Rides in the Area
NOTE: This is a partial list converted from our old site. It is in need of updating and link fixing. Areas are listed in no particular order.
Anaconda: In Groton across from the new Shaws. It has one section of some rock filled technical riding, then another which is very similar to GTF with berms. This also connects to the power lines going down further on sandy pond rd. This has an awesome climb and another trail called GRIM. (Hunting allowed and hunters seen during deer season)
Rattlesnake: This is another great ride in Bolton and is accessible from old Sugar Road. This hill has a combination of beginner to advanced single track paths. The top of Rattlesnake Hill is great for a mixed group, and great for learning how to roll the big rocks. The Boulder Trail has great boulders perfect to practice rolling, but also has paths around it - for those who prefer to go around these obstacles. You could also look for the log bridge, a bunch of cut logs placed side by side. A good test for your balance. There are a series of flowing trails through pine trees and if you can find it, there's a turn off of here near 495 which heads to the "Stones and Bones" trail, then the Milksnake trail. These are technical sections that are almost impossible to ride clean the first time through. Actually, it is almost impossible to ride clean if you know the trail. You can also get to Stones and Bones and the Milksnake trails from the trail head at the end of Sugar Road (heading southward). It leads straight to it. A great set of trails! (No Hunting)
Sledgehammer: This is in Groton. Park where Martins Pond turns into Rocky Hill rd and turns to dirt. The trail goes form Rocky Hill (up the hill on the right) and comes out after some intersections on Old Dunstable Rd. This is a great trail, about 2 miles long with a lot of technical rock sections, including one where you traverse a rock wall 7 times in a row... It also ties in with a lot of other fireroad riding and some singletrack across the street from the Old Dunstable end. Some have tied this in with Haystack below for an Epic ride. (Hunting allowed)
Haystack (aka MIT trails): These are trails that go around the observatory between Groton and Westford. We park at the end of Cow Pond Brook rd (soccer fields, transfer station) and follow road past the barricade and take a right into the trails. There is an old rock quarry and loop around to Davis Rd. This has some great Rock strewn trails, one of which we dubbed 'unrideable from either direction" :-) Has the rocks and a bunch of climbing as well. (Hunting allowed)
Yudicky Farm: This is actually in Nashua but is close to Groton - a really fun place. Very tight and twisty. You never get much over 6 mph and really challenges your balance. We just found a new trail over this way too and it makes the place even better. It also has a few questionably built stunts and bridges. It is right on rt 111a and we ride both sides of that road in the map. Probably about 6-8 miles of great singletrack (Hunting allowed)
Parking (park by the softball fields)
Recommended Trails (detailed)
Lowell Dracut State Forest: This is the Mother of NEMBA work in the area (for XC vs. the Vietnam crazy stuff). Awesome singletrack with a great mix of flow, technical stuff. Not much climbing, just a lot of good riding. (Hunting allowed and hunters seen during deer season)
Great Brook Farm State Park: This is a great place for beginners to improve their skills. There is a good mix of fire roads, beginner trails and more technical trails.
Groton Town Forest: Good flow, fast single track. Interval/endurance riding. Some good climbs. (Hunting allowed)
Pearl Hill/Willard Brook: Located in Townsend, this is a large area of swoopy single track, connecting fire roads, good climbs, and just enough technical terrain to keep everyone happy. All the stunts are natural and feature many excellent rollers. The flow is great,the climbs challenging, and the descents are a blast. Park at the picnic/beach area by Pearl Hill Brook Pond and jump in the water after your ride. Great place!
Russell Mill: In Chelmsford - Small parcel that rides big! Great flowy single track, pump track, man-made stunts including many log rides and a monster roller. Park to the right back side of soccer fields and enter single track on right by fireroad gate.
Harold Parker: Harold Parker State Forest in Middleton. Big area with variety of trails/routes. Dirt roads, flowing single track, rolling single track. Something for everyone. Great for 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Parking: There are many, mostly small, parking areas within Harold Parker. A popular starting spot for mountain bikers is the Jenkin's Lot at the end of Harold Parker Rd where it intersects with Jenkins Rd. Another good spot is the intersection of Stearns Pond Road and Middleton Road near the park headquarters.
Map: Harold Parker Topo
Map: NEMBA Wicked Ride
Map: Harold Parker Google Earth
Holy Hill Harvard: A good flowing location that can be added on to at both ends. Off South shaker Road, the area offers a few miles of sinlge track - fast riding opportunities and a couple of steep hills that can be connected for a nice 30-45 min ride. There are two water crossing on bridges and planks that can be slippery when wet or snow covered. A good beginner or early season ride.
Bowers Spring / Vaughn Hill: Parking off Harvard Road in Bolton. Great longer ride with not too much technical. Some bridge crossings and some steep / long climbs on the Vaughn Hill side of the road. Generally start on the Bowers Spring loops and migrate to the Vaughn Hill trail system and then back. There is some good semi-technical rock work on the north side when leaving from the southern parking area on the map below (No Hunting)
Bolton Loop Trail Map (Connects Bowers Spring and Vaughn Hill with Rattlesnake Hill)
Tophet Chasm/Oak Hill: Good option for a local 90 min ride. Entrance is off Oak Hill Road in Littleton, near the Very Fine plant. Good climbs, some good intermediate technical stuff and xc trails. The chasm itself is short but fun, pretty good little psyche-out trail. Summit rock has a great view of the area. Fun to ride up & down the face of it from the trail. Watch out for dog walkers and some times horses, esp. when screaming down the rolling double track. (No Hunting)
Note: The road at the top of the hill called "Oak Ridge Road" is PRIVATE. Please don't park there as the home owners are not appreciative to say the least.
Smith Conservation Land/Ayer, Ma.: A nice mix of relatively flat single track and heart busting single track climbs. Access the trails on Groton Harvard Road (1/8 mile down the hill from the Transfer Station and next to Burnham Trucking). There is a gate and a 'Pine Meadow Conservation' trail sign. Enter the trail network via the gate and follow the trail for approximately 1/2 mile until you come to a intersection right before a little stream crossing. You can take a left and follow the trail along a pond to the Habitat Trail.. All will certainly raise your heart rate very quickly if you decide to climb the hill on your left. Save some energy while climbing, because you have a choice of several very fast smooth downhills back to the pond or be brave and try coming down via The Chimney Trail (ultra steep, roots, rocks, and switchbacks). When at the intersection, If you decide to cross the small stream and head towards the Ayer Sportsman's Club, there is a fairly large singletrack loop that takes you around yet another pond. This loop is pretty flat, straightforward, and is similar to the GTF and Great Brook Trails. There are some very rocky sections. The parcel of land is relatively small, but nice for a 40-60 minute ride. There are cut-offs across the power lines to Half Moon Trail and The Grim if you want to extend your ride into Groton. There is plenty of parking at Ayer High School on Washington Street. Hunting allowed and hunters have been seen during deer and duck season. Dress appropriately.
Trail Map (click on Smith Conservation Land once the Town Of Ayer's website is open)
Click the above to access an interactive map provided by the Groton Trails Network that covers most of the conservation land trails in the town.