Plug for Charlemont Trail System- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Plug for Charlemont Trail System

    Just did a big ride today on the Charlemont Trail System. 25ish miles, 3.5 hours, 3K+ vertical feet. IMO, it's the best riding in Massachusetts.

    The Berkshire East side has a perfect 10 mile loop, starting with a gorgeous climb right next to a mountain stream, and ending with the best trail in the state - Billy's World. If you've never ridden it, you're missing out. It is just an endless downhill of switchbacks, rock work, bridges... Seriously, endless. It's nearly a 10 minute descent - 2.5 kM of downhill tech.

    I took a pulled pork lunch break after Billy's at the BEAST lodge. Way better than a power bar.

    After lunch I headed across the Deerfield river to the North side of the system. It is a maze of singletrack spread over two or three peaks, that blasts through steep, thick forests, mountainside pastures, and an old growth Sugar Maple woods carpeted with ferns. I've never seen anything so green. The views from the Warfield House give you a sense of the huge scale of the place - Berkshire east a couple miles across the river, and the top of Red Zone trail a mile or so east, not to mention the vert... It's something you don't get at a place like Harold Parker, even though you can put up similar mileage at HP.

    Yet I saw no other riders all day long - until I crossed the bridge back to the South side where I parked. 2 guys drove by with MTBs on their cars. A measly 2 riders.

    Where is everybody? Get out there and ride CTS! it's <=2.5 hours from pretty much anywhere in Mass, except maybe the cape, and well worth the drive. The trails are so fresh, they need some tires to break them in!
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  2. #2
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    Right at the top of the list for this summer. Thanks for the review.

  3. #3
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    dood, that's some pretty high praise.

    before you start spraying about the best of this and that, have you ever ridden sidewinder at kingdom trails?! nothing in mass touches it. i swear.























































    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    i kid i kid!!!!!!

    thanx for the nice report.

    mass riding roolz next to PA.

  4. #4
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    That is high praise, and when you add the soon to open gravity logic built trails at Berkshire east plus another 25 miles of intermediate biker-built single track in Hawley (Dubuque sf) just up the rd (and easily connected to the top of Berkshire East), the amount and variety of trail options in greater Charlemont is staggering!

    I will add one caveat about the CTS (to avoid disappointment), most of these trails are tough and require a good deal of fitness, strong legs, balance, and old school grit to get the most out of them. If that sounds like you, come on up, you'll love it. I sure do.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan View Post
    That is high praise, and when you add the soon to open gravity logic built trails at Berkshire east plus another 25 miles of intermediate biker-built single track in Hawley (Dubuque sf) just up the rd (and easily connected to the top of Berkshire East), the amount and variety of trail options in greater Charlemont is staggering!

    I will add one caveat about the CTS (to avoid disappointment), most of these trails are tough and require a good deal of fitness, strong legs, balance, and old school grit to get the most out of them. If that sounds like you, come on up, you'll love it. I sure do.
    Liam, does Harold organize group rides? I've been so focused on the IceHouse that I haven't paid much attention to other riding spots. Thanks, J

  6. #6
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    What map did you use to navigate the trails? I had a terrible ride there last year and couldn't find anything. I hiked up to the summit recently and saw what look like a well established trail right next to the ski patrol building. I'd appreciate any info you have.

  7. #7
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    J, every thursday at 6:00.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  8. #8
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    Map is available at Berkshire East or Zoar. The trail you saw may have been a zip trail, or one of the new DH trails. Both start at patrol.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkinnee View Post
    What map did you use to navigate the trails? I had a terrible ride there last year and couldn't find anything. I hiked up to the summit recently and saw what look like a well established trail right next to the ski patrol building. I'd appreciate any info you have.
    I bought a map at Zoar, and rode from the Berkshire East parking lot. I have to admit, I relied heavily on my experience at last year's Enchilada Ride (annual CTS event), where I got a tour of the south side from Harold, who built most/all of the system. Without that ride I probably would have missed a lot of the good stuff.

    I still don't know how to ride the North side in any kind of a decent loop. I ended up riding up Riddle Road, hitting singletracks as I saw them on my way to the top of Red Zone. From there you get a couple miles of downhilling, and then you're back on some doubletrack with decisions to be made. The Zoar side is such a maze...
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  10. #10
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    Harold - will there be any formal/organized work days up there this year? I noticed trails like Rice Brook were getting pretty lost in leaves and blow-down. I'd love to get up and lend a hand.
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  11. #11
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    Trail Fest in two weeks. Details at Nemba.org. My leaf blower ran out of gas at the bottom of Red Zone, then I loaned it to the Wendell crew.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangur View Post
    Just did a big ride today on the Charlemont Trail System. 25ish miles, 3.5 hours, 3K+ vertical feet. IMO, it's the best riding in Massachusetts.

    The Berkshire East side has a perfect 10 mile loop, starting with a gorgeous climb right next to a mountain stream, and ending with the best trail in the state - Billy's World. If you've never ridden it, you're missing out. It is just an endless downhill of switchbacks, rock work, bridges... Seriously, endless. It's nearly a 10 minute descent - 2.5 kM of downhill tech.

    I took a pulled pork lunch break after Billy's at the BEAST lodge. Way better than a power bar.

    After lunch I headed across the Deerfield river to the North side of the system. It is a maze of singletrack spread over two or three peaks, that blasts through steep, thick forests, mountainside pastures, and an old growth Sugar Maple woods carpeted with ferns. I've never seen anything so green. The views from the Warfield House give you a sense of the huge scale of the place - Berkshire east a couple miles across the river, and the top of Red Zone trail a mile or so east, not to mention the vert... It's something you don't get at a place like Harold Parker, even though you can put up similar mileage at HP.

    Yet I saw no other riders all day long - until I crossed the bridge back to the South side where I parked. 2 guys drove by with MTBs on their cars. A measly 2 riders.

    Where is everybody? Get out there and ride CTS! it's <=2.5 hours from pretty much anywhere in Mass, except maybe the cape, and well worth the drive. The trails are so fresh, they need some tires to break them in!
    I agree with all of this. All of it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hado_pv View Post
    Trail Fest in two weeks. Details at Nemba.org. My leaf blower ran out of gas at the bottom of Red Zone, then I loaned it to the Wendell crew.
    Thanks. I'll do everything I can to be there. Might only be able to make one day though.

    Here's the link, y'all: Charlemont Trails System Trailfest 2015 | NEMBA



    This:

    "Finish Flagging, Roughing, and Beginning to Buff a new trail connecting Sweet 16 to the top of Red Zone."

    Sounds awesome.


    This:

    "Attendees will receive a choice of a complementary Weekend pass to Thunder Mountain Bike Park, a complementory pass to a Monroe Bridge or Fife Brook Whitewater Raft Trip with Berkshire Whitewater or a complentary Mountain Top or Valley Jump Tour with Berkshire Canopy Tours."

    Is even better.
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