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Bay Circuit Trail

1 Plum Island Turnpike
Newburyport  Massachusetts  01950
United States

Easy

35%

Moderate

50%

Difficult

15%

Description

The Bay Circuit Trail

The Bay Circuit Trail, formerly known as the Bay Circuit Path is about 230 miles long. Although this changes constantly due to land ownership changes and new opportunities. It runs from Newburyport's Plum Island to Duxbury's Harbor running through 38 towns and linking 57 Greater Boston communities.

Most responsible for today's Bay Circuit Trail is Alan French, a North Andover resident, who working with a host of volunteers created, planned, marked and most importantly got permissions for mouch of what we now enjoy.

Today the trail is managed by the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Trusttes of Reservations.

   Little know fact: The "original" Bay Circuit Path, in the early part of the 20th century, was conceived of as a motorway linking pastoral unpaved roadways for automobile use. The world has certainly changed since then.

The Bay Circuit Trail is mostly located between the Route 495 and 128 Beltways, It runs from sea leavel to sea level with a maximum elevation of 602 feet at Nobscot Hll in Framingham Some sections of the trail are on pavement, but the majority of it is trail.

The trail passes through an almost innuerable number of conservation parcels, parks and State forests.

Most of the Bay Circuit Trail is open to bikes. But there are a few exceptions. 

   One exception is the Nobscot Scout Reservation on Sudbury and Framingham. This includes most of the of the section of the trail between Brimstone Lane and Route 20 and includes both Nobscot Hill & Tipping Rock. The biking alternate is going north on Bay Circuit trail is north (downhill) on Brimstone Lane and east on Route 20.  Going South, from Tippling Rock Trailhead, go west on Route 20 and south (uphill) on Brimstone Lane.

   Other exceptions include certain trails on Sudbury Valley Trustees properties and Audubon's Moose Hill Sanctuary in Sharon.

NEMBA has a long history of volunteerism on the Bay Circuit.  To see a list of these type Bay Circuit into the search box at the top of this page.

    Riding the Bay Circuit Trail

Most people riding in their favorite areas in this corridor observe Bay Circuit Trail markers. But few people try to ride the whole thng. Check the maps. You may find that you can link a few of your favorite riding areas using trails that you've nvere explored. Many times people will park vehicles at two places on the Trail and ride between them. Over time they may ride the whole thing. I am aware of a few pwople who have done the whole thing, with the exceeption of a few no-bike restrictions, in one ride. But, they normally do some rough camping or stay at motels along the way.

When exploring the Bay Circuit Trail you'll go through many conservation areas and pass an uncountable number to trail junctions. Giving you a perfect opportiunity to explore.

The map at the top of the page links you to the Newburyport, or northern end of the trail at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Here's a more detailed MAP.

The southern end is located at the Bay Farm Preserve located at 55 Loring Street in Dxbury.  You'll fid a map of this area HERE. Note: You can actually do a loop ride at this end of the trail 

 

BCT-Map-2017 Section Hiking the Bay Circuit Trail - Section Hikers Backpacking Blog Bay Circuit Trail

 

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Metrowest MA

Ashland Town Forest

113 Winter St
Ashland  Massachusetts  01721
United States

Easy

50%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

10%

Description

At 616 acres and incorporating parts of Ashland and Framingham ATF's 7+ miles of trails offer hardwood forests, stone outcroppings and wetlands.  The trails can be wet in early spring, but dry out quickly.

The Bay Circuit Trail runs through the ATF and it's managed by the Ashland Town Forest Committee

Local mountain bikers that ride the ATF refer to it as a hidden gem. It's great place to get 8-10 loopy miles.

It's fun with a few punchy climbs but mostly flat.

ATF is a great place to ride. Explore it once, and you'll be back. Read more about [node:title]

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Fells MTB Guidelines

Attention Fells Mountain Bikers

DCR has asked us to remind the riding community about some important rules around mountain biking in the Fells. GBNEMBA encourages every rider in the Fells to respect and follow them.

Please ride only on trails open for multi-use (this includes mountain biking). These are the main singletrack trails open for mountain biking:

1. The Mountain Bike Loop (the green trail)

2. The Reservoir Trail (the orange trail)

Additionally, there are many trails that are listed as “Forest Ways” on the official DCR map for the Fells that are designated multi-use (see exceptions below).

Please do not ride on the following trails (or in these designated areas) as they are walking/hiking only:

  1. The Skyline Trail (the white trail)
  1. Virginia Woods area
  2. Long Pond area

In addition, GBNEMBA encourages all Fells trail users to follow these best practices when recreating in the Fells:

  1. Stay on trail – don’t wander off trail
  1. Don’t modify or build trails without DCR permission
  2. Don’t walk or ride around wet spots – go through them. Going around makes the trail wider
  3. Don’t line trails with sticks. Sticks will keep water on the trails and make the trails look less natural
  4. Be aware of when trails are soft and consider staying off the trails. Walking or riding on soft trails causes lasting damage.
  5. Have positive trail interactions – greet other trail users!
  6. Get involved with trail stewardship at the Fells. Work with GBNEMBA on trail maintenance days or contact DCR for other trail stewardship opportunities.

Thank you for helping to keep mountain biking a positive recreation activity in the Fells!

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Metrowest MA

Vaughn Hills, Bolton

245 Vaughn Hill Rd
Bolton  Massachusetts  01740
United States

Easy

40%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

10%

Description

The town of Bolton has an extensive network of trails.  The best information on them is located on the Bolton Trails website.

This page focuses on the Vaughn Hills, a 187 acre property with almost 7 miles of trails. The Vaughn Hills trail map is quite detailed and shows three parking areas, but recommend parking at the "Moen Lot" at 245 Vaughn Hill Road, Bolton, MA. Trails meander along cliffs, farms, wooded areas, and a wetland pond with beaver activity. Climbs and descents from North peak are worthy of a visit with approximately 400ft of elevation change. Longer rides can be connected to adjacent properties within Bolton and Harvard.

Note: All trails in Bolton are dog, equestrian, and mountain bike friendly.

ProTip: These trails can be very muddy during the spring at the lower elevations, so best reserved for a visit during dry periods.

Get a better idea of the avilable trails in Bolton by looking at the Town Trail Map.

Vaughn Hill/bower Spring Trail System(s) Mountain Bike Trail in Bolton/harvard,  Massachusetts - Directions, Maps, Photos, and Reviews Conservation Land and Trails | The Bolton Conservation Trust Vaughn Hill, Bolton, MA – Hike Your Dog  Read more about [node:title]

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Metrowest MA

Rattlesnake, Bolton

195 Main St
Bolton  Massachusetts  01740
United States
This is the Bob Horton Trail parking lot.

Easy

35%

Moderate

50%

Difficult

15%

Description

The town of Bolton has an extensive network of trails.  The best information on them is located on the Bolton Trails website.

This page focuses on Rattlesnake, a 453 acre parcel laced with trails and many natural features such as rock outcroppings, caves, and vernal pools and some historical features like quarries and mills. The trails consist of old cartpaths and singletracks. There is a mix of beginner and intermediate terrain with some advanced sections with typical New England rocky sections. The trail junction markers are useful for navigating the trail network, but only with a reference map on hand. There are multiple areas to park, but most people park in the lot directly visible from State Route 117 (195 Main Street, Bolton, MA) . Be sure to check out the Ridge Loop Trail and Boulder Trail. Longer rides can be connected to adjacent properties within Bolton, Harvard, or Stow. 

Some of the trails at Rattlesnak will bite you if you're not careful. Nest not to ride here the morning after a rainstorm.

Note: All trails in Bolton are dog, equestrian, and mountain bike friendly.   

Get a better idea of the avilable trails in Bolton by looking at the Town Trail Map.

ProTip: End your ride with BBQ, pizza, and beer at Slater's (outdoor seating + view of parking lot

Rattlesnake Hill, Bolton Mountain Biking Trails | Trailforks RATTLESNAKE HILL Read more about [node:title]

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Local Eats

Slater's

Metrowest MA

Vietnam, Milford

345 Adams St
Holliston  Massachusetts  01746
United States

Easy

10%

Moderate

55%

Difficult

35%

Description

In 2003 after completing a $210,000 fundraising effort NEMBA was able to purchase 47 acres of land in Milford, Massachusetts. We bought this land to prevent its development and to protect and preserve a wonderful network of trails that were known locally as “Vietnam”. Our land forms an integral part of a much larger area of conservation land in the towns of Milford, Holliston and Hopkinton.

Parking:

There are four parking areas offering direct access to the Conservation Land surrounding Vietnam. Please keep in mind Vietnam proper does not have any actual parking as it is land locked and surrounded by Conservation land owned by several different towns. Please act accordingly. Trail building or trail modifications are absolutely forbidden without prior written permission. 

  1. The Milford/Hopkinton Rail Trail Parking LotThis lot is off Cedar Street about a mile north of Route 459 in Milford. Ride South on the dirt double track alongside the Rail Trail. There are several access trails into the Conservation Land along the way. Follow the trails to enter the Vietnam parcel.
  2. College Rock Parking Lot 
    This small lot is at the Northern end of the Conservation Land at about 23 College Street (off Cedar Street) in Hopkinton. Enter the Conservation Land from the Parking Lot using the College Run Trail. Follow the trail system to enter the Vietnam parcel.
  3. Adams Street Parking Lot: - Closet to the trails. 
    This lot is at about 345 Adams Street in Holliston. Enter the Holliston Town Forest and follow the trails to the Vietnam parcel.
  4. Dunster Road Parking Area 
    Dunster road in Holliston (off Adams Street) is a cul-de-sac and offers limited on-street parking at the end of the road. Enter the Conservation Land and follow the trails to the Vietnam parcel.  

 

NEMBA’s purchase of this land marked a first for mountain bike associations in our nation, and in the world.

Our Vietnam property is right in the middle of approximately 1000 acres of protected open space. Vietnam and the surrounding lands are, of course, replete with many miles of trails that are open to non-motorized trail users. Emtbs, or electric powered mountain bikes are prohibited on the protected open space surrounding NEMBA's Vietnam property and therefore in Vietnam itself. NEMBA has been very active, since the purchase of the land, in improving the existing trail network in the entire area, as well as in building and enhancing trails on our own property.

Ajax Gaming Ventures, a Delaware Limited Liability Corporation owned by Donald Trump offered NEMBA a $35,000, one year purchase option, based on a sale price of $1,650,000 to buy Vietnam. Despite the astounding price, NEMBA summarily rejected the purchase offer. Mountain bikers bought this land to preserve it, not to profit from it. Still, it’s amazing to think of just how lucky we were to be there at the right time to make that purchase.

It was quite a gamble. In 2002 NEMBA purchased an option to buy the land from the Liner Trust for $15,000. We had no idea if we could raise the rest of the money, but we couldn’t let the opportunity slip by. Somehow, through donations large and small, donations that in some cases came in from around the country, we beat the option deadline and were able to purchase the land.

After we took ownership NEMBA formed the Vietnam Land Management Steering Committee to oversee and manage the property. Owning conservation land, even if you’re a non-profit organization, is not an easy thing to do. In addition to the obvious issue of trail maintenance and upkeep there are liability issues to consider. That means insurance costs every year. If you're not already a member of NEMBA you should join to, among other things, help us in our efforts to preserve and protect this land.

                                                        NEMBA's Vietnam Property

                                                        Sell Vietnam - No Way

The Riding:

The riding in Vietnam is legendary for its technical nature. There are some mellow trails both on NEMBA's property and in the surrounding conservation land but most people ride at Vietnam to be challenged both technially and physically. You'll see a lot of "big hit" bikes out on the trails. There are ways around most of the technical features, but you will find yourself paying attention to the trails a lot more than you'll find yourself looking at scenery. Blackstone Valley NEMBA has performed many hundreds of hours of trail work maintaining and building the trails in Vietnam. 

Facebook Page:

Vietnam has a Facebook Page with a lot of current information.

By Bill Boles

 

Vietnam Trails Mountain Bike Trail in Milford, Massachusetts ...  Vietnam Milford MA Riding a New Trail Mountian Biking GoPro - YouTube  Episode 5 : 44 Days and Rolling - Pinkbike  Vietnam (MA) - June 8th, 2009 | Ridemonkey Forums Read more about [node:title]

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Metrowest MA

Billerica State Forest

105 Rangeway Road
Billerica  Massachusetts  01862
United States

Easy

10%

Moderate

60%

Difficult

40%

Description

While Billerica State Forest is a relatively small 370 acres DCR property divided by roads into three parcels, it has fast become a local gem for mountain biking, trail running and hiking.

Since there are currently no designated parking lots, most riders access BSF from Russell Mill Town Forest in Chelmsford. However, there is limited parking on the side of Rangeway Road, next to Rte 3.

The Gilson Hill side of BSF contains the majority of the high quality and exceptionally fun singletrack trails. Riders usually begin by ascending Yellow Rabbit and then navigating around the Gilson Hill Loop. The top of Gilson Hill is the second highest point in the Town of Billerica. After finishing the Gilson Hill Loop, one can ride the Northern Loop either clockwise or counter-clockwise, however riding the loop clockwise maximizes the downhill/enduro features of the trail. There is also a very fun lollipop trail called The Inner Loop off of the Northern Loop.

On the northern side of Rangeway Road is a small but fun <3-mile loop, and if one wishes to put in an extra mile, you can cross Chelmsford Road and do a short loop around the Manning State Forest. However, be aware that this section is intensively used by walkers and people using the exercise stations along the path.

The attached GPX file is a 18-mile ride that includes most of Russell Mill and the Billerica State Forest trails. For a shorter ride, you can beeline it to Billerica.

Merrimack Valley NEMBA is responsible for most all of the best trails in both Russell Mill and the Billerica State Forest, so be sure to support them by joining their chapter.

Explore Billerica State Forest | AllTrails Billerica State Forest Mountain Bike Trail in Billerica, Massachusetts -  Directions, Maps, Photos, and Reviews Billerica State Forest Mountain Bike Trail in Billerica, Massachusetts -  Directions, Maps, Photos, and Reviews Read more about [node:title]

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Ride Studio Cafe

Blackstone Valley NEMBA Trail Day @ Vietnam

Date

Repeats every 2 weeks every Sunday 4 times .
4/4/21 (All day)

Join Blackstone Valley NEMBA for some trail work in Vietnam on Sunday, April 4th, meeting at 9:00AM at the NEMBA Plaque. This is in the center of NEMBA land and can be located on TrailForks.

We will have tools from our storage lockers, or feel free to bring your own if you prefer, and come with gloves, water, and bug spray. Hope to see you there.

There may be a ride after the work is done.

Be sure to sign NEMBA's 2021 Ride Waiver before you get there. But you only have to sign it once a year.

Oh! Bring a mask. But you'll only need to wear it when we're congregated together.

We look forward to seeing you Sunday. It will be great to get something done.

Any late breaking details will be posted to the Nemba Vietnam Facebook Page.

Chapter

Blackstone Valley SE Mass

Trail

Event Leader

Kevin Keenan
KevinKeenan@gmail.com

Supporting Your Local NEMBA Chapter

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Most people first experience their local NEMBA chapter through a chapter sponsored ride. Hopefully they have a good experience and end up coming back for more rides and other events, such as trail work days.. For many mountain bikers, a weekly chapter ride, attending a special event, and paying annual dues is the extent of their participation in their local chapter. There are other benefits your local NEMBA chapter brings to the table that might not be completely obvious, though, and these benefits are why you might want to consider volunteering time to them, in addition to your annual dues.

Sure, your local chapter organizes group rides so you can get together with other awesome mountain bikers just like you, but the importance of your chapter runs much deeper than organizing group rides. Your local chapter’s most important role in mountain biking comes in the form of advocacy for trail access. Trail access has always been a huge issue for mountain bikers, and lately there has been an increase in trail user conflicts all around the country. In the past, we only heard stories about trail sabotage occurring on trails on the West Coast, where a much greater level of trail use conflict occurs, but in the past couple years, we have encountered several cases of booby traps on our own trails here in New England. Here in MA, we have been blindsided by some trail closures and restrictions by state agencies that seemingly came out of the blue. On a more positive note, some of our local independent groups of mountain bikers have recently partnered with NEMBA to work with state agencies to create agreements to officially recognize existing trails on state lands, add them to official trail maps,and allow us to maintain the trails. Situations like these truly reinforce the importance of NEMBA in fostering mountain bikers’ rights to share the trails with other users.

The NEMBA umbrella provides a solid support structure for local chapters to fight trail closures and gain trail access. NEMBA is recognized by most regional landowners and land managers as an organization that promotes responsible trail usage and maintenance. They know that if they sign a land usage agreement with NEMBA, NEMBA will uphold their promise to build appropriate trails and maintain them. Land owners and managers are much more willing to work with an organization that has a solid reputation than they are to work with just a group of seemingly random individuals who want to build trails. NEMBA also provides resources to help local chapters obtain grants and other funding sources, trail building schools, and summits to join mountain bikers from all over to discuss the next biggest ideas in mountain biking.

Another important aspect to consider is that NEMBA and its chapters can only be as great as the effort its members put into it. NEMBA is a bare bones non-profit, covering almost all of New England, and only has two paid staff members. Everyone else representing NEMBA is a volunteer. NEMBA relies heavily on its members to lead weekly rides, organize events and help to fill the roles necessary to run events, or to work with local and state agencies for trail access. So the next time you find yourself asking “When is NEMBA going to fix that section of trail,” or “When is NEMBA going to organize a ride on Tuesday nights, when I’m actually free,” remember, that you are NEMBA. Talk to your chapter officers and volunteer to organize a trail work day to fix that muddy section of trail or to lead a ride on Tuesday nights. If you live near a trail system that you enjoy riding, build a relationship with the land manager and see if there’s anything NEMBA can do to help maintain trails there. Be creative. If you feel NEMBA could benefit from one of your special skills, talk to your chapter officers to see how that skill can be utilized. If everyone just stands back and waits for someone else to take the initiative to do something, nothing happens and we end up with an inactive and lackluster chapter. Your chapter officers love fresh ideas and initiatives, so don’t be afraid to approach them with your thoughts! They are there to help you make great things happen!

-Brenda Smith

Metrowest MA

Blackstone River Canal & Goat Hill, Northbridge

Heritage State Park

287 Oak St
Uxbridge  Massachusetts  01569
United States

Easy

50%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

10%

Description

 
There are several parking areas for this area, but the parking area utilized for most official BV NEMBA rides originate at Plummer's Corner, which is located at approximately 1071 Church Street Ext., Northbridge.
 
Another is the Park's headquarters is located at 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge, MA 01569.
Many people prefer this location as  not only do they have water, bathroom facilities and a picnic area but you'll learn a lot about the Blackstone River Corridor and Canal. There are also quite a few mellow trails just over the bridge behind the Visitor's Center.


The towpath that parallels the Blackstone River and Canal is a fantastic place for beginners just getting their feet into mountain biking.  It provides a scenic and relatively non-technical ride until one reaches the lower Goat Hill trail toward the middle of the park.  Once you cross the lock and turn left, this section of the trail provides some rock gardens so one can begin learning to pick a line through rock gardens, but the path is wide, so it's not too intimidating.  If you are looking for a cardiovascular workout, you can head straight across the lock on the upper Goat Hill trail.  I personally wouldn't recommend riding it from this direction, as it is steep and technical, and would be a miserable hike a bike.  Instead, I would ride to the southern end of the lower Goat Hill trail and turn back north, forming a clockwise loop back to the lock.  You will probably still end up hiking your bike down the trail, but it is much better than trying to ascend it.  
 
For those wanting to skip the cardio workout, keep heading south on the canal path, cross Hartford Road, and continue south for a bit longer along the towpath.  Another alternative once reaching the southern end of the Goat Hill trail is to head east on Hartford Ave across the bridge, and to ride the King Philip's Trail at Rice City Pond, on the eastern side of the Blackstone River and Canal.  This area is suitable for strong novices, as there are numerous roots from the plentiful red pines in the area to contend with.  Take a break up at Lookout Rock to enjoy the beautiful vista of the Blackstone Valley before heading back down the trail.  For those ambitious souls who really want to extend their ride, head over West Hill Dam Rd. to the trails over at West Hill Dam.  
 
The Corridor & Goat Hill are located about 1 mile from the West Hill Dam.
 
Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park (Uxbridge) - 2020 All You  Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor July Events at Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park – UPTON DAILY Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park - Wikipedia Down & Out Mountain Biking Trail - Uxbridge, MA
 

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