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Old 07-15-2010, 03:30 PM   #1
Z50R OP
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Boston Mass.
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Wrentham State Forest: People's Republic of Massachusetts

One thing I think this site (and the internet in general) is lacking is a good directory of places that it is legal to ride dirt bikes. I figure for now the best place to start building one is in this new Day Trippin' section. People can open a thread for a particular location and post a few good pictures to give an idea of the riding available and others can respond with updates like "this place rocks" or "the local government hates two strokes so this place has been shut down"

Yesterday brought two things: tires from Motorcycle Superstore and rain to the state of Massachusetts. I spooned on the tires last night and took it easy on the wet 4:00am commute to help brake them in without killing my self. Today I decided the best time to kill my self on rocky trails is with fresh tires so I went to Wrentham State Forest in Massachusetts.

I was relatively surprised how close decent legal riding is to down-town Boston, Wrentham State Forest is about half way between Boston and Providence, about 30 miles from the city center and depending on traffic it takes between 30 minutes and all day to get there via slab.



The People's Republic of Massachusetts runs a web site that provides maps of state forests: http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/trails.htm and here's a direct link to the Wrentham State Forest PDF: http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/trails/print/Wrentham.pdf. I have yet to be stopped on any of my rides in any of the area State Forests but I make a habit of printing a date stamped copy of the map before I ride so I have proof that as of that day there was legal riding in the park, it wouldn't hold up in court but it may keep people from calling the cops on you thus not needing to stand up in court. Either way, here's a shrunk down version of the map for people too lazy to check out the links:




My ride started out with a dirty repair of the last ride:



I have been riding in the same pair of Bates combat boots since I started riding. They have been through a bit but the zipper melted on the muffler and was destroyed when I couldn't get my foot out last ride. New [legit riding] boots are on the way but I want to ride today . A couple of zip ties and I am on my way!

I rode down from the north and arrived via route 1, pulled the right up 152 labeled as Taunton st. on the map above and into the parking area on the left side of the road. Last time I came in I dodged up Madison st. but finding that turn is a bit more difficult as it is poorly marked and further, getting to the trails is a bit more sketchy. The parking area has enough space for probably 8-10 trucks. I haven't seen it filled with more than 3 cars but if you are coming for one of the NETRA rides or bringing all your friends and their junk you may want to plan for a lack of parking.



You are greeted with a sign that asks as polite as possible not to abuse the privileges of riding and I beg you to oblige. Also note that this is motorcycles only! I kind of feel bad for the ATV guys but this does a lot to preserve the single track so there is also a bit of .


Wrentham State Forest is almost entirely single track. Skill levels range from mellow gravel with easy whoops and berms to fist sized rocks embedded in dirt paths up to crumbling rock walls strewn about a rather well defined trail. There are sections that are significantly more difficult with steep sections up to 30 yards long with larger difficult rocks to negotiate. I have been told I am stupid to do these kinds of things with a DR650 and "street tread" but they are do-able on this "larger" dual sport. As with most of the area State Forests, there seem to some loops designed for easier riding and some of the moderately difficult trails have ride arounds on the tough spots but there are some trails that you need to know when to turn back if you do not have the skills. There are a few "gorges" (the guys out west would laugh at the idea of calling them gorges) with difficult trail coming in and going out that may get riders who are over their head stuck in the bottom with no [easy] way out.

I didn't come across too many blazes to keep the trail marked. I know that the loop between Taunton st. and Madison st. is much better marked but mostly to ensure that motorcycles aren't destroying the hiking trails. I cannot remember if it is directional but with how few riders I have run into in this park it doesn't really matter. I am fairly sure I remember this area being more dirt packed but this is still eastern Mass. so that doesn't mean that there are no rock piles to deal with and there are rock wall crossings. The area south of 495 is a bit more rocky if I recall correctly and the least defined as what is legit trail and what is "questionable". Today I stuck to the area between 495 and Taunton. The pictures will show the kind of riding available here.



Right off the parking lot is the only man made trail structure I have come across yet. It allows a dry crossing of the creek but the water is shallow and the transition to wood is rough (a 1 foot drop on the other side) so it is actually easier to take the water.

If you follow the creek to the left you come to the access to the southern section



It is about 6 feet in diameter, has medium to larger gravel peppered along the bottom (just enough to make traction sketchy, not enough to narrow the diameter or provide decent footing) and both water and mosquitoes flowing through it. This is my favorite feature of the park.



If you look closely you can see the second tube in the distance, there is one for each half of 495. The tubes are about 100 feet long each.



Between the tubes the water gets deep. There is a ride around trail, I'd recommend you take it rather than risk the engine getting wet on the inside.

One of the more prominent features of riding in the northern east coast is the rock walls. These are all over the place and depending on who made the trail they can make things much easier:



by using them for re-enforcement for berms, or more difficult:



When the trail crosses them. This one is relatively mundane but sometimes they do a real bad job of knocking the wall down so the bash plate gets a work out. The most difficult one I have come across was in this park but I couldn't find it today, The wall was mostly intact and at the top of a steep section. I dumped it trying to get over

It can be fun to piece together how the land used to be divided, often there are stone walls along both sides and it is not difficult to imagine how the trail was once a legitimate road with the occasional horses or carriage running down it. It was once pointed out to me that people must be spinning in their graves over the amount of work they put into clearing these fields (they were at one time anyway) of rocks and trees only to have all that work allowed to go to pasture.

The other fun feature on these trails is the larger rock formations. Some of them are routed around or through:





and make for good scenery. Others can be ridden on/over:





and can make the single track a lot more fun.

The trail ranges from a cake walk:







to moderate:





to sketchy:



I have not come across a trail yet that the DR650 could not handle but some of them did stall the engine: Partially due to the difficulty and partially my lack of experience. Each time I ride I stall and dump a bit fewer times than the last so there is still room for improvement on my part and more experienced riders will have even fewer problems than I.

I haven't been on too many rides where I didn't end up braking the motorcycle in some way. Today the brake lever caught one of the larger rocks in a narrow gap:





It will be relatively easy to straighten and in the worst case will need a bit of welding. Either way I am happy because today's idiocy will not cost the wallet anything.

I'll add pictures of the other quadrants as I remember to bring my camera, if you have pictures or opinions of the park feel free to post up, let's make these threads useful for people looking to explore the local riding spots!
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Arghhhh. Abandon ship, maties!

Z50R screwed with this post 07-15-2010 at 03:44 PM
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
elrontx
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good report, i just noticed this day trippin fourm. ive been thinking about going there but its like 3 1/2 hrs from nyc. i ride beartown in west mass sometimes and have been to october mountain. good riding there, october mountain is really tough.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:55 PM   #3
elrontx
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i heard franklin state forest is really good too, not to far from you either.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:41 AM   #4
dancingboy
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love Wrentham

how about a boring movie of the place

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Old 07-16-2010, 04:57 PM   #5
elrontx
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excellent video
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