Monday, October 30, 2017

Mason RR Trail

Since I became too familiar with my neighborhood trail I have to frequently venture out further away from home in search for more places to ride.

Last weekend I went to Townsend, MA to ride a short loop north into New Hampshire and back. 

I started just off Rt13 and followed Dudley Rd initially, to connect to Mason Railroad Trail. Being a former railroad, I didn't expect any major hills there but I was actually a bit surprised the trail was so... raw. It simply didn't seem to be used frequently. The surface was covered in leaves, branches and was pretty rough in general. Maybe I expected it to be wide and smooth like those other railroad trails in my area.
I didn't ride the full length of the trail since I wanted to move east and then back south. I took Mitchell Hill Rd to find entrance to another path cutting across Stephens Forest. It all started well...
but then turned out to be very rocky and pretty much unsuitable for anything else but a fat-tire mountain bike.
Finally, I got to the parking lot at Mile Slip Rd and when I thought it was all over, the worst part had just begun. The southern section of Mile Slip Rd is not much of a road at all. It's basically a fairly steep (6-10% grade) downhill section on very rough rocks, boulders and roots. The path seems to be shaped by rushing water during heavy rains and if you feel like riding there, bring your enduro bike with you. Don't make my mistake and try it on a cyclocross bike.

Even though the entire loop is only 24mi (38km) long and it would take about 2hrs to complete it, it's a fun place for bike riding. October weather makes it even better. It's still warm, it's dry, there are no mosquitoes nor flies in the deep forest and fall colors are just spectacular. To be honest, October should be 60 days long!

I will have to return here next year. On wider tires.

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