Southeast MA

SE MA NEMBA Update, Nov 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This year is turning out to be a year of club closings--First TT's, Johnny D's is slated to close, the Beachcomber in Quincy, now Church in the Fenway....all places that I've spent time at in the past but cant say I've 'frequented' in recent years but institutions nonetheless that I always knew I could experience vicariously via the WMBR concert report on the Late Risers Club and through video and reports on social media. Bike shops are local institutions as well, always there for the community. One local institution I can say that I've been fairly loyal to for many years is Dave's Bike Infirmary, in Milton. They've been there for me when I couldn't find a rare schwinn tire or when I needed a cassette on the fly--they would order anything you would see in a catalog or online, and get it within a day or two, and their prices were always fair. Like many other 'regulars' , I would stop by on my way to work, or mid-ride, or just before they open, help them get the bikes outside and setup for the day, or, get there as they were closing to pickup that new chain I needed to complete my drivetrain overhaul…..But like the local clubs, most bike shops are independent businesses run by families with their fate at the mercy of the economy and always evolving demographics. Apparently the economy is changing, along with the rising use of the internet and with that, more people who might have occasionally ridden a bike getting lazier and to upcoming generations passing off riding bikes as an unnecessary or dangerous activity. Just as kids can easily listen to mp3’s and watch videos on their mobile devices while live music becomes a thing their parents reminisce about, they are brought up to take the easy, ‘safe’ way to school—in their parents cars. Online bike shops (and Big Internet Superstores )are also making it very difficult for an independent to make ends meet, even as more and more ‘avid’ bikers join our ranks every day. WE are a minority. But a minority that is forcing change in our communities, a minority who is constantly reaching out to the majority to improve riding experiences on our local trails and roads. Don’t be fooled about the ‘roads’ part—we are all in this together, and the agencies in charge of the commuter roads also influence change on the trails we ride. ‘Strength in Numbers’--like the Anthill movie synopsis ( of that name )says, “is a rally call to connect all mountain bikers, regardless of location or language or discipline. is a rally call to connect all mountain bikers, regardless of location or language or discipline”. Look it up. Watch it. Anyways, yes, we are all connected. And yes, as you may have guessed, we are losing a bike shop. Dave’s was there in Milton since 1974, when then Milton firefighter Dave Forsyth started it as a part time business. Dave’s was a huge supporter of the late Blue Hills Mountain Bike Day, and NEMBA and the mountainbike community in general. Always willing to help. Personal family reasons and Dave’s health contributed to their decision to close, along with declining business due to reasons mentioned earlier…but keep your eyes peeled when on Cape Cod, the family is moving to Onset with all their tools and experience.... There hadn’t been any closings of shops in the Southeast Kingdom in many years—lets just hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. And hope that trails we ride will remain plentiful and the streets safer to ride. But HOPE won’t make things change, YOU have to MAKE things change. ADVOCATE. Thank you to Dave and his family for 41 years of quality service to local bicyclists. Please support your local bike shop (AND local nightclub) Steve Cobble

Southeast MA

Eaton's Pond, Quincy

58 Bower Rd
Quincy  Massachusetts  02169
United States

Easy

40%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

20%

Description

Eaton’s Pond is a conservation area located in the town of Braintree right on the Quincy line.

At 60 acres 20 of which are the pond itself you might conclude that there are not a lot of trails here. And you’d be right. Including neighborhood trails that lead into and out of the conservation parcel there a bit over 5 miles of trails. But, the trails are awesome. 

The town of Braintree had this small conservation parcel that was little used by town residents for recreation. The reason, it was a teenage party site, lots of people had dumped trash there and there was an encampment of homeless people living in the woods. In other words, most people wouldn’t go there.

In 2012 the town reached out to the SE MASS chapter of NEMBA asking them if this might be a good place to ride. Their thinking, get some recreationalists out on the trails and it might drive out the unwanted activities.

NEMBA decided that with a lot of work that, the existing trail network could be improved and enhanced, that some old trails could be re-opened and that the litter could be removed.

Over the next winter, you might remember “the winter that never happened”, SE MASS NEMBA worked hard. Building bridges, clearing trails, picking up litter and broken glass and the result? A really great small trail system.

While a few trails are easy even OK for baby strollers, a few are technical and quite challenging. Most of the trails though are pretty smooth with very few roots, rocks or logs. Exeptions being the trail along the pond to the dam and the trail above the old quarry. Those and a few steep hills are the most difficult parts of riding there.

Since 2013 many more small enhancements have been made and the results have been quite favorable to the town. Now many residents, including seniors are comfortable hiking and fishing there. The local neighborhood association does morning walks there and you'll see kids on BMX bikes there almost every day. Dog walkers abound on the trails.

The one problem with these trails is thorns. You'll find lots of them, especially on the lesser used trails. Locals have been known to head out with lawnmowers to clear them, but be wary.

While 5+ miles of trails may not seem like a lot, located right in the center of an urban area they are a gem.

The best place to park for non-locals is in Quincy, at 58 Bower Road across the street from the Adams Heights Men’s Club at the South end of the parking lot.  Across the railroad tracks you’ll see Eaton Pond and the trails start about 100 feet down on your right.

Who’d have thought that less than a quarter mile from a Walmart and the biggest car dealership on the South Shore that there’d be such great riding?

Bill Boles
 
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Local Shops

Anderson Bicycle

Bike Barn

Landry's Braintree

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Southeast MA

Bare Cove / Great Esker, Hingham

Bare Cove Park Drive
Hingham  Massachusetts  02043
United States
There are multiple parking areas - See the map

Easy

70%

Moderate

25%

Difficult

5%

Description

Bear Cove and Great Esker Parks are unique in Massachusetts and New England. They are located on both sides of Weymouth Back River, a tidal river and are very scenic. You'll spend a lot of time enjoying wetlands, marshes and perhaps photographing many different varities of birds.

Most of the riding here is on old paved or gravel roads though there is some singlletrack. 

In Bare Cove the trails are mostly flat making it a perfect place for an introductory ride for newer riders or kids on small wheeled bikes. Bare Cove was a military base during WWII and on most weekend days you can stop and visit the museum. You'll see lots of people walking dogs here as well as lots of families with kids in strollers. Although the rules state that all dogs must be leashed some may be running free.

Great Esker is hilly and more challenging as it contains the tallest esker in North America.  The esker is a ridge of sand that was dropped by a glacier about 12,000 years ago. Picture in your mind a giant snake lying on a flat surface and you get an idea of what it's like. You'll be riding on the snake's "spine" high above the surrounding neighborhoods and river. I rarely see dogs or families here, maybe because the terrain requires a more physical investment.

Just north of the Route 3A highway bridge that connects the two parks are Stoddard's Neck and the Abigail Adams Park. Abigail Adams is a picnic area with parking and a few paved trails. While Stoddard's Neck is a fenced off peninsula much favored by dog walkers as it offers them the opportunity to let their dogs run free. 

It's possible to make a giant circle by linkink Great Esker and Bare Cove with a short road ride through surrounding neighborhoods on the south. Bring a copy of the map with you in case you find it confusing.

When I ride here I'm normally looking for a mellow ride, much different from the nearby Wompatuck State Park. I'll usually ride all four properties, just wandering around piling up some relaxed miles rather than technical challenges.

You'll enjoy Bare Cove and Great Esker Parks. Especially on a hot summer day when the ocean's breezes cool things off.

Bill Boles

 

great esker park Great Esker Parking Lot - Puritan Rd - | Paddling.com Running Trails near Hingham  Read more about [node:title]

Local Shops

Bike Barn

Anderson Bicycle

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Southeast MA

Pine Hills, Plymouth

265 State Road
Plymouth  Massachusetts  02360
United States
Parking is at the end of the short dirt road at Cleft Rock

Easy

15%

Moderate

70%

Difficult

15%

Description

The Pine Hills in Plymouth offer a different experience from most of the riding south of Boston and on Cape Cod. The trails, which are mostly singletracks, claw their way through the woods dodging large rocks as they make their way up and down a series of short hills bisected by Route 3A.

Parking is at the Cleft Rock Parking lot located almost directly across the street from Serious Cycles. I'll divide this report into two parts as the trails on either side of the road differ greatly.

North of 3A the trails are commonly referred to as the 'Nuclear Trails'. That's because they are located behind the, now closed, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. The trails are on power plant property and exist as a public service of the power plant. Some of these trails are quite difficult. Occasionally you'll encounter structures that will add to your riding experience. Note: Most of these structures or features were removed by the town in February 2021 due to safety concerns. While the trails are enjoyable they rarely meet the 'buffed singletrack' description so common in Plymouth and on the Cape. After a couple of rides you'll learn which direction of travel is the most fun.  North of Route 3A you can expect to find about 12 miles of trails. 

South of 3A the trails are more difficult. Branching off from a few old logging roads you find an extensive network of motorcycle trails. These singletracks seemingly go up and down every short hill in the woods. Occasionally they are too sandy or steep to ride, necessitating a few very short walks, but for the most part they are negotiable. Most riders will follow these trails in a westerly direction. That is to say descending, mostly, until they encounter Beaver Dam or Old Sandwich Road from where they'll choose to ride back to the top on pavement or one of the old doubletracks. I have done these trails in both directions and when I do I mostly avoid the singletracks on the way back to the top.


The Open Street Map above shows many of the trails on both sides of Route 3A, but by no means all of them.

The TrailForks map is updated frequently and is available as an app which when downloaded to your phone shows you where you are on the trails.
You’ll enjoy these trails. They’re challenging and a pleasant change from the ‘coastal plain’ that makes up most of the Southeastern end of Plymouth County.

By Bill Boles Read more about [node:title]

Local Shops

Bike Barn

cycle Lodge

Maul's Bike Shop

Anderson's Bike Shop

Trek Bicycles Lakeville

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Southeast MA

Carolina Hills, Marshfield

165 Eames Way
Marshfield  Massachusetts  02050
United States

Easy

30%

Moderate

60%

Difficult

10%

Description

Carolina Hills in Marshfield is a little known area with a lot of trails. The trails are hilly, sandy in a few places, and lots of fun.

Park on Eames Way, just beyond the school, where the paved road turns to dirt. You’ll see a trail going into the woods on your right. Take it and explore. There are quite a few singletracks on both sides of Eames Way and the power line. Some of the trails extend across Route 139.

When I ride here I choose the trails that extend my downhills as much as possible while climbing hills quickly. After a few rides I found myself quite able to do that. You will too.
Altogether there are probably 17 miles of trails. These include trails on town conservation land as well as on nearby New England Forestry Foundation land. Explore enough and you’ll even discover some well-maintained Boy Scout trails.

There are three maps at the top of this page.  The first shows the trails in the 775 acre Carolina Hills Conservation Area. The second also shows many of the trails on surrounding land. The third is a trailforks map which shows everything.

Check out Marshfield's Carolina Hills. If you do, I’m sure that you’ll return often.
 
 
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Local Shops

Cycle Lodge

BikeBarn

Maul's Bike Shop

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Southeast MA

Old Jail Lane / Hathaway Pond, Barnstable

348 Old Jail lane
Barnstable  Massachusetts  02630
United States
There are four alternate parking areas. > See the text.

Easy

65%

Moderate

25%

Difficult

10%

Description

The Old Jail Lane trails are part of the Town of Barnstable’s “Cape Cod Pathways” and include a portion of the “Red” trail – a walking route from Sandwich to Yarmouth. NEMBA riders may be familiar with red triangular trail makers used to identify the route in West Barnstable. Loop and branch trails are occasionally designated with blue (northside offshoots) or green (southside offshoots) triangular markers.

The Old Jail Lane trails were first established as double-track over rolling hills. There are a few fast downhills and one challenging climb on Ebenezer Smith Hill (a loop trail just to the north of the blue trail – try riding counter-clockwise to enjoy “Captain’s Logs”). NEMBA volunteers did a great job opening up the green trail “Green Crescent” (fun downhill in counterclockwise direction) on the southside of the preserve and other brush and log removal.

The Central Park trail was our first single-track addition a few years ago. Cape Cod NEMBA members as well as kids from Sturgis High School doing community service re-opened a long grown-in trail.  We extended it all the way past the “Snowman” (split-rock) to Ebenezer Smith Hill.  Later we added “Ants in the Pants” to connect to the “Picnic” trail (look for the “Top Shelf” rock to ride on!).  “Mei Li Way” and “Eastwatch” can get you more than a mile of continuous flow all the way to the Cape Cod College.  The most recent addition is “Fin’s Folly” complete with switchbacks – berms are being added as volunteers are available.

At the Cape Cod Community College, the “Tim Sullivan” trail is located on an old disc golf course. It's short but quite hilly and challenging. Riding it in the counterclockwise direction is fun. The reverse is quite difficult.

Rides can be extended by starting further east such as parking at the Barnstable County Complex (which has bathrooms) at 3249 Main St, Barnstable MA 02360 and entering the woods adjacent to the Trayser Museum off of Route 6A.

The trails at Hathaway Pond area favorite of Cape Cod NEMBA members who often have their summer meetings there, beachside. There is a parking fee at Hathaway before 4:00 PM in the summer. You can also park at the Cape Codder Resort or Sea Sports Cyclery.  The most recent trail additions include “Little Hathaways” and the “Pintside” trail for folks that want to finish their ride at Cape Cod Beer.

Riding these trails is a lot of fun. They seem remote as you wind your way through deep woods, the only sound being some traffic noise from nearby Route 6.  While not as large as either the nearby  West Barnstable Conservation Area or Willow Street (Exit 72), clever riders will note that Old Jail Lane's trails fall right between them - making the possibility of a really long day's ride a reality for the hardy.

By Lev Malakhoff

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Local Shops

Sea Sports Cyclery

Buzzards Bay Bikes (Formerly Sailworld)

Orleans Cycle

Corner Cycle

Bike Zone

Rideaway Adventures

Aunt Betty's Bikes

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Local Eats

Hearth n' Kettle

Cape Cod NEMBA

Southeast MA

Burrage Pond, Hanson

15 Hawks Ave
Hanson  Massachusetts  02341
United States

(508) 389-6360

Easy

85%

Moderate

12%

Difficult

3%

Description

Burrage Pond is a 1,638 acre wildlife management area. It was created in 2002 when the state purchased land used for cranberry bogs. This means 90% of the trails are completely flat double track which makes for very easy mountain biking. It's the perfect place to introduce newer riders to the sport, or for families who's children are riding on small wheeled bikes.

The main park is completely open with a large pond on one side and bogs on the other making for great scenery. Some trails go into the woods where they turn into narrower single track. The woods trails are still flat and smooth with few roots, rocks or muddy areas to deal with. There are at least 15 miles of trail. This makes for a great beginner riding area.

However, there's a vast network of trails linking into Burrage Pond. After a ride or two go exploring. You won't be disappointed and you'll find many more miles of trails.

This is a great park for viewing wildlife. Birders come from all over to check out the birds, wood ducks, geese and Ospreys. A bald eagle has been known to visit a few years. Bass fishing is popular in the ponds. Lots of turtles including snappers abound in the marshy areas and deer can be seen in the early morning.

Being a wildlife management area, hunting is allowed. Check with the MA hunting schedule and take proper precautions. Deer and duck hunting are especially popular here. 

The main parking lot is down a dirt road off of Hawks Avenue, right where Pleasant St. crosses the railroad tracks in Hanson.

Another popular place to park is at 395 Elm St, Hanson, MA.

By Garret Banuk Read more about [node:title]

Local Shops

Spark Bike

BikeBarn

Maul's Bike Shop

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Local Eats

Mayflower Grove Grill

Venus III

Southeast MA

Mashpee Woodlands

40 Quinaquisset Ave
Mashpee  Massachusetts  02649
United States

Easy

30%

Moderate

65%

Difficult

5%

Description

Mashpee Woodlands is a little know gem. Locals are well aware of it, but most people would be surprised to know that less than a half mile from one of the biggest shopping centers on the Cape, Mashpee Commons, there's a quiet, extremely scenic trail system.

Most of the Woodlands trails are singletracks. The most scenic wind through the woods on ground that's high above the Mashpee River. The views are spectacular. The trails twist through the trees climbing and descending short hills. They are very pleasant to ride, the only downside being that there are too few of them.

In all there's about 4 miles of trails here. The solution - ride them in both directions. These scenic trails look entirely different in the opposite direction.

The Map link above is borrowed from the Trustees of Reservations. This TTOR property in Mashpee is currently closed to bikes. However all of the Town of Mashpee land welcomes mountain bikers. Indeed, local bikers do most of the trail clearing and trash pickup. Cape Cod NEMBA is working on a map of it's own that will clear up this confusion.

Expect to spend about at least an hour and a half exploring Mashpee Woodland's trails. More if you bring a lunch and stop at one of the many benches overlooking the river. In warm weather you may also want to jump in the river for a refreshing swim. But mostly you'll be there to explore and enjoy the trails.

The parking area is isolated. It's deep in the woods at the end of a short dirt road. You'll see a sign on Quinaquisset Ave. A little further down Quinaquisset there's a smaller roadside parking area.

Mashpee Woodlands trails here are rarely too difficult to ride for newer riders. Kids on small wheeled single speed bikes might have to walk a few of the hills but otherwise the trails are fine for family rides.

You'll enjoy the Mashpee Woodlands. I certainly do.  Read more about [node:title]

Local Shops

Sea Sports Bike

Buzzards Bay Bikes (Formerly Sailworld)

Orleans Cycle

Corner Cycle

Bike Zone

Rideaway Adventures

Aunt Betty's Bikes

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Southeast MA

Beebe Woods / Peterson Farm, Falmouth

56 Highfield Dr
Falmouth  Massachusetts  02540
United States

508-540-0876

Easy

60%

Moderate

35%

Difficult

5%

Description

Beebe Woods and Peterson Farm are two Falmouth conservation properties that abut each other. The trails are very pleasant to explore. Especially from the seat of a mountain bike.

The trails are fun, mostly non-technical and circle around quite a bit. It will take you at least a coupe of hours to explore them all.

There's quite a bit to see. Active farmland, including sheep pastures, remnants of old abandoned buildings, many glacial erratics, some very unusual plants and you'll probably meet a lot of people out on the trails.

The two properties together comprise 488 acres. Located just west of Falmouth Center it's just a short ride from downtown as well as being only a few hundred yards from the Shining Sea Bikeway.

The trails in Beebe Woods wouldn't exist if early plans to build 500 houses there had come to fruition. But in 1972 local benefactors bought the land and donated it to the town.

Beebe Woods Walk | Buzzards Bay Coalition  50 Hikes for 2012-13: Hike #28 - Chinese Diggings/Beebe Woods Trail,  Jacksonville, OR  Beebe Woods – The 300 Committee Land Trust Read more about [node:title]

Local Shops

Buzzards Bay Bikes (Formerly Sailworld)

Sea Sports Cycles

Orleans Cycle

Corner Cycle

Bike Zone

Rideaway Adventures

Aunt Betty's Bikes

Links to Relevant Resources

Metrowest MA

Southeast MA

Cutler Park, Needham/Newton

69 Kendrick St
Needham  Massachusetts  02494
United States

617-333-698 X1802

Easy

60%

Moderate

35%

Difficult

5%

Description

Note: There is a Seasonal Trail Closure at Cutler Park during the month of March. The closure is designed to protect the trails during the mud season. Please respect the closure and stay off the trails till they dry out.

The best parking area for Cutler Park is located in Needham MA. But the park itself extends into Dedham, Newton, Brookline and Boston. Cutler park consists of a few hills and a lot of trails near an 800-acre marsh along the Charles River and beside route 128.

Cutler Park is right on the dividing lines of three NEMBA chapters. Greater Boston NEMBA, Blackstone Valley NEMBA and SE MASS NEMBA. but don't let that confusion stop you, everyone's welcome here.  :-)   It's quite close to boston, bordering on route 128 in Newton and Needham. 

There is a large lake near the parking area and the more challenging singletracks are located between it and Route 128. The singletracks nearest to the highway go up and down Cutler's only hill. They are quite fun and include one roller coaster section. See if you can do it without pedaling. 

There are many more trails however, stretching out into the marshes on plank bridges. So expect to spend a bit of time exploring. If you do that you'll eventually make your way out of Cutler Park and into Riverdale Park, Millennium Park, The Brook Farm Conservation Area, and Newton's Nahanton Park. Succeed in doing this and you'll do a 16-mile loop. Cutler Park itself has about 9 miles of trails. The whole complex has about 22 miles of trails to explore.

The first map above shows the entire complex. While the succeeding maps are of individual properties. 

Southeast Mass NEMBA has been doing trailwork at Cutler for many years including the bog bridges. How many times have you been northbound on Route 128 and looked into that marsh, never realizing that there was a trail right through the middle of it?

Cutler's singletracks range from moderately technical to the most buffed singletracks imaginable. There are also some wide dirt roads that are fine for beginners and families. The road around the lake is the best example of that. My favorite trails are on Powell Island which is located after the first long wooden bridge. The trails on Powell's Island roughly form a figure eight. They are quite fast and fun to ride in both directions.

So close to Boston, and yet so far from most people's radar the trails at Cutler and the surrounding parks are worth exploring.

 

By Bill Boles Read more about [node:title]

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WheelWorks

Landry's

Bikeway Source

BikeBarn

Hub Bicycle

Cannondale Sports Store

Ride Headquarters

Steve The Bike Guy

Apex Velo

Ride Headquarters

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