Copicut Woods - Bioreserve, Fall River
Copicut Woods is a 516 acre property managed by the Trustees of Reservations. Billed as a gateway to the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve, Copicut Woods is not only a self contained trail network, but also part of the much larger trail network that comprises the 13,600 acre bioreserve. The bioreserve was formed in 2002 and is one of the largest protected tracts of land in the state. It includes Freetown-Fall River State Forest, Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife land, the Watuppa Reservation, Copicut Woods, Ridge Hill Reserve and other municipal and private conservation land. All of the 50 miles or so of dirt roads and trails are open to bikes.
With the creation of the Bioreserve, a grant was secured to map and mark the trails. The result is a very nice 16” by 24” map of the entire property. Intersections have been marked and signed. Unfortunately the map is not available online, but paper copies can be found at the Freetown ranger station and the Copicut Woods kiosk. Fortunately NEMBA has permission to post a modified copy, which is included below. The NEMBA map has had the boundaries between park management areas removed to make the map clearer and also several unmarked trails have been added. This map is the most accurate and up to date.
Taken from the Wampanoag Indian language, Copicut means “deep, dark woods.” The 5 miles of trails in the 516 acre “official” Copicut Woods reservation are generally wider double track that pass through the remnants of a 19th century farm. Old stone walls and foundations are evident and the wide trails are generally flat and straight. There is a detailed online map of this area available at the trustees Copicut Woods web page.
Although Copicut Woods has some nice trails, the true attraction for mountain bikers lies in the many miles of rugged singletrack that lie to the north. These trails branch off of the Horseshoe trail at CH7 and head north towards the southern part of Freetown State forest. Remote and technical, they deliver a backwoods feel, with no little noise and long, uninterrupted singletracks. There is a lot of diversity in the many miles of trails. There are bermed out old moto trails, smooth flowy sections and brutal rock gardens. There aren’t a lot of long climbs, with the exception of the Copicut Hill Trail, which is one of the hardest trails around. Much of the deep, dark woods were eaten by caterpillars in 2004-2005 and the evidence is everywhere, tangles of downed trees and newly formed meadows mixed with stands of huge old pines. The trail network extends from north to south, allowing for a diverse variety of loops between Copicut Woods and the hunters lot of Freetown-Fall River State Forest.
The Copicut trails drain fairly well, although some spots will be wet for a few days after heavy rain. Motorcycles and horses are not allowed in this part of the Bioreserve, so user conflicts should be minimal. Although the Trustees’ Copicut Woods parcel is not open to hunting, the land just to the north is very popular with hunters so precautions should be taken during all hunting seasons. There are also a lot of mosquitos and deer ticks during warmer months so plan accordingly. I recommend bringing a map as well as a multitool, spare tubes, pump, etc. as this is a remote area and some spots are beyond cellular service.
Get directions from Google Maps
From Points North and West: I-195 to Exit 9 (Sanford Rd.) and turn left. Road bears right and becomes Old Bedford Rd. Next,take left onto Blossom Rd.; follow 1.3 miles. Bear right onto Indian Town Rd.; follow for 1.7 miles to parking area (12 cars) on left; roadside parking also available.
By Jason Berube