Cooling my Wheels

While surfing for a place to go mountain biking, I inadvertently learned that two of my neighborhood favorites have restrictions on mountain biking. Who knew?

Indeed, I confirmed what was mentioned on another blog: that Dover’s Noanet Woodlands and Medfield’s Rocky Woods, both great mountain biking spots, are currently closed to bikers due to spring mud season. The same goes for all Trustees of Reservations properties that allow biking. Further, Noanet apparently doesn’t want bikers before 11am on Saturdays. I’m trying not to be insulted; I understand that these places are conservation land first, recreational opportunities second, and that’s fine. I just don’t want to be the one who gives all bikers a bad name through ignorance of the rules, which are tucked away on the web site and, to my knowledge, not posted on the property.

That means I’ll have to travel a bit to get my spring rides in. I can deal with that.

Two more spots nearby are F. Gilbert Hills State Park in Foxborough, and Wrentham State Forest near Route 495 and Taunton Street in Wrentham. I’d visited F. Gilbert last fall and had a great time. Many of the trails were loose gravel, but the reward for making it up them was cruising back down on wide, smooth(ish) fire roads. And near the fire tower/weather station/satellite dish array on the top of the highest hill is an amazing table rock that’s worth checking out. Maps are usually available near the ranger station; I like the handy fire ponds for reference points.

Wrentham State Forest has a different feel to it. There’s a longer sight line here, and the views of (and from the top of) giant granite peaks rising out of the woods is spectacular. Single track and fire roads wind around the outcroppings, some challenging and some a lot of fun. I liked that the wet areas didn’t dominate and take up all of my time. When I had time to look up from the singletrack, I thought it might be fun to boulder here… if the trails let me go!

According to NEMBA, Wrentham and F. Gilbert areĀ  linked, but you might have to traverse a culvert under the interstate to confirm that. I’ll let you know if I go there!

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