In 2003 after completing a $210,000 fundraising effort NEMBA was able to purchase 47 acres of land in Milford, Massachusetts. We bought this land to prevent its development and to protect and preserve a wonderful network of trails that were known locally as “Vietnam”. Our land forms an integral part of a much larger area of conservation land in the towns of Milford, Holliston and Hopkinton.
There are four parking areas offering direct access to the Conservation Land surrounding Vietnam. Please keep in mind Vietnam proper does not have any actual parking as it is land locked and surrounded by Conservation land owned by several different towns. Please act accordingly. Trail building or trail modifications are absolutely forbidden without prior written permission.
- The Milford/Hopkinton Rail Trail Parking LotThis lot is off Cedar Street about a mile north of Route 459 in Milford. Ride South on the dirt double track alongside the Rail Trail. There are several access trails into the Conservation Land along the way. Follow the trails to enter the Vietnam parcel.
- College Rock Parking Lot
This small lot is at the Northern end of the Conservation Land at about 23 College Street (off Cedar Street) in Hopkinton. Enter the Conservation Land from the Parking Lot using the College Run Trail. Follow the trail system to enter the Vietnam parcel.
- Adams Street Parking Lot: - Closet to the trails.
This lot is at about 345 Adams Street in Holliston. Enter the Holliston Town Forest and follow the trails to the Vietnam parcel.
- Dunster Road Parking Area
Dunster road in Holliston (off Adams Street) is a cul-de-sac and offers limited on-street parking at the end of the road. Enter the Conservation Land and follow the trails to the Vietnam parcel.
NEMBA’s purchase of this land marked a first for mountain bike associations in our nation, and in the world.
Our Vietnam property is right in the middle of approximately 1000 acres of protected open space. Vietnam and the surrounding lands are, of course, replete with many miles of trails that are open to non-motorized trail users. Emtbs, or electric powered mountain bikes are prohibited on the protected open space surrounding NEMBA's Vietnam property and therefore in Vietnam itself. NEMBA has been very active, since the purchase of the land, in improving the existing trail network in the entire area, as well as in building and enhancing trails on our own property.
Ajax Gaming Ventures, a Delaware Limited Liability Corporation owned by Donald Trump offered NEMBA a $35,000, one year purchase option, based on a sale price of $1,650,000 to buy Vietnam. Despite the astounding price, NEMBA summarily rejected the purchase offer. Mountain bikers bought this land to preserve it, not to profit from it. Still, it’s amazing to think of just how lucky we were to be there at the right time to make that purchase.
It was quite a gamble. In 2002 NEMBA purchased an option to buy the land from the Liner Trust for $15,000. We had no idea if we could raise the rest of the money, but we couldn’t let the opportunity slip by. Somehow, through donations large and small, donations that in some cases came in from around the country, we beat the option deadline and were able to purchase the land.
After we took ownership NEMBA formed the Vietnam Land Management Steering Committee to oversee and manage the property. Owning conservation land, even if you’re a non-profit organization, is not an easy thing to do. In addition to the obvious issue of trail maintenance and upkeep there are liability issues to consider. That means insurance costs every year. If you're not already a member of NEMBA you should join to, among other things, help us in our efforts to preserve and protect this land.
The riding in Vietnam is legendary for its technical nature. There are some mellow trails both on NEMBA's property and in the surrounding conservation land but most people ride at Vietnam to be challenged both technially and physically. You'll see a lot of "big hit" bikes out on the trails. There are ways around most of the technical features, but you will find yourself paying attention to the trails a lot more than you'll find yourself looking at scenery. Blackstone Valley NEMBA has performed many hundreds of hours of trail work maintaining and building the trails in Vietnam.
By Bill Boles