Borderland State Park, North Easton
Borderland State Park was created in the early 1970's. The property had been owned by the Ames family since 1906. It was acquired by the state in 1971. A significant feature of the park is the Ames mansion. This has been preserved and is open to the public for tours. The Friends of Borderland have been instrumental in preserving the mansion and in doing fundraising for the general upkeep and improvement of the park.
For mountain bikers Borderland is almost a paradise. What keeps it from being one of the best-ranked riding areas in the region is its lack of intermediate level trails. There are more than enough hard technical trails to satisfy anyone. Even a few "bare rock" sections reminiscent of the Lynn Woods or Moab.
And there are lots of easy trails. These wind around on dirt roads, circumnavigate the park's many lakes, go by the historic Ames mansion and provide a rider with a scenic tour of the area.
Intermediate trails are few and far between though. Stray off the dirt roads into the park's many singletracks and you'll quickly be challenged by and abundance of roots and rocks. The singletracks, located mostly in the northern end of the park are a lot of fun. But beginners will find themselves walking a lot. Oh well, remember that old saying, "Every mountain bike comes equipped with a hiker." Well, at Borderland that hiker will get some exercise.
NEMBA has been very active in borderland. We've build bridges, done a lot of trail work, and even put in some new singletrack trails. Including Bob's trail, which honors Bob Babineau, the park's former supervisor.
Come to Borderland when you want to go for a fun ride with your family, or when you just want to cruise around in the sunshine. Come to borderland if you want to challenge yourself on unremittingly technical trails. But don't come to Borderland if your cup of tea is smooth mellow singletracks.
Recently SEMASS NEMBA and the Friends of Borderland joined together to buy a Muck Truck. It is already being used productively to improve Borderland's trails.
Directions: Borderland is not located near any one major highway. From the DCR's website here are the directions to get to Borderland from most anywhere.
From north: Take Rte. 128 south to Rte. 95 south (towards Providence). Take exit 10 (Sharon, Walpole and Coney Street). Take a left at the end of the ramp and follow this road, two or three miles to the traffic lights in Sharon Center. Go straight thru this intersection and immediately bear right onto Pond St. Follow Pond St. for 1-1/2 miles until you come to a traffic rotary. Go half way around the rotary and continue onto Massapoag Ave. for three miles to the park entrance, on your left.
From Boston: Take the southeast expressway south to Rte. 128 north and then to Rte. 95 south. Follow directions from above.
From west: Mass Pike to Rte. 495 south to exit 10 (Easton and Rte. 123). Take a left at the end of the ramp and follow Rte. 123 east towards Easton. Rte. 123 will merge with Rte. 106 east. After this merge look for the brown "Borderland" sign, on the left about a half mile from the merge. Take this left onto Poquanticut Ave. After about a mile the road will fork, bear to the left onto Massapoag Ave. and follow the signs to the park, approximately another two miles. Entrance will be on your right.
From east (Brockton): From Rte. 24 north take exit 17B (Easton). Follow Rte. 123 west to the intersection of Rte. 138. Take a right onto Rte. 138 north and follow to the second set of traffic lights (approx. one mile), take a left onto Main St and continue about one mile into the center of North Easton. In the center the road will fork, continue straight up the hill, Lincoln St., and follow to the end, approx. two miles. Take a right onto Bay Rd., then an immediate left onto Allen Rd. Follow Allen Rd. to its end, approx. one and a half miles. Take a right onto Rockland St. and follow for just under a mile to a four way stop sign. Take a right onto Massapoag Ave., the park entrance will be one mile on your right.
From south (Fall River): From Rte. 24 north take exit 16 (Rte. 106 west and Mansfield). Follow Rte. 106 west through four sets of traffic lights. Go thru the fourth light, which will be the intersection of Rte. 123 and 106, continue west on Rtes. 123 & 106 for one half mile. A brown park sign will be on your right, take this right onto Poquanticut Ave. Follow the signs to the park, approximately three miles.
From south (Providence): Take Rte. 95 north to exit 7A (Mansfield & Rte. 140 south). Take Rte. 140 south to the intersection of Rte. 106 east. Follow Rte. 106 into Easton. Rte. 106 will merge with Rte. 123. Continue 1/2 mile after the merge and turn left at the brown Borderland sign onto Poquanticut Ave. Follow Poquanticut Ave. and then bear left onto Massapoag Ave. to the park, which will be on your right, approximately 3 miles from the turn at Rtes. 106/123.
Be careful when riding near the mansion. You'll see lots of pedestrians, kids and dogs. Kids and dogs are very curious and oftentimes will run in front of bicycles. Also, yield to equestrians when you see them.
Borderland State Park is one of Massachusetts's properties that charges a day use fee. When you park in the main parking area you'll go by a ticket machine. The day use fee is $5.00/day. If you choose to park anywhere else, display the ticket on your dashboard.
By Bill Boles