Wrentham State Forest
The Wrentham State Forest in Southeastern Massachusetts is laced with an almost uncountable number of motorcycle type singletracks, jeep trails, and a few slightly maintained forest service roads. Wrentham does not have a campground, lake, river or even a headquarters building. Just 1,064 acres of well drained, lightly hilled woodland trails. The forest is the center of most of the areas hunting activity. One special feature unique to Wrentham is a single-track under Route 495. But more on that later. Wrentham State Forest is actually a part of the F. Gilbert Hills State Forest, which has three sections that are located in the towns of Foxboro, Wrentham and Franklin.
The DCR's Wrentham State Forest handout map does not show 50% of the existing trails that are in use. This means that you will have a great time getting yourself lost and found while you explore. Just remember the forest is bisected by Route 495 which runs from East to West and by Taunton Street which runs from North to South. Any paved road that you come upon other than Taunton Street is outside of the forest. And that knowledge, along with the DCR map and the map below, is all you need to have a great ride.
For your first ride at Wrentham, start at the main parking lot located at 700 Taunton Street. Enter the woods behind the lot and keeping the traffic noise on your left, try to ride all of the trails that are closest to the highway fence as you proceed West. When you reach the paved road, (Route 1A), you will be out of the forest. Retrace your route to the first jeep road that heads left (North) and ride the most defined trails as you head back towards the start. At the minimum this will net you 4 miles of single-track on your Eastern leg and at least 6 on your way back. With this brief introduction to the forest you're ready to explore. And explore you will. The side trails will lead you to additional single-tracks, and so on...
For your second ride cross Taunton Street and enter the woods behind the large Wrentham State Forest sign. Turn left or right at the first intersection - and explore. Oh! The forest's motorcycle trail is marked with yellow arrows. It's quite difficult in spots, but offers a good introduction to the forest.
There is another section of the forest just South of Route 495.The easiest way to get there is to head South on Taunton Street until you cross over Route 495. Then take your next right on George Street and follow any of the trails leading off George Street on your right or your left.
Now for the surprise. Remember that drainage culvert you noticed along your way West? It leads under route 495 and connects to the trails in the Southern portion of the forest. Try it! Although the inside of the pipe is a little slippery, it is ridable. And it's a kick being under the traffic for a change.
Continuing on, the jeep trails on the South side of the forest lead to a vast array of motorcycle, jeep and ATV trails that run through Plainfield, Attleborough, North Attleborough and even into Rhode Island. Bring along a local town road map to help you find a quick way back to your start.
Riding in Wretham will test your limits. Not many hills, and not much mud, but the difficult, technical single tracks seem to go on forever, and in fact much farther than you will. Why not find out for yourself?
The Wrentham State Forest parking lot and trailhead is located on Taunton Street in the center of the forest, and it usually has a copy of the 'good' map on its signboard. To get there head South from the intersections of routes 495 and 1 and take a right on Route 152 (Taunton Street) towards Wrentham. After you go over Route 495, look for the parking lot on your left.
It's easy to get lost here. Bring a copy of the map with you, and if all else fails, listen for highway noise. You'll never be too far from Route 495 or a paved road. During hunting season expect to find hunters. (There's no hunting in Massachusetts on Sundays.)
Map: This map was drawn by local rider Pete Lewis. It shows most of the forest's trails.