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  1. #1
    'Tis but a scratch
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    Visiting Manchester NH in mid-April - seeking recommendations

    Hello New Hampshire! It looks I will be visiting the Manchester area for business in mid-April. I am seeking your recommendations on some cool places to ride. I have previously ridden at Lake Massabesic (FOMBA) a couple of times. It was enjoyable and will be my fall back plan unless you make better suggestions.

    I'm XC/AM rider. I do like flowy single-track (like Massabesic), but I am OK with raw, rocky, rooty trails. I have no objection to climb to earn my downhills even if that means some hike-a-bike. So, basically, I am not looking for shuttled, downhill. I'm simply looking for a new place to ride and some adventure. I'd prefer to have a place that is well mapped/marked since I will more than likely ride alone.

    My dates are not firm. I am coming up from southern NY, so prefer not to go to far north of Manchester if possible. Ideally something along the way, but I'd go another 30 minutes north if it was worth it. My time allotment is somewhere around 3 hours ride time (not hard and fast). My dates are not determined yet.

    I have looked at NEMBA site and one that looks interesting is Pawtuckaway State Park, 21 mile loop.

    Hopefully, that gives some idea of what I am looking for. I appreciate your recommendations in advance.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Check out Bear Brook, which is probably the best place to ride in the area. If you're willing to make the drive to Pawtuckaway, Franklin Falls isn't too much further, but in the opposite direction. Mid-April, there's a chance some places could still be muddy, so keep an eye on that.

  3. #3
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    I'll second Bear Brook for it's fun, flowy trails. I also like Musquash in Londonderry for it's mix of tech and flow. A 12-mile ride at Musquash feels like a 20-miler at Bear Brook. Depending on the timing of things, I'd happily show you around if I'm free.
    That creep can roll, man.

  4. #4
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    I would check out The Musquash trails in Londenderry. They're right outside of Manchester. Here's the link to their website; Trail Map – Musquash Conservation Area. The website has a printable map. It's pretty easy to navigate your way around and the intersections are marked. I'm not sure you'll get 3 hours out of he place though. Easily 2 hours.

  5. #5
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    Here is a thread about Bear Brook and some trail recommendations. My recommendations are the best. :-)

    Bear Brooke Parking/Recommended Trails
    That creep can roll, man.

  6. #6
    'Tis but a scratch
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    Thanks for the quick hits. Looks like the early votes are for Bear Brook or Musquash. I also appreciate the links and such to some better (more detailed) maps than I found on NEMBA site. I'll keep checking back to see what else may get recommended. Thanks again.

    I +rep'd ya if I could. Apparently at least 1 of you was in my recently rep'd list.

  7. #7
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    As of right now, Musquash is under melting snow, and soon to be mud. It's my closest trail, and I can't wait for the all clear. Last year, we were riding by now, and there was no mud season. You can get a map, but honestly, the place is so well marked, you don't need it.

    There's so much around here, you can't go wrong.

    Have fun!

  8. #8
    I'd Huck That....
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    I highly suggest hitting Fort Rock in Exeter, NH super tech and LDT Lowell Dracuit Tyngsboro State Park Mix of tech and flow. I would gladly give you a tour of one or both. Bear Brook is great place to log in some miles not much for tech Musquash is okay when you just wanna get out and pedal zero tech. And personally I wouldn't waste the drive to Paw-suck-away.

  9. #9
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    ^ When I saw you said Exeter, I thought to myself: "I've been there", but Fort Rock did not ring a bell. I rode Henderson-Swasey back in Oct-2010. I just checked out NEMBA to find out that these are one and the same.

    I didn't get to ride too much of the north side because I wrecked my rear derailleur shortly after crossing under 101. I did end up managing to make a SS out of it but wanted to work my way closer to the car instead of further. That might be an option to go explore again. If not this time, some time.

    I have also heard good things about Dracut and didn't even think about it since I was focused on NH, but I could hit that on the way up through MA.

    Good advice! Thanks!

  10. #10
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    I know you said only 30mins north of Manchester...but if you are willing to stretch that to an hour there is some really great stuff off Rte 49 in the Campton/Waterville area (Exit 28 off 93). The snow is melting fast up here. Somehow central NH has missed a lot of the bigger east coast storms this year and I suspect most of the singletrack in the area will be good to go by mid April barring any additional significant storms (fingers crossed).

    Someone else suggested Franklin Falls which I would guess is about 40 mins North of Manch off exit 22 (93). Really easy to get to and some nice trails but you might be better suited at Bear Brook or other closer places people recommended as it is very similar riding at Franklin.
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  11. #11
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    You can do a solid ride at Lowell\Dracut (15ish miles) and Yudicky Farm (10ish) in Nashua. Russell Mill\Great Brook Farm (15ish) in Chelmsford, Ma too. Depending on your tenacity, they can crush you. All are good mix of tech and xc.
    Or, or, are you sure you don't wanta hit Highland mtb park? Always a good time and not to missed by any skill level.
    -Joe

  12. #12
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    OK, apparently I need to find reasons to get up into New England more frequently. Thanks for all the great advice, everyone! I'll +rep everyone I can.

  13. #13
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    Good stuff, post back a ride report or holler for a tour. I'm sure anyone here will bring you on a good run so you don't have to worry about directions.
    -Joe

  14. #14
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    yeah, what Joe said. if you happen to have any weekend days, us northern MA / southern NHers can show you around. i work 9-6 so weekends are my only time off, unless you head 25 min south to yudicky in Nashua. you'd probably still need a light...maybe.
    fap

  15. #15
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    At the rate we are going, maybe you should consider bringing Xc skis!

  16. #16
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    Visiting Manchester NH in mid-April - seeking recommendations

    Not funny!

  17. #17
    the train keeps rollin
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    yeah, +1 on skis, Bear Brook has a solid snowpack, going to be weeks before it clears up. You're going to want to focus on spots further south.
    beaver hunt

  18. #18
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    Yeah, I'm thinking LDT, but I might end up even further south if the melting doesn't get going already. Or maybe I'll climb a mountain. Appreciate all the feedback though. It's given me some good options to consider.

  19. #19
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    I just cx skied ft rock there still a lot of snow out here

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecwashere7 View Post
    A 12-mile ride at Musquash feels like a 20-miler at Bear Brook.
    I laugh at this statement. Are you serious here? A 20 mile ride at BB will crush many riders while I've ridden everything in Musquash in two hours while breaking a minor sweat. Heck, just go and do the Lynx climb from Beaver Pond to Podunk Road once. That alone is enough to ruin a lot of people.
    Get out and ride even when you don't want to because ten minutes into the ride you'll be glad you did.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooctrl View Post
    I laugh at this statement. Are you serious here? A 20 mile ride at BB will crush many riders while I've ridden everything in Musquash in two hours while breaking a minor sweat. Heck, just go and do the Lynx climb from Beaver Pond to Podunk Road once. That alone is enough to ruin a lot of people.
    Yeah, I hear ya. I feel like the majority of the riding at BB (with a few exceptions like Lynx) is fast, flowy and light on the tech. You could easily put in twenty miles without encountering a whole lot of challenge. Musquash certainly has some tech-free riding, but it also has trails that are a good mix and even kinda heavy on the tech (Porcupine). If you wanted to do a ride that avoided repeating trails at Musquash, there's a strong likelihood that you're going to be riding through some tech at Musquash. I could easily put together a ride at BB that's 20 miles of fast, flowy fun while it would be hard to put together a ride at Musquash without doing some light tech.
    That creep can roll, man.

  22. #22
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    depends on "crush". BB has the climbing and fatigue potential. other trails rattle your bones. BB has a lot of smooth flow, but you can find some rough spots if you look. i think Mushy is more technical percentage wise, but less long climbing. Depends where you go though, if i go to BB, i miss some trails.
    fap

  23. #23
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    I thought it only proper that I close the loop after my recent visit. Unfortunately, I am reporting back on a Massachusetts ride in the VT/NH/ME forum. I ended up stopping at Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro (LDT) Town Forest on my way to Manchester. I imagine that many of you have ridden there seeing as it is only a few miles off the NH border.

    This place was right up my alley. Lots of smooth packed single track with plenty of roots. Not too many rocks, but some nice boulder features to test your technical skills. Even some skinnies and a teeter-totter were discovered. I covered the place pretty well in about 2.5 hours. I'm sure I could've hit even more fun trails given more time.

    My route and some pics are here:
    Lowell Dracut Tyngsborough - Mountain biking trip | EveryTrail

    Thanks for all the recommendations. I'm sure I'll be headed back up that way again before too long.

  24. #24
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    Very cool. Good to hear you had a fun ride and it appears you found most of what it offers.

  25. #25
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    There is also Beaver Brook in Hollis..some tech riding and hilly. Mines Falls in Nashua is nice and flat with some single track and miles of trails to put in some miles. There is tech stuff there if you know where to look. I can get a good 15-17 miles out of Mines Falls. I've always liked the place but prefer more tech stuff like Beaver Brook, Fomba or Yudicky.
    I'm thinking about shreddin' it up right now!
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