Northeast MA

Northeast MA

Harold Parker State Forest, Andover

114 Jenkins Rd
Andover  Massachusetts  01810
United States

978 686-3391

Easy

30%

Moderate

30%

Difficult

40%

Description

Harold Parker State Forest is located in the towns of Andover, North Andover, Middleton and North Reading. The forest’s 3000+ acres have over 30 miles of old woods roads and singletracks. And the singletracks are some of the most enjoyable to be experienced in the region. The white-blazed Bay Circuit Trail goes through Harold Parker and links it to the nearby Charles Ward Reservation (The Trustees of Reservations) and the Boxford State Forest.

For many years NEMBA members have been active in the forest, repairing and upgrading its trails. I start most of my rides in the eastern section of the forest on Harold Parker Road where there are numerous small parking areas. Alternatively many riders start nearer to the center of the forest at the intersection of Jenkins and Harold Parker Roads.

The Lorraine Pond campground, which has 91 sites, is also centrally located and near to most of the forest's trailheads.

At least a few days will be needed to fully explore all of the trails that Harold Parker has to offer. And I'd suggest bringing a copy of the trail map so that you won't get too badly lost. The official DCR trail map doesn't show every one of the forest's trails. But at least all of the roads and major intersections are on it.

Every year North Shore NEMBA hosts the Wicked Ride of the East at Harold Parker. This is a challenging fun event that uses many of the best trails in the forest, including many that North Shore NEMBA has had a hand in maintaining. Be sure to check out the route map for this event.

For more information on Harold Parker, including camping and swimming visit the DCR's Harold Parker Website. This website now has three maps for Harold Parker.  A general map of the forest and two maps that were generated as part of the forest's 2013 Resource Management Plan. Of the three the TrailForks map is the best.

But the best way to get introduced to Harold Parker's trails is to explore. Go there, take off on a trail, and get lost. Then find yourself, and get lost again. You'll never be too far from a paved road; so cutting the forest up into pavement encircled blocks will keep things manageable. Not to mention provide you with many days of fun exploring. I particularly like the way the singletracks make use of all of the forest's best terrain. They wind around and over all of the forests' hills and provide you with lots of scenic photo opportunities along the shores of the forest's many ponds.


If you want to sample the best of the forest’s trails without having to find them yourself try following the course on the Wicked Ride of the East event map. Or attend this year’s event.

Everyone I know who rides at Harold Parker raves about the place. The trails seem endless. The terrain ranges from smooth buffed singletracks to some of the most technical cross country trails on the North Shore.

When I ride at Harold Parker I normally do one of three rides.

For the first ride I’ll park in the dirt parking lot on the north side of Harold Parker Road just west of Collins, Brackett,  Delano and Bear Ponds. I try to ride all of the singletracks and woods roads in this area as they loop around these ponds. In doing this I do not cross any paved roads. So if you get to one, turn around and continue exploring. I don’t have a preferred route, although some of the singletracks are much more fun when ridden down than they are as uphill climbs. If I have time I’ll finish on the trails to the south of Harold Parker Road that loop around the north of Field Pond. Actually, I always have time, as these trails are among my favorite trails in the forest. If you explore the trails to the east of Field Pond you’ll find one that leads into the back of the Lorraine Pond Campground.

Another good ride option is to park at the junction of Harold Parker and Jenkins Roads. Berry Pond Road also comes into this intersection. There is a large parking area here which is located pretty much in the center of the forest. From there I’ll choose one of the many forest roads to get deeper into the forest and then dive into any of the almost uncountable number of singletrack trails that lead off from them. A particular favorite among these is the technical singletrack that branches off from Harold Parker Road, which at this point has devolved into a dirt path. About 100 yards from the parking area turn right on the first singletrack. This trail is difficult and will serve as a great warmup for all of the other similar trails that you’ll encounter. Yellow diamond blazes mark the route to and around Salem Pond. Be sure to bring a copy of at least one of the maps mentioned above, as you will get lost without one.

For a third ride I focus on the trails in northeastern third of the forest. I’ll follow Berry Pond Road from the Jenkins parking lot to the crossing of the Bay Circuit Trail, and then take a right heading north. Following the white blazes and exploring additional singletrack spits you out on Harold Parker Road near Route 114. One can retrace the route back or continue behind Stearns Pond and Salem Pond for almost a 10 mile loop. But, at the northern end of this loop there is a vast array of convoluted singletracks that are almost too much fun to believe.

Riding in Harold Parker State Forest is a constant continuing challenge. Every time I go there I am awed by the trails that I find and surprised at how much fun I have. And, depending on the trails that I ride, how difficult they are.


In the winter I’ve encountered snow frozen as hard as Styrofoam here more than anywhere else. Frozen snow covers up all the roots and rocks that normally protrude from the ground and add it tends to make your ride very fast. But fast or slow, you’ll enjoy the trails at Harold Parker State Forest.


Rules:
Expect to find hunters during hunting season in many areas of the forest. However, there is no hunting in Massachusetts on Sundays and the entire areas west of Jenkins Road in Andover and along Berry Pond Road are always closed to hunting.
The Lorraine Pond Campground is open from mid April to mid October.


Directions
From route 93 take exit 41. Follow 125 north (toward Andover), for about 4 miles to the State Police Barracks (on right). Turn right on Harold Parker Rd. There are many parking areas on this road and the Jenkins Road intersection is about one mile away. From that intersection turn right to get to the Lorraine Park Campground. Read more about Harold Parker State Forest, Andover

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Northeast MA

Groton Town Forest

90 Town Forest Rd
Groton  Massachusetts  01450
United States

Easy

40%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

10%

Description

Description:


The town of Groton got its name in 1655 a few years after John Tinker set up a trading post among the Nashaway Indians near the junction of the Squannacook and Nashua rivers.


When I'm riding in the Groton Town Forest I like to think that the trails that I'm enjoying aren't very much different than the trails that these early settlers explored. And that possibly I'm on some of the same trails that these long departed settlers and Indians used for hunting, trapping, fishing and to get from one village to another. And at times, in these woods, gazing over a seemingly remote river from a high bank, you may imagine yourself back in those earlier times too.

But, those early trail users didn't have the advantages that I do mounted as I am on a bright shiny trail bicycle.

The trails in the Gorton Town Forest are fast, mostly smooth, sometimes sandy and sometimes hilly. They flow in and out of the woods on a series of old woods roads and singletracks. You'll frequently find yourself cresting and then riding along the ridge of a drumlin that was left there by the last glacier. But then, a few minutes later, you're riding alongside a riverbed and ducking under low hanging branches. Too hot? Why not go for a swim in that river?

In all you'll find about 14 miles of trails in the forest. Liberally apply mosquito spray if you ride in the evenings in the summer, and I suggest carrying a copy of the trail map just in case you get lost. You can get an official copy of the map at the Groton Town Hall.

There are 6.4 miles of marked trails in the forest. They form a loop and they can be ridden in both directions. The marked loop is probably the best introduction you can get to the area. It stays pretty close to the outer boundaries of the forest. On your second and subsequent loops, begin exploring some of the many side trails that branch off the main trail and, in time, you'll have ridden, and enjoyed, everything. Oh! The side trails all connect back to the marked loop, and once you learn them, you'll be able to link together any number of good rides.

Directions:
From route 495 take exit 31 and follow route 119 (Great Road) until it becomes Boston Road and then Main Street in Groton Center. After the center bear left on route 225 where it splits off from route 119. Follow route 225 for a little over a mile and turn left on Town Forest Road. Follow it to the end, going past some new houses and park in the dirt parking area.

Cautions:
The Groton Town Forest is surrounded by private property. Respect the rights of property owners by not riding past signs that ask you not to. In early spring the trails can be pretty muddy. Protect them by not riding here until things dry out.


By Bill Boles Read more about Groton Town Forest

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Northeast MA

Flat Rock Hill, Dunstable

60 Mill St
Dunstable  Massachusetts  01827
United States

Easy

60%

Moderate

35%

Difficult

5%

Description

The best parking for Fllat Rock Hill is off Mill St in Dunstable. Mill Street is a short little road that starts and ends on Main St. It makes one sharp turn and right at the apex of the turn there is a sign for Flat Rock Hill. If you drive down into the field there is ample parking.

The trails at Flat Rock Hill go on for miles. Single track. Double track. Lots of flat stuff but - as the name implies - also some great hills. There are trails for all ability levels, something for everyone. Not all of the trails are on the MAP, but you'll get  in a good ride.

The backbone of the area is an old rail bed. It hasn't been converted into a bike trail, but it is pretty wide and flat. For whatever reason it hasn't been marked on the map but it runs from the Stone Arch Bridge down to Main St. The yellow and white trails run along part of it. All the easier trails lead off of it. Starting from the Mill St. parking area, if you follow the Red Trail and then the Salmon Brook trail, you'll get to the rail bed trail.

The southern end of the Salmon Brook trail looks like it ends at the brook. However, if you don't mind getting your feet wet, you can ford the brook and there are a bunch more trails on the other side. I'm not that familiar with those trails but they are probably worth a visit.

The Blanchard Hill trail (brown) is straight up/down. I think you would have to be super strong to ride up it, and super brave (i.e. crazy) to ride down it. The top of Blanchard Hill was cleared a few years ago so there is a nice view to western Mass. It's worth going up it, even if you have to (gasp) walk your bike.

The Yellow and White trails have you either going up or down. I'd say they are hard without being deadly (maybe).

The last thing I'll mention iare two more good options: Only a short road ride away is the Dunstable Rural Land Trust conservation land (marked as DRLT on the map). There's another whole network of (easier) trails there. It's listed as Fletcher Pond Trails on the NEMBA web site. From the Mill St parking area follow Mill St back to Main St, turn right, and about 3/4 mile down the road you'll see the small entrance to the DRLT on your left. It's across the street from Skytop Lane. The map shows a few different parking areas at the different entrances. The one on Mill St is the biggest. Room for everybody.

Lastly, Fletcher Pond is right across Route 111 A in Nashua New Hampshire's Yudicky Park.      Linking all three areas together would make for a really Epic Ride.

By Bill Boles Read more about Flat Rock Hill, Dunstable

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Northeast MA

Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest

126 Trotting park Rd
Lowell  Massachusetts  01854
United States

978 369-6312

Easy

20%

Moderate

60%

Difficult

20%

Description

The Lowell Dracut Tyngsboro state forest is located just minutes from the New Hampshire border and contains over 1100 acres. The trail system offers something for everyone. There are miles of fireroads and smooth rolling doubletrack for the less adventurous. The singletrack system is mountain bike specific and continues to grow. As currently configured, the singletracks will keep most intermediate riders busy for a 2 or 3 hour ride.

 

The terrain is considered gently rolling except for Whortleberry and Huckleberry Hill located in the Northern sector in Tyngsboro. The park is cut in half running North to South by Trotting Park Road, which is closed year round to traffic. Trotting Park Road is the only paved road you will find in the forest. Motorized vehicles are not allowed in the forest. But remember this forest does allow hunting during hunting season except on Sundays.

 

To the west of Trotting Park Road you will find Lake Althea and the Scarlet swamp. It is also in this area that you will find the presence of GLICA (Greater Lowell Indian Cultural Association). This group has a lease arrangement with the state for the use of this land for their cultural events. Because of this agreement, there has been very little new trail development in this area. It's important to note that this land is not off limits to the general public. This area is dominated by fireroads, doubletrack and singletrack in that order. One of the most popular trails in this area is the mile long trail put in by the AmeriCorps workers a few years back. This trail has tricky rock garden sections at both ends.

 

To the East of Trotting Park Road you'll discover the major trail system in Lowell and Dracut. This is where you will find the Spruce swamp, which is the largest swamp in the forest. Approximately half way down Trotting Park Road, on the right, you will find Carney Road. Carney Road is one of several dirt roads in the forest but is the only one that connects back to Trotting park road, and thus back to the main parking lot. It is in this eastern section of the forest that has seen most of the new trail development and trail improvements.

 

Upon exiting the AmeriCorps trail mentioned above, you can continue to follow singletrack along the Spruce swamp. This will eventually take you out to Carney Road, heading east, where after a short stretch of fire road, you can re-enter the singletrack. By following a series of new and old trails, in a clockwise direction, you will basically do a perimeter loop. Next stop along this loop is the new trail system developed out by Gumpus Road. Here you will have access to about 5 miles of new singletrack that was built primarily as mountain bike specific trails. Here you will find an assortment of rocks, drops and rolls to spice things up a bit. There are several options as to how you can connect the trails together out here to give it a different look every time you ride.

 

Continuing with the perimeter concept you will eventually make your way back to Carney Road, this time backtracking heading West. After crossing the gravel culvert, look for the fire road to the left. Turning in this direction will allow you to access a mix of old and new singletrack. There is the remnant here of an old rock quarry where three different trailheads converge. All of these trails are unique and have there own special features and are not to be missed.

 

At this point in the ride you are not far from the parking lot, or the area of the forest known as the "playground". The playground was created by the retreating Wisconsin Glacier about 15,000 years ago. Here is an assortment of rocks big and bigger that can be used to sharpen your hucking skills. From here there are several singletrack options to get back to the main parking lot on Trotting Park Road. Besides this parking area other access points are found on Gumpus Road (Lowell), Totman Road (Lowell and Dracut), Fellows Lane (Dracut), and Althea Avenue (Tyngsboro).

 

Directions:
Take Rt. 495 to Rt. 3 north. Follow Rt. 3 North to exit 32. Go right at the end of ramp, onto Drum Hill Rd. go 5 sets of lights you will cross over the Rourk Bridge. Go left at the lights on the other side of the bridge. Go 500 yards then take a right at lights onto Old Ferry Rd. Take a left onto Varnum Ave. After ½ mile, go right onto Trotting Park Rd. Parking lot is at the gate.

Cautions:
Avoid the  Greater Lowell Indian Cultural Association area when there are ceremonies going on. Be careful near the parking area as you'll see lots of families, kids and dogs.

 

By Norm Blanchette Read more about Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest

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Northeast MA

Dogtown, Gloucester

11 Dogtown Rd
Gloucester  Massachusetts  01930
United States

Easy

20%

Moderate

55%

Difficult

25%

Description

History
The history of Dogtown is quite extensive. It was settled in the colonial days of New England. Early settlers tried to farm the land of Gloucester, but gradually realized growing food on a landscape of rocks was more trouble then it was worth (All the better for bikers). Eventually they decided it was more advantageous to fish, and hence the residents migrated to the coastline. Supposedly after the wealthy residents moved to the shoreline, the vacated houses of Dogtown became the equivalent of a modern day ghetto, inhabited by societal outcasts and vagrants. It was during this period in the 18th century that the Dogtown acquired it's name, describing the packs of wild dogs that roamed the area.


By 1830 the entire Dogtown village was deserted. The land was then acquired by the wealthy William Babson (of Babson College fame). Mr. Babson enjoyed the land as a natural/spiritual getaway. He also liked to express his conservative viewpoints using the natural landscape. To this day many of his trite ideas are inscribed on many of Dogtown's larger boulders. Don't be surprised to happen upon a rock telling you to "GET A JOB".

Upon his death, Mr. Babson donated the land to the town of Gloucester. Now 170 years later, the area is preserved as a natural reservation. All the old houses are now gone, however the careful observer may find remnants of old cellars.

Rules & Regulations History
I spoke with the Dogtown Advisory committee. And was told that there are no restrictions on Mountain biking. All they ask is to practice common courtesy, and to keep the area clean. One note of caution is that hunting is allowed there during normal hunting season, which is primarily in autumn.


Equestrians are also very found of Dogtown. I doubt you will find any group of people more interested in banning mountain biking then equestrians. As a result do your best not to startle a horse. If you find yourself approaching or overtaking a person on a horse, get OFF your bike and announce your presence to the rider. Ask them permission to walk your bike past them.

Directions
Take 128 north towards Gloucester. Before you get into the city limits of Gloucester you will pass over a Large bridge spanning a salt water river. Shortly after you pass over this bridge, route 128 will enter a large traffic circle (Grant Circle). Follow this circle 270 degrees around and exit off on route 127 (towards Annisquam). Follow route 127 for about 1/2 mile and it will curve to the right and pass over a small bridge and some salt water. Immediately after you cross the bridge, route 127 will curve around to the left. You do NOT want to follow 127 to the left, instead look to take a right onto Reynard St. Follow Reynard to the end (1/4 mile) and turn left onto Cherry St. Look closely to your right for a small, broken-down (almost a driveway) looking road, with a small sign for Dogtown commons at the end. Follow this road to the end until you come to a gate and can not go any further.


Ride Information
Get on your bikes and continue on the road you drove in on past the metal gate for about another quarter mile. Which way you should go from here depends on your ability: The ubiquitous supply of rocks that made farming a nightmare, make mountain biking dogtown an exciting challenge. Don't let these rocks discourage you, for there is plenty of moderate terrain. I do not recommend Dogtown for first timers, although an intermediate will feel right at home. Dogtown is confusing! Unlike other places like Middlesex fells there are no trail maps waiting for you at the entrance. In fact, I am not even going to bother to explain which trails to ride the first time you get there, because Dogtown is too confusing to find these trails. I recommend first timers to bring a compass. There is different styles of riding depending on where in the park you are.


    Easy Ride
Although there is some easy terrain in Dogtown. I do not recommend first time riders going there. Dogtown is too confusing and the beginner will likely find himself lost in a maze of difficult singletrack before too long. Instead I recommend the beginner who desires to ride in the Gloucester Area to visit Ravenswood Park, which is located about 2 miles south of Gloucester center on Route 127.


    Intermediate Ride
Following your compass NNE: Here you will find your way to towards the whale's Jaw (Two extremely large boulders that supposedly resemble a Whale's Jaw. Unfortunately one broke in half, and now it just looks like one huge boulder and two smaller ones sitting next to each other) and if you diligently head due north you will come to Goose Cove Reservoir. These trails are better for the intermediate rider.


    Expert Ride
The experience rider will find enjoyable riding all over the reservation. Besides riding where the area listed in the Intermediate section I also recommend heading to the ESE corner of the reservation. You will know you are there because this is where the boulders with messages such as "GET A JOB" are located. WARNING: Do not follow the railroad tracks in this area, this is a swampy area and the mosquitoes are death.


    Getting Back To Your Car
It is actually surprisingly easy to get back to the starting point, even when you are completely lost. If you entered the reservation where I recommend then you parking the SW corner of the reservation. As a result if you follow you use you compass to head SW you are guaranteed to get back to the entrance.


If you are completely lost or broken down you are never more then 1 mile from route 127 (route 127 completely circles the Dogtown reservation). I recommend heading due west until you hit route 127, and then following 127 south until you come back to the starting point. 

 

By Chuck Joyce Read more about Dogtown, Gloucester

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Northeast MA

Gordon College - Chebacco Woods, Wenham

255 Grapevine Rd
Wenham  Massachusetts  01984
United States

Easy

60%

Moderate

30%

Difficult

10%

Description

Gordon College, Chebacco Woods and surrounding conservation land hold a network of trails that are little known out of the area, but well loved by the locals, including the students at Gordon College. The trails in Chebacco Woods off Chebbaco Road are well defined mostly rolling doubletracks. They are great for families with kids on small bikes as there are only a few hills. Scenery abounds in both properties. And birdwatchers are advised to bring a camera.

The Gordon College trails vary from easy flat dirt roads to challenging singletracks. The dirt roads wind around a number of ponds and are quite scenic. They would be perfect for kids on small bikes or beginning riders. The singletracks pack quite a bit of elevation change into a very small area. They twist around through the woods and leave little time for passive contemplation.

A trail Map of the area is posted on the bulletin board at the trailhead in Gordon College.


Directions
For the Gordon College trails take exit 17 from route 128 and head north on Grapevine Road. Turn into the main entrance to the college on your right and follow the campus road to the trailhead at Coy Pond.

For Chebacco Woods take exit 17 from route 128 and head north on Grapevine Road. Go past the campus turn right on Route 22 (Rubbly Road). Bear right where Rubbly Road turns to Essex Street (still on Route 22). And then take your first right on Chebacco Road. As you get to Beck Pond, on your left, you'll see a couple of pullouts where you can park for Chebacco Woods.

 

By Bill Boles Read more about Gordon College - Chebacco Woods, Wenham

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Ride Like a Girl Program Supports Women's Organization

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ride Like A Girl would like to thank all of its NEMBA volunteers and clinic participants, as well as Back Bay Bicycles, Highland Mountain Bike Park, Hub Cycles, Jett Apparel, JRA Cycles, SRAM, and Wheelworks  for helping to raise $1,000.00 for the Elizabeth Stone House Wilderness Heals Hike. The donation in turn helped to offset the cost of the fundraiser hike which resulted in $20,000 in pledges going directly to the families in need! (A special thanks to Claire Grimble for keeping track of the funds!!) Be sure to keep an eye out for new Ride Like A Girl / ESH fundraiser products in the season to come, thank you for helping us help others!

—Karen Eagan Read more about Ride Like a Girl Program Supports Women's Organization

Northeast MA

Bradley Palmer State Forest, Topsfield

Bradley Palmer State Park Rd.
Topsfield  Massachusetts  01983
United States

978 887-5931

Easy

80%

Moderate

15%

Difficult

5%

Description

Bradley Palmer State Park is one of two large DCR properrties in Topsfield.. The Park's 721 acres offer many miles of smooth easy fire roads, a few steep hills and some excellent singletrack trails. There's also a secluded traffic free paved road that's perfect for kids on small bikes.

A few of the singletrack trails are challenging including some of those that run along the Ipswich River. My favorite singletrack trail is a downhill that runs from just north of #17 on the map to #11. It's a long flowing singletrack trail made by North Shore NEMBA volunteers.

You'll notice that this is horse country as you'll ride past many "gates" designed for jumping.

A featured part of bradley palmer is the Willowdale Estate which can be rented for weddings or special occasions.

The riding here is for the most part pretty mellow.  The fireroads and most of the woods roads are perfect for family exploration or for newer riders.  They don't lack challenging sections, but those challenges are spaced out pretty well. The views from the open fields which top Bradley Palmer's hills are quite breathtaking, though not well captured by a camera.

You'll have a good time exploring Bradley Palmer and if you don't get enough riding there, try Willowdale State Forest which is located right across the street. To get there take the footbridge at #3.

Notes:
The DCR's Website has a good MAP. There's no camping or swimming at Bradley Palmer, though the kayaking in the Ipswich River is excellent.   Also check out the "Discover Hamilton" trail MAP.

Directions:
The Ashbury Street Bridge near the park's entrance is out and will be for some time. There are directions around it on the DCR site. Additionally there are good places to park along Topsfield Road. You'd enter Bradley Palmer from Willowdale State Forest on the Bridge at #3.

You can also park at Willowdale Meadow an Essex County Greenbelt property that's also on Topsfield Rd.

 

By Bill Boles Read more about Bradley Palmer State Forest, Topsfield

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North Shore

  • North Shore NEMBA rides and takes care of trails north of Boston. We work in partnership with State Parks at Harold Parker, Bradley Palmer, Willowdale and Georgetown-Rowley State Parks. We also work on many local properties associated with the Essex County Greenbelt and The Trustees of Reservations.

    We have many scheduled rides and trail care events, and we put on an end-of-year bash called the Wicked Ride of the East, one of NEMBA’s larger events of the season. Join our chapter, subscribe to our email list and “like” our Facebook page. We always welcome new faces and need your support.

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Northeast MA

Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham

4 Woodland Rd
Stoneham  Massachusetts  02180 ‎
United States
The Fells has many trailheads

Easy

25%

Moderate

50%

Difficult

25%

Description

Note: The Middlesex Fells are closed to mountain bikes in the month of March.

The Middlesex Fells Reservation, more commonly known as The Fells, is located just seven miles north of Boston. The Fells is over 2600 acres in size, has over 120 miles of trails and is owned and managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Its reservoirs are water supplies for Winchester and the MWRA. For more information about the Middlesex Fells, visit the DCR's website.

The Fells is very popular because of its proximity to a major urban area and being nestled within 5 towns: Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham and Winchester. The Fells is also notable as being the property that launched NEMBA as an organization when efforts to restrict equitable access began in 1987. That was the beginning of 25 years of efforts by the MTB community to reverse the overly restrictive policies put in place at the time.

On January 6th, 2012 this was achieved. DCR's Stewardship Council voted to approve the Middlesex Fells Resource Management Plan which begins to address the historic inequity of having only 1.6 miles of singletrack open for legal riding. The RMP makes a great first step by designating the Orange Trail (also known as the Reservoir Trail) as shared-use, calls for Dark Hollow Pond trails to be redesigned and designated shared use, and calls for exploring the potential of some East side trails becoming shared use as well. The RMP, like many plans, is all about compromise - the MTB community didn't get everything we had hoped for - but neither did everyone else involved. It is extremely important for us to live up to the compromises we've agreed to.

Other important info:

March is Trails Closure Month at the Fells for riding. This is to protect soft trails from extra impact. All trail users should avoid wet muddy trails. Boots cause just as much damage to soft trails! Say no to mud!

Other elements of the RMP (Dark Hollow Pond, East side access) will be rolled out as quickly as can be assessed, planned and negotiated with DCR. The immediate focus right now is getting Orange in shape for it's May opening to shared-use.

We ask that all riders observe and comply with the rules at the Fells. This means please stay on the legally open trails (the Orange (Reservoir), Green (the MTB loop) and fire roads currently) and do not go off-trail or into the Winchester or MWRA properties (DCR has no jurisdiction on those properties and is asking everyone to observe the No Tresspassing policy for those water supply properties).

DCR has reached out to us to ask that we remind riders that the Skyline (White) trail at the Fells is hiking-only. They have observed an increase in the number of riders on Skyline and asked for help getting the word out to the riding community to please not ride on Skyline. So please respect this and take advantage of the other main, legally ride-able trails at the Fells: Orange and Green.

Please keep trail interactions positive! Practice good trail etiquette - courtesy costs you nothing but has tremendous payback. Report problems. If you find a problem or have a bad interaction, DCR wants to know. If it is an emergency, call 911. If it's a user conflict, disengage - don't escalate it. Call DCR's emergency line: 617-722-1188 and report it or any other non-emergency park problems. It's staffed 24/7. You can get DCR's full list of user guidelines here

What is riding at the Fells like? The Fells, overall, is about an "intermediate" level of technicality. It has some fairly technical spots but those are in the minority. The MTB loop is mostly on fire roads which are not very challenging. The Orange Trail provides a nicely challenging loop of mostly singletrack.

If you want to get involved and help us out with the Fells, email adam@gbnemba.org. The Greater Boston Chapter is the local NEMBA chapter that interfaces with DCR on the Fells - come get involved with GBNEMBA!

DCR's North Region manages the Fells, their offices are here:

DCR North Region Office
4 Woodland Rd.
Stoneham, MA
(781)662-5230

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