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Cherry Plains

Average Rating:    (3.88 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 8

Sweet singletrack, doubletrack, and fire roads through utter wilderness. If you go here midweek to ride, you will be the only person there. The state park is surrounded by a 4000+ acre Wildlife Management Area, so do not ride here alone!!!! (It's common to see porcupine, coyote, deer, and rarely a bear up there.) Maps are available at the Park Office and take a compass. This place gets very confusing as you get further out from the State Park Area. Easiest route to follow is this; Go up the gravel road beyond the barrier at the ranger station, past the old maintenance barn. At the top of this (beyond the next barrier) make a left onto the next gravel road. Look for a grassy trail on your right and take it. Keep following this trail straight until you get past the beaver pond. About a mile past the beaver pond there will be a trail to the left of the main trail, TAKE THIS LEFT. Cross the stream, and bear left down the hill at the big grassy clearing. This dumps you out onto a dirt road, make a left up the hill, then make the next left onto another dirt road. Go 1/2 mile on this road, then take the trail to the right. Keep going straight on this trail until it brings you out to the Lake at the State Park. This is an 8 mile loop, takes about an hour or so. Once you get a feel for this loop and the map of the area, you can start exploring the other trails of of the main loop. Get familiar with the main loop FIRST, however, because if you don't the shit all looks pretty much the same after a while, so you WILL get lost if you don't recognize landmarks easily. If you plan on striking off to explore this beautiful place, do yourself a favor and get there in the morning and plan on spending the whole day. There's swimming (a beach), and boating at the lake, lots of barbecue grills and picnic tables/pavilions, as well as a real bath-house with flush toilets (no really). They've even put in a PowerAde vending machine for our convenience. The best thing of all is that the whole place is very mtn bike friendly, as not many hikers venture off into the woods, so we have this place (all 4000+ acres) to ourselves!!!!!! A mtn biker's dream come true!!!!!
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Latitude
42.624991447648625
Longitude
-73.41716766357422
Trail Directions
From Albany; Take I-90 east to exit 8 for Route 43. Follow Route 43 until you get to the intersection with Route 66. At this traffic signal, go straight across, following County Route 42. Take this road for about 8 miles (have faith, brothers and sisters), until you get to a 90 degree left turn in the road. At this turn, make the hard right onto Miller Road (dirt road), go 2 more miles down this road until you get to the State Park Entrance, park here at the gate. (Note: do not take the other right turn onto BLY HOLLOW ROAD, as you will find yourself on the set of the 1999 remake of "Deliverence", and I am not kidding here!!!!!)
Trail Length
20 miles on various loops
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Taborton/Stephentown
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
May 24, 2011

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: rhag1128 ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Me and the boy (14yr old son) decided to head over to Cherry Plain to do some riding on 5/22/2011. Upon arrival I spoke with the nice park rangers who were getting ready for the season. I asked for a map and they gave me the one off the wall, suggested some routes and we were off. We expected anything off fire roads to be wet and it was. Stayed on Fire roads for the first 3 hours then ventured down escarpment trail which was a muddy bog of a trail with a flowing stream down the middle. It was down hill most of that trail so we hit it as fast as possible. I havn't seen my boy laugh and enjoy the life adventure like that in years. Completely covered in Bear/deer/moose/beaver/frog scat we headed for the lake and bathed ourselves before heading home. What a wonderful day for kids of any age (him 14 me 40) Headed for Walden, VT next weekend will try a trail up there.

Recommended Route:
Get a map, take any, enjoy the ride. Many of the single track trails were covered with downed trees from recent spring storms. Most all trails are marked with different color markers on trees.



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Review Date
June 1, 2005

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: chapmgre ,  Racer

Summary:
Just an update. I have made a couple of more single track sections off from the main trail coming up from the lake on your right. It is faily technical. After you go out onto the road go down hill about 200 feet and go into the woods on the left side. Once into the woods look for the trail. I am trying to keep it hidden from the ATVs. This is is very technical, so some walking over some rock gardenens will be nessasary.

Greg



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Review Date
June 21, 2004

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: mikolajewskic ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Alright, so I read the reviews on this site and decided to give Cherry Plains a shot. Having never ridden there before here is my first impressions.

Here's the scoop--the state park itself is only 160 acres (very small), but it is surrounded by DEC Wildlife Refuge land, something to the tune of 4,000 acres. That's big.

The ride from Albany is about 25 miles, from downtown it takes about 40 min to get there. Not a bad ride, follow the instructions in the original posting, they work fine.

I pulled up to the Ranger working the booth at the State Park and was told it cost $7 to park. I winced at this, and she told me since I was just biking I could park out in front of the park for free. Excellent. Now on to the ride…

So I tried to follow the instructions posted on MTBR and don't think I got it quite right. I took an uphill fire road that starts right before the ranger booth, and the Climb started. This hill is no joke-- I think it took me about 15 minutes to get to the top of it. Not the best way to start a ride, but it can be worth it if the riding after is spectacular.

I spent another 45 minutes cruising on wide open gravel roads, which seems to cut various lines through the park. I only spotted a few trails leading into the woods, someone else posted they may be hard to find, I second that. I followed one with a silver ribbon, it wasn’t too long (maybe 10-15min) but it was some decent singletrack riding. It had a nice ridge section in it for a few, but it was also hard to follow because of the leaves on the trail. Weirdest thing, the ground was completely covered in leaves, almost looked like it was fall and not summer. The Silver Trail (as I’ll call it) tosses you right back out on one of the many gravel roads throughout the park.

Then I found a green ribbon trail—followed that into the woods, not very hilly but it had some nice technical sections in it (small rock gardens, a few log piles, etc). It popped my back out onto the gravel road, and when I looked back at the trail I just came off, I could barely even see it in the brush!!

I did try another trail that was marked by the rangers; it was big enough for ATV’s and wasn’t really good riding. I bailed on that trail after a few minutes.

So overall here’s my thoughts—

-this place has some nasty hills, so be ready for them.
-you WILL spend a decent amount of time riding on wide open gravel roads.
-don’t worry about crowds, the only two other people I saw were on ATV’s (and I was out there on the weekend)
-the singletrack can be extremely hard to find, I only found two sections and it sounds like I missed a lot. The stuff I did find was good, but still not as fun as Skidmore (which I benchmark every trail in the area against).

To all the experts on the area out there, I know I missed a lot, and would love to take a few more whacks at Cherry Plains—can someone provide some more information or some different trails out there? Any chance of finding a map (beyond buying the topo maps for the area, they probably wouldn’t have the singletrack on them)? Kudos to whoever is marking the trails with the colored ribbons, how many trails have been marked??

I think I might try a different entrance next time, Liam’s post had some good suggestions….



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Review Date
June 2, 2004

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: hairball ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
To the person or persons maintaining the trails at Cherry Plain; Thank you. I have been unable to give the trails the attention they need the last few years. I really like the ribbons marking the different trails. Gold ribbon is on Alien Invasion. Purple is on Chihuahua (there is a story to that name). White is on Canyon. I did not check the other trails yet. The raking is very nice. It will help keep people on the line, especially through the rock garden on Chihuahua. Now a bit on the negative side; Please leave the chain saw at home. The trail was designed and built with those saplings and logs as part of the experience. They serve a few purposes. One is to make it a bit of a challenge weaving between and jumping over them. Second is to keep the ATVs off the trails. I am sure ATVs are great fun for those who ride them but when they use the single track it becomes blown out and it can significantly change the character of the trail. Also most blow downs should be left in. The trail should have some obstacles that most riders cannot clear. It is OK to have to dismount once in a while. Only those really nasty ones above the waist to about chest level with the octopus of branches in all directions should be cleared. Usually a go around will do for a year or two. Generally, a folding saw is all that is needed. If you need more, you are cutting too hard. The entrances and exits should be left discreet too, to keep the motorized factions out. I really appreciate the effort. Keep up the good work. I hope to meet you on the trail some time. Maybe I already have. There are more lines out there for you to enjoy. I hope you find them.

Recommended Route:
look closely and you shall find a line you have never seen before.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Love seat and Urinal Cakes



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Review Date
August 1, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: chapmgre ,  Racer , from Stephentown

Summary:
I moved to Stephentown a year ago and started riding in Cherry Plain. I found a lot of old single track trails that have not been ridden a many years and have started to reclaim them for biking. It is great in CP, there is not a lot of climbing like other areas near by. The single track though is technical, with baby heads and narrow sections. Trail access can be gained form almost anywhere on the dirt road loop that surrounds the park and wildlife management area. The entrances to some trails are very visible, but others I have left semi-hidden to prevent 4 wheelers from ruining them. To find most of the trails just drive or ride the road and look for grassy pull offs, look closely for trails on either side of the road. If you want more specific directions you can e-mail me at chapmgre@hvcc.edu. Happy Biking……



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Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5