Central MA

NEMBA & DCR Partner to Open 15-mile Singletrack Trail Network at Dubuque State Forest

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

(HAWLEY, MASS.) – The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) announce a partnership to open a 15-mile network of single-track trails at Dubuque State Forest.
“Dubuque’s single-track trails wind through gorgeous and diverse woodlands and offer a variety of challenges, loops and scenic features that mountain bikers seek,” says Harold Green, President of the PV-NEMBA Chapter. “But these trails will also provide new opportunities for cross-country skiers, hikers and trail runners as well.”
Before approving this trail network, the DCR carefully assessed each trail to ensure that the network would protect important natural and culture resources, but also provide excellent recreational experiences to a variety of users. 
PV-NEMBA has agreed to organize volunteer trail maintenance and stewardship of the new trail system, help monitor against illegal trail building and work to educate trail users about etiquette and stewardship.
We are very excited about this partnership to expand recreational opportunities at Dubuque,” said DCR Commissioner, Leo P. Roy.  “We expect that this new trail network will draw users from both the Pioneer Valley and Berkshire County to Hawley, and we believe that excellent trail networks and recreation can have economic benefits to local communities and the region. “
DCR and NEMBA are currently working to install signs, create new on-line maps, and build some additional trail connections.

PV NEMBA Chili Ride


11/13/16 12:30pm to 3:30pm

This will be Pioneer Valley NEMBA's 8th annual Chili Ride. It's a 2-3 hour mountain bike ride on some of the dopest singletrack New England has to offer, followed by a potluck and chili cook-off hosted by the ever-so-gracious Bill Gabriel. Great prizes, great food, great riding and great company - so come on down to ring out the season in style!

The event starts at 12:30, hopefully to beat the morning's chill. The party will go on until . . .

Chili Ride Facebook Page


Berkshire Pioneer Valley


Event Leader

Bill Gabriel

NEMBA Kids Ride - Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

Event Date

10/1/16 9:00am to 1:00pm

We have been actively watching the weather and have strong confidence that the Fells will receive significant enough rain starting tonight and running through the conclusion of the scheduled kids ride tomorrow to make conditions at the fells difficult for riding. As sad as we are to be rained out three years in a row our goal is to make any ride we sponsor to be fun and safe. We still have one kids ride left on Sunday, November 27 at the Fells. See you then!

This Saturday is Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day and GBNEMBA plans to once again celebrate! Come join us for some biking, arts & crafts, food and much more.

Come join us as we celebrate International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day at the Middlesex Fells! There will be guided rides at 9:30am and 10:30am. BBQ Lunch at noon, crafts and a raffle for some sweet bike swag!

The Kids’ Rides are designed for children ages 6-15.  Based on the skill levels of the participants, we typically break into two groups: one for kids who have more experience with riding, and a second group for beginners.  All we ask is no training wheels. 
No registration is required.  If you have any questions about the Kids’ Rides please contact Andrea Jones.

These rides allow children to have fun while enjoying the outdoors and getting some fitness.  In addition to learning some biking skills, we teach respect for the parks, trails, and other trail users.  The ride will be well staffed and every safety precaution will be observed (we typically have one of the MTB Patrol along if first aid is needed).  Parents are welcome on the ride but not required.  Riders must have a serviceable bike, properly fitted helmet, and water for the ride.  All riders must wear closed-toed shoes - no flip flops or sandals.  Snacks will be provided! Read more about [node:title]




Ride Level


Ride Types

Ride Style


Ride Leader Name

Andrea Jones

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.


Hopkinton State Park, Starting at Holly Lane, Ashland




Ride Level


Ride Types

Ride Style


Ride Leader Name

Brian Forestal

DCR Funding

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

For many years the DCR has endured staggering budget and staffing cuts. But next year could be different.

In an effort to insure that the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has adequate funding NEMBA has joined Massachusetts Conservation Voters in seeking to adequatly fund the agency.

                     Our collective early succes has been torpedoed by Gov. Baker.  Let's act now to reverse this.  See below!

  Here's a note from MCV.

                              New Setback - Act Now


Dear Massachusetts Conservation Voters and Supporters,

Gov. Charlie Baker has vetoed $2.3 million from the Legislature’s proposed FY 2021 budget for the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Parks and Recreation Operations Account (2810-0100).

Last spring and summer, DCR saw triple digit attendance increases at many parks, forests and beaches. Given our ongoing public health crisis, the additional funding is critical because there is no reason to doubt this trend will continue as winter rolls into spring and summer.  

In addition to cutting the legislative Conference Committee’s proposed $51.5 million to $49.2 million, Gov. Baker also included language that mandates DCR provide the same level of service it struggled to provide last year. We at MCV feel the goal is impossible to achieve.

Click here to contact your legislators.
Ask them to override Gov. Baker’s veto of line item 2810-0100

         A quick Phone Call or Email will only take you a minute or two. 

DCR performed more than admirably this past spring and summer. Despite an inability to collect entry fees, a major source of revenue, DCR supplied all of us with scarce but essential recreational opportunities during the worst pandemic in 100 years.  

We greatly appreciate your efforts to get us this far. We don't like calling on you again so soon, especially during the holiday season. But call upon you we must. The Legislature will finalize the budget in a matter of days. Help us build support to override the governor’s veto and restore the Conference Committee’s $51.5 figure for line item 2810-0100

DCR proved beyond all doubt its services are essential to our physical and mental wellbeing. Let’s reward, not punish, DCR for a job well done with the ability to continue doing its job. Contact your legislators and ask them to override Gov. Baker’s veto of line item 2810-0100. The park you save may be your own. 

Yours in conservation,
Doug Pizzi
Executive Director

                           TAKE ACTION NOW

Berkshire East Ride


Repeats every week every Thursday 30 times .
3/31/16 (All day)

Berkshire East hosts a Pioneer Valley NEMBA ride every Thursday starting at 6:00 PM. The rides choose different trails every week and are a lot of fun.

They are aimed at advanced beginner and up level riders. 

For more information and to make sure that the ride is on, contact the ride's leader.


Pioneer Valley

Event Leader

Harold Green

Public Ware River Watershed Trails Info Meeting


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


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


Blackstone Valley Wachusett

Event Leader

Brett Russ, Friends of the Ware River Watershed, Wachusett NEMBA

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