This seems like a relatively new discovery for mountain bikers in this area. However, the signs for cross country skiiing would indicate othewise for locals and visitors that have used this trail in the winter.
I''ve only ridden part of the trail as the sun started to set and I was without a light and a complete understanding as to where it was going to loop to or end. I had been riding on a small section of this trail for weeks during my stay near Mascoma lake. As of yesterday, I finally took that right at the first fork you encounter and it opened up an entirely new section.
For most of what I''ve ridden, it''s a climb. So be prepared for a lung and quad workout for the initial entry into this trail. I would guess most of the travel is done by hikers and land maintenance workers on 4-wheelers. The occasional mild rocky section will keep you on your toes (and off your saddle), especially if its wet. I didn''t have my computer installed, so I can''t tell how far I rode, but, guessing, I''d say I rode 3-4 miles out without looping. I stopped and turned around because of the onsetting darkness and the fact that I was alone with my wife''s voice in the back of my head warning me of "large animals" in the vicinity. A precaution I probably never give much thought to, but is always, no matter how hard I try to ignore it, in the back of my mind. This always forces me to look around as I ride and take in some really beautiful woods. The trail, thus far, is all meter width 4-wheeler trail. Relatively clear with the occasional small tree that''s fallen across to negotiate. The trail also levels off to a nice steady up and down rythm that won''t make your lungs explode and is a nice reward for the inital climb. At one point, early of, you can stop to take a drink and extinguish that lovely leg burn while taking in an amazing view of the mountains just beyond the lake in a gap some 20 feet off the trail. Continuing on you find some constuction areas where "wildlife habitat improvement projects" are occuring. You have to duck occasionally as the trail narrows and trees are reaching their branches from one side to the other, but nothing that will make you have to slow your ride. I rode until I had a good sense of what was coming and then turned around to head back. I back tracked to the gap with the scenic view and rode on through that opening to familiar territory that I''d ridden before--A wide open hillside that offers a nice steady, though unpredictable at times, descent throught some tall grass. Winding your way down along the treeline on the right, will eventually take you to a path with a quick downhill and then takes you out across the top of freshly cutted hillsides with great views. A steady descent will keep you off the pedals if you like. The last section of thie "loop" takes you down a mildly rough wide downhill, unfortunately cut short by a vehicle gate near the bottom with no real seated, ridable way around.
I''m out of characters..mor
Route 4 off 89. Then route 4A towards Enfield. Aproximately 5-6 miles until you see LaSalette Shrine on a hillside on your right with other open hillsides to the left of the shrine. Park in a dirt lot infront of an old stone barn-that's where the trail will come out. Start on the other side of the trees. You'll see a big red barn. Follow the treeline until you come to an overgrown gap with a short, short single track. At the next fork go left through a small clearing and across a small bridge over a stream. Up a short climb. When you see 2 large cement pillars on teh left, stay straight. At the next fork go right. After some riding you will come to a path that breaks off to the right up very short, rocky, and very steep climb. At the top of the climb you will see the gap with the great view. Keep on straight. I will add more to this when I discover where this trail comes out or if there is a longer loop.