NEMBA Land in "Vietnam"
NEMBA's Land Management Committee
most of you in the mountain bike community know, in the fall
of 2003, NEMBA accomplished the incredible feat of being the
first mountain bike group in history to purchase and own property
by buying 47 acres in the area commonly referred to as “Vietnam.”
This parcel of land has been designated for use by all traditional
After the land purchase, NEMBA established a Land Management
Committee to focus on the area. The committee is tackling all
concerns regarding this property and welcomes your suggestions.
Presently, the committee is focused on establishing short and
long term goals for managing the property. The number one short
term goal has been to work political issues with the Holliston
and Milford Conservation Committees and establish ourselves
as “good neighbors.” Among our other goals are to
improve trails while respecting natural surroundings and maintaining
challenging terrain. This is all designed to provide full enjoyment
of our area. Please respect this area and our neighbors in order
for future riders to enjoy it for years to come.
Listed below are answers to commonly asked questions posed to
the Land Management Committee members:
Where is NEMBA's land? Where do I park? Where are the
legitimate access points to NEMBA's Land?
By car, take Rt. 495 to exit #20 (Rt 85/Milford). If coming
from Rt 495 South, go right at end of ramp onto Rt 85 South.
If coming from Rt 495 North, go left at end of ramp onto Rt
85 South. Take Rt 85 south approximately 1 mile. There is a
municipal parking lot at the ball fields.
To get to the legal
entrance that accesses NEMBA's property, ride your bike
back on Rt 85 north about 1 mile. This will go under Rt. 495,
past the powerlines, and past the industrial office park. Approximately
a quarter mile after the small office park, enter at old railroad
bed on the right. This is Milford Conservation land. Please
note that before the rail bed there is a small trail that is
private property. Please don't use this access point, and use
the rail bed instead.
Trespassing poses a huge long term threat, so be respectful
of private property! NEMBA is currently working with the Town
of Milford on potential easements that would provide more convenient
access. Along with future plans of a new “rail trail”
that would lend close, ample parking, these easements are a
great opportunity. Please note that ATV and all motorized use
is illegal throughout the entire area, and in an effort to crack
down on this, all illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed
There are also legal access points in Holliston and Hopkinton.
Is there a map?
Yes, here it is!
Are you going to sanitize the existing trails to make them easier?
No, just the opposite. NEMBA wants you, the rider, to have options,
not sanitization. We will attempt to restore some of the existing
trails to their original singletrack condition and also add
challenging options. The new riding area will be modified for
all types of riders while maintaining the area’s already
challenging nature. We fully intend to preserve the character
of ‘Nam. No one wants to see a sterile area!
Are we going to get to build new trails?
Yes, there are new and challenging trails being planned, however
it will take some time to evaluate the current trail system
and understand any environmental or wetland issues. Along with
new trails, existing trails will be enhanced and in some cases
re-routed to create more rider options and challenges. We’re
also working with the town of Milford to build some trails on
their property that would connect to the NEMBA property.
However, unplanned or “renegade” trails will not
be tolerated. Any unapproved trails will be restored to natural
state. The Land Management Committee is open to all suggestions
regarding this matter. Your input matters! You ride here. Let
us hear from you.
Can we build man-made structures (e.g., bridges, technical
Presently, no technical trail feature construction is allowed,
however NEMBA is looking into liability issues, codes of construction
standards, and what’s going on at places like Whistler
in Canada to determine whether we want to create constructed
trail features on our property. Unapproved construction will
be taken down. Building unapproved features or trails will only
hurt our chances at gaining recognition as good neighbors and
could threaten further relations with conservation committees.
Historical stunt areas like the Spider, Golden Gate, and Brooklyn
bridge are not on the NEMBA property.
What about motorized vehicles?
Access by motor vehicle is not allowed on NEMBA land and is
also prohibited on all other land in the “Vietnam”
area. There is presently a major crackdown on motorized vehicles
occurring in the town of Milford. NEMBA recently purchased a
number of “No motorized vehicles” signs, and you
should see them installed very soon.
How much land does NEMBA own?
The NEMBA parcel is 47 acres in Milford only. The parcel is
surrounded by approximately 1000 acres extending to Holliston,
Hopkinton, and private lands.
Since the NEMBA parcel is landlocked, what happens if surrounding
landowners don’t allow bike access?
We’re working closely with other land owners to establish
ourselves as “good neighbors.” It’s extremely
important that we be perceived in a positive light in order
to continue to have access to the surrounding land.
Is there an overall management plan?
A management plan is currently being written which will cover
a wide range of topics including: ecosystems, land access, future
plans, etc. We hope that this management plan can also be presented
to conservation committees as a blueprint for the entire area.
Why have a number of trees been cut down?
The trees that have been cut down are not on NEMBA property.
The owner of that parcel is clearing the trees and then mining
the stone and aggregate from the site. There are no other future
plans that we currently know about.
was the Land Management Committee selected?
committee was selected by the NEMBA BOD from interested NEMBA
members who frequently ride Vietnam and live within a reasonably
close distance. Collectively, the group represents a variety
of riding styles and brings a range of experience such as trail
maintenance expertise and environmental knowledge. John G. and
John V. live in Holliston (one of our neighboring land owners).
How can I help?
to other riders that this is our area and it is up to us to
promote it in the best light possible. Basically, be a good
Attend trail days. This is a great way to showcase your ideas
besides helping maintain the trails. Trail maintenance days
will be posted on the Blackstone Valley NEMBA website ( www.bvnemba.org
) as well as the Blackstone Valley NEMBA and Southeast Mass
NEMBA email lists. You can join the email lists through the
main NEMBA website ( www.nemba.org ). There
is an ongoing trail maintenance series at Vietnam. Check out the NEMBA Events page for more details.
Do not litter the parking areas! If you see trash on the trails,
please pack it out.
Join NEMBA! This land requires a constant influx of funds.
John Goeller with
all suggestions and/or if you would like to attend a meeting
of the Vietnam Land Management Committee.