Northern NH

NEMBA COVID Guidance for Rides & Trail Care Events

Friday, April 9, 2021

NEMBA COVID recommendations for NEMBA rides & trail care sessions

 

As the warm weather approaches and trails dry out, we recognize that there is an increased demand for group rides and trail work days. Please consider the guidelines below, as well as the state by state guidelines, when organizing and hosting a group ride, trail care event, or other event. We all want to ride bikes, let’s just do it safely!

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Follow state & local guidelines (see links below as these change frequently)

  • Ensure you have a participant list with contact information in case contract tracing efforts are needed. This is a requirement.

  • Try to keep groups to 10 or less. Split larger groups as necessary. 

  • Wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

  • Respect the wishes of volunteers who request a more strict approach. Every individual has their own risk tolerance.

  • All participants must also sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver.

  • Email office@nemba.org with information of any upcoming events.

  • Very importantly, all guidelines still apply irregardless of any individual’s vaccination status.

 

Background:

Out of an abundance of caution most NEMBA chapters put a hold on Trail Care days and Group Rides as the Covid-19 Pandemic escalated. As vaccination efforts continue, and studies suggest extremely low transmission rates while outdoors, NEMBA looks forward to resuming trail work days and group rides. Recently, it seems like everyday one or more of the New England states relax their recommendations and guidelines. Their overriding concern though, of course, is still safety. NEMBA must follow at least the minimum guidelines set by each state. But these state guidelines vary in their directives. So, we have developed recommendations that support the cautious resumption of group rides and trail care sessions. See state by state restrictions at the links below.

 

NEMBA Recommendations for Group Rides

  • Group rides are allowed in all New England states. The permitted size of those groups varies. NEMBA is recommending group sizes of 10 people or less. When more than 10 people are expected our recommendation would be to divide up into smaller groups. This reduces interruptions to other trail users and helps keep things safe and fun. But we leave it to local chapters and their ride leaders to determine what is best for them.

  • If you anticipate more than 10 attendees to a ride, break into smaller groups and physically disperse the groups (example: direct one group to the north end of the parking area, the other to the south etc. Or, plan different meet-up locations for the groups. Your goal is to avoid creating a large congregation of people in the same area)

  • NEMBA requires using some method of rider registration or participant recording so that in the event of needing to track an individual’s contacts, you can provide that information. Please record the name and phone or email for each participant. 

NEMBA offers Eventbrite registration, with a Covid-19 questionnaire for any individual or chapter that wishes to use it. But Eventbrite is just one option. Many chapters just keep a record of attendees. Either by pre-signing up people or taking names and email addresses at the ride. 

  • Maintaining at least 2 bike lengths between each rider ensures physical distancing.

  • If the ride stops for any reason, encourage social distancing there as well and mask up.

  • Wear masks when gathering (at the start of the ride, working on a trailside repair, etc.)

  • Ride with a mask at the ready so that you can quickly put it on if you come across other trail users where you can’t maintain a social distance of at least 6’. Or better yet, leave it on. While a mask is primarily a courtesy to others, it also provides protection for you.

  • Exaggerate your courtesy to other trail users. When encountering other trail users, slow down or stop and move off the trail to provide room for people to pass and maintain social distance. Say hello, but give everyone space.

  • For now, don’t linger together in groups before or after rides. We can get our “social” back on when the pandemic diminishes further. This also means no social food gatherings after rides for now.

  • Try not to overwhelm a riding area. If a riding area is busy, try to find an alternate time or location to ride.

  • Respect parking regulations. Parking has become a problem at many riding areas due to the influx of new trail users. If a parking area is full, find another legal place to park.

  • We leave it to local chapters to decide what is best for their area and the comfort level of their ride leaders.

  • Bring hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, etc. Most states require providing sanitizing materials at events.

  • Volunteers and participants should remain home if not feeling well, if they have received a positive COVID test, or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID.

  • All the above health and safety guidelines still apply irregardless of any individual’s vaccination status

  • When a NEMBA chapter wants to schedule a group ride, send an email to . That way your event will be covered by NEMBA’s insurance.

  • All participants must also sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver

  

Currently, larger group events (MBAS, etc) are on hold. Some chapters have begun planning for fall 2021, but most states currently restrict large events. Further guidelines will be developed as needed to accommodate for larger events.

 

NEMBA Recommendations for Trail Care Events

  • Limiting trail care groups to 10 people or less. If a larger group shows up, please split into small groups. Ensure there are enough volunteer leaders to manage demand.

  • NEMBA requires using some method of participant recording so that in the event of needing to track an individual’s contacts, you can provide that information. Please record the name and phone or email for each participant.

NEMBA offers Evenbrite registration, with a Covid-19 questionnaire for any individual or chapter that wishes to use it. But Eventbrite is just one option. Many chapters just keep a record of attendees. Either by pre-signing up people or taking names and email addresses at the ride.

  • Embrace social distancing. Spread out and work on different parts of the trails.

  • Wear a mask, especially when it is not possible to maintain at least 6’ of distance between participants.

  • Bring hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, etc. Encourage participants to bring their own gloves and tools if possible. Minimize the sharing of tools, and clean between use.

  • Advance sign up or, events run by invitation only, could be used to put limits on numbers.

  • Minimize pre- and post- event socializing. This also means no social food gatherings after trail care events for now.

  • Volunteers and participants should remain home if not feeling well, if they have received a positive COVID test, or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID.

  • All the above health and safety guidelines still apply irregardless of any individual’s vaccination status

  • If your NEMBA chapter wants to sponsor a Trail Care Event send an email to . This will ensure that your event will be covered by NEMBA’s insurance.

  • All participants must sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver

 

State by State Guidance 

Connecticut Covid Response          CT DEEP Response

Maine Covid-19 Response             Maine Bureau of Parks

Massachusetts Covid-19                Mass DCR Guidance

New Hampshire Covid-19              NH State Parks

Rhode Island Covid Information     RI DEM Guidance

Vermont Covid-19 Guidance          VT State Parks

 

  Read more about NEMBA COVID Guidance for Rides & Trail Care Events

WM NEMBA Women's Ride

Date

Repeats every week every Monday 30 times .
4/19/21 (All day)

White Mountains NEMBA Women's Ride

This ride is for all levels of women at a mellow pace every woman is welcomed!

It's not a race and our goal will be to finish with more smiles than miles.

It's always a no-drop ride and we welcome newer riders.

For more info on this week's ride, including starting time and location, contact Maryanne Dunfey. 

Hope to ride with you soon.   :-)

   Oh!   Be sure to sign NEMBA's ride waiver.  But you only have to sign it once. Read more about WM NEMBA Women's Ride

Chapter

White Mountains

Event Leader

Maryann Dunfey
mdunfey@nemba.org

Franconia Area Trail Grooming

Thursday, February 18, 2021

 

May be an image of nature, snow and ski slope

Traditionally most winter riding was done on packed snowmobile trails. But more recently NEMBA chapters and others have been grooming trails specifically for fat biking.

Many of us have spent uncounted hours trudging through the woods on snowshoes, packing down the tracks. And then, after exhaustion subsides, we return to ride them.

Several NEMBA chapters have invested in snowdogs while others drag some kind of a weighted sled behind a snowmobile.

But Franconia Area NEMBA and Bob Lesmerises have come up with some innovative ways to groom their trails for fat biking.

May be an image of bicycle and outdoors

The most interesting of these is dragging a sled using an e-Fat Bike. The bike is a KHS Enduro 1000 which has 14 power settings that can apply just the right amoint of power to get through the trails. The sled which weighs 25 pounds can also be loaded with more when appropriate.

But that’s not all.  FA NEMBA members also use snowshoes and Drift Boards. Drift boards are sort of a cross between skies and a snowboard.

                          No photo description available.

Bob has been grooming trails near the Franconia Inn for 2 years now. Normally he maintains about 10 miles of trails. But when conditions allow that sometimes expands to 15. There is no charge for riding on these trails.

Especially if you stop every once in a while to make snow angels.

     May be an image of bicycle and nature

So far this winter the Franconia area has had a lot of snow, a lot of frequent snow.

Bob estimates that he’s done over 350 miles of grooming so far this season.

He’s usually out very early in the morning so that the trails will have a chance to “set” before they get used.

Once-and-only-once this year so far magic happened. A thaw followed by a freeze turned the snow’s surface into something resembling Styrofoam. No grooming was needed. No trails were needed. You just rode anywhere you wanted. You could even run on top of the snow.

Nearby PRKR Mountain in Littleton. Also grooms Trails. But they favor a snowdog as theirs is much more hilly terrain.

     May be an image of 1 person and nature

While other FA NEMBA members use a Rokon.  Which is a two wheel drive motorcycle.

     May be an image of motorcycle and outdoors

If you’re north of the notch this winter, Franconia Area NEMBA invites you to stop for a while and enjoy the trails.

Oh! But be sure to come back when the snow season is over. There’s a lot of riding in the Franconia NEMBA area.

 

 

 

 

 

  Read more about Franconia Area Trail Grooming

Franconia Area Trail Collaborations

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Borderlands: A collaboration of emerging and established mountain biking destinations in the area north of the New Hampshire Notches including adjacent Vermont and Maine have been working to establish a coordinated set of riding destinations for visitors to northern New England. Founding institutions include Franconia Area NEMBA and Parker Mountain as well as Kingdom Trails, Circuite Frontieres in East Hereford Quebec, Coos Cycling/Hub North in Gorham NH and Mahoosuc Trails in Bethel Maine and the effort is being coordinated by the Northern Forest Center (link) with a goal of leveraging the MTB cycling as an economic driver of the north country. The brand of “Borderlands” has been chosen to label this collaborative and folks should expect the Borderlands to roll out in the Spring of 1919.

Trail Grants and projects: A collaboration of community leaders and local organizations including FA-NEMBA, The Friends of Profile Trails, Lafayette Recreation, Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country, Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, and The Profile School have been working to formalize the trail networks in the Franconia, Sugar Hill and Easton Valleys and also to link them to our our adjoin communities of Bethlehem and Littleton. Grant funding has been received through the Mountain Bike Collabroative, the NH Department Education, The Recreational Trail Program, and private donors and work to improve the trails is in progress. A big project seeks to link Franconia Village to Profile School and on to Bethlehem Village as a keynote addition to the emerging Profile Trails network.

New Eateries in the Franconia Village: 2018 saw establishment of several new eateries in the Franconia Village. At the west end of town the Iron Furnace Brewery has been launched. It is at a popular location just down the street from the start of the new Art trail adjacent to the iconic stone furnace viewing area on west main street by route 117. At its launch it is operating on weekends limited by the capacity of the brew master, but expansion is anticipated soon. In the heart of town, the hungry bear café has just opened offering both breakfast and lunch offerings with a good variety of choices and at the East end of town on the Cannon Mountain at the junction of 142 Plain Kates Saloon is a popular new location for dinner and drinks. These compliment Dutch Treat and Chef Joe’s as well as the restaurants and pubs that can be found at our many regional classic England inns Read more about Franconia Area Trail Collaborations

Northern NH

Profile Trail Network: Franconia Inn Trails

1172 Easton Rd
Franconia  New Hampshire  03580
United States

Easy

30%

Moderate

60%

Difficult

10%

Description

Franconia Inn, Glider Port and Nordic Center is three miles south of the Village Center on route 116. The Nordic center in winter serves as home to the White Mountain Bike Shop in summer.

MTB bicycle network shares sections of the Nordic Ski and snow shoe trail system and some purpose built bike trails. For those seeking adventure these trails also adjoin old forest ways that follow the lower slopes of the Kinsman ridge and hiking biking on old forest ways is permitted by the Forest Service but these trails are not maintained to any standard, are not marked and are not authorized for formal use.

Parking is available at the Inn and a number of beginner and intermediate loops can be followed starting from rating with Birch Run on the opposite side of the airfield.

Maps and guidance is available at the White Mountain Bike shop during the riding season.

The trails around Franconia Inn also connect via Middle Earth and Ians trail back the Lawrence Family Forest and hence to Fox Hill Park.

An additional more advanced single track connection can be followed via Red Flyer on the higher slopes below Mittersill Village.

Image result for franconia inn Read more about Profile Trail Network: Franconia Inn Trails

Local Shops

Littleton Bike & Fitness

Links to Relevant Resources

Northern NH

Lafayette Trails, Franconia

141 Butterhill Rd
Franconia  New Hampshire  03580
United States

Easy

70%

Moderate

30%

Difficult

0%

Description

Lafayette Trails are a section of National Forest West of I-93 adjoining the Franconia Notch State Park and extending down to exit 36.
 
The trailhead is 100 yards in from the trail head parking off route 141 (Butterhill Road).
 
This land is promoted by the national forest for ungroomed Nordic skiing along the former road bed of route 3 and with several additional loops. These are detailed in a kiosk map at the site.
 
The area is suitable for mountain bikes but the forest service is not maintaining these trails for single track riding. They are suitable for those seeking to explore relatively gentle terrain adjacent to Franconia Notch State Park and bicycles are permitted.
 
This parcel also adjoins the Franconia Notch State Park Extension and may represent a future opportunity for interconnection.

Local Shops

Littleton Bike & Fitness

Northern NH

Franconia Notch State Park

260 Tramway Drive
Franconia  New Hampshire  03580
United States

Easy

100%

Moderate

0%

Difficult

0%

Description

The Franconia Notch State Park is the flagship park of the New Hampshire State Park System and spans 7 miles of the Franconia Notch Parkway/I-93 routes 3 and 18.  
 
It includes attractions such as The Flume, The Basin, Lafayette Campground, Cannon Mountain Ski Area and Arial Tramway, Echo Lake Beach, Artist Bluff and Bald Mountain.
 
It also includes a paved bike path that spans the Franconia Notch but does not yet have purpose built Single Track MTB trails and biking is not permitted on the Hiking trails to Franconia Notch or Kinsman Ridge. 
 
The bike path does connect Lafayette Trails in the segment of the bike path that lies on the west side of I-93 north of Echo Lake and there is access to trails connecting to the trails around Franconia Inn Trails just past the park in the Mittersill Ski Village section of Cannon mountian as noted on the Franconia Trails map.  
 
The New Hampshire Parks and Recreation have recently purchased an additional 400 acres of land extending beyond Bald Mountain to Lafayette Brook and down route 18 to the valley floor. 
 
Plans for this area are still being developed but the opportunity to connect MTB trails to the Profile Network is of substantial interest.

Local Shops

Littleton Bike & Fitness

Links to Relevant Resources

Northern NH

Cooley-Jericho Community Forest, Sugar Hill

Trumpet Round Rd
Sugar Hill  New Hampshire  03586
United States

Easy

5%

Moderate

85%

Difficult

10%

Description

Cooley-Jericho Community Forest is owned by the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust as a four town community forest serving Franconia, Easton, Sugar Hill and Landaff.. Its 840 acres are located in the south west corner of Easton adjoining Sugar Hill and Landaff. Primary access to the base kiosk is at a parking area located at the end of Trumpet Round Road in Sugar Hill. The Forest is also reachable via a 3.5 mile ascent of Cooley via the Jericho Road Trail in South Easton off route 116 and via two snow mobile trails (one an extension of class VI Merrill Mountain Road to Cooley hill summit and the other an extension of Dyke Road ascending Cole Hill as depicted on the map).

The yellow trail from Trumpet Round kiosk is an intermediate to expert purpose built single track trail that ascends 800 feet and traverses 3.3 miles to the Cooley Hill fire tower where the through ride to South Easton follows the Jericho trail maintained by the forest service. Expect a lot of climb and some technical sections that many riders prefer to walk.

The other trails on the map do include a few hike-a-bike areas. Loops are possible by descending into Landaff on the western access trails and returning to Sugar Hill via the class VI Jim Noyes and Dyke Road.

The trail is maintained by ACT with a lot of assistance from Franconia Area NEMBA members. Read more about Cooley-Jericho Community Forest, Sugar Hill

Local Shops

Littleton Bike & Fitness

Links to Relevant Resources

Northern NH

Lawrence Family Forest, Franconia

100 Dow Ave
Franconia  New Hampshire  03580
United States

Easy

40%

Moderate

50%

Difficult

10%

Description

The Lawrence Family Forest is 114 acre trail dense parcel in Franconia.
 
It is owned by the Town of Franconia and maintained by FA-NEMBA in conjunction with the Franconia Conservation Commission and the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust.
 
It's located just south of Fox Hill Park and accessible via Boundary Trail extending onto Tuckers Trail.
 
It's recommended that you access this geographically isolated parcel from Fox Hill.
 
The trails are quite enjoyable and serve as a gateway to the Valleys overall trail network.

Local Shops

Littleton Bike & Fitness

Links to Relevant Resources

Northern NH

Profile Trail Network: Dow Park/Fox Hill, Franconia

100 Dow Ave
Franconia  New Hampshire  03580
United States

Easy

40%

Moderate

45%

Difficult

15%

Description

Dow Park and Fox Hill are located at the center of Franconia Village across the River from Town Hall. Parking is available both at the Park and at the nearby Fox Hill main entrance off Dow Avenue. Fox Hill includes 99 acres of dense woodland include 3 miles of trails about 1000' of scenic river frontage and a swimming hole known as Green Frog. It's a very popular place for residents to walk their dogs and for kids to practice their mountain biking skills as it's only 1/8 mile from the Pump Track at Field Park. The trails going uphill have intermediate and expert technical sections but provide a link to the adjoining Lawrence Family Forest and connections on to Horse and Hound Inn and to the Franconia Inn.

Picture   Image result for dow park franconia nh Read more about Profile Trail Network: Dow Park/Fox Hill, Franconia

Local Shops

Littleton Bike & Fitness

Links to Relevant Resources

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