need some riding area suggestions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    need some riding area suggestions

    Hey, was lookin for some advice from the locals. I mostly ride southern NH but I'm lookin for suggestions on must hits in northern mass area. lookin for longer extended downhill runs (don't mind climbing to get to good stuff) the more berms an jumps etc.. the better... Places I've tried... LDTF, HP, vietnam, Russel Mill. Lookin for more all mountain type riding, was thinkin of tryin out lynn woods, anywhere else worth checking??
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  2. #2
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    Next weekend hit the NEMBA MBAS ride at harold Parker for a starter--HP has it all.

    Lynn woods is great...bring band-aids.

    Wendell SF (perhaps at the November Chili ride!) and, of course Batchelor St serve up some of the most 'all-mountainish' riding n the state.

    Berkshire East ski area has built one long DH oriented trail (that requires a fire road climb to access).

    Extended downhills??? In MA??? Well, you'll need to head to western, MA for that. Berkshires and PV (longer downhills in the Berkshires as those hills are on average about 800ft higher!). Pittsfield State Forest has some great newer and updated riding options worth checking out, and I never get tired of the Yokun Ridge/ Lennox Mountain in Lennox, MA both have big climbs with substantial descents.

    Good Luck,

  3. #3
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    I'm not talkin 4000' descents. but.. something other than rolling xc. Seems like any descents I've done around HP, LDTF are for about a minute or less. vietnam is cool but... more of a playground to me than a place to get a ride in. Lynn sounds slow with no flow, but plenty of rocks to play on, not really my thing. Am I wrong? I've heard leominster was good? Where exactly is B street anyway?
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  4. #4
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    Check out the Ward Reservation in Andover, MA. Some decent fairly extended downhill in there.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMCoiler View Post
    Check out the Ward Reservation in Andover, MA. Some decent fairly extended downhill in there.
    Yeah, Ward has as much or more elevation than you'll find anywhere in N.E. Mass but it is purely xc, no berms or jumps. There are some fun trails there but it's probably not what you're looking for. It's also not that big an area so ya really need to tie the ride into HP to get what I'd call a full ride in.

    Doing a ride at Lynn Sunday morning at 9am if you want a good tour.

  6. #6
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    Check out the south side trails of Lynn Woods. This is more of an XC ride.

  7. #7
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    B-street is the Holyoke State Forest in Granby, MA.

    No I hear ya about the rolling xc, The Berkshire's have the best sustained descents-Pittsfield and Lennox like I said.

  8. #8
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    Yeah I mean all it takes is one look at any topo map to know that we ain't got what you're looking for really. The highest point in essex county comes in at 400 some odd feet. If you want long downhills you need to find a place with bigger hills I think. Head north, not south

  9. #9
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    Yea, MA isn't great for long downhills. Here in Central MA the longest I can think of is the 2.5 mile descent of Goat hill. It drops over 200' but has about a hundred feet of climbing thrown in so the total drop is close 300'. Cool trail tho. "Two miles of smiles"!

  10. #10
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    So, I decided to give HP another try this weekend. Let me start by saying, I ride xc as well, and enjoy it, but it's definitely not my first choice. Anyhoo, I gave HP another try did about 20 miles or so, most of the advanced wicked ride loop including alot of the yellow trail around the pond, back accross the road to all the trails around the quarry and back accross to the pavilions up white to the "locked and loaded trail" and all I have to say is.... I think it's probably the most overrated trail system I've ridden yet. For the area I suppose it's good as there aren't alot of trails around. But, it seems like every nemba built trail I ride is exactly the same, if you have a hill, the trail switchbacks back an forth, not side to side, but up and down, so it goes like this... ride up to the top of the hill on a bench cut slowly going up hill, then it's short decent over a natural obstacle/drop to flat without any momentum short downhill, sharp turn to an instant climb back up and your within 5' of where you just came from separated by downed logs lining the side of the trail, serve and repeat. Locked and loaded was probably the best laid out trail in the park and all the "goods" seemed to be over on the same side of the park. Seems like for a while with nemba and still that there is a strong emphasis on dizzying no flow mileage whore singletrack, as in, quantity vs. quality.

    Sorry for the harsh review but I've been riding single track for 15+ years, and have seen this trend in the last few years. Also, I'm really only riding south as.. everything up north is covered in leaves and doesn't get much mileage. I usually venture south early and late in the riding season.
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  11. #11
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    Your way too good to ride MTB in MA. Maybe you should grab a shovel and make your own trail. Not being a jerk, but these guys bust thier ass to make sure these trails are fun for all.
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  12. #12
    I'd Huck That....
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    Head up to Highland mountain bike park they just put in a new xc loop.

  13. #13
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    Hmmm, well I don't know what to tell ya. I find every area in MA to very different from each other (From Trail of Tears to October Mountain).

    I have no problem with your assessment of Harold Parker-different strokes for different folks. Although, not liking it is one thing, knocking those who work crazy hard forging and maintaining that trail system is callous and uncalled for.

    Come on over and Ride Batchelor St and then ride Earl's Trails on the other side of the Notch. Two systems right next to each other that couldn't be more different from one another. Next come on out to Wendell or float on up to Dubuque State forest-or the newly emerging Charlemont Trail System and marvel at how different again each area can be.

    I don't think there is a 'Nemba' trail. Nor is there a driving central directive to build trails of a particular kind, or shape, etc. I know each of the major riding areas in the Pioneer Valley reflects a combination of two things: 1. Specific Unique terrain and trail surfaces and 2. The Riding preferences of the individuals who built and maintain those areas. And as the individual trail smiths at each area are as different from one another as the terrain they work on, each riding destination is fairly Unique.

    Honestly-Go Ride Robinson State Forest in Agawam, then go hit B-street and Wendell (all maintained and built by past a present NEMBA affiliates and local leaders) and you'll see there is no NEMBA blue Print for trails. And certainly no catch all Massachusetts formula for single track.

    Anyway...I though you said HP wasn't what you were looking for in the first place. Again, you need to head west, young man to at Least Petersham to find what I believe you are looking for, and from there cross the mighty Quabbin and sample to plentiful trails of the PV. And from there head on over to the Berkshires-where some of the best riding i any state resides.

    Oh, as for leaves, we typically take a leaf blower to our less-traveled trails once or twice during the Fall.

    Better Luck Next weekend.

  14. #14
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    Sounds like you need to move. Your standards are way too high.

  15. #15
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    I hear there's some really sweet trails in colorado...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan View Post
    Hmmm, well I don't know what to tell ya. I find every area in MA to very different from each other (From Trail of Tears to October Mountain).

    I have no problem with your assessment of Harold Parker-different strokes for different folks. Although, not liking it is one thing, knocking those who work crazy hard forging and maintaining that trail system is callous and uncalled for.

    Come on over and Ride Batchelor St and then ride Earl's Trails on the other side of the Notch. Two systems right next to each other that couldn't be more different from one another. Next come on out to Wendell or float on up to Dubuque State forest-or the newly emerging Charlemont Trail System and marvel at how different again each area can be.

    I don't think there is a 'Nemba' trail. Nor is there a driving central directive to build trails of a particular kind, or shape, etc. I know each of the major riding areas in the Pioneer Valley reflects a combination of two things: 1. Specific Unique terrain and trail surfaces and 2. The Riding preferences of the individuals who built and maintain those areas. And as the individual trail smiths at each area are as different from one another as the terrain they work on, each riding destination is fairly Unique.

    Honestly-Go Ride Robinson State Forest in Agawam, then go hit B-street and Wendell (all maintained and built by past a present NEMBA affiliates and local leaders) and you'll see there is no NEMBA blue Print for trails. And certainly no catch all Massachusetts formula for single track.

    Anyway...I though you said HP wasn't what you were looking for in the first place. Again, you need to head west, young man to at Least Petersham to find what I believe you are looking for, and from there cross the mighty Quabbin and sample to plentiful trails of the PV. And from there head on over to the Berkshires-where some of the best riding i any state resides.

    Oh, as for leaves, we typically take a leaf blower to our less-traveled trails once or twice during the Fall.

    Better Luck Next weekend.
    I knew I was gonna get flack, which I'm ok with. I didn't say HP sucks an everyone that built trails sucks. I said it's "overrated". I know HP to begin with wasn't gonna be all of what I like, but I figured I'd give it another try thinkin I may have missed something that people were talking about. I have to say, everything I rode on the other side of the park near the quarry etc... was fun (except for one pine needle covered trail that was one of those back an forth on the side of a hill trails) Also, when I talk about nemba built trails I'm talking most of the newer stuff popping up here an there in different parks, not just mass, but southern NH as well. Almost all the new trails built that I ride are so dizzying with 20 90 degree turns in a half mile trail. I see it everywhere from russel mill, LDTF, HP, Massabesic, Bear Brook (not dizzying, but the one place with elevation that the trail builders don't even use!) Just look at the video for the newer turner trail in pittsfield... dizzying! I know some of the thought that goes into these trails is mostly make it a trail that can be ridden both ways but again, quantity over quality. Rant over.... I'll have to check out B-street, wendell etc... I did HP cuz I didn't have alot of time on saturday an it was close..
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by manchvegas View Post
    So, I decided to give HP another try this weekend. Let me start by saying, I ride xc as well, and enjoy it, but it's definitely not my first choice. Anyhoo, I gave HP another try did about 20 miles or so, most of the advanced wicked ride loop including alot of the yellow trail around the pond, back accross the road to all the trails around the quarry and back accross to the pavilions up white to the "locked and loaded trail" and all I have to say is.... I think it's probably the most overrated trail system I've ridden yet. For the area I suppose it's good as there aren't alot of trails around. But, it seems like every nemba built trail I ride is exactly the same, if you have a hill, the trail switchbacks back an forth, not side to side, but up and down, so it goes like this... ride up to the top of the hill on a bench cut slowly going up hill, then it's short decent over a natural obstacle/drop to flat without any momentum short downhill, sharp turn to an instant climb back up and your within 5' of where you just came from separated by downed logs lining the side of the trail, serve and repeat. Locked and loaded was probably the best laid out trail in the park and all the "goods" seemed to be over on the same side of the park. Seems like for a while with nemba and still that there is a strong emphasis on dizzying no flow mileage whore singletrack, as in, quantity vs. quality.

    Sorry for the harsh review but I've been riding single track for 15+ years, and have seen this trend in the last few years. Also, I'm really only riding south as.. everything up north is covered in leaves and doesn't get much mileage. I usually venture south early and late in the riding season.
    Can you give us an example of a trail you DO like? You don't like flowy XC, you don't like slow technical, you don't like in between (I consider HP in between).

  18. #18
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    If your looking for descents why did you go to MA? Everyone told you it's pretty flat, and the trails that descend people told you about but didn't go there. The trails are what they are and designed(very well I might add) to squeeze the mileage in. There's not a lot of space in MA.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak View Post
    Can you give us an example of a trail you DO like? You don't like flowy XC, you don't like slow technical, you don't like in between (I consider HP in between).
    I do like flowy xc, just didn't think HP had much "flow" I like slow tech too, in moderation. Trails I DO like...

    most trails up in the kingdom, fast... good flow, not a million 90 degree turns.

    Bear brook: (grew up with it as my back yard)
    -carr ridge
    -little bear
    -bear brook
    -bear hill
    -hemlock
    -catamount

    Fort Rock:
    blue trail
    green trail
    orange trail
    red trail etc...

    concord:
    quarry side descent
    haven't done enough exploring to find much else

    Ahern state park:
    few good ones in there

    Massabesic:
    lady slipper
    redpine
    woodpecker

    LDTF: (which I think has WAY better flow than HP)
    the newer nemba trail (don't know name)

    MT. Waldo maine
    quarry descent(awesome)

    Snowbowl Maine
    Blue trail descent

    Those are in no particular order and are all different, some xc, some tech, some really fast all mountain.... Those are all trails I've been riding for years and I've ridden them all this year. The ones in maine I was on vacation. If anyone needs NH ride advice, let me know. I will have to get out to holyoke (aka bachelor st.) as that looks like exactly my favorite kind of riding... it's a drive though.
    Last edited by manchvegas; 11-04-2011 at 09:25 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by manchvegas View Post
    I do like flowy xc, just didn't think HP had much "flow" I like slow tech too, in moderation.
    Following the "wicked ride of the east" routes in my opinion was a mistake. Lots of stuff not on those routes, and lots of times the loops are not ideal.
    This is strictly my opinion and is not meant to insult anyone.
    Also the area with Ward Reservation included, has well over 50 miles of trails to offer!

    Greg
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  21. #21
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    This thread is hilarious.

    If I'm riding a trail, especially a single track, I tend to like it no matter who built it or what/where the hell it is.

    I guess it's 'cuz' my standards are so low.

    Oh yeah riding on leaves doesn't bother me either.

  22. #22
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    Good job!

    Had an awsome ride at HP last night - got lost a bit & stumbled on a trail that had some very impressive sections. I am not sure who builds the trails there but thanks - you make XC fun & interesting!

    George

  23. #23
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    If you can't find riding you enjoy in MA I don't even know where to tell you to look. I've ridden NorCal, SoCal, LV, Northern NM, AZ, UT, NH, VT, MA, CT and I find the riding at Lynnwoods, Vietnam, Beverly, Bruce and Toms, School Street, Highland, HP, and all the other places around here to be on par with anywhere else in the country I've ridden.

    Everyone has their thing but I can introduce you to an entire crew of riders who manage to put together a consistent flow at many of the places you just said don't have any flow.

    I'm happy to show you around anytime, I ride just about every weekend, year round. If you're riding in NH I've been wanting to see new any new spots within about 2 hours of metro Boston.

  24. #24
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    I find alot of the trails need to be ridden with a local to have any flow. I can see HP being one of those places I'm just starting to venture into mass, as I said, mostly late and early in the season, as the trails are dryer the more south you go, an alot of the times, get more traffic so the trails are clearer... Happy to show anyone looking to see a new place in nh...
    Last edited by manchvegas; 11-04-2011 at 09:27 AM.
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  25. #25
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    riding a bike in the woods shouldnt be taken so seriously. This thread is hilarious !

  26. #26
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    I take my biking very serious, sorry.... Went to LDTF again today, just to get a quick ride in before the storm, didn't have time to venture too far, so.... I have to say the more I ride that place and especially after riding HP last week I can honestly say, if you want a good example of how trails should be built for "good flow" go to LDTF. PROPS TO THE TRAIL BUILDERS! LDTF has flow, hp in my opinion doesn't have much at all. So, wanted to say thanks as LDTF is definitely a worthy destination, not really "all mountain" but it's such an awesome loop on those newer trails....
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  27. #27
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    Leominster State Forest is good. Kinda technical but a lot of it is faster than stuff like Lynn Woods. Its "all mountain", not that big climbs or descents but a lot of fun. Hilly by non-berkshire Massachusetts standards I guess.

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