Two Things..1. It already has a little of everything (but at the moment mostly fire roads with a few miles of decent trails). 2. We (NEMBA_Franklin County Yahoos) are presently building 8-10 miles of NEW SINGLETRACK in the heart of this very big (8000 acres), beautiful state forest. We''ve got around 4 miles or so in so far--most of it very technical but very enjoyable. By the end of the summer (2005) most of this new trail will be complete--and it really will feature everything-from fast cruisers, to freeride drops--there are (and will be more) many rock drops built into the trail already-ranging from 3 to 8 feet (all with smooth landings I might add-and don''t worry tyhere are sally-lines around the tough stuff). Some of the ridge lines we''ve run so far offer up wonderful early morning easterly views. And the plentiful rock has lead to equally plentiful rock-work built into the trails. And all this is just the beginning--the Park manager is really behind our trail building and he wants more in the years to come as well. Plus we''re trying to be mindful of both the xc crowd as well as the more new-school hard cores (no man-made stunts, but lots of steeps and hops where we find them). And it''s all new---not some reclaimed carriage trail or abandonned mx trail. These multi-use non-motorized singletrack recreational trails will hopefully set a new standard for other Massachusetts Parks and help to coontinue to cement the positive relationship between conscientious, hard-working riders and regional land managers.
Come in from the main gate next to the park headquarters on Wendell/Montague rd in Wendell. Grab a map-it has forest rd names. Head down the main rd until you get to the junction of Damon Camp Rd and Wickett Pond Rd. On the far left side of the junction you'll see a trailhead entrance-get on it, this is a short, slightly technical stretch of trail that dumps you back on wickett pond rd.go left on Wickett Pond rd and look to make an immediate left back into the woods, soon you'll be at a junction of trail, make a left on a wideish trail, through a litlle muck and into the laurel stand. This trail will soon have you climmbing up a great switchback and then out to the top of Baker Rd-trail continues right on the otherside. This is a very technical, but very rideable singletrack. You'll pass Whale's head and eventually end up on the farside of the m&m. The next stretch of trail to be built will descent to mormon hollow brook-for now take roads,trail to lookouts, and the m&m back to car
Summary: Just an update. Since Superbman wrote this review, we (Pioneer Valley NEMBA and a few related trail gnomes) have added a bunch of new single track including: Hammerhead's Hiatus, a nice cruising trail with few technical challenges running between Dirth & Carlton Roads; The Mormon Hollow Return, a twin to the Hannah Swarton, just down the hill toward Mormon Hollow Brook; Wickett Pond Escape, a relatively technical climb/descent that avoids the mud/rock of the Americorp Wickett Pond Trail; Toby's Tour, a twisty smooth trail between Brook and Carlton Roads; Sophie's Run/$13 Trail, a pair of trails running parallel to Jerusalem Road and a few other little re-routes and connectors.
The park now will challenge all riders and keep them in the saddle for 3-5 hours if you try to hit all the ST and some of the Double Track/Fire Roads. Connecting in the stuff in Montague State Forest and the adjoining private areas you're guaranteed 5 hours!
Summary: Place continues to evolve--older traiuls have been revitalized, and newer trails get finely crafted into the rugged landscape. This place has it all-challenging (at times-extremely challenging) trails, beautiful views, lovely ponds and swimming holes, a waterfall, parking, some great twisty flow-meister trails--and it's still expanding. Everyonne in a 40 mile radius ought to check this place out.
Recommended Route: Similar to above-but make sure to ride both the Nipmuck Trail (runs parallel to Saxton Bridge RD on the forest map) and all strectches of the Hannah Swarton (runs parallel to Damon Camp rd on the map). Also ride the ruggles pond trail-but stay on the east side of the pond a(the other side is-well-not rider friendly!). Explore and have fun--check with Pioneer Valley branch of NEMBA for local rides here.
Other recommended trails in the same area: DAR, HAWLEY, BACHELOR ST., Greenfield? Deerfield Ridges? Mt TOBY, Dry Hill-
Summary: In this vast state forest (8000 acres) a sizeable trail project is under way. Franklin County's riders and NEMBA members, along with the land manager have been busy carving out a series of new single track trails. There are about 4 miles of NEW, technical, mtbike specific, single track in the forest with another 5-6 on tap for the summer! Coupled with the Trail to the lookouts and the descending branch of the M&M (which runs to one end of the new trails) there is a good 8 miles or so of very technical, challenging yet fun single track to be had! Ride the Robert Frost or M& M to or from points south (montague, leverett, Amherst)-or link in Dry Hill and already the opportunities for a true epic are available to the rugged soul. The fire roads of Wendell (of which there are miles and miles) can be fun as well--lots of ledge for jumps and hills for your health. In time this will be one of the premier riding areas in the region-as is, it's still a great place to ride.
Recommended Route: Stop at the ranger station on Wendell/montague rd and grab a forest map---the forest roads all are named on the map (trails not included yet).
Here's how to ride what's new:-Head in from the Ranger station along the main road, go about a mile to the junction of Damon Camp Rd and Wickett Pond Rd. The first trail head is on your far left. This short trail dumps you out just slightly further down wickett pond rd. Go left on Wickett pond and look to make a quick left back into the woods on another trail. Ride this short trail to the first trail intersection, go left through the laurel and climb up the switch back and than along a twisty trail until you come to another dirt road. Thois is the top of Baker Rd, the trail continues directly across Baker Rd-this is a very technical trail-so pay attention. You'll come to whale's head (a big rock-keep right on the trail) The trail meanders for another mile or so over a brook and eventually it will spit you out on a rutted double track trail -turn left follow white dots up and over the lookouts then descend the blue dot trail back to the main road.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Greenfield ridge, Mt. Toby, Dry Hill, Deerfield Ridge, batchelor st, 202 corridor/Robert Frost/ M&M