OTIS/ and the military- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    OTIS/ and the military

    YES the title says it all.

    We drove from Jay Vermont and Montreal( 7 hours away) on Saturday morning to go ride at Otis AFB. Got the map printed from bikerag.com as suggested on the trail review section. Use Mapquest.com to figure out how to get there and we left Jay at around 9.30 am.

    As instructed we parked in the club parking lot just after the Rotary and walk across the road to enter the trail system.

    As we returned to the car, we were greeded by the Military police as well as the Mass state trooper. Let me start by mentionning that I was VERY impress by their professionalism and how polite they were especially that we were told that we were illegally riding on an ACTIVE military base and therefore breaking Federal Law.

    Believe me the feeling is NOT GOOD. As much as I felt a bit stupid to be there, I was also amaze that the biking community has the Milirary base posted on the internet (www.bikerag.com) for riding

    I am actually not sure if it's a new rule, since I see tread on Otis all the time. One thing is for sure. They were not happy to see me there and a HUGE warning for future rider.


    The key word is ACTIVE MILITARY BASE

    Dan

  2. #2
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    Someone should make sure bikerag removes the recommendation to park where you did. Parking/access off 151 seems the most common now. Never had a problem there.

  3. #3
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    I dont think that parking is the issue here. I think that everyone should accept the fact that it is a restricted area and the MTB is no longer allowed on the base.

    Dan

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan001
    I dont think that parking is the issue here. I think that everyone should accept the fact that it is a restricted area and the MTB is no longer allowed on the base.

    Dan
    Part of the problem is that some of the trails are not on the base. They are on town conservation land.

    Because there are no signs in the middle of the woods it's easy to cross over to land owned by the base.

    Edit to add this from the NEMBA site:
    The riding in the Bourne/Falmouth area is usually referred to as riding at Otis Air Force Base. The base has been officially closed to anyone except official personal since the events of September 11th.

    Most people don't realize that there is riding on Town Of Falmouth and Crane Conservation Land, which is not part of the base. Unfortunately, there is really no physical delineation between these areas. People are still riding Otis without being bothered by military police. If you happen to be crossing a paved road and encounter a base official, they will ask you to leave, or perhaps escort you out. They are not out there patrolling, looking for mountain bikers in the woods.

    These best way to access the riding is from route 151. There are a lot of trails in this area which do not go onto base property. Parking is along Route 151 near the dirt mound on your left after you exit from MaAurther Blvd. (Rt.28). There is also parking a little further down the road through the yellow gate on Cloverfield Lane. From here, you bike to the end of the big field, cross the railroad tracks and enter the trails area.
    Last edited by chqm8; 04-07-2008 at 07:42 AM.

  5. #5
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    No time to post a map here now but all the Otis riding area in Falmouth is either MA DFG Wildlife Management Area or Falmouth conservation land. Town of Bourne has several conservation parcels along 28. From the Veteran's Cemetery roadway south is not a military facility. It's owned by Veterans Affairs. Source info is MassGIS Open Space data layer 2008. There is a large area in the interior of the riding area that is not classified as open space. Others may know who is the owner/manager of that area. This is not to say that these other owners/managers don't have issues with mtb or other recreational activity on their land. In fact, there has been some problems with DFG about illegal trail building. But if you park/access off 151, you are legally entering state land which you have every right to do. I have never seen any signage internal to the Otis riding area that you are entering another jurisdiction.

    Parking at the officers club has been a no-no for some time.

  6. #6
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    it looks like bikerag.com does recommend to park off 151:


    "Directions - From the mainland take 495 south over the Bourne Identity bridge. Drive around the rotary as many times as you like, then take route 28 south towards falmouth. Clear your odo.. Drive 7.21 miles (youll go through one more lovely rotary), and take the exit for route 151.. take a RIGHT on 151 east bound, drive .2345 miles, and look for small sandy parking area on LEFT.. I hear you dont want to leave valuables in your car here.. Strange.. 2 trails start immediately after mound.."

    sorry to hear you had a bad experience after driving all that way...
    I think Chqm8 covered it all with his info and the excerpt from the NEMBA site.

    If you're worried about accidentally trespassing, you could ride at Trail of Tears. Very similar terrain though not as many technical features. As a bonus, you get to hear gunfire from the nearby shooting range. You can pretend you're being shot at...it helps when climbing some of those hills.

  7. #7
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    From an outsider perspective, my suggestion is that a Map should be produce including the Military base shown as Restricted area.

    It is a common practice in orienteering to have a map with a bunch of out of bound area. If the map was done on a proper Topo map it would be clear where to enter, where not to go etc...

    To me, the expereince was not very pleasant and not worth the effort going back in case we accidently enter the base again. I am sure that the second time around their nice attitude would be gone and I would totally understand.

    On a more positive note, as we were driving back we went to Dogtown for a 3 hour ride on Sunday. Can only be describe as HO MY GOD. As I am riding a rigid Fix gear; Dogtown was an amazing experience hard to describe.I will be back in the fall for Dogtown trail system, it is usually hard to find such boulder field and technical stuff like that where we are from.


    Dan

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    This is news to me. After sept 11th, they DID close it down, (bikerag site was updated) and supposedly "opened it back up" from my sources. In any case I will update the review on bikerag. Next time drop me a line if anything like this happens, its hard to keep track of all the riding areas listed on the rag. And they should really post this up somewhere!!

    PM

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan001
    YES the title says it all.

    Believe me the feeling is NOT GOOD. As much as I felt a bit stupid to be there, I was also amaze that the biking community has the Milirary base posted on the internet (www.bikerag.com) for riding

    The key word is ACTIVE MILITARY BASE

    Dan

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan001
    On a more positive note, as we were driving back we went to Dogtown for a 3 hour ride on Sunday. Can only be describe as HO MY GOD. As I am riding a rigid Fix gear; Dogtown was an amazing experience hard to describe.I will be back in the fall for Dogtown trail system, it is usually hard to find such boulder field and technical stuff like that where we are from.

    Dan
    Next time you're heading towards Dogtown send me a PM and I'll show you some real good technical loops including some new stuff. I live across the street from a trailhead so it's basically my backyard.

  10. #10
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    Hey Woodyak,

    I will definately send you aPM next time we are down. The trail were amazing but you are right, we must have lost at least 40% of our time looking at the GPS or wondering how to get out instead of focusing on the riding.

    I will take you on your offer. Same is valid for up here. If you are coming north to Vermont or Quebec drop me a line and we will show you some of the rat riding we have here.

    Ps: The only other place that I found stuff that technical was in WV in the Shenondonah mountains


    Thanks again for the offer


    Dan

  11. #11
    Wiz
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    Park off 151

    Can someone change the directions (parking/trailhead) in MA Otis "Trail Review", please.

    We've written several times that parking off the Rt. 28 rotary entrance is NOTHING but trouble (w/examples). However, topic should be "bumped up" in the MA Forums periodically,especially in the coming weeks. Archery Club is the culprit of many complaints. I been told they "paint ball" MXers, by them personally. They even scold the Military, if they tear up that part of power line, which they have pirated away. I wouldn't be surprised if Dan's parking was reported by em. They are Pricks about that area.

    The situation is & has been...low profile, unless you want to see sign, sign everywhere a sign OR WORSE. You don't need to be crossing any pavement to have a good time here.

    *Dan, sorry about your visit. What can be said, you followed what little improper direction you had. I don't post up Q's about where should I park if there are directions available either. Thanks for upping the improper to avoid these problems in the fragile future. Next time your down, give ToT a try. As stated prior, those gun shots you will hear are unfortunately non-military, but shooters are in a pretty good Pit setup. I do my scenic stops in the gulley's, not the hilltops around the Gun Range area.

    The military base's attitude @ Otis is a-OK, just have to be stealthy like em.

  12. #12
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    Hey Wiz,

    Have you posted the need for action at the linked forum here:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?f=23

  13. #13
    Wiz
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    Thanx Rams, check your PM, eh.

  14. #14
    Wiz
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    Requested an admin. change in trailhead parking directions

    Posted on Site Feedback/Issues a request for change in the Mtbr.com forum MA Review MTB Trail for Otis trailhead parking directions. Thank you to ramshackle.

  15. #15
    try driving your car less
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    I ride in otis all the time, but I do not park, I ride from home.

    I have met military guys in there all the time, and they are cool with riding. It was probably the rod and gun club guys narcing on you. park at 151.

    Like one military guy told me (he was walking his dog, he works at the cemetary): "biking in otis is like gays in the military, dont ask dont tell."

    on another note, he told me that they are expanding the cemetary and are tearing out trails to do so. they own the land. he said it's from all the WWII guys dying of old age.

    I cant believe you guys drove 7 hours to ride Otis. That's nuts. I just flew to LA last weekend for some amazing riding. took about 7 hours door to door.
    Only boring people get bored.

  16. #16
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    Too late for Dan but the mtbr review for Otis has been changed, directing people to 151 instead of the fish and game club.
    http://trails.mtbr.com/cat/united-st...7_4554crx.aspx

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