Editor’s note: Puke, Big Game and the other folk who haunt Bikerag.com love to ride all winter long, and since the Connecticut coast is frequently more clement than other parts of Nutmeg State, they tend to spend a lot of time at Westwoods. It's worth checking out!
Westwoods is an awesome place to ride on the Connecticut shoreline in Guilford, CT. The technical riding here is among the best in the state, and there are tons of trails. There are very few fire road type trails here - its mostly just rocky singletrack littered with advanced lines and fun options. The trails are marked very well, but can be confusing on your first ride there... Basically there are many colored trails that run pretty much north to south. Each colored trail may split many times between a round symbol and a square symbol. If you see a colored X on a trail that is a cross-connector trail. Several bridges were built here to make your trip easier through the wet stuff; one is about 200 feet long!
Westwoods is a favorite winter ride for many Bike rag visitors and is home of the North Haven bike crew. You can often ride here year round due to the close proximity to the ocean and the fact that the soil drains well. The type of riding is highly technical: big burly rock ups, small to large drops, rollers, rock gardens and even a few log rides. You may have heard of "The Triple Thurlundy", "Double Trouble", "Twin Towers", "Rog Lock Rog" and many other unique lines, come on down to see what all the fuss is about, your skills will most likely be pushed to the limit.
Although you could pull together a big 12 + mile cross country style loop, a typical four hour tour with our crew might log in at 7.5 miles "cross stuntery" excursion, hitting every natural trail feature in sight. There are a few play areas throughout the trail system that will eat up your time and are just perfect for the ultimate free-stand session. Might want to bring a full face helmet, body armor and some band aids if you plan to go big...
You can find pictures, movies and maps on www.bikerag.com as well as www.crankfire.com. Check the forums for group rides and the latest trail conditions if the weather is iffy, chances are someone will have up to date info on trail conditions. Due to excessive deadfall the trail is constantly being maintained by Guilford Land Trust, and is much appreciated. I would suggest not riding here on a gusty day for your safety, I saw a tree drop about 100 feet from me a couple years back... Not fun, funny or fun... Please respect the wishes of the landowner to stay off certain trails as marked and be polite to the many hikers you will encounter.
From Rte 95, take exit 57, travel EAST on rte 1 (post road - towards New London) for .67 miles. Pass Bishops Orchards and take right onto Dunk Rock Road (elliptical blue trail sign). Follow road to end and park in designated area. A park trail map is posted on board for your use.
By Jon Peterson
This ride is adapted from SingleTracks Magazine.