Northern CT

NW CT NEMBA Weekly Social Intermediate Ride

Event Date

Repeats every week every Thursday until Thu Aug 28 2014 .
5/8/14 5:30pm to 8:00pm

Margie will be leading intermediate rides on Thursday nights starting May 8th. Ride length and intensity will vary depending on who shows up that week. Rides may also be split into 2 or more groups to accommodate different levels of ability and/or interest. Rides are somewhat technical and are typically 8-10 miles depending on the group and the amount of daylight. We try to be back to the parking lot before dark, but if you have lights it would be a good idea to bring them just in case. This year we'll be implementing the "Second Rider Drop" method which will be explained before we ride.

We'll meet at the Nassahegon Soccer Fields on Punch Brook Rd in Burlington, CT at 5:30pm. The aim is to get rolling by 5:45pm. Please let Margie know if you plan on making it, so the group can start as soon as everyone gets there.

Check our Facebook page or email Margie for updates and cancellations.

If you're unfamiliar with the Soccer Fields parking location you can use the following address in your GPS:
273 Punch Brook Rd
Burlington CT 06013 Read more about NW CT NEMBA Weekly Social Intermediate Ride

Location

Soccer fields on Punch Brook Rd in Burlington CT

Chapter

State

Connecticut

Ride Level

Advanced-novice
Intermediate
Advanced-intermediate
Advanced

Ride Types

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Margie Bowen

Quiet Corner NEMBA's Sunday Weekend Warrior Ride

Friday, April 18, 2014

Start time and location varies. Ride typically takes place on Sunday, but may change to Saturday due to weather or ride location. Details for each week's ride are posted in the Chapter's Facebook Group Forum.

If you are looking to get out in the woods, have some fun, and stretch your skills, feel free to join us. The group will stop to play on skinnies, drops and other features along the way.

If you are looking for fast paced, high mileage, smooth single track, this is probably not the ride for you.

Sample Locations:

Bigelow Hollow - Union, CT
Miller's Pond - Durham, CT
Rockland Preserve - Madison, CT
Case Mountain - Manchester, CT
Lincoln Woods, Lincoln, RI
Arcadia - Exeter, RI
Vietnam, Milford, MA
Foxboro (Gilbert Hills) State Forest - Foxboro, MA
Harold Parker - North Andover, MA
Abram's Rock - Swansea, MA
Highland Mountain Bike Park - Northfield, NH

For More Information

NW CT NEMBA Weekly Social Beginner/Novice Ride

Event Date

Repeats every week every Monday until Mon Aug 25 2014 except Mon May 26 2014.
5/5/14 5:30pm to 8:00pm

Cara will be leading beginner rides on Monday nights as of May 5th. Anyone who is interested/knows someone who is interested, please be sure to respond when I post a ride. This ride is open to 'more advanced' riders as a way to just spin the legs for recovery after a weekend of killer rides (that's my way of asking for assistance when you're legs are dead but you still want to head out...). The ride will be a slow pace and depending on the group, may include several stops to work on things - or to just catch a breath! Distance will depend on how well the newbies do - no pressure!

We'll meet at the Nassahegon Soccer Fields on Punch Brook Rd in Burlington, CT at 5:30pm. The aim is to get rolling by 5:45-6pm. Please let Cara know if you plan on making it, so the group can start as soon as everyone gets there.

Check our Facebook page or email Cara for updates and cancellations.

If you're unfamiliar with the Soccer Fields parking location you can use the following address in your GPS:
273 Punch Brook Rd
Burlington CT 06013 Read more about NW CT NEMBA Weekly Social Beginner/Novice Ride

Location

Soccer fields on Punch Brook Rd in Burlington CT

Chapter

State

Connecticut

Ride Level

Beginner

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Cara Regan

QC NEMBA - Weekend Warrior Ride

Event Date

Repeats every week every Sunday 1000 times .
5/14/17 (All day)

If you are looking to get out in the woods, have some fun, and stretch your skills, feel free to join us. The group will stop to play on skinnies, drops and other features along the way. We ride together, play together, teach and learn from on another. This is often a technical based ride for intermediate and up riders.

If you are looking for steady fast paced, high mileage, smooth single track, this is probably not the ride for you.

Starting time and location vary. The ride typically takes place on Sunday, but may change to Saturday due to weather or ride location. This is a year round ride, but revolves around ride leader availability.

Details for each week's ride are posted in the Chapter's Facebook Group Forum. www.facebook.com/groups/QuietCornerNEMBA Read more about QC NEMBA - Weekend Warrior Ride

Location

Varies week to week

Chapter

State

Connecticut

Ride Level

Intermediate
Advanced-intermediate
Advanced

Ride Types

Ride Style

Technical/Freeride

Ride Leader Name

Stacey
860-230-1237

Northern CT

Old Furnace State Park

300 South Frontage Rd
Killingly  Connecticut  06239
United States

Easy

15%

Moderate

65%

Difficult

20%

Description

Located in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut is a small state park known as Old Furnace State Park. Although the park is only 367 acres, this little known gem has many miles packed into the park. A ride can be upwards of 16 miles depending on how creative you get, but typically Old Furnace is the perfect place to sneak out for a 2 hour ride with a good amount of climbing.

Most of the trails are classic New England mountain biking; rocky, rooty and technical. The perfect example of this is a short steep rocky and rooty trail locals call Roots n Ladders, one climb up and you will understand where the name comes from.  Another trail that that is the exact opposite; named Orange Crush, is approximately 3/4th of a mile of smooth climbing which leads up to a cliff lookout 200 feet above Upper Ross Pond, take the trail in reverse and it is a fast, smooth and flowy decent back towards the South Frontage Rd parking lot. There are also a couple fire road style trails that are perfect for beginners or just a mellow ride.

Directions:

From the junction of Route 6 and Route 395 (Exit 91) in Killingly, proceed east on Route 6.  Take the first right onto South Frontage Rd, Parking lot will be on the right (0.2 mile from Route 6).

Local Shops

Downtown Putnam Cyclery

Danielson Adventure Sports

Links to Relevant Resources

Northern CT

Pachaug State Forest

208 Ekonk Hill Rd
Voluntown  Connecticut  06384
United States

(860) 376-4075

Easy

20%

Moderate

50%

Difficult

30%

Description

"Don't judge a book by its cover." "First impressions can be deceiving." "Things aren't always as they appear."  "It was the best of trails and the worst of trails."  "Parts of this place do actually include good singletrack and no smell of horse droppings." All of these are phrases that reflect the reality of Pachaug State Forest.

Pachaug is in the northeastern corner of Connecticut, easily accessible for local riders as well as many from Rhode Island and central or eastern Massachusetts. It is Connecticut's largest state park and its proximity to us in Boston's western 'burbs made it an appealing place to try. It's actually comprised of two sections: Green Falls to the south, which we skipped, and Chapman to the north, which was our focus.

 

When we first arrived, we used the main entrance and shortly found the headquarters. No one was around, but a box had a cache of maps. They weren't topographical, a detail that would come back to haunt us, but they had more trails than the maps we found online. We drove up the road a bit farther and parked near a main camping area in the middle of the park and once we had our bearings, we set out.

 

We'll spare the details, but here's the short version of the next several hours of riding around the central part of the park: lots of horses and the pervasive smell to prove it; Mount Misery is aptly named and doesn't have good single track to and from it to be worth seeing; everything seemed to be uphill or, when downhill, involved handing bikes to each other across impassable streams and swamps; people riding up from the southern section reported, with great irritation, a lot of trees down due to winter storms or Dutch Elm Disease which rendered those trails useless to mountain bikers.

 

By mid-afternoon, as we found ourselves back near where we started and knowing we needed to once again go up the same long hill on a well-groomed main road in order to get to new singletrack, we were struggling to maintain our sunny disposition. So we took a timeout. As we downed protein bars, Cliff shots, and water, we took stock of our situation. We didn't have much time left but had not begun to explore the northern part of the park. We mapped out a route that at least seemed to offer singletrack with potentially fewer swamps.

 

This is when our day began to stop stinking, figuratively and literally. We had some tough singletrack initially, with some intimidating rocks, washouts, and scree, forcing us to ride lighter and faster despite the fatigue. Shortly after passing a field of curious cows on a trail at the edge of the park, we came to a long, tricky downhill that was a blast to navigate.

 

As our day came to an end and we processed it over the post ride beer and drive back (no, not at the same time), we felt much better about the late-day biking than the earlier experiences. Unless someone wanted to focus on their uphill skills in the midst of a hundred year drought, we didn't believe we could recommend riding Pachaug. But we weren't ready to give up on it, either. We decided to more fully explore the northern part the following weekend.

 

Things started off beautifully on the second day, what with a cool, sunny morning, a pickup with a couple of bikes, happy riders, and a supply of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. We'd done some research and tracked down a topographical map that revealed we'd previously spent much of our ride stuck in a ravine, which explained the never-ending uphill slogs. The northern section had more variety and we sought out a parking space at Hell Hollow Pond, which was in the middle of that part of the park and a lot of promising trails.

 

Once our ride was underway, we began to feel as if our incessant optimism would be rewarded. Oh, sure, there was uphill right from the beginning, but it was singletrack this time. And it had small "moguls" which were fun. After this and a couple of more trails, we came to a clearing and stopped for a snack. We happily realized there were a series of trails to choose from. Better yet, no smell of horse poo hung heavy in the air. We mapped out the next leg and were off again. We found a couple of the best stretches of downhill so far. Big rocks, little rocks, scree fields, washouts, tight corners, roller coaster terrain, we found it all and loved it. Our next break was at Locke's Meadow Pond. Not as scenic as Hell Hollow Pond, but still nice and completely isolated and a good spot to rehydrate. We thought we'd be plodding along a boring gravel road in order to get to the next set of trails but found it was much rougher than it appeared on the map. This made for a more enjoyable transition to the next set of trails.

 

These next trails continued to be good rides, although we did have some challenges. Some of it was too hard to ride, some had downed trees, and some had trails that were tough to see. Still, there's no crying in mountain biking so we dealt with it and eventually looped back to the truck to refuel and resupply.

 

Our last legs included a set of trails just north of where we'd left off the previous weekend, giving us a better feel for how we might best string together some trails. We found some variety to the landscape with more tall pines and deeper forests, but still with plenty of scree to navigate. After several trails, with the day getting late and the constant uphill getting tedious, we had a blast by riding in reverse, enjoying a lot of long downhill. None of it was too steep but all of it required paying attention and picking out good lines or fighting to salvage bad ones without bailing. They were great to ride and reluctantly we found ourselves collapsing on the grass by the pond.

 

We reflected on Pachaug and realized it has its challenges: parts can't be ridden; the amount of horses or dirt bikes hauling down trails can be a challenge; the park isn't in great shape: some trails seem to disappear and others are getting overgrown; the central section isn't much fun. But once we figured it out, we realized it also has a lot going for it: Hell Hollow Pond is an excellent parking spot for the northern part of the park. There is a lot of good singletrack, even if you occasionally have to scout to find the trail or backtrack if you can't. And there's variety to the landscape and some pretty spots. Most importantly, there are some great riding features to this place, allowing it to offer something for every type of rider. It has plenty of dirt and gravel roads for the beginner; it has a lot of technical, scree-filled trails for the intermediate rider. Some of those same trails can have tougher lines and sections for the advanced rider. It rewards technique over power, but endurance is definitely required - its maximum elevation of 441 feet is deceptive as it manages to generate a lot of longer ups and downs. It's great for riding light, working on your line selection and endurance, and when you're on singletrack, you're pretty isolated. There are also camping facilities, so if you did an overnight you could explore on the first day, map out your second day over some cold beers, and ride the best parts on day two. Ultimately, we'd just really recommend giving this place more than one try.

 

Directions:

Last but not least, any day-long ride isn't complete until your post-ride "rehydration". If you're staying local, there's the Olde Town Pub in town, and Foxwoods is only about ten miles away. If you're heading back up interstate 395 then just over the border in Massachusetts and just off the highway is Point Breeze, a restaurant on Lake Webster with outdoor dining, cold beer, and great cocktails. You may need to change out of your riding gear but it's a fantastic view to admire as you sit and compare your first impressions with your final ones.

 

From the South: take I-395 north, Exit 85. Go through the 1st light at the next stop light. Take a right onto Route 138 east. Follow for 9 miles to Voluntown then take a left onto Route 49 north. Forest entrance will be 1 mile ahead on the left.

From the North: take I-395 south, Exit 85. At the end of the exit ramp, take a left onto Route 138 east. Follow for 9 miles then take a left onto Route 49 north. Forest entrance will be 1 mile on the left.

By Jason Bell & Sarah Ahearn Read more about Pachaug State Forest

Local Shops

Blackstone Bicycles

East Providence Cycles

Downtown Putnam Cyclery

Danielson Adventure Sports

Links to Relevant Resources

Quiet Corner

Quiet Corner NEMBA formed to help advocate for the maintenance and development of trails in Old Furnace State Park and other riding areas in northeast Connecticut. We plan to ensure for the long time stability and availability of all of these trails by building relationships with landowners and property managers, and to identify and formally recognize trails through publication, mapping and signage.

We wish to not only maintain and develop great trail systems, but also promote mountain biking by creating riding opportunities for the mountain bike community, especially focusing on getting more families involved in the sport.

Northern CT

Goodwin State Forest

23 Potter Road
Hampton  Connecticut  06247
United States

(860) 455-9534

Easy

35%

Moderate

50%

Difficult

15%

Description

Goodwin State Forest has something for everyone. With 17 miles of trails within, plus Airline Trail access, and abutting access into Natchuag State Forest, Goodwin provides numerous options for all riding abilities.

The Air Line Trail, part of the East Coast Greenway,  is easily accessible, runs straight through the forest and provides a wide, smooth, level, picturesque trail for riders of any level. Perfect for families and casual riders.

The numerous blazed trails within Goodwin State Forest range from double wide cart roads to double wide rock gardens, to tight technical single track.

Whether you are looking for an easy casual ride, an intermediate loop, or extended miles of ever changing terrain, Goodwin has what you are looking for. To extend your ride even further and rack up some serious miles, look at combining your Goodwin experience on into Natchaug State Forest and back.

Directions:

Take Route 6 west. After the Rt. 97 intersection (don't take this, just note where it is), travel about two miles further and Goodwin SF is on the right hand side.

Rules:

Take care going around certain corners as equestrians frequent the park as well.
The pond offers fishing, but no swimming.


  Read more about Goodwin State Forest

Local Shops

Downtown Putnam Cyclery

Danielson Adventure Sports

Links to Relevant Resources

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