Over the past three years CNH-NEMBA has devoted many resources to the trails at Page Hill. This trail network was born at the tail end of 2010 when Lakes Region Conservation Trust approached our chapter about developing trails on the 470 acre parcel. We spent that autumn scouting the boundaries and control points to feed them into a long term master plan. Three and a half years and over 1,200 volunteer-hours later we have a trail system with over 7 miles of singletrack for intermediate to advanced riders. With the hilly and technical nature of the trails (and a little double track sprinkled in) you can easily put together a 2-3 hour ride.
When we broke ground in the spring of 2011 we were starting from scratch. Our first goal was to build a bi-directional loop that would keep a rider pedaling for 1 to 2 hours. This meant using some of the existing doubletrack to link up our new trails. It also meant roughing-in some trails without taking the time to do all the rock work, bridging and benching that really make a trail fun to ride.
In 2012 we alternated between adding new singletrack and going back to improve sections that we had left rough, off-camber or wet. We kept tools wrapped in tarps out on the trail to allow for a mid-ride work session.
In 2013 we got caught up on all the major, nagging problem spots. In most cases we transformed the worst choppy, hike-a-bike sections into some of the most fun and flowing ones. With all the must-do fixes completed, we ended the year finally reaching our goal of having a full contiguous loop of about 7 miles or so of mostly singletrack with just a bit of doubletrack mixed in.
We wanted to keep our momentum going so we made big plans for 2014 centered around the construction of a new machine built flow trail. This trail will be a 1 mile, 350ft descent, one-way flow trail. As of July 2014 construction has begun and excellent progress is being made.
Our master trail plan has several other trails in various stages of planning and approval. Lakes Region Conservation Trust has been an amazing partner to work with in this endeavor. If/when we are successful in implementing the full plan Page Hill will feature 10-15 miles of excellent singletrack for all to enjoy.
Page Hill is a challenging place to ride. True beginners should probably check out Franklin Falls just down the road but Intermediate and Advanced riders looking for a challenge will love Page Hill for its mix of flow, elevation gain and technical features. The height of land is in the northwest corner of the property and the fall line trends southeast across the property. If you are heading either north or west you are probably climbing, south or east and you are probably descending.
Most trails at Page Hill ride great in both directions. You can mix and match depending on whether you are looking for technical descents or ascents. The exception to that rule would be Magikal Mystery Tour (or MMT) with some of the steep ravines and hairpin turns that trail rides best in the clockwise direction. Bear Claw, Hard Hat, Hydra, and Spring Trail all have great flow. The terrain at Page Hill is somewhat challenging to work with. Many of the trails have long bench cuts when we needed to go across the fall line to cut the slope. You will find well built bridges here and there to span drainages.
For those looking for a true challenge, a ‘real mountain biker’s trail’ look no further than The Dude Abides. This trail takes you over the high point of the property and will require you to use all of your line picking skills to their fullest. Technical ridge riding, rock garden puzzles, an excellent full body workout.