View Full Version : Ware River Watershed/Rutland SP/MDC Land Trails
May 11th, 2004, 07:04 PM
I'm a Rutland resident looking to make more of the huge tract of land in Rutland and Oakham that's currently part of the Rutland State Park and MDC land. There are lots of fire roads but seemingly little trail. Granted, there is the midstate running through there and a few trails here and there (some for horses only) but this area is prime for twisty homegrown singletrack like the Team Bums stuff in Millbury (Rayburn) and W. Millbury (Singletary fire station).
Does anyone on this list have contacts with the ranger(s) of this area? I used to live in Oxford (Blackstone chapter territory) near Hodges Village and dealt with Army Corps of Engineers rangers there who were very much in favor of new trail construction. Hopefully there's a similar attitude with the MDC, or whatever they're called now.
Here's a link to (not so good) trail maps of the area:
(see the Ware River Watershed section)
The bike trails are mostly dirt roads as far as I can tell.
Anyone who might be interested in helping plan and build this network in cooperation with the supervisors, let me know. Also, post any contacts you know about and also if NEMBA would be interested in helping with this.
May 12th, 2004, 07:54 AM
Brett, I'm a Princeton resident who has ridden the Midstate through Rutland and Barre Falls. I do not know any contact people but would be willing to help with getting trails marked and cleared.
If my memory serves me correctly I believe the latest issue of Single Tracks mentioned that there had been some preliminary planning started.
May 12th, 2004, 06:54 PM
Hi Brett and anyone else who's listening.
There are some great trails in Rutland State Park. But be aware that the area is part of the Ware River watershed district and has some fairly specific rules that should be followed. During the past winter, Michael Morin and I spent a lot of time and effort attending meetings with the Ware River Watershed Advisory Committee to discuss opening up trails that were "officially" closed to bikes. I had been riding in there for years and was unaware of this until a newspaper article appeared last fall. I think the unwritten policy was the mountain biking equivalent of "Don't ask, don't tell". Anyway, we were successful in getting a number of trails opened up. Michael has the list and a map of the trails that were opened up. We really are depending on the mountain bike community to be on their best behavior out there so that we can continue to work with the Advisory Committee and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) folks. The DCR folks are the people on the ground and we spent a lot of good will gaining a nice working relationship with them. Soooooo, please refrain from cutting any new trails as that would seriously compromise our ability to continue working with them. We are working on a long term strategy of slow and easy since they are a severely under-funded and understaffed state agency. If things work out well in Rutland there is a distinct possibility of getting other areas opened up. They did ask if we could help them monitor the illegal use by ATV's and motorcycles. We also offered the services of NEMBA for trail maintenance. We are letting them call the shots as to where they would like this to occur. I hope this helps.
June 25th, 2004, 09:13 AM
Hey, I would be willing to help you guys out. I ride in RSP sometimes with my wife. I'd love to see some singletrack in there. I bring my wife there for the fire roads (YAWN) , but I've yet to see any singletrack other than the interstate trail which is basically unridable (the last time I saw it, endless trees down, major mud)
You mentionend there are some trails in there now? Where are they? Care to share the info?
June 25th, 2004, 02:57 PM
I live in Worcester and you can count me in on meeting support and/or trail work. I don't know who to contact, but it sounds like GandALF has made some progress with the land managers.
Alf, what region of NEMBA does this fall under? Wachusett? Have you been working with that local chapter on how to best approach RSP access? I'd be interested in hearing more on where things stand right now and what the long term plans are.
August 12th, 2004, 11:31 PM
I've done several more rides in there recently and have found several new trails. I just wanted to raise the flag that ATV's have within the last week discovered several of the prime (formerly) singletrack trails and ruined them. I am amazed at the damage one or two group trail passages has done.
Alf, I think this is cause to alert the contacts/stewards. If this access continues the trails in question will definitely be no more fun for riding and an environmental nightmare.
Additionally, regardless of whether or not new trails are built anytime soon, there needs to be some work done on the existing stuff. Here's a short list:
-the unbelievably steep hill climb from the trail that parallels the south side of the power lines near Rte 122 and climbs up to the powerlines should be closed and replaced with some very wide switchbacks to enable riders to pedal up it. The trail currently is so eroded on this hillside that it could swallow ATVs (yum).
-two tree falls on trail 5 have caused a double bypass trail. Trees should be cleared.
-the midstate trail entrance near 122 crosses a boggy section shortly after you enter the woods heading north. This really needs a bridge.
-the long bypass trail that takes riders away from the midstate run along the swamp/stonewall is getting really grown in. This is a good bypass especially in the wet season when the beavers dam the swamp and cause the midstate to flood.
I'm willing to dedicate time to these causes--I ride here from my house often. I just want to get approval/buy in and help/tools before doing anything. Again I will add that this area has huge potential of very low impact trails. I am not going to cut renegade trails but I would like to discuss some ideas with the local DCR folks, NEMBA, and Alf/Michael.
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