Sissy Trails in Pioneer Valley
I avoid these types of trails but am coming back from an injury and am looking for something really mellow - not rail trail mellow, something in the woods at least.
Any reccs? I am in Amherst but anything within 30 minutes of that is fine.
I misunderstood the implications of the title of this thread and initially logged on to do battle!
Well, you're in Amherst, hmmm...how sissy is Sissy?? Got a couple of great recs-I'm assuming you're already well acquainted with Earl's Trails (in Skinner SF), they're pretty damn smooth and flowy (and nice-you can really work on your fitness, and your cornering, but they're almost rock free (relative to B-street anyway!).
It's a Bit of a Drive (right in your 30 minute mark) but check out Robinson SF in Agawam...delightfullly tight, twisty but BONE SMOOTH and no sustained climbs (a number of short blasters, but all pretty easy..well, except two pretty steep, but short climbs). TheHare who posts here and on the NEMBA site leads rides there and is Robinsons #1 ambassador, the guys at New England Bike in Southwick are most helpful as well.
The Broadbrook conservation Area in easthampton (next to Mount Tom) has a great, singletrack loop-got some significant climbing, but all at a sane amount of inclination and very flowy.
Mt. Toby has some wonderful riding (albeit much of it double track and fire road (but not all of it) that will work your legs and lungs, serve up some solid views and fun descents here and there and it's only 10 minutes from Downtown Amherst. I do suggest avoiding the Bull Hill RD side of Toby, which is great..but can't in any objective sense be categorized as Sissy trails! But the Toby Rd, sugarfarm trails, Hemlock, telephone pole trail (as a descent!) Cranberry Pond Trails, North Toby Rd, Actually add up to a fun ride.
Sugarloaf North in S. Deerfield (15 minutes from Amherst). Park on Hillside Rd...explore, there are a few GREAT climbs and descents to be had here and nothing is particularly jarring or technical (but be advised, you're always either going up or coming down at Sugarloaf North-there is not 'flat' or rolling...just up or down)
This area also merges (with some road crossing) with the greater Deerfield Ridge...there are miles and miles of great trails on this ridge...most are decidedly non-technical (though some are as burly as the best of B-street) and range from old double track to sinuous single track to good old fashion Powerline running. You'd need a guide to it once-but it's not hard to figure out.
The Bicycles Unlimited Wednesday night ride often rides here-check them out www.bikes-unlimited.com Their rides always offer a mellower group/ terrain option regardless of ride destination...
There are a ton of long trails from Amherst to Wendell (like the Frost and the M&M right out of Amethyst Brook) that offer Routes both for 'Sissies" and "Butches" alike. You'll need to explore, though.
Oh, Don't over look the DAR SF in Goshen-it's funny, although it's moderately hilly and very rocky, the DAR tends to ride pretty mellow and "smooth" and intermediates often love this place (and it's beautiful and the trails are very good). Ice Storm damage still remains on many trails (we've been working on it..) a good loop is available on Moose Tracks, long Trail (some sections on the long trail are NOT for Sissies, but they're short!), Moose Run, and Down Nemba trail (and I think Bobcat is totally cleaned off as well). Again. the DAr is not 'easy', but it ain't B-street either.
Finally, there are Mellower rides to be even with some of the less mellow places to ride (Wendell, and yes, B-street as well). I could give you a route to follow if you're interested.
Any way, I hope that helps, I'm sure others will chime in soon-
Superbman's List is Superb
The Easthampton area is Hendrix St, not Broadbrook.
Add to the list the Montague Plains Wildlife Mgt Area. Mostly double Track, generally not steep or technical.
Depending on what you are recovering from, it might be top choice for a mellow place to start - terrain is similar to Robinson. Robinson's ST takes more bike handling MOJO due to the tight corners prevalent..
All great suggestions, thanks.
I ended up at the reservoir area in Holyoke today, not bad for easy spinning.