Why is Callahan so bad?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why is Callahan so bad?

    Seriously. Why are the trails at Callahan so bad? The trails there seem like they are all 15 feet wide, blown out and have serious drainage problems. The trails that are somewhat OK you are not even supposed to ride. This is not just because it is the winter time as I have also ridden here in the summer. I have contacted DCR a couple times to see if they would be open to trail work on existing trails and possibly creating some new trails but I have yet to receive a response back from them. It's too bad, because there is some really good terrain at Callahan and its very convenient for a lot of people. That's my rant for today.

  2. #2
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    no such thing as bad trails, just bad riders. try the fells, the white trail is the shizzle.

    rog

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    That is a convenient statement isn't it. While I agree that there are bad riders, I disagree that there is no such thing as a bad trail. I have tried the fells quite a few times and there are some fun trails there but there are also some crappy ones. Thanks for the suggestion though.

  4. #4
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    Did you talk to the park supervisor?

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    I did not. The only contact information I could find for the park was a general email on the DCR website. So I shot them a couple emails but nobody ever got back to me. This was about four months ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB15 View Post
    That is an appropriate statement isn't it.
    FIFY^^^^^^^^^

    rog

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    FIFY^^^^^^^^^

    rog
    Do you really believe there is no such thing as a bad trail or were you just using that as a bait?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB15 View Post
    Do you really believe there is no such thing as a bad trail or were you just using that as a bait?
    really? with how much good trail there is ALL around, is it really worth coming on here complaining about one area? major 1st world problem, guy.

    there are trails that i like better than others so i ride the ones i like and avoid the ones i don't. however, ever since i drank the fatbike koolaid, pretty much EVERY trail or no trail (yes, i sometimes ride thru large tracts of land where no trails exist so long as the underbrush isn't too thick) is pretty dang fun.

    not bait.

    rog

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    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    really? with how much good trail there is ALL around, is it really worth coming on here complaining about one area? major 1st world problem, guy.

    there are trails that i like better than others so i ride the ones i like and avoid the ones i don't. however, ever since i drank the fatbike koolaid, pretty much EVERY trail or no trail (yes, i sometimes ride thru large tracts of land where no trails exist so long as the underbrush isn't too thick) is pretty dang fun.

    not bait.

    rog
    So because there are good trails else where we shouldn't be concerned with potential new places to ride? I am having a hard time understanding your logic. I think we can all agree that we can all benefit from having good trails that are fun to ride, which is why I tried to contact DCR and offer my help.

  10. #10
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    I ride Callahan a lot. It's definitely a good workout. But what I do agree with is the width of all the trails. They are almost all like narrow fire trails. The north side seems to be better. But take places like the LLF and most trails are ST.
    Santa Cruz Tallboy
    Moonlander

  11. #11
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    Try to find out who is responsible for upkeep there. Is there even room for more trails? Got a team of trail workers? Nemba? Looked at the map, lots of trails there. I see bay circuit trail goes right through there. Have you checked those out? And Sudbury trustees too.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Try to find out who is responsible for upkeep there. Is there even room for more trails? Got a team of trail workers? Nemba? Looked at the map, lots of trails there. I see bay circuit trail goes right through there. Have you checked those out? And Sudbury trustees too.
    I think there is plenty of room to add some good singletrack. I contacted NEMBA a couple times and the response I received was along the lines of we don't have time to take on a new project but you are welcome to do it yourself. I think I will probably keep trying to get a hold of someone at DCR to see if we can make some improvements.

  13. #13
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    Why is Callahan so bad?

    Is it icy there this week?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Menachem View Post
    Is it icy there this week?
    I rode there this past Saturday and for the most part it was fine. The trails that have drainage issues were the only areas you needed to worry about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB15 View Post
    So because there are good trails else where we shouldn't be concerned with potential new places to ride? I am having a hard time understanding your logic.
    we are very lucky to have so many wonderful places to ride our bikes. places that were originally created for foot traffic. mtb riding in these parks is quite the privilege and we should feel very fortunate to be able to recreate where we can. new places to ride? callahan's been there a long time.

    good for you for contacting DCR. i'm sure they'll move some funds around and get to work. contacting nemba would be a great 1st step.

    tell phillip i say hello

    rog

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    I think your idea of riding and my idea are drastically different. Where you think that we should just be lucky to ride our bikes in states, I believe is a right. Where you are just happy being outside pedaling around, I am searching for trails that are challenging and fun to ride. I am not saying your ideas are wrong they are just different and stem from a generational divide.

    I probably won't be contacting Phillip again, as he wasn't much help the first time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB15 View Post
    I think your idea of riding and my idea are drastically different. Where you think that we should just be lucky to ride our bikes in states, I believe is a right. Where you are just happy being outside pedaling around, I am searching for trails that are challenging and fun to ride. I am not saying your ideas are wrong they are just different and stem from a generational divide.
    well let me ask you this? how many miles of trail have you built? i built 8 miles of trail single handedly in the last 14 months and have built dozens of miles of trail and done trail work volunteer days in ma, vt, nh, and maine. have you volunteered to clean up your local trails at nemba events and otherwise? or are you just an entitled bottomfeeder?

    oh you got me tho, i'm just out there pedaling around........(rollseyes)

    I probably won't be contacting Phillip again, as he wasn't much help the first time.
    oh was it your approach maybe? some cheese with that whine?

    good luck to you

    rog

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    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    well let me ask you this? how many miles of trail have you built? i built 8 miles of trail single handedly in the last 14 months and have built dozens of miles of trail and done trail work volunteer days in ma, vt, nh, and maine. have you volunteered to clean up your local trails at nemba events and otherwise? or are you just an entitled bottomfeeder?

    oh you got me tho, i'm just out there pedaling around........(rollseyes)



    oh was it your approach maybe? some cheese with that whine?

    good luck to you

    rog
    Was it the generational remark that got you upset?

    So to answer your question I have done quite a lot of trail work in the past twenty years. This past year alone I attended a few NEMBA trail build days in my area, but unfortunately I was limited to the amount of trail events I could attend due to buying a house, moving and having a beautiful baby boy.
    I think it is great that you have done so much trail work all over New England and maybe you can bring your experience to the Framingham area to help with some new trails in Callahan. Also, where is this 8 miles of trail you built, because I am always looking for new places to ride.
    I am not sure why you think my approach to Phillip would be off putting or that I am possibly an entitled bottomfeeder. Would you care to elaborate?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB15 View Post
    Was it the generational remark that got you upset?
    not upset at all.

    So to answer your question I have done quite a lot of trail work in the past twenty years. This past year alone I attended a few NEMBA trail build days in my area, but unfortunately I was limited to the amount of trail events I could attend due to buying a house, moving and having a beautiful baby boy.
    good to hear, congrats on the baby boy. i just had a baby girl, maybe they should meet

    I think it is great that you have done so much trail work all over New England and maybe you can bring your experience to the Framingham area to help with some new trails in Callahan. Also, where is this 8 miles of trail you built, because I am always looking for new places to ride.
    callahan makes no mention of mtb as part of the recreational activites in the park. nemba doesn't even list the place on the mass trails list. maybe that's why the trails are what they are and why nemba doesn't appear to pay mind to the place.

    I am not sure why you think my approach to Phillip would be off putting or that I am possibly an entitled bottomfeeder. Would you care to elaborate?
    phillip's a great guy and very generous in general and i'm surprised that he never got back to you. or did you try to just contact you local chapter prez? as far as entitled bottomfeeder, you just came across as such in your complaint about callahan. imo.

    rog

  20. #20
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    Tom, I think the negative vibe you're getting back is because the answers are being given by people that have taken parks from an unused, unrideable mess to a singletrack paradise. It's a serious undertaking. Not just sending a couple emails and griping about a lack of reply, but visiting the park, marking and identifying the trails that need help, and creating a plan to renovate.

    The vast majority of trails you ride were built by volunteer effort. This effort isn't just sweat and hammers. In fact, that trail day represents the smallest time commitment, which is why so many people show up. Before that happens, many, many emails are written, plans are made, rejections and objections are handled...and this process can take decades. Fells access (which doesn't include the fo' shizzle white trail by the way) is finally opening up after a 25 year fight.

    So if you're serious and passionate about Callahan being a great resource, then show it. Go there, map it out, get a topo and start making some trail plans, find out who the land managers are, build some awareness and enthusiasm among the local riders.

    And if you aren't willing to do that because it's more work than you have time for then...there's your answer. Callahan still sucks to ride because it is hard to find someone with the commitment to change the situation.

    As for Philip (who is ridiculously committed to the riding scene and a super kind and giving individual) -- he is enabling a network of volunteers across 6 states by providing collective resources as well as training. This network is already overtasked maintaining existing riding areas. A new project would need a new project leader. That's what he told you. He wasn't "helpful" because you didn't ask for help. You asked for a handout.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for your thorough reply.
    I think what I was hoping for when I reached out to NEMBA was some information on who to contact, how to propose new trails and or some kind of playbook. I know NEMBA has done a lot of work, hard work at that, with the DCR so I was hoping they could point me in the right direction. I guess that was expecting too much. If you have any kind of insight as to how the process works or if you have any contacts I am all ears. Again, thanks for the info.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by simian23 View Post
    (which doesn't include the fo' shizzle white trail by the way)
    i was kidding. ha!

    rog

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB15 View Post
    Thanks for your thorough reply.
    I think what I was hoping for when I reached out to NEMBA was some information on who to contact, how to propose new trails and or some kind of playbook. I know NEMBA has done a lot of work, hard work at that, with the DCR so I was hoping they could point me in the right direction. I guess that was expecting too much. If you have any kind of insight as to how the process works or if you have any contacts I am all ears. Again, thanks for the info.
    You know, that's not a bad idea. A very high level "how to get involved" page is here: Ways to Help | NEMBA

    But an FAQ on "I want to build legal trail in an underserved park" would be an interesting addition to the website. I'll talk to the board to crowdsource some input and then throw that into a doc. That said, the best place to start is to get plugged into the network. I'm pretty sure Callahan falls under Blackstone Valley NEMBA: Blackstone Valley | NEMBA

    Email their contact and find out when the next chapter meeting takes place. Show up, ask some questions and take it from there!

  24. #24
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    Also - the DCR is in upheaval. They have had major budget slashes and lots of turnover. While they ultimately put the approval stamp on park projects, your best contacts are the local NEMBA chapter or even better, the local conservation commission.

    Contacting these guys and attending their meetings would be a good start too:
    Framingham Conservation Commission | Town of Framingham, MA Official Website

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    That's great information. I'll have to check out their meeting.

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    Just to echo simian23's replies, which were spot on, NEMBA is a support framework for local volunteers that can help you immensely. I learned this firsthand: I was initially frustrated that NEMBA wasn't doing anything in my area...then I realized it was because no locals were involved. Now, I am. And yes, DCR funding is cut to the bone--they need volunteer help.

    I agree with your assessments. How you described the trails is what I remember from my last ride there probably 16 years ago. I would imagine that the huge amount of use the property received over the years, coupled with poor trail design, and finally the apparent lack of engaged locals to identify and address the problems with ongoing maintenance, has led to the situation you observed.

    All it takes is one person who cares to start a movement to provide the help that DCR needs. Good luck, keep us posted.

  27. #27
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    Dealing with the DCR is a whole different experience than working with other land managers. Between the DCR's culture, overall philosophies, and the new DCR RMP policy, it's very difficult to get much, if any TM approved at a DCR property. Currently, they tend to prefer to close trails, instead of allowing other groups to make them sustainable.

    If we all are lucky - the recent hard work and success at the Fells by NEMBA and volunteers might "trickle down". However, given the BS in Rutland right now, it doesn't appear likely.

    The following documents will provide you with more information on how the DCR operates:

    http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dcr/ste...guidelines.pdf

    Resource Management Planning

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    That DCR guidelines and best practices manual is really useful. Thanks for sharing that.

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