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  1. #1
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    50 mile route

    Hi, i'm looking to link about 50 miles of trail somewhere in Western Mass. I was hoping that somebody could recommend a good route that they had done. Rather than running a short loop over and over for 50 miles I was hoping that I might find a good point to point or even a big 50 or so mile loop. I'd even settle for a great out and back. Some pavement would be ok, but would be hoping for mostly singletrack/fire road. Any ideas? What are some long routes that you guys have done?

  2. #2
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    While it is not all in MA I know you can ride the Metacomet trail from Pennwood State Park in CT all the way to Robinson State park in Agawam Ma. I have never done it, but I think it is about 40 miles of some pretty techical riding. Last year a bunch of guys here on MTBR did the ride. They posted the ride in either the CT or MA forum.

    If they do it again this year I am hoping that i will be in good enough shape to do it.

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    Start at Granville State forrest and go south to Barkhamsted Reservoir in CT. You can make it about a 48-49 mile loop with about 50 yards on pavement. There is fireroad around the reservoir. It's an easy ride but you can get a lot of miles in. I used this as a "training" route for a century in Tahoe. I was talking to a CT state trooper at the southern end and asked if there was an issue with riding the fireroad and his reply was don't do anything dumb like releve yourself in the reservoir, but in different words. There is a shooting range on the west side of the reservoir so, if your hear gunshots don't be alarmed. They don't shoot towards anywhere you will be. I could only imagine that it is the state police that pratice there. Here is a link to google maps for reference. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...39954&t=p&z=11 Use a topo map for the trail from the state forrest around the reservoir.

    I should also mention that this was pre-9/11 and I think that maybe if anyone questions you they may ask more questions than usual. I know quabbin was heavily looked after and may still be. I have not been to either in a long time. I still can't imagine that you would even run into anyone there anyway as the only people I saw was crossing the street at the northern tip and the southern part where the dam is.. The worst that would happen is you would have to take the paved road around.
    Last edited by websterjody; 04-27-2008 at 05:42 PM.

  4. #4
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    where in western, ma are you?? There are tons of opportunities for this sort of ride...

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    I'm in the Amherst area. Tried to link Wendell to the Notch via Robert Frost once, but there were several sections of that trail that were pretty un-rideable. Any others that people have linked up for abotu 50 miles or so?

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    Quote Originally Posted by robhyldahl
    I'm in the Amherst area. Tried to link Wendell to the Notch via Robert Frost once, but there were several sections of that trail that were pretty un-rideable. Any others that people have linked up for abotu 50 miles or so?
    You were on the right track, but you needed to alternate the use of the M&M, the old-M&M, Powerlines, and the Robert Frost to get to Wendell, and then beyond (you can get all the way to mount grace in fact this way with a stop at Northfield Mountain Trails).

    I'm leading a Deerfield-Greenfield Epic (with bbq party to follow) on June 28th-probably 40+ miles when all is said and done. I've also done the Greenfield Ridge, Deerfield ridge, Sugarloafs and Toby trails in a day (which all told exceeds 50 miles).

    If you like, I can probably help you figure a good Amherst to wendell ride (the comp edge guys do this route a few times a year-you just got to know how to get around the Robert Frost cliff section-it's actually better to use the M&M up to wendell and the frost coming back-then up through Toby..just my opinion of course!).

    The Green Field/ Deer Field ridges offer a more contigous and easy to follow ride (you can get all the way to the French king Gorge from Sugarloaf with maye 5 road crossings)

    Drop me a PM if you like

    Also, you can Connect Dubuque to the DAR now along the newly built Chapel Falls trail (which I haven't yet endeavored to do-but from very credible sources it's quite a decent ride). Told you, the options are huge.

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    Greenfield Deerfield ridges sound interesting. Does it start at sugarloaf?I think i've ridden sections of this one before. Are there any "blazes" to follow on this route (like RF has the orange blazes). These are good ideas. I 'm going to pick me up a couple of topos of the area today

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    Greenfield/ Deerfield does have one thru-trail the blue marked 'Pocumtuck Ridge Trail) that connects the tower on Sugarloaf South with Poet's seat. However, this is best used as a guide line, since if you merely follow the trail, you'll pass up miles and miles of great single track and a few fun, burly double tracks. Also, you'll miss the whle Northern section that is not part of the Pocumtuck ridge trail.

    If you want a guide or just specific answers to your topo-let me know. As I said, it's easy to work Mt Toby into this as well.

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    Liam, keep me posted on that deerfield/greenfield epic. I'll be camping up in Maine the week before, but pending any disasters I'd love to do it.

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    I will certainly do that-this will be a posted nemba -event ride.

    The post ride-bbq will most likely be at my man Eric's place (btw, he and I are still interested in getting you up there to help us design some practice stunts et al..we're tired of riding like old men! ).

    Hope you have the turner back by then, however-I'm not questioning your strength or resolve, but a kona stinky might not be the best tool for a tour of the ridges.

    Liam

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    My bike should be back in a month or so. Currently I'm riding the Stinky and a rigid 29er singlespeed - neither seem ideal for this ride, though Eric can probably prove otherwise.

    Just let me know when you want my help. I can usually make a Saturday available with advanced notice.

  12. #12
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    I am looking for a 50 miler for the weekend of July 12/13th - I would prefer a loop as well. I did a 45 miler solo last summer in CT - it was 95% singletrack with only a few road crosses and a bit of fireroad riding. I would love to do something up in Western MA, as it would be 100% new trails for me.

    Liam - where can I get route maps?

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jisch
    I am looking for a 50 miler for the weekend of July 12/13th - I would prefer a loop as well. I did a 45 miler solo last summer in CT - it was 95% singletrack with only a few road crosses and a bit of fireroad riding. I would love to do something up in Western MA, as it would be 100% new trails for me.

    Liam - where can I get route maps?

    John
    Hey John,

    well, the main trail thoroughfares- (Robert Frost, M&M, Pocumtuck) are all color marked-but the branch trails are not adequately mapped anywhere that I know of (yet..more in second)-the Riding Destinations that these trails traverse through, however (Mt. Toby, Wendell, Amethyst Brook, Holyoke Skinner, Northfield Mt, Mt Grace, DAR) all have established maps that, for the most part reflect the existing singletrackk networks.

    1. I will have already led the deerfield-greenfield ridge epic by the wekend you want to come out and ride-and I mean to have a GPS on that ride-so with any luck I'll be able to produce and post a detailed topo.

    I'll hopefully soon do the same for a M&M to Wendell to Northfield and back on the Robert Frost ride as well-starting in leverett most likely. This is actually a pretty fantastic longer distance ride

    2. You know, I can probably a. ride with you (if that's ok-I don't suck too badly on a bike) or b. find another knowledgeable, game local to ride with you-just give me some notice.

    3. Are you looking primarily for a long-distance out and back again or would 40+ miles of single track done between two distinct mountain-bike specific trail systems separated by one road work for you? I only ask, because, for visitors to the region, one of the best options is ride both sides of the Holyoke-skinner notch (Batchelor St. and Earl''s trails)-honestly-well over 40+ miles of biker specific (biker built single track) that requires all of 1 road crossing-and it's got it all. If you haven't already ridden this area-it's quite a treat. And there's another similar adventure just slightly further west and north-bigger climbs, more road connectors, but still rather fantastic.

    Just let me know. When time permits I rather enjoy being a mountain bike ambassador to the Pioneer Valley

    Liam

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan

    3. Are you looking primarily for a long-distance out and back again or would 40+ miles of single track done between two distinct mountain-bike specific trail systems separated by one road work for you? I only ask, because, for visitors to the region, one of the best options is ride both sides of the Holyoke-skinner notch (Batchelor St. and Earl''s trails)-honestly-well over 40+ miles of biker specific (biker built single track) that requires all of 1 road crossing-and it's got it all. If you haven't already ridden this area-it's quite a treat. And there's another similar adventure just slightly further west and north-bigger climbs, more road connectors, but still rather fantastic.
    That sounds like a fun ride. Would that include pretty much everything on both sides? I did around 20 in a loop between both last year and that was almost enough for me. Then again, my bike's a tank...

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    Hey Liam,
    I'd love to tag along on one of your long rides. However, I'm unable to attend your June 28 epic as I have a wedding reception that day (my wedding reception in fact). Please keep me posted if your planning another long ride either solo or with a crew.
    Cheers,
    Jason P

    p.s. - I was at the Wendell trail maintenance day a few weeks ago. Felt good to finally help out up there! The trails are simply amazing these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro
    Hey Liam,
    I'd love to tag along on one of your long rides. However, I'm unable to attend your June 28 epic as I have a wedding reception that day (my wedding reception in fact). Please keep me posted if your planning another long ride either solo or with a crew.
    Cheers,
    Jason P

    p.s. - I was at the Wendell trail maintenance day a few weeks ago. Felt good to finally help out up there! The trails are simply amazing these days.
    I heard you made it up to wendell for the work and ride-we had a good crew at the DAR on Sunday, too-it seems as though folks are starting to actually get the trail work bug! Thanks for coming out and pitching in at wendell.

    I'm planning on leading an epic in the mid fallfrom Leverett to possibly Mt Grace-but certainly up to northfield mountain with wendell sf coming and going. Earl and his crew ran into Eric and my crew at wendell last sunday-they all had a really good ride evidently-the trails are in very good shape-and getting a good word from Earl means a lot to us trail builders up in Wendell (as, he is still the reigning king in our region of stellar built mountain bike trail networks! )
    Liam

  17. #17
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    Sorry for not staying close to this thread...

    I guess I am looking for being as "out there" as I can - my long ride last summer was solo and I saw 2 people the whole ride. It was fantastic. Loop or point to point with a cars at each end is great. Doing 40 miles at one place sounds interesting (did that two years ago at KT), but I'd rather cover some ground if possible.

    Thanks for the comments - I'll keep on top of this thread and post back up when the date approaches - company always welcomed! Last year I had company for the first 2 hours of riding.

    John

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    [QUOTE=SuperbMan]You were on the right track, but you needed to alternate the use of the M&M, the old-M&M, Powerlines, and the Robert Frost to get to Wendell, and then beyond (you can get all the way to mount grace in fact this way with a stop at Northfield Mountain Trails).

    I'm leading a Deerfield-Greenfield Epic (with bbq party to follow) on June 28th-probably 40+ miles when all is said and done. I've also done the Greenfield Ridge, Deerfield ridge, Sugarloafs and Toby trails in a day (which all told exceeds 50 miles).



    Is this going to happen?

  19. #19
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    Rob,

    Found this over on NEMBA forums: http://www.nemba.org/forums/showthread.php?t=21687

  20. #20
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    Thanks

  21. #21
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    sorry all-I missed this.

    Yes, I've had to put off the ridge Epic-for a number of factors. Looking towards mid August as the replacement time.

    Sorry Folks!

    Liam

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