Central MA

Wachusett NEMBA News, June 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ware River Watershed
In short, good discussions with key state officials continue and we are being heard. The concept of the Friends of the Ware River Watershed was presented to the Ware River Watershed Advisory Committee whose members were supportive of the idea as long as the group was comprised of multiple user groups and wasn't used for lobbying for MTB access. However, the DCR-DWSP itself would first need to agree to such a partnership and they have stated that the Friends group are enemies of the watershed because the majority of its members include mountain biking in their list of interests. The whole situation is very unfortunate, but the public should be aware of the high anti-bike and anti-trail enforcement ongoing in the area: hidden trail cameras, state police, environmental police, watershed and perhaps also parks rangers, and lots of signs and blocked trails. Other things are in progress so look forward to more news soon.
 
Treasure Valley
Much is happening over at Treasure Valley Scout Reservation on the subject of trails. The first ever trail building school was taught by The Trustees (of Reservations), Wachusett NEMBA, and Team BUMS MTB Club with sponsorship from Downtown Putnam Cyclery (in Putnam, CT). The full day program exposed attendees to a wide variety of knowledge including concepts and techniques for building sustainable trails, tools and safety, bridging do's and don'ts, and field visits to various trail sites within camp.
 
The trail school was followed a week later with the St. Johns High School annual volunteer day at Treasure Valley. A total of 18 students helped out with trail related projects. 12 of them worked on bench cutting a trail that last year's crew began building and the other 6 worked on brush removal along an abandoned lakeside trail in camp.
 
Also in the works is a brand new map of all the roads and trails within camp. The project involves Quantum GIS, a free software package that is very powerful but also has a steep learning curve. Trails and roads are categorized based on their status, maintenance level, width, and more. Each segment of trail or road between intersections is tracked independently so eventually a user will be able to piece together a route comprised of any chain of segments.
 
Finally, a separate trails effort is underway to mark and cleanup a number of trails within the core area of camp for use during the summer Boy Scout camp program. These trails provide connectivity between camp sites and key destinations within camp and have seen some neglect over the years. It's nice to see so much interest lately in trails within Treasure Valley!
 
Leominster State Forest
Members of Wachusett NEMBA participated in DCR Park Serve Day in LSF on April 30th. We repaired broken boardwalks, cleared fallen trees from the trails, and installed non-slip mesh to the surfaces of the boardwalks in Spooky Forest. It's great to see this kind of collaborative relationship with DCR MassParks.

Brian and Kara's Thursday Hopkinton SP Ride

Event Date

Repeats every week every Thursday until Thu Nov 17 2016 except Thu Jun 16 2016, Thu Jun 23 2016, Thu Jul 07 2016, Thu Jul 28 2016, Thu Sep 15 2016, Thu Oct 13 2016.
6/30/16 6:00pm to 8:00pm
The Thursday night ride series at Hopkinton State Park are novice/intermediate paced, no drop rides. While the park has a few small climbs and technical features, mainly the trails are flowy and fun, and not very technical.  Typically the rides last 1 to 1 1/2 hours and cover 6 to 8 miles.  Beginners are welcome, and we will split the ride into two groups if levels vary.

We ride most Thursdays, but check the BVNEMBA Facebook page or contact the ride leader to confirm.

Park in the cul-de-sac on Holly Lane in Ashland.  Wheels up at 6:00 PM.

Location

Hopkinton State Park, Starting at Holly Lane, Ashland

Chapter

State

Massachusetts

Ride Level

Advanced-novice
Intermediate

Ride Types

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Brian Forestal

Public Ware River Watershed Trails Info Meeting

Date

1/13/16 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Amazingly it's been a year since our last public informational meeting about the public access issues to the large trail network in the Ware River Watershed. A lot has happened in that time. Let's discuss what's happened, where things stand, answer questions, and discuss next steps. We will also discuss other projects in the area to help find alternate places to recreate. We'll be sure to cover this as well: http://nemba.org/news/nemba-presents-ware-river-watershed-proposal-eoeea

Location

Rutland Town Library, 280 Main St, Rutland, MA 01543 -- Lower rear entrance

Chapter

Blackstone Valley Wachusett

Event Leader

Brett Russ, Friends of the Ware River Watershed, Wachusett NEMBA
bruss@alum.wpi.edu

NEMBA Presents Ware River Watershed Proposal to EOEEA

Friday, December 18, 2015

NEMBA Presents Ware River Watershed Proposal to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

 
Boston, MA, December 18, 2015:  Representatives from the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) met with the leadership of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) to discuss mountain bike access to the Ware River Watershed in central Massachusetts.

Wachusett NEMBA has formally requested that mountain biking be allowed on certain singletrack trails in the watershed and that the state collaborate with NEMBA and a newly formed Friends of the Ware River Watershed group on an independent analysis of the trail network.

According to Wachusett NEMBA’s Brett Russ, “we are grateful to Secretary Matthew Beaton, Undersecretary Ned Bartlett, Assistant Secretary Daniel Sieger, Director of Legislative Affairs Stolle Singleton as well as Senator Brownsberger, and Senator Anne Gobi’s aide John McNamara for taking the time to hear about the issues facing the citizens surrounding the 25,000-acre watershed. We believe that NEMBA’s proposal for greater access will be a win-win for everyone involved.”

The watershed has 35+ miles of singletrack trails that have been used by all manner of non-motorized recreationists including hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, hunters, fishermen, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers for decades. Mountain biking on singletrack was prohibited in 1994 under the management of the Metropolitan District Commission but was not enforced until August 2014.

“We believe that by partnering with NEMBA and allowing mountain biking in the watershed, we’ll be able to help steward the property and further protect the water supply”, says NEMBA executive director Philip Keyes.

While only a handful of singletrack trails are shown on the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) - Division of Water Supply Protection’s official maps, most of the singletracks have existed for decades. However, there are some new, unsanctioned trails that were built without permission which are of legitimate concern. However, rather than crack down on the activity of mountain biking, NEMBA proposes that the DCR partner with the organization to evaluate the existing trail system to determine which trails are sustainable and pose no threat to the water quality.

“We think that legitimizing mountain biking in the watershed will allow us to harness the energy of the recreating public to help protect this critical natural resource. Our members can help educate other trail users, report issues such as illegal trail building, dumping, and partying, and work to create a multi-user trails community that can maintain and protect the trails”, says Brett Russ. NEMBA hopes to partner with the newly formed Friends of the Ware River Watershed to build a broad community of trail stewards.

NEMBA is now in the process of providing more information to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and will continue to seek support to review and implement NEMBA’s proposal.

NEMBA will be planning an open meeting to discuss the proposal mid-January, 2016.

Link to NEMBA's Ware River Watershed Proposal (PDF)

In the photo, left to right, Bill Boles, Brett Russ, Secretary Matthew Beaton, Adam Glick, and Philip Keyes

PV NEMBA Chili Ride

Date

11/21/15 (All day)

Chili Ride #7 is scheduled for Saturday, November 21st! 

The Chili Ride is a great way to round out the fall: a 2-3 hour mountain bike ride on classic Wendell singletrack at an intermediate pace, followed by a chili-themed potluck at Bill's house across the street from park headquarters. 

The rides start at 12:30pm from the Wendell Ranger Station (392 Montague Road, Wendell MA) and will go for about 2-3 hours. 
This will be an unmarked ride, and groups can go out as they form (self-guided) or join a local expert for a tour of their favorite trails. All riders are welcome (note that there will not be a designated beginner ride), there will be a hiking group for anyone interested! 

This late in the year New England weather can be unpredictable so be sure to layer up, bring snacks and plenty of hydration. We should not be needing lights for this ride but feel free to bring one, just to be on the safe side. As it is hunting season bright colors are strongly encouraged!

Chili Cookoff:
As before, we will be having a chili cook-off this year - bring your favorite chili, side dish, appetizer or dessert for a chance to be crowned the 2015 PV NEMBA Chili Champion!!

The party after the ride will be at Bill Gabriel's house just before the ranger station on the right (334 Wendell Road, Millers Falls); if you're bringing food you can drop it off at his house before the ride between 11:45am and 12:15pm. You can also leave your car in his driveway and bike over to the ranger Station (parking will be limited at the ranger station).


Directions to the Wendell Ranger Station:
From the east or west: Take Rte. 2 to Rte. 63 south through Miller Falls, Wendell Rd. over R.R. bridge, take Montague Rd. and follow signs.
From the north or south: Take Rte 47 North to Route 63 North. Travel approximately 6 miles and follow lead in signs approximately 2 miles to the Park Headquarters. (From RT63: turn right on Highland St (before center of Millers Falls) to intersection with S Prospect St, turn right onto S Prospect St and follow that all the way up -turns into Wendell Rd, bear right)

Directions to Bill Gabriel's house (from Millers Falls):
Follow the signs to Wendell State Forest. Bill's house is on the right just before the Ranger Station, brown house with a red barn sitting back from the road (334 Wendell Road, Millers Falls).

Feel free to contact me with questions for further information, car pooling or just to let me know you're coming. Hope to see you all soon! If you're unsure if the ride is still happening (rain, heat, surprise blizzard etc.) call me the day of the ride - leave a message and your phone number if I don't pick up and I will call you back.

Location: Wendell State Forest, Park Headquarters, 392 Montague Road, Wendell MA
Contact: Bill - barkeater334@gmail.com - 413-423 3737

Chapter

Pioneer Valley

Trail

Event Leader

Bill Gabriel
barkeater334@gmail.com
413-423 3737

Old Furnace Fun Ride

Date

10/24/15 (All day)

Old Furnace has undergone some vast improvements made possible from the funds raised at our 2014 Old Furnace Fun Ride. This year we are looking to raise money to complete the bridge project and improve other sections of the park. 

This year's EFTA/NEMBA Fun Ride will have intermediate and advance loop options. 

Old Furnace State Park is one of the Quiet Corner's hidden gems. For a small park, this place can pack a punch. Challenging terrain, daunting climbs, daring rollers, cliff edge ridge lines, and more. Bring your legs!

Parking: Ross' Pond Lot (Boat Launch)  just beyond 223 Ross Rd. Danielson, CT 06239 follow the signs.

9am - 11am Registration 

*Helmets Required*

All loops will be marked for self guided rides or join a guided ride. 

$10 Members
$15 Non Members 

15 & Under ride FREE

**All proceeds raised go toward a bridge and boardwalk project within the park.**

Location

Old Furnace State Park

Chapter

Quiet Corner

Trail

Event Leader

Stacey Jimenez
quietcornernemba@gmail.com

KIDS RIDE - Kona Bicycles MTB Adventure Ride at Great Brook Farm SP

Event Date

9/13/15 10:15am to 11:30am
Come join MVNEMBA for a Kids’ Ride at the Kona Bicycles MTB Adventure Ride at Great Brook Farm SP on Sunday September 13th. Kids’ Rides are a great way for kids and teens to build strong bodies, build confidence, have tons of fun and enjoy being outside! The ride begins at 10:15 and will go between 2-3 miles depending on group. For more information about the day including directions, please visit http://www.nemba.org/events/kona-bicycles-mtb-adventure-ride-great-brook....

Chapter

State

Massachusetts

Ride Level

Beginner
Novice
Advanced-novice

Ride Types

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Barry Moore

Kona Bicycles MTB Adventure Ride at the Charlemont Trail System

Date

8/9/15 9:00am to 3:30pm

Join Pioneer Valley NEMBA for their Mountain Bike Adventure Ride at the Charlemont Trails System on August 9th, 2015.

The ride will begin and end at the Warfield House banquet parking lot.   Charlemont Trails System, is a relatively new MTB destination set on both sides of the picturesque Deerfield River Valley and straddling Route 2 - less than 20 miles west of Greenfield.  Most of the trails are hilly, but we'll do our best to keep the shorter loops with the climbing on open dirt roads and double track.  The easiest loop will consist of a long gravel road descent then climb to a beautiful meadow.  From the meadow riders will descend a gently flowing single track to a large plateau with a nice network of linked non-technical trails.  Following this section, riders will climb a double track back to the meadow then descend and climb back to Warfield House.  The Middle Loop will begin as the easiest loop, but after returning to the meadow, riders will ride the upper east side single-track consisting of Game Trail, Sweet 16, and the CTS Signature Enduro segment - Red Zone to Rice Brook.  After Rice Brook, riders will climb back to Warfield House.  The Long Loop will add the Warfield Zoar Connector, TV Tower, Lost and Happy Days to the mix. For those who need a bigger ride, the Hero Option will break south off the Long Loop at the start of TV Tower and instead loop down to Zoar via West Side, Out of Gas, and finally climbing back up to the Connector on King Philip's.  Once back at the TV Tower intersection they'll continue with the Long Loop.
 
After all riders are through with their rides, but not before 1:00 PM, they are encouraged to present their NEMBA wrist band at Thunder Mountain Bike Park for a 50% off afternoon ticket.  That's  4 hours of lift accessed Mountain Bike riding at the hottest destination in the East for $15.00!

GoogleMap to the Warfield House Inn: 200 Warfield Rd., Charlemont MA


 

Location

Charlemont, MA

Chapter

Pioneer Valley

Trail

Event Leader

Harold Green
harold.f.green@gmail.com

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