Central MA

Kona Bicycles MTB Adventure Ride at the Charlemont Trail System


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



Charlemont, MA


Pioneer Valley


Event Leader

Harold Green

Central MA

North Quabbin Trails Association

131 W Main Street
Orange  Massachusetts  01364
United States



The North Quabbin Trails Association is located in the historic hills and river basins of north central Massachusetts We have many miles of newly connected trails and would like to extend a unique and educational opportunity to NEMBA members.

NQTA is a Trail Design & Development, Stewardship and Hiking non-profit organization dedicated to collaboration. It seeks to bring together the entire outdoor trail community for the betterment of the North Quabbin Region.

Our core mission is the creation of the Quabbin to Monadnock Trail (Q&M), a 200+ mile East – West Forest Legacy Loop Trail with 12-15 overnight shelters. The West side is the N.E. Scenic Trail. The East side is a series of preexisting trail systems connected together.

Many miles of trails are available now. NQTA is constantly engaged in creating new trails for outdoor enthusiasts and looks forward to sharing that information with trail users both near and far. Stewardship opportunities and hikes are posted on the website, many of which unveil new trails. The offices of NQTA and monthly gatherings are held at the Millers River Environmental Center in Orange, MA.

NQTA is in the final mapping, gps and gis tracking of the Q + M trail and is working with naturalist guide book author John Burk on a 150 page Q + M trail map and guide which will be completed within a year.

Of interest to NEMBA members is the re-branding of our uniquely beautiful N Quabbin region into 7 geographical zones.

These are the Monadnocks, The Tully Basin, The Millers Basin, The Swift Valley Basin, The Quabbin, The State Forests and Mount Grace / Northfield.

This is the corridor of the Q + M and it’s an amazing connection of water, hills and forests.

NEMBA members are invited to come, enjoy a section and then return to complete other sections at their convenience.

This directly ties into the 'Stay and Play' theme that NQTA has established with its Explore North Quabbin partners. Imagine a 2-3 day adventure were you can stay at some of our lodgings, with great places nearby to eat and shop.

NQTA welcomes NEMBA in for jamborees and will work closely to help with logistics.

In addition NQTA would like to offer NEMBA a unique stewardship and mapping opportunity.

Starting right now we’d like NEMBA members to join with us out in bettering these newly connected trails. As the leading mountain bike and stewardship organization NQTA would like to see NEMBA and its members act as partners. We need your input on trail conditions. Most importantly we’d like your assistance in setting up a grading system to rank the level of difficulty of our trail systems.

NQTA's first full length trail map and guide of Birch Hill / Lake Dennison is in publication and offers many miles of biking opportunities. The map is set up to highlight multi-use and mountain biking is an integral part with biking trails clearly marked.

This map and many others can be ordered on our website NQTA.ORG for $8.00.

Now for the more adventurous bikers is the new 16.3 mile Red Apple Trail System. The grand opening was held May 16th and it’s this intermediate trail system that NQTA would like to collaborate with NEMBA on.  So come out and start the evaluation and stewardship process. Or, just go explore. Contact me for more information.

NQTA as a mapping organization has over a dozen new trail maps available as part of our $20.00 / $35.00 family membership.

NQTA at its core is organized as a stewardship and mapping collaboration and we actively seek NEMBA's partnership and experience in helping to create these new trail systems.

Our headquarters are at the Orange Innovation Center, 131 W Main Street Orange, MA 01364.

We have our monthly Gathering the second Monday of every month. We have a great meal and normally have educational speakers.

We would welcome a team of NEMBA members to join us as guest speakers to educate NQTA members on your organization and the great stewardship work you have accomplished.

I sincerely hope to see you out on the trails, soon.

You can contact me personally via email at nqtrails@gmail.com. Please visit our 2 websites, NQTA.org and explorenorthquabbin.com to have better understanding of what NQTA has happening.

Upward and Onward!

Bobby Curley
NQTA President
and ENQ Co Chair

  Read more about North Quabbin Trails Association

Local Shops

Northampton Bicycle

Metrowest MA

Central MA

Southern New England Trunkline Trail

131 Grove St
Franklin  Massachusetts  02038
United States


There are many places to access the SNETT - See the maps








The Southern New England Trunkline Trail is a National Scenic Recreational Trail that runs from Franklin Massachusetts 86 Miles to Willimantic Connecticut. The Massachusetts portion is a linier park managed by the Department of Conservation and Recrretion.

This write-up concerms the Massachusetts portion starting in Franklin and ending near the Connecticut line in the Douglas State Forest.

Few people will ever ride the entire 22 miles. But, many people ride parts of it, using it to connect good riding areas.

The trail itself is straight, very flat but has many whoop-de-dos caused by off road vehicle use. It's very scenic and beloved by area equestrians. 

On the eastern end you have the trail dense Franklin State Forest.

On the western end in the Douglas State Forest there's an alternate staring area at 108 Wallum Lake Road where the SNETT crosses the road.

 From this point if you continue west you'll hit the Connecticut state line. Of particular interest is the Tri State Marker. A stone monolith that marks the intersection of RI, CT and MA. Ride around it and you'll hit three states in a second or two.  Where else can you do that?

Local Shops

Blackstone Bicycles

Legend Bicycles

Rose City Cycle

Steve The Bike Guy

Links to Relevant Resources

Trail Care and Build at West Hill Dam


5/17/15 9:30am to 1:00pm

We're going to clean up some winter debris, trim back some overgrowth and show some love to a few trails at West Hill Dam. If we get enough volunteers, there's even a re-route project we have to work on. We'll have a job for everyone, bring the kids!
What to bring:
Bug spray - ticks will be out in large numbers this year
Sunscreen - nobody likes to get sunburned
Work gloves - help prevent blisters, thorn sticks, etc
Long pants - thorns, bugs, etc
Sturdy footwear - we'll be hiking to/from the work sites and working on uneven terrain
Water! - staying properly hydrated is critical to your health
Snacks - Clif Bars, fruit, etc to keep yourself fueled through the morning
We'll provide a pizza lunch at the end of the work session.


West Hill Dam - 518 East Hartford Ave, Mendon, MA


Blackstone Valley

Event Leader

Mike Cove - BVNEMBA Liaison to West Hill Dam

PV NEMBA Ride @ Wendell SF

Event Date

Repeats every week every Tuesday 30 times .
5/19/15 (All day)
Wendell State Forest's 7000 acres hosts many miles of trails. Pioneer Valley NEMBA intends to explore many of them in a series of Tuesday evening rides this summer.

We'll meet at 5:00 and the rides wil start at 5:15. They'll last for 1.5 - 2 hours with some socializing afterwards.

Terrain and pace will be determined by whoever shows up. These will be, as all PV NEMBA rides are, no-drop rides.

Join us for a fun ride on trails that you may not be familiar with. If you do I expect that you'll come back again and again. Wendell's trails are that good.

For last minute updates incuding weather cancellations check the PV NEMBA Facebook page.

Location: The rides will start from Wendell's Park Headquarters building at 392 Wendell Rd in Millers Falls.


Wendell, MA




Ride Level


Ride Style


Ride Leader Name

Liam O'Brien

BVNEMBA Chapter Meeting


5/9/15 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Items to be discussed:
Additional VP/Park POC volunteers - Matt Chandler for Hodges, Mike Tonry for Plummers/Goat Hill and Douglas SF, Laura Zimmer for Whitehall and Upton SF, Mike Cove and Bill Dakai for West Hill Dam, Bill Dakai for Mendon Town Forest.
Annual election of officers - 
Incumbents: Eammon C. President, John G. V. President, Rich K. Treasurer, Anne S. Secretary.
New Candidates: ?
Mendon Town Forest trail care agreement
MBAS Ride at Mendon Town Forest (Southwick Zoo Trails) next year?
Trail building at West Hill Dam - Bill Dakai, Mike Cove
Weekly rides, Tue beginner rides, Thu intermediate rides other volunteers to lead a ride?
Read more about BVNEMBA Chapter Meeting


KBC Brewery, 9 Frederick St, Webster, MA


Blackstone Valley

Event Leader

Eammon Carleton

Ware River Watershed public info meeting


1/14/15 7:00pm

If you've ever used or hope to use the vast trail network in the 25,000 acre Ware River Watershed in Rutland, Oakham, Barre, and Hubbardston, MA for any non-motorized recreation, the recent issues and trail closures there affect you. The purpose of this meeting is to share information and bring everyone up to speed on the Watershed regulations, boundaries, authorized/unauthorized trails, recent trail closures, enforcement, etc. We'll answer all questions, clear up any rumors, and discuss partnership as a way forward.

The date is set and the venue is secured for the January meeting that we polled people for. We've closed the poll and are announcing the date as Wed Jan 14. We booked the large room in the downstairs of the Rutland Town Library, 280 Main St, Rutland, MA. The library is in the center of town, on Rte 122A, just to the left as you face the two churches. Enter in the lower rear library door. The meeting will start at 7pm but we've got the room starting at 6:30pm so feel free to come earlier so we can start on time. Please spread the word of this, would like to reach as many as possible. Thanks!

With that, we will begin spreading the word and your help is welcomed and needed to do this. To be sure, we are working to help solve the issues the DCR is facing in the watershed while at the same time balancing access for non-motorized trail users. We want more than anything to create a win-win arrangement and welcome you to join us on this journey.

Thanks for your help and hope to see you there


Rutland Town Library, 280 Main St, Rutland, MA


Blackstone Valley Pioneer Valley Wachusett

Event Leader

Brett Russ, VP Coldbrook Springs, Wachusett NEMBA

What Up (and Down) in Charlemont

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

If you haven't been riding in Charlemont, MA, next summer is the time to go.  

"The Recreation Capitol of New England" as Charlemont calls itself, is a wonderland of views, maple syrup, flannel shirts, grass fed beef cows, zip lining, rafting, kayaking, down hill skiing, snow tubing, and now, mountain biking.  In this quaint New England town nestled in between two mountain ridges in the Berkshires of Western Mass, the mountain bike scene is exploding as you read this. Three hubs of single-track, Warfield House, Zoar Outdoor, and Berkshire East, provide mountain bikers with a total of 35 miles of single track plus endless dirt and farm roads,  double tracks, and snowmobile trails. The town is bisected by the Deerfield River, Route 2, and a rail road.  A short road ride connects the riding hubs, with Berkshire East on the south side of the valley, and Zoar Outdoor and Warfield House on the north.

Building began in earnest about four or five years ago, when Jonathan , 'Jonny' Schaefer of Berkshire East Ski Resort, Bruce Lessels, owner of Zoar Outdoor (an outdoor adventure, outfitter, rafting and lodging company) and Harold Green, past president of NEMBA, were having a few beers at Warfield House and the idea to bring mountain biking to Charlemont in a big way was hatched.

The latest addition to the scene are down hill, one way, lift accessed trails being built at Berkshire East Ski Resort. Schaefer, manager of Berkshire East, and mountain bike rider says.  " We want to continue enjoyment of the outdoors year round. That's the way my brothers and I were brought up."   A progression of green to difficult black diamond trails are in the works.

Determined to do this the right way, Schaefer consulted with his insurance agent who recommended Gravity Logic, an international gravity trail building and resort-consulting firm based in Whistler BC.  Planning began in 2009, and lift serviced trails are scheduled to be open in 2015.  Jonathan Schaefer sees Berkshire East and the town of Charlemont as a center of activity for the many bicycling disciplines, from road rides, to gravel grinders, mountain bike races and other bicycling events.  Having the lift access trails as well as the numerous cross country trails already in place creates a great venue for enduro races (races which don't time the uphill, only the downhill sections), endurance rides such as the Whole Enchilada Ride, a 30 mile mountain bike ride touring both sides of the valley, and other mountain bike races and events. Berkshire East has the potential to meet the requirements for World Cup mountain biking events, something very few east coast resorts have.

Jon continued," We are committed to being a dynamic year round family destination and resort."  A paid trail crew is in the plan for the future and that crew may be working on the cross country as well as the down hill mountain bike trails.

"The easiest lift access trail is designed and built for first time down hill mountain bikers as young as 7 years old, and will be fun for more experienced and skilled riders as well." explained Gabe Porter -Henry, marketing manager of Berkshire East and another flannel clad employee of Berkshire East.    "High end mountain bikes, guided tours, and lessons will be available also."

Out on the trail following the whirring noise of the chainsaw, Chris Conrad, project manager for the crew from Gravity Logic, was clearing corridor for the 3 ½ mile green trail.  Originally from North Carolina, and an avid mountain biker, he headed to Colorado for his ' soul ride' and while riding found a job at a ski area building trail and eventually went to work for Gravity Logic.   "The first trail to open will be the green trail, wide (4 feet wide), with low grades of 5-7½ %, good sight lines through the turns, and low berm walls. Gravity Logic has guidelines for the trail designations that have been tested through experience.  The powder blue (novice/intermediate) trail will be 2 or 2 ½ miles long, with rollers, and is machine made also.  A true blue trail with tighter turns, bigger and steeper berms is in the plans.  The black diamond trail has a steeper average grade with some fall line on ledge and more technical features such as jumps and drops.  It will be a single track and mostly hand built."

Conrad explained the design process, " We meet with the client, look at topos, identify wet areas or other areas of concern, and for the green trails and machine built trails, access is very important. You want the green trail to start very near the top of the lift."  To cross downhill ski trails, the trail needs to be flat and straight. Out west, berms and other features can be constructed in ski trails due to a higher snow pack.

Further down the green trail, past a beautifully constructed wide berm with grade reversals to manage water and to control the speed of the rider, Kerry, another Gravity Logic employee, was running a full sized excavator across a couple of hundred feet of fractured rock.  A few days ago, the jack hammers crushed a swath of ledge into a manageable pile of rock.   Kerry is from out west, and this is the first time he has experienced the challenges of building trail in the east, but he was very enthusiastic about the opportunity to build here.  As trail builders in the  north east know, rocks are a blessing and curse.  

While the new down hill trails are in progress, building also continues on the cross country network, Charlemont Trail System or CTS.  Two miles of beginner trail, Bear Cub, leave from Berkshire East parking lot. Turns are being polished and new connections are being built so making it possible to stay on single track and avoid double tracks.  Also two blue cross country trails were built in the last year, Farmstead and MST, near the top of the Berkshire East side. Harold Green, a former president of NEMBA, is now leading the work on polishing turns, benching off camber sections, and putting boardwalks on wet areas.  Also with more riders, the trails are becoming smoother and a bit easier to ride. But don't be fooled, these trails will kick the butt of even advanced riders!  For those who enjoy climbing, the trails in the ski area property will be open to ride to the top of the mountain with a pass.

Over the past four years, Harold brought the resources of NEMBA into play.  Under the auspices of NEMBA, CTS has been awarded an RTP grant to build boardwalks on the Rice Brook Trail in the Warfield hub, has sponsored a NEMBA trail school, and provided a tool crib.  The second edition of the CTS map has been published and is available at Zoar Outdoor and Berkshire East.  Information, led rides and event listings are also available on the CTS Facebook page. Harold is, " excited to have more people riding in the community." He is also looking forward to having more events, possibly a weekend festival with races and rides sometime in 2015.

Bruce Lessels, owner of Zoar Outdoor, says, "right now, the trails appeal to a certain type of rider. One who is very fit and doesn't mind rough trails and climbing. However, the new blue and green trails at Berkshire East will appeal to the intermediate riders, and we are looking for more places to put trails that will be good for a wider range of abilities." MIT recently had an intercollegiate mountain biking race with many different events such as short track and double slalom. A number of the racers stayed at the Zoar Outdoor campground. Some of the bike trails lead right from the campground.  "The single tracks at Zoar were originally offshoots of cross country ski trails." Bruce continues, " There was only a trickle of mountain bikers, but it is becoming a steady stream. "

Riding the trails in the Charlemont can be a challenge, but the rewards are well worth the effort.  Riders pop out of the forest to see views of farms, the valley below and surrounding hill tops.  Following trails with the names of General Hospital and Get Smart, the rider will find an abandoned TV tower, purchased by the town in 1960's because there was no TV reception in the valley.    Or skip the climb, and park on East Road (a dirt road behind Berkshire East) and ride to check out the 227 ft wind turbine and the 1800 solar panels which provide 100% of the electricity for the ski resort and then some.

This is truly a unique area. The trails are pure New England with a taste of Whistler. Have fun exploring the ups and downs of Charlemont, and don't forget your extra tube, a  snack, and a sense of adventure.  You'll need it!

Berkshire East Mountain Resort
Zoar Outdoor
Charlemont Trail System

By Paula Burton (SingleTracks #137)