Metrowest MA

Metrowest MA

Needham Town Forest

1360 Central Ave
Needham  Massachusetts  02492
United States

Easy

35%

Moderate

35%

Difficult

30%

Description

Description:
The Needham Town Forest, sometimes known as the High Rock Town Forest, is a relatively small but trail dense area. It consists of more than 200 acres of mature woods with a few small ponds. There is one scenic overlook at the top of High Rock in the easternmost section of the forest. One degrading woods road runs through most of the forest and all of the singletracks lead off of it. The singletracks are fun. Not so technical that you'll have to get off your bike very often, but busy enough that you'll never be in danger of falling asleep as you ride. They wind all around the forest and interconnect in a random manner. This makes it impossible to ride all of the forest's trails without doing at least a few trail repeats. In all there are about 9 miles of good singletrack trails in the forest. The old road that I mentioned is about a mile long. On the southern end of the forest you’ll find Camp Nehoiden a large area that has its own trails. There's also a connecting trail to Needham's Farley Pond conservation area.

Years ago the town of Needham asked NEMBA to lay out some trails on this parcel. NEMBA did and the trails are still there. Though, over the years, they have since been joined by many new additions. The Needham Town Forest was the site of two old Boston Cup mountain bike races. Today the trails are maintained by the town and a host of volunteers.

Some very technical and fun singletracks have sprouted up in recent years, making good use of rock faces and other technical challenges.  It's now possible to do an extended ride solely on tight, twisty, challenging singletracks.  However, definitely look before you ride some of these features, as some are extremely challenging. These trails are currently unblazed.

Some of the forest's trails are marked with tiny birdhouses the roofs of which are colored green, red, yellow, blue or white to indicate which trail you're on. There are also colored blazes on many trees that supplement the birdhouses. A map of the forest is located on the signboard at the parking area and copies are available at the Needham Town Hall.

One trail takes you by a wooden train trestle – Not yet on the Scenic Register of Historic Sites, still, it’s probably the most unusual and tallest one that you'll see in Massachusetts.All levels of riders can ride most of the park's trails. Though a few will require some advanced singletrack skills. Riding in the Needham Town Forest is a blast. You can link together the forest's trails to make an almost unending variety of rides. And given the lack of long hills, this is one of those areas where you can ride the trails in both directions and enjoy yourself just as much.

On my last visit I challenged myself by turning left on the first trail (red markings) leading off the dirt road at the parking lot. I continued taking left turns, riding out to neighborhead trailheads in many cases, until I found myself once again on the red trail back at the same place. This perimeter loop was 4.5 miles long. But there were many, many trails that I didn’t explore. Diving back into the forest I rode for the rest of the afternoon, occasionally finding myself on familiar trails, but not able to ride them all.

Stick to the singletracks and you’ll have a good, though mostly moderate, technical ride. Stick to the fireroads and you’ll have found the perfect place to introduce a new rider or youngster to mountain biking.

My guess is that if you ride here once, that you'll be back.

Directions:
From the north or south on Rte. 128 / 95: Take exit 17 and follow route 135 through Needham Center. Immediately after the center turn left on Marked Tree Road and follow it through a few intersections until you come to a "T" intersection on Central Avenue. Turn left, go 100 yards and turn left into the Needham Town Forest parking area. (A dirt road.)

Cautions:
Many of the forest's trails lead into people's back yards. Respect property rights by not trespassing. Stay off the trails when they're muddy.

By Bill Boles Read more about Needham Town Forest

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Metrowest MA

Noanet Woods, Dover

120 Dedham St
Dover  Massachusetts  02030
United States

(508) 785-0339

Easy

50%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

10%

Description

Noanet Woods is a privately help reservation owned by the Trustees of Reservations. Noanet offers a good variety easy and intermediate terrain. There are three well-marked trails- Blue, Yellow, and Red that are mostly easy or moderate doubletrack with a bit of have easy and moderate singletrack. Off the three main trails are a variety of moderate singletracks. The Blue trail is the easiest followed by the Yellow and then the Red. Both the Yellow and Red are more difficult leaving the parking area than returning. The Red trail has one long, steep hill that can be a bear going out but fun coming back. The Yellow trail at the furthest end of the reservation has some really fun singletrack with some neat little whoop-dee-doos. Going out any one of the main trails and returning on one of the others will provide a loop of about five or six miles. A nice feature of Noanet Woods is that it connects to Hale Reservation. A loop of the two areas together can easily provide a ride of twenty miles. Blackstone Valley NEMBA has been active in Naonet over the last few years building and repairing trails.


Directions:
Take 128 South three exits from the Mass Pike to Rt 109 in Westwood.
Take Rt. 109 west until you enter Walpole.
Shortly after entering Walpole, take a right onto Walpole St.
Follow Walpole St. north to downtown Dover. Make a right onto Centre St.
Make a right at the next fork onto Dedham St.
The entrance to Noanet Woods will be 1/2 mile on your left just past Caryl Park.


Rules:
A Mountain Bike tag is required to ride at Noanet. It's free at the Ranger Kiosk when it's open. Or, you can get one by calling TTOR at 781-784-0567. The same tag will provide access to Hale Reservation.
The Trustees of Reservation doesn't allow mountain bikes on its property during mud season, March 1 thru April 30.

Biking is not allowed when good cross-country ski conditions exist.

Biking is not allowed before 11:00 AM on weekends and holidays.

In all of Noanet Woods there are only a few hundred yards of trails off limits to mountain bikers. These are clearly marked.

The rules at Noanet are very reasonable. Please respect them; buy a tag, and be courteous to other trail users. This is private property and the Trustees could just as easily ban bikes as allow them.

By Ken Koellner Read more about Noanet Woods, Dover

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Metrowest MA

Mt Pisgah, Berlin

120 Linden St
Berlin  Massachusetts  01503
United States

Easy

40%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

20%

Description

.This description is for an excellent cross-country ride that hits some very good technical sections. It's really meant for experienced technically savvy riders. The main loop of trails, excluding this entrance and the Howard Ridge area, are better suited for novice/intermediate riders.

Start at Linden Street entrance nearest Lyman St.(shown on the map below) , not the main entrance on Smith Rd, and not the Devine Trail entrance. There is a small parking area that is unmarked.

Head down the hill and bear right. Multiple trails will converge to an uphill trail. This will bring you to a very technical section around a pond (bend around the pond bearing right) and then a sick climb, quick left and immediate right and another sick climb. Once at the top of the hill you will converge with the main circuit of trails. From here you will stay right and head down the hill and then make a left onto Berlin Rd. trail. Cross brook then up technical section then left and stay straight until end (no trespassing sign), take left and stay straight /bear right until bisect Mentzger trail. Take right and go to end, left on to Sparrow Trail (very nice long technical rock garden) to Berlin Rd. trail take right and fly to end ( short section of double track). Take right on to Howard Ridge Trail. This loop is the best technical section here and will likely be more than the novice or intermediate can handle. Once on Howard Ridge you will be on top of a rock, you hucksters out there will find a nice drop straight off the rock, others go down right. Keep on Howard Ridge trail (bearing left) until Vernal Pool trail on left. Take this and take to top (very nice technical rock section heading out of a creek bed is quite a challenge to navigate cleanly). At top head right down South Gorge trail. Wind through woods and then trail will seemingly split, to the right is a nice double rock drop that is for technical riders only, stay left for easier way. To the left there are a few other trails and some rock drops which might interest some looking for that. Take a right down to the gorge. This is the most intense and technical section here. Tight, rocky, rooty and steep. If you are not a seasoned rider you will want to avoid or walk your bike down. Navigate the tight left downhill and then you have to shoot a tight gap between two trees and then a steep rock garden ensues with a big fall off to the right the entire way ( not a good place to fall). Continue down and then a right, left combo downhill to a narrow log bridge over a creek. Head up to the right and an excellent climb up the Howard Ridge trail will burn your quads. When back at Berlin Rd. trail intersection head down right and then first left and head up to South Overlook.

On a clear day you can see Boston and in fall the foliage is excellent. for those technical riders a right turn when approaching the overlook will bring you down a steep double pitched trail which is sphincter tightening, a fall to the left will be bad. At the bottom turn right and head back up Berlin Rd. trail and then another right will bring you back to the overlook. Turn around (facing away from the overlook) and head back straight and then right onto Tyler Trail. This is a fun, fast classic cross country trail with some technical features here and there. Take this to the end staying straight. You will end on Mentzger trail. Take right then quick left across rock wall and you will spill out on North overlook. Just before the overlook is a left trail that is not on the maps. Take this trail to the end and then a right turn will bring you down a big hill. A quick left and immediate right will bring you down the first climb of the day, bear right down the hill and around the technical pond section and out. This ride can be done in about an hour if moving fast otherwise 1.5hrs. It is a blast. Lots of ups and downs, lots of rocks and plenty of technical areas. After rain the roots and rocks can make the more technical downhill sections very dicey, particularly the gorge area. Be very cautious here because a fall in this section could be very serious. Enjoy!

By Brad Schaffer

The map shows the described route.

 

NOTE: The Northborough Trails system is mountain bike friendly with the exception of Cedar Hills and Sawink Farm.  Please do not ride those trails.  Trail maps and trail head locations can be accessed at the following url:  www.Northboroughtrails.org.  The trails are all similar in terms of terrain and are all good for novice to intermediate riders, with the exception of Mt. Pisgah. Read more about Mt Pisgah, Berlin

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Blackstone Valley

  • The mission of Blackstone Valley NEMBA is to promote sustainable mountain biking in the suburbs west of Boston and Worcester County and to organize a variety of fun rides and events for our members. We work with land managers and perform trail maintenance to increase the quantity and quality of terrain available to bicycles. Vietnam is one of our key riding areas, but we all offer a weekly rides on various trails in the area, so come join us.

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