Good Place for Fast Flowy Trails?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Good Place for Fast Flowy Trails?

    I usually ride at Russell Mill in Chelmsford cause I love it there, but I do want to switch it up a little bit and find some different trails that are less technical and have a speed component to them, i.e. flowing hills, burms, etc. I've found a few different trails at various places, like the trails next to the golf course over at Heart pond, but nothing that you could really ride on for an hour or two without repeating it over and over. Anyone know of a place where I could go that might fit the bill?

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    North - Willowdale
    South - Duxbury, TOT
    SE - Adams Farm

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    Bear Brook in NH


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    Thanks! Bear Brook looks like it's not too bad of a haul for me... any recommendations on specific trails? Any idea what trails they are showing in this video with all of the tight switchbacks and downhill sections, those look exactly like what I am looking for! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep5iizjBL0U

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    Quote Originally Posted by OttaCee View Post
    North - Willowdale
    South - Duxbury, TOT
    SE - Adams Farm
    I 2nd these recommendations and I'll add the North side of Georgetown Rowley can be kinda fast and flowy.

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    Those look pretty good too, but they are a ways away for me. Willowdale wouldn't be too bad of a drive, but my buddy lives up in NH so it makes sense to head North towards Bear Brook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrglenni View Post
    I usually ride at Russell Mill in Chelmsford cause I love it there, but I do want to switch it up a little bit and find some different trails that are less technical and have a speed component to them, i.e. flowing hills, burms, etc. I've found a few different trails at various places, like the trails next to the golf course over at Heart pond, but nothing that you could really ride on for an hour or two without repeating it over and over. Anyone know of a place where I could go that might fit the bill?
    Russell mill is too tech? Hmmm. Most trails in the whole area are shaped by the rocks and geography, plus the whole state park thing. Flow trails? Rye air field skate park or Highland for some downhill. 2nd on the willowdale trails. Get over too moon hill as well. Pedaled over to Great Brook from Russell mill? Speed and flow is where you find it.

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    I actually haven't tried Great Brook despite being so close, but from what I understand it's a lot of flat stuff with some fun stuff mixed in. I'm trying to avoid the places where most of the riding is on a flat, non-exciting trail just to get to a fun section that lasts for a minute and then another mundane ride to the next section. Again, I've never been there so my impression could be way off, but that's how I picture it.

    The Bear Brook place looks awesome though... That Big Bear trail sounds pretty cool as it's a 1.6 mile downhill, and from the videos I've seen it looks like they have a lot of good singletrack with tight switchbacks and other stuff. Don't get me wrong... Rusell Mill isn't "too tech", I'm just looking to switch it up a bit and find some extended all out speed trails with switchbacks, burms, rolling sections, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrglenni View Post
    I actually haven't tried Great Brook despite being so close, but from what I understand it's a lot of flat stuff with some fun stuff mixed in. I'm trying to avoid the places where most of the riding is on a flat, non-exciting trail just to get to a fun section that lasts for a minute and then another mundane ride to the next section. Again, I've never been there so my impression could be way off, but that's how I picture it.

    The Bear Brook place looks awesome though... That Big Bear trail sounds pretty cool as it's a 1.6 mile downhill, and from the videos I've seen it looks like they have a lot of good singletrack with tight switchbacks and other stuff. Don't get me wrong... Rusell Mill isn't "too tech", I'm just looking to switch it up a bit and find some extended all out speed trails with switchbacks, burms, rolling sections, etc.
    I think your idea of Great Brook is probably spot on and I don't think it's worth checking out.

    If your going up to Bear Brook, you might as well go a bit farther and ride Franklin Falls. I think you would really enjoy FF.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrglenni View Post
    I actually haven't tried Great Brook despite being so close, but from what I understand it's a lot of flat stuff with some fun stuff mixed in. I'm trying to avoid the places where most of the riding is on a flat, non-exciting trail just to get to a fun section that lasts for a minute and then another mundane ride to the next section. Again, I've never been there so my impression could be way off, but that's how I picture it.



    The Bear Brook place looks awesome though... That Big Bear trail sounds pretty cool as it's a 1.6 mile downhill, and from the videos I've seen it looks like they have a lot of good singletrack with tight switchbacks and other stuff. Don't get me wrong... Rusell Mill isn't "too tech", I'm just looking to switch it up a bit and find some extended all out speed trails with switchbacks, burms, rolling sections, etc.
    Yes up Little Bear and down Big Bear is a great loop and can be done twice at the beginning of a ride and at the end if you go out Hemlock after the first time. Hemlock is not to be missed if you want FAST and flowy.

    Once you get into the middle of the trail system away from the brook there are still some smooth trails but it gets more tecky which I like.Make sure you finish on Bear Brook Trail(the one in the video) before your second loop of Little and Big Bear then the parking lot is right there. Have fun its definitely worth the drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EC3 View Post
    Yes up Little Bear and down Big Bear is a great loop and can be done twice at the beginning of a ride and at the end if you go out Hemlock after the first time. Hemlock is not to be missed if you want FAST and flowy.

    Once you get into the middle of the trail system away from the brook there are still some smooth trails but it gets more tecky which I like.Make sure you finish on Bear Brook Trail(the one in the video) before your second loop of Little and Big Bear then the parking lot is right there. Have fun its definitely worth the drive.
    Hemlock is definitely a good time.

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    Would I want to start Hemlock from the end closest to the parking lot or the end further away? I'm thinking up little/down big at least once and then hit hemlock, and try whatever else I can fit in to a 2 hour ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrglenni View Post
    I actually haven't tried Great Brook despite being so close, but from what I understand it's a lot of flat stuff with some fun stuff mixed in. I'm trying to avoid the places where most of the riding is on a flat, non-exciting trail just to get to a fun section that lasts for a minute and then another mundane ride to the next section. Again, I've never been there so my impression could be way off, but that's how I picture it.

    The Bear Brook place looks awesome though... That Big Bear trail sounds pretty cool as it's a 1.6 mile downhill, and from the videos I've seen it looks like they have a lot of good singletrack with tight switchbacks and other stuff. Don't get me wrong... Rusell Mill isn't "too tech", I'm just looking to switch it up a bit and find some extended all out speed trails with switchbacks, burms, rolling sections, etc.
    While there is some connecting doubletrack, I wouldn't call Great Brook flat. Worth checking out. You can pedal to there from Russell Mill as well as connect up Gilson Hill in Billerica. 3-4 hours of riding. What town do live closest to? Bear Brook is nice pedaling. Some fabo trail workers up there. Not really going to find " flow " trails around here. Sure, some trails here and there. Most trails in this whole area are multi use, ie hikers, dog walkers and sometimes horses. Might not go with the " all out speed trail thing" Are you used to pedaling in a different area/state? Been to KT in VT? Way awesome and what you seek.

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    Nope, started mtb after I moved here several years ago. I actually live in Chelmsford now and I did go to GB once with the wife and kids but obviously I wasn't hunting for any gnarly trail sections with them I go to RM all the time since I usually only have an hour or so when I can get out, and its so much fun stuff packed into a tight area. I did check our Gilson Hill before but I think I missed the built up section, ended up riding further south for a while trying to find the trails and it was just a bunch of fire roads. I do need to go back there some time and check it out again... I think I finally found the entrance when we were riding back to the parking lot.

    I have taken the bike with me on a few trips, rode some stuff in Grand Rapids MI and also took the bike down to Myrtle Beach and road the Horry County MTB trails. Both of those areas were much more speed/flow based trails rather than what we have around here, but there are sections of trails that I have come across locally that have some of those elements to them, so I figure there's got to be more. This video of Hemlock is pretty good https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaexinaFeXw

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrglenni View Post
    Would I want to start Hemlock from the end closest to the parking lot or the end further away? I'm thinking up little/down big at least once and then hit hemlock, and try whatever else I can fit in to a 2 hour ride.
    Hemlock is a one-way trail, W to E. Starts behind the ranger station above the parking lot. When you finish bang a right and then your options begin depending on how far you want to ride. I like Pitch Pine-Broken Boulder-Chipmunk-Bobcat-Sentinal Pine-Cascade. That can be cut off or added to but will get you over to the west end of Bear Brook Trail so you can finish with Little and Big Bear.

    You don't need to do too much doubletrack if you link it right.

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    I've ridden Bear Brook a bunch. It's one of my favorite spots in the northeast. Good mix of new england tech and the Big Bear/Little Bear sections are not to be missed if you're looking for some fast, flowy stuff. Recommend parking in the north park of the park at the lot near salt lick and hemlock. You can start by lapping the Bear trails and/or continue east and do a clockwise loop around the whole park. Solid 3-4 hour ride (and more!) depending on how you string together your trails.

    Word of advice -- there are some pretty boggy/marshy areas in the central-south part of the park so be prepared for some wet or mud. Also, my SO and I tried to ride the Lost Trail last summer and the trail really is...lost. Very overgrown and not bike friendly.

  19. #19
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    Willowdale is the most flowy i've ridden in the Northern MA area.
    I don't find FOMBA to be flowy. Certainly not like Big Bear / Little Bear or Willowdale.
    Bear Brook has great flow and areas where there is tech as well. A good loop at BB can scratch both itches.

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    If you like and are riding RM, have you checked out the Gilson Hill stuff in Billerica State Forest which you can connect to RM with a bit of Road. Did it once last year and not super familiar with the area so cant give specifics on how to get there from RM.

    Also Lowell Dracut Tyngsboro Town Forest has plenty of fun flowy stuff along with a bit of tech. Its new england your always going to get some tech no matter where you go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSrider View Post
    If you like and are riding RM, have you checked out the Gilson Hill stuff in Billerica State Forest which you can connect to RM with a bit of Road. Did it once last year and not super familiar with the area so cant give specifics on how to get there from RM.

    Also Lowell Dracut Tyngsboro Town Forest has plenty of fun flowy stuff along with a bit of tech. Its new england your always going to get some tech no matter where you go.
    I did once last year, completely missed the actual NEMBA trails though so I need to go back. The next time I hit RM I will probably take the trip over there to check it out. Lowell Dracut Tyngsboro has been on our radar as well, probably will be visiting it soon.

    Gonna hit up Bear brook next Sunday at the but crack of dawn and ride for a couple hours, I'm pumped to check it out! Thanks everyone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by basso4735 View Post
    Bear Brook in NH


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    Bear Brook is definitely a fun place to ride. Here's my tracks from last year's Nemba Bear Brook Boogie. If you drill down on the map you'll be able to read trail names.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyjack View Post
    Bear Brook is definitely a fun place to ride. Here's my tracks from last year's Nemba Bear Brook Boogie. If you drill down on the map you'll be able to read trail names.
    Sweet, thanks. That actually looks to be about perfect for the amount of time I'm going to have, and if I start falling behind I can cut off some of the stuff in the middle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB15 View Post
    I think your idea of Great Brook is probably spot on and I don't think it's worth checking out.
    Really? I've ridden there quite a bit over the years and always managed to have a good time.

    Lowell-Dracut is my favorite place in that neck of the woods, hands down.
    Need some skills to ride fast and flowy there though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EC3 View Post
    Hemlock is a one-way trail, W to E. Starts behind the ranger station above the parking lot. When you finish bang a right and then your options begin depending on how far you want to ride. I like Pitch Pine-Broken Boulder-Chipmunk-Bobcat-Sentinal Pine-Cascade. That can be cut off or added to but will get you over to the west end of Bear Brook Trail so you can finish with Little and Big Bear.

    You don't need to do too much doubletrack if you link it right.
    Hemlock is most certainly two way traffic. Most do ride it the way u describe however. Bear Brook is Great! If u go there without a guide u will flounder the first few times.
    Once dialed it is a great place to ride

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcandy View Post
    Bear Brook is Great! If u go there without a guide u will flounder the first few times.
    Once dialed it is a great place to ride
    What if you followed Dirty Jack's tracks (Here's my tracks from last year's Nemba Bear Brook Boogie.) Woudl you still need a guide?

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    I didn't mean to make it sound impossible..u won't find or link it up perfectly but it will still be fun. Get Maprika app and load New England cycling map

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    Earl's Trail..however, the fastness and the flowy-ness is also subject to the hilly-ness...so, the higher your level of fitness, the higher the fast and flow.

    Trail o' Tears...same caveat as earl's, probably more hilly but less sustained climbing.

    Both are pretty tight single track as well...which is all great, but again, the fast and flow reflects comfort with rather singular singletrack.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcandy View Post
    Get Maprika app and load New England cycling map
    Someone on here recommended Maprika to me last you and i am guessing it was you. Maprika exponentially increased the fun factor of my riding last year. I started making a bunch of my own maps from Strava heat map captures and it was the perfect combo. Unfortunately i changed phones and lost all my work.

    What is this New England Cycling map. Are you speaking generically or is there a set of maps to search for?

    Thanks again for the recommendation.

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    For bear brook, there is a map made by NEC that is very helpful. if u look at the map collections for bear brook, One option is the NEC..2011. It is the only map with newer trails. Very helpful at BBSP ("Browse Maps", find BBSP...it is one of the three pins that pop up)

    I also make my own maps for exploring new, less traveled spots

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    Thanks again for the recommendations for Bear Brook, went there this morning and it was awesome! Turns out they were doing that Kenda race thing today, so we weren't able to do little bear/big bear, but I did get to check out Hemlock which is exactly what I had been looking for. We only went 10 miles and there was still a ton to cover, can't wait to go back and check out some of the other trails.

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