helps.

    Also, I was talking to Bob at Bikeworks the other day, found out that you are one of the "two guys". That's a great trail. I was blown away by how much digging and sculpting you guys did. The trails I built out there were more of a rake and ride deal. They took years to get burned in.
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    On BR11 to BR7 - I have tried to ride that trail a long time ago and that's when I decided there were only so many trails, so little time. This would be a great one to clear.

    The other faint one with the white rug, I'm thinking that's what has been named the Hanger Eater as well...I tried to ride it then walk it then single speed it back as I bent my hanger. If you go across Bell Rock from that area, there are a set of trails that are 'sort of' on the map and are alot of fun. Those are the ones I usually maintain. Haven't been out but I probably will sometime this week or the next now that hunting is done.

    Thanks for answering my two questions. Maybe I will buy a lot when they go up for sale. Can you imagine jetting out your back door into the forest? YES! And I wouldn't have to figure out where to park to night ride.

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    Also, post if you are going to have another trail day. I have a 20 inch saw. And a couple of hand saws. I might be there on Sunday at the trail across the road from Cantfield.

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    Nice, I'm glad you agree on those trails. We've got the stuff from hunters lot down to copicut woods pretty much clear. After those next 2 trails I mentioned, the plan is to expand over into the DD trails. Which aren't that bad, thanks to you.

    I used to dream about buying one of those lots up by the triangle when they were for sale, but it just wasn't realistic at the time. I'm pretty much settled here in Westport, but living in the middle of the forest like that would be a mountain bikers dream. From that spot you could probably ride 25 miles out your back door without touching pavement. Not too bad.

    I'm not sure if I can make it out there sunday, I'll get back to you if I can.
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    Here is the map I plan on putting up on the NEMBA site. Not all of these trails are cleared, but most should be by next summer. Its a little different from the one with the pink circle on it. This is the most accurate map at the moment.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33175822@N06/8343971059/" title="Copicut Trails by Ice Cream Jay, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8217/8343971059_8415a3a320_b.jpg" width="798" height="1024" alt="Copicut Trails"></a>
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    I can't make this weekend for trail work but I can the following week (19th or the 20th). I can bring a chainsaw also. Maybe hit the trail near the Canfield Parking Lot and then some of the DD trails? Hopefully the snow keeps melting and we can do it on bikes and cover more ground.

    Also, the owner of Spark Bikes in Taunton is interested in bring a race back to the forest. I'm going to give him a hand with the layout if he gets permission form the land managers. Are any racers reading this thread? If so list some of the trails you liked and would want to race on. There are trails I like and would want included but I'm curious what other might like.

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    I can probably do both Sundays. I am going to go through the DD trails that I maintain and see what has happened since Sept or so. The ones I usually work on go towards the power lines, so if you took the one that crosses by the mill pond I don't usually hit that one. I can probably hit most of it. I will mark where I stop if I can't do the whole thing. I will give a report when I do it on Sunday.

    As for a race, I would like to see the part of the map that Jay has posted instead of the part close to the ranger station. I am all for a 25 or 50 miler. Really like the dougie trail, then when it crosses the powerlines down through there and to the right, where it pops out on Grinnell. Would be awesome to figure out a 50 miler with no repeat laps. Even better if you made another race for cx like Iron Cross in Michaux State Forest in PA which has very similar terrain to Freetown. Ah, but that's the big picture right...



    BTW does anyone have a map of the old Firecracker race? Someone took me on some of the trails, they are great trails but soooo overgrown. They were directly across from the topside of the ledge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    BTW does anyone have a map of the old Firecracker race? Someone took me on some of the trails, they are great trails but soooo overgrown. They were directly across from the topside of the ledge.
    The old race used the trail that parallels Copicut road and then back up into the sandy hills. Then it went up and over the ledge. Unfortunately the trail that is across the road from the top of the ledge (we used to call it "Break your Bike") is now gone. It's really choked with blowdown and heads right into the part of the forest that Fall River took to make Innovation Way. A lot of the trails out there could be brought back, but much of that land is now slated for development so it's not worth it. Definitely a bummer, there were a bunch of really good trails back there.

    There were other courses they used, but the part I described was in it each time I raced it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougiestares View Post
    I can't make this weekend for trail work but I can the following week (19th or the 20th). I can bring a chainsaw also. Maybe hit the trail near the Canfield Parking Lot and then some of the DD trails? Hopefully the snow keeps melting and we can do it on bikes and cover more ground.
    You need a fatbike Doug.

    I can't make the 19th, but I could probably do the 20th.
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    Jay, I recently picked up a back pack leaf lower. What are your thoughts on using it to clear some of the trails? Better to do it now or should I wait until spring?


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    Quote Originally Posted by richlather View Post
    Jay, I recently picked up a back pack leaf lower. What are your thoughts on using it to clear some of the trails? Better to do it now or should I wait until spring?
    I think it depends on the temperature. I've tried raking in the winter, and if its below freezing nights the leaves freeze to the ground. Many times even when it was a warm day the leaves that were buried were still frozen to the ground. I was just taking off a fraction of them, it wasn't worth it. I would think that you'd want a day or two of above freezing weather to make sure they're thawed.

    There is still quite a bit of snow out there so I would wait at least a week and see how the weather is. I've been holding off on leafblowing myself.
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    Trail work day Jan 20

    Dougiestares and I will be having a trail work day on January 20. Probably meet around 9 at the Canfield Lot. Its basically a pull-off with room for a couple of cars, but we can park on the side of the road too. We are going to work on the singletrack that is south of the eastern part of Canfield trail. The trail we are working on isn't marked on the official map, but its a nice trail and will make it easier to loop into the DD area of trails.

    We will be cutting blowdowns and pruning back the side vegetation, so loppers, hedge trimmers, hand pruners, etc. If conditions allow we will probably be riding.

    Directions/map below. Make sure you come in from the north end of Bell Rock Rd (Corner of Copicut Rd/ High street in Assonet). The part that comes from Fall River is not paved and in pretty rough shape.
    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=10+Be...tts+02790&z=17
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    anyone know what the trails are like at Copicut? still icey / snow covered in spots? was thinking of riding there tomorrow but maybe i'll stick the roads .

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    Freetown is very wet right now, many areas on the dirt roads are flooded or covered in wet sand. The copicut trails are completely clear of snow/ice.

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