Bigelow Hollow State Park Review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bigelow Hollow State Park Review

    Great ride yesterday. My legs are still a little sore. For the most part we followed Johnís directions but we had trouble finding the trails in the beginning and on the blue and white loop.
    <O
    The white trail started out pretty technical. Most of it was doable but what made it extra difficult was trying to navigate the rocks and follow the blazes at the same time. The trail was very hard to follow and looked like just random blazes though a rock garden. After the first climb the white trail wasn't so bad. I chose the wrong line across the first stream and took a header right into it. I bruised up my legs pretty bad and bent my brake lever about 90 degrees. I managed to bend it back and it still works perfectly. We labored on and the trail was still pretty technical but now had some swoopy sections where we actually were on dirt instead of jagged rocks. The steep descent to the lake was a trip as well. The blue and white trail along the lake was filled with some really cool technical sections. We then climbed the blue and yellow trail to the summit only to find it shrouded in trees. There wasn't even a glimpse of a view. We pushed on figuring that couldn't be it but we soon found ourselves descending. We decided to go against the directions and continued down a fun little downhill. At the fire road we took a right back to the blue and yellow trail. This fireroad was one of my favorite sections at Bigelow. It had several really nice drops that you could hit with alot of speed. And they seemed to just keep coming and before I could think too much about it I was hucking several feet in the air. We then finished the blue and yellow trail back to the main park. After a short break, we headed out to do the blue and white trail. There were some tough climbs and we had to ride straight through a few occupied picnic sites but overall it was quite fun. We missed the sharp turn at the western most part and ended up at the bottom near the road. We tried to follow a different trail back but it quickly died out. So we climbed back up and rejoined the blue and white trail. I had my gps and if I would have looked at it sooner I would have determined that we were going too far west. It did help quite a bit throughout the ride though. We were hoping for a big reward of a nice long downhill and were a little disappointed when the trail undulated the rest of the way. My legs started cramping up on the few steep hike-a-bike sections. The final downhill was very fun with plenty of opportunities to really hurt yourself. I went over the bars one more time at the bottom trying to navigate the last two bridges. I think Andrew had two OTB experiences as well.

    Overall I would say it was a really awesome ride and I look forward to doing it again sometime. Being only 40 minutes away I don't see why not. The flies John talked about were nonexistent on our ride. Andrew's broken chain and my bent lever were our only mechanicals. I have to admit the first part of the white trail was a little discouraging. It was fun but we were thinking that if all the trails were going to be like this we would be in for a long day. Luckily they weren't and we had a great time. If you are planning a trip here make sure you are well versed in technical riding. It took all of my abilities to navigate the trails. I regret not taking any helmet camera video but to be honest I thought for sure I would fall and break it.

    According to my gps the main loop was about 7 miles which took us about 2.5 hours with a few breaks and turn arounds. The blue and white trail added 5 miles (our missed turn probably added about a mile) and took us 2 hours with breaks for a total of 12.3 difficult miles. Our total time was about 4.5 hours. My gps said our moving time was 2:51 at an average speed of 4.3mph. Our max speed was 34mph! That was probably down that fire road with the drops. Where else in southern New England</ST1 can you hit drops at 34mph?<O
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    Last edited by woodsguy; 06-24-2007 at 07:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    HA I went over the bars way more than twice... I went over twice just to warm up lol. The only time that was a real concern was coming down that hill before that bridge you crashed on. I went over the bars and the top of my head hit flat against a tree and knocked me back the way i came from. lol Good thing for helmets and no common sense. Nothings really sore and no major injuries, that can be acredited to massage therapist friend. Definitely a fun ride even though I no longer have the ability to ride most of it. Cant wait to go back.

  3. #3
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    Yea, that last hill was kinda crazy for how fast we were going. I played tennis this morning and determined my legs are just sore from all the bruises!
    Last edited by woodsguy; 06-24-2007 at 08:14 PM.

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    Nice

    Nice trip report sounds like you guys hit most of, bummer you didn't get to the lookout. I wonder where the problem came in. The view is obvious, you surely would have known when you got to it. Maybe you missed where the blue-orange hangs a right off the fireroad on the way up?

    Incidentally I've ridden most of those trails in both directions, they are way more rideable in the direction you rode them. That white is a tough trail eh?

    Next time I'd love to join you guys - great to hear that the deer flies weren't bad. Last summer we had a flat and took turns swinging the dead tube in figure 8's to keep them at bay while the other person worked on the bike.

    I had my own mishap today taking a direct hit to the sternum as I fell on my bike - ouch. I'll post up pics when I get home.

    John

  5. #5
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    Great review and pics....A few friends and I rode there today for the first time.
    We liked it alot.
    Its a very rocky technical ride and really tests your handling skills.
    The white trail is definitely sick!
    Thanks John for the directions in your previous post they worked out very well.
    We will be returning soon.
    Last edited by mcrumble69; 06-24-2007 at 07:09 PM.

  6. #6
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    A couple more thoughts

    mcrunble69 - glad to hear it worked out for you.

    I was just re-looking at the pics Woodsguy put up - you shouldn't have ever got to that water crossing in the first two pics - though now I know which fireroad descent you're talking about - that's a fast one - gnarly at the bottom too. The thing is I can't figure out how you got there and still rode the blue/orange - weird.

    We'll have to have an MTBR gathering out there!
    John

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jisch
    mcrunble69 - glad to hear it worked out for you.

    I was just re-looking at the pics Woodsguy put up - you shouldn't have ever got to that water crossing in the first two pics - though now I know which fireroad descent you're talking about - that's a fast one - gnarly at the bottom too. The thing is I can't figure out how you got there and still rode the blue/orange - weird.

    We'll have to have an MTBR gathering out there!
    John
    I never saw the water crossing in the pics or the steep fireroad. I kinda wish I did though.
    Where are they located?
    The only major water crossing we came upon is where the blue-white turns into a fireroad and instead of turning left back into the the woods on blue-white.(We thought this was the area you said to avoid)
    We went straight on the fireroad and ran into a fairly deep watercrossing.
    We got a little confused here and didn't want to go swimming so we turned around and got back on blue-white and figured out where we were.

  8. #8
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    Overlook...

    Quote Originally Posted by mcrumble69
    I never saw the water crossing in the pics or the steep fireroad. I kinda wish I did though.
    Where are they located?
    The only major water crossing we came upon is where the blue-white turns into a fireroad and instead of turning left back into the the woods on blue-white.(We thought this was the area you said to avoid)
    We went straight on the fireroad and ran into a fairly deep watercrossing.
    We got a little confused here and didn't want to go swimming so we turned around and got back on blue-white and figured out where we were.
    If you don't take that slight fireroad to the right, you'll end up down that descent and the water crossing shown. The thing is once you are at that water crossing - I think its just fireroads back to the main road - I'm not aware of how to get from there back up to the blue/orange. Also another screaming fireroad descent out there is coming back down from the overlook, if you don't take the blue/orange back up. Great speed.

    I probably should have mentioned that large water crossing - in the "old days" we used to ride across that deep water - I have a pic somewhere of my daughter up to her seat in water on that crossing.

    Here's the overlook I mentioned:


    Another from around Mashapaug:


    ...and one from the blue/white


    John
    Last edited by Jisch; 06-25-2007 at 09:33 AM.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Jisch]If you don't take that slight fireroad to the right, you'll end up down that descent and the water crossing shown. The thing is once you are at that water crossing - I think its just fireroads back to the main road - I'm not aware of how to get from there back up to the blue/orange. Also another screaming fireroad descent out there is coming back down from the overlook, if you don't take the blue/orange back up. Great speed.

    I probably should have mentioned that large water crossing - in the "old days" we used to ride across that deep water - I have a pic somewhere of my daughter up to her seat in water on that crossing.

    Here's the overlook I mentioned:

    Normally I would have rode the watercrossing. It would have been fun
    but since we weren't sure where we were we decided to try and keep our feet and bottom brackets dry

    We skipped the overlook because we got started late. Next time I will definitely check it out.
    Last edited by mcrumble69; 06-25-2007 at 08:00 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jisch
    mcrunble69 - glad to hear it worked out for you.

    I was just re-looking at the pics Woodsguy put up - you shouldn't have ever got to that water crossing in the first two pics - though now I know which fireroad descent you're talking about - that's a fast one - gnarly at the bottom too. The thing is I can't figure out how you got there and still rode the blue/orange - weird.

    We'll have to have an MTBR gathering out there!
    John
    Yea, after crossing that log bridge we realized we took a wrong turn so we went back over. Gave us a chance to ride it in each direction though.

    After exiting the blue and white trail at Cat Rocks, we turned right onto the blue and orange trail from the Grass road and climbed up then down and turned right on Breakneck Hill road. Breakneck is where the drops were. If we kept going on the blue and yellow we probably would have gotten to that area where you said there is flooding from beaver dams. We then got back to the intersection of the blue and yellow where we took the right and took a left instead. What I can't understand is how we missed that overlook. We climbed to what looked like the top and stopped on a large flat rock but saw no view. We rode on but never saw it.

    The only big water crossing we did was at the beginning of the blue and white trail along the lake. We made it most of the way across but then got into the shade and couldn't see the rocks anymore. Our feet got wet but it was no big deal. Probably only a foot and a half deep. The steep climb right after it is where Andrew broke his chain.
    Last edited by woodsguy; 06-25-2007 at 01:49 PM.

  11. #11
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    got it...

    gotcha - I know where you made the mistake - you need to follow the blue/white all the way until you come to an open area - looks like people camp there, its on a bit of a penninsula with long logs laying on the ground - here's a pic of it:


    You climb to the top of the hill behind you, and take your right at the first road intersection. What you did was ride a section of the blue/orange backwards from what I described. I could be missing a dirt road intersection too though. If you continued on the blue/orange in the direction you were going you would eventually drop down to a road, the blue/orange follows the road for 1/4 mile or so then heads off to the right - its about a mile straight up to get from that road up to the lookout.

    Anyway sometime we'll all go out there and I can show you, I suspect I messed something up. After all this build up, the lookout is probably not all that impressive - the climb up is strenuous and likely to include a bit of walking, but the ride back down is hella fun.

    John

  12. #12
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    We did get to that clearing, and climbed up to the fireroad. OIC, so you wanted us to turn right and climb Breakneck Hill road to the blue and orange trail, then turn right to the lookout and back all the way on the blue and yellow trail? After the clearing, we turned left on the fireroad, a slight right on to Grass Road and then right onto the blue and yellow trail back to breakneck. I misread. However, I think I like the way we went much better. The downhill on the blue and orange was better and bombing down Breakneck Road kicked butt (The climb up the blue and yellow was pretty steep tho). Next time we will just continue on to the lookout before going back to bomb down Breakneck.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsguy
    OIC, so you wanted us to turn right and climb Breakneck Hill road to the blue and orange trail, then turn right to the lookout and back all the way on the blue and yellow trail?
    U got it. I have done the ride the way you did it too - its all good.

    That blue/orange is doable in the other direction - its a lot of walking in the direction you did - at least for me and most mortals - not sure I ever saw anyone clean that climb. Its hard to resist that down hilll though - made that decision several times - the other side of the blue/orange is fun, but its not fast as its too steep to really roll out full on like the road is.

    John

  14. #14
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    Yea, we didn't climb it all. It may be possible but not worth burning out your legs for.

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