Northern CT

Covid Brings Central CT New Trails

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Central CT Chapter had some exciting news coming into 2020 with the opportunity to build the first bike-specific trail system in the town of Rocky Hill at Dividend Pond Park. They introduced this venture to us in SingleTracks issue 163 and this December we had a chance to catch up with Luis Moreira to learn more about how this project has fared since its inception. We also learned a bit more about its future.

Though a compact 68 acres, the Dividend Pond Park includes a rich history of grist, saw, and corn mills in addition to the multi-use trails. The parcel includes 10 water powered archaeological sites going back as far as 1667 and forward to the 1900’s. The town has captured some interesting historical notes on each of these sites in the park brochure, such as the $10,000 horseshoe.

This new bike specific trail was intentionally designed and built to provide a place for families and people new to the sport to ride, but the flowy nature of the trails and the advantageous contours of the land can provide a fun experience for all. In fact, Luis challenges you more advanced riders to tackle the Strava loop without braking and see how it goes.

Looking back to the beginning of this project Luis credits Glenn Vernes, Central CT Chapter President, with the insight to develop the Dividend Ponds area and add to the nearby River Highlands mileage. Glenn kicked off the project by introducing Luis to the powers that be who manage the area, and with conversations, approvals, and agreements to maintain the trails they were off and running. Or more specifically walking and flagging, and re-walking and re-flagging, and scouring google maps and contour lines to determine the best route for the eventual two miles of flow trails for part one of this endeavor. Many hours were spent strategically planning how to incorporate the elevation changes while staying within the boundaries of the approved plot of land.

2020 has been a challenging year for many, but it also provided Luis and Glenn time for building trails, refining flow, and adding little features of fun sprinkled throughout. Luis estimated that over 500 volunteer hours were spent on just this trail since the beginning, but I imagine that’s a very conservative estimate once you hear about the many 8-hour days he spent perfecting corners and clearing debris. Sometimes that debris takes the form of removing unsanctioned and dangerous features added by well-intentioned but uninformed trail users. *PSA – always check in with the trail managers before adding features to a trail*

Luis notes that while before Dividend Pond got little to no riders, now he often sees many people out there enjoying the trails with their families. He’s even spotted an enduro champion out there exploring the trails as Luis takes his regular rides making sure everything in the area is running smoothly.

Kudos to Glenn and Luis, and all the other NEMBA volunteers, for creating and maintaining this wonderful opportunity for local biking.

What are Luis and Glenn doing with all their time now that this project is cruising along? Well of course they are continuing to build and incorporate additional enhancements for this area (and others). Phase 2 of the “Div Pond” project includes a new scenic loop that follows along the river and that maybe, just maybe, will include a jump line or an advanced section.

Time will tell.

In the meantime, get out on these trails and make sure you let them know what you think!

 

Glenn Vernes recognized by Bike Walk CT

Monday, December 21, 2020

Big Congrats go to Central CT NEMBA Chapter President Glenn Vernes, who received a People’s Choice Award from Bike Walk Connecticut. He was nominated by his peers for the work he has done to open trails and make mtn biking more accessible to people of all ages and abilities! This annual award recognizes people for their contributions in making CT a more bike and pedestrian friendly place.

 

Glenn has been the driving force behind getting the permissions and then building and improving the trails at River Highlands in Cromwell, CT. These fun, flowy trails are great for all ability levels. He worked for weeks to correct drainage issues and added some new trails increasing the size of the park’s useable area. It is now jammed packed on weekends with families and people of all ages and skill levels. His knowledge of state and local land uses and legislation is insightful and what he doesn’t know he finds out quickly. He is always calm and respectful when working with land managers and town officials which can be the most challenging and time consuming part of trail building and advocacy.

 

Central CT NEMBA owes tons of thanks to the many volunteers who help with trail building and maintenance. But today we give special thanks to Glenn who often works quietly behind the scenes making calls, walking trails, and doing research to make things happen. No one is more deserving of this award.

 

Bike Walk Connecticut works through advocacy and education to make bicycling and walking safe, feasible and attractive for a healthier, cleaner Connecticut.

 

By Lisa M. Maloney, Central CT NEMBA VP Read more about [node:title]

Northern CT

Paulk Hill Mountain Bike Park, Tolland

612 Tolland Stage Road
Tolland  Connecticut  06084
United States

Easy

30%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

30%

Description

The Paulk Hill Mountain Bike Park is located in the Paulk Hill Conservation Area.

Paulk Hill is a 42 acre parcel that is packed with so many features that you will be saying, “Okay, just one more run,” over and over again.  All the trails have great flow with a constant offering of optional skinnies, rolls, drops and jumps.  Most of the trails are rated intermediate, but novice riders can enjoy all the trails by skipping the harder features. This area can actually accommodate a mixed group of expert to novice riders as all of the hard features are optional.

The one mile orange blazed loop named “Pedal Power” will bring you up from the parking area to the four downhill trails. Pedal power also flows back down to the parking lot with several surprises along the way.  You will use this trail over and over to access all the other trails but there are many features during the climb to keep you entertained.

At just under a mile, “Beast” is the longest of the downhill trails and is home to many of the bigger features that will satisfy the strongest riders and intimidate the rest.  The other trails contain features for all abilities such as small to medium rolls and jumps that are perfect for novice riders as well as advanced. The Red blazed trail “Boneyard” contains the multi-lined double drop, or roll, or kick, or flow as well as the infamous Double Feature which is a … oh never mind, just get out there and find out for yourself how impressive this place is. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Directions:

Located 1.3 miles north of exit 68 off I 84. Travel North on Rt. 195, West on Rt. 74 to the access road on the left at 41.87676 - 72.37879

There are about 4 miles of downhill focused trails on the 42 acre property. Great fun to ride, but you will be doing repeated hill repeats to enjoy them all.

The directions at the top of this page approximate the entry area. It's located between Burbank Road and Old Dunhill Road on Tolland Stage Road near Paulik Hill Brook.

The trails are on the south side of the road.

 

   By Thomas Tyburski

Note from the Central CT NEMBA Chapter Report: The biggest news since last report is the completion and opening of Paulik Hill Bike Park in Tolland, CT. This was a cooperative venture with the Quiet Corner Chapter, spearheaded by Jon Petersen, CCT NEMBA board member. It’s a trail system with bike park features such as roll overs, hucks, and skinnies for different ability levels. It’s been very popular and is getting rave reviews. Thanks to the many of you who donated funds for this project. 

Parciak Conservation Area | Town of Tolland CT Schindler/Schmidt Conservation Area | Visit CT Paulk Hill Conservation Area, Tolland Mountain Biking Trails | Trailforks Luis Moreria and John Sokoloski CCT NEMBA members who helped to open up an old trail at West Rock Ridge State Park Hamden, CT. Their mighty chainsaws cleared the path to complete the loop. Read more about [node:title]

Links to Relevant Resources

Central CT Autumn Chapter Report

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

(Image shows Luis Moreria and John Sokoloski CCT NEMBA members who helped to open up an old trail at West Rock Ridge State Park Hamden, CT. Their mighty chainsaws cleared the path to complete the loop.)

 

Autumn is the best time to ride in Southern New England, and it came early this year.

 

As I write this in mid-late September, we’re being treated to a spell of unseasonably cool and dry air. In a place where summer will often assert itself until mid-October the respite from heat, humidity, and bugs was a treat indeed. This, combined with virus-mandated leisure time, has kept the trails unusually busy. Mountain bikers have been conducting themselves responsibly on the crowded trails. Thanks to all of you for doing that. 

The biggest news since last report is the completion and opening of Paulik Hill Bike Park in Tolland, CT. This was a cooperative venture with the Quiet Corner Chapter, spearheaded by Jon Petersen, CCT NEMBA board member. It’s a trail system with bike park features such as roll overs, hucks, and skinnies for different ability levels. It’s been very popular and is getting rave reviews. Thanks to the many of you who donated funds for this project. 

The new Dividend Pond trails have also become very popular, especially with new riders and families. This is exactly what we hoped would happen and it’s great to see people enjoying the fruits of our labor. By the time this issue is distributed the new informational kiosks, built by a local Eagle Scout, should be in place. 

 

Most of our time since last report has been spent clearing trails of storm damage.

 

Hurricane Isaias cut a destructive path through central Connecticut in early August. Most areas were rendered unrideable, but they didn’t remain that way for long. The weekend after the storm mountain bikers were out in force clearing the trails in socially distant fashion and as a result some were rideable again by Sunday afternoon. Thanks to everyone who helped, and special thanks to Luis Moreira who put in over 40 hours clearing in the Middletown Cromwell area.  

 

Many of the downed trees were turned into features.

 

Three new skinnies were built at River Highlands, bringing that area’s total to seven. Luis and I built a teeter at Dividend Pond in mid-September. It was our first attempt at building such a feature and it came out well and is small enough to pivot quickly, but large enough to stay in one place. 

Lastly, I was given an award from Bike Walk CT for my trail stewardship and ride leading activities. I couldn’t have done it without the help of many, many people- too many to list. Thanks to all of you.  Although I’m not in this for notoriety, it was requested that we share the picture in this report. I guess it’s ok just this one time. 


Ride on-

Glenn Vernes, Prez

Northern CT

Nathan Hale SF, Coventry

2299 South St
Coventry  Connecticut  06238
United States

Easy

30%

Moderate

60%

Difficult

10%

Description

At 1529 acres the Nathan Hale State Forest offers over 25 miles of trails. 32 trails in all.

They range in difficulty from reasonably flat beginner trails, marked in green on the MAP above, to blue intermediate trails, to black challenging trails.

It's a really fun place to ride in places heavilly wooded. In other places there are managed fields of shrubs and brush.

The town of Coventry uses 57 acres as a town park.

Don't expect to cover all of the forest's trails in one outing. 

But don't worry about it - you will come back. Read more about [node:title]

Links to Relevant Resources

Northern CT

Northfield Brook Lake, Thomaston

1550 Northfield Rd
Thomaston  Connecticut  06787
United States

Easy

30%

Moderate

50%

Difficult

20%

Description

Northfield Brook Lake

Although work is still ongoing, congratulations are due to the group behind NW CT’s newest sanctioned mountain biking trail system. Utilizing properties owned by the Army Corp of Engineers and the Town of Thomaston, CT, Northfield Brook Lake creates a trail system of roughly 6+ miles of mountain bike specific singletrack. The terrain is varied and offers a great combination of twisty flowing singletrack and punchy climbs with plenty of interesting features along the way. Thanks to Greg Blasko, Tim Jackson and Joshua Russman for all your hard work.     

 

Northfield Brook Lake (NBL) consists of 208 acres of public land in the town of Thomaston, Connecticut. 6 miles of multi-use trails suitable for mountain biking and hiking currently exist.

Local members from the Northwest Connecticut Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association build and maintain the trail system with support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Read more about [node:title]

Links to Relevant Resources

Southern CT

Northern CT

Dividend Pond, Rocky Hill

8 Old Forge Rd
Rocky Hill  Connecticut  06067
United States

Easy

70%

Moderate

25%

Difficult

5%

Description

Dividend Pond Trail System - Taken from SIngleTracks Magazine

The biggest news since the spring 2020 issue is the completion and opening of the Dividend Pond trail system. Located just over the Cromwell line in Rocky Hill it’s the newest riding area in CT.

It’s geared toward families and people new to the sport, but the flowy nature of the trails, and some very unique features including a double gravity cavity, make it fun for all levels of rider.

Huge kudos to Luis Moreira, who secured permission and did the majority of the building. Here is Luis’ report-

Over the course of the winter, we obtained permission from the town of Rocky Hill to build the first bike-specific trail system in that community.

Located within the southern area of Dividend Pond Park is a brand-new singletrack loop, just under 2 miles long.

This loop is a great way for beginners to get their tires dirty and fun for intermediate riders alike. 

We were able to utilize the contours of the terrain to create a unique trail in a 30-acre parcel of land. 

The soil is reminiscent of the sandy glacial dirt found at River Highlands, therefore draining exceptionally well after rain. 

There are twists and turns, logs to hop over, natural berms and wall rides, and even a skinny! 

At a short 1.5 miles away from River Highlands -an easy 10-minute ride on residential road- this new riding area will be a nice peripheral extension for those opting for a 12+ mile ride. 

There are plans to add another section or two of trail in the future.  Stay tuned.  At the time of this writing, the loop is already packing down nicely but could use more tires. 

Finally, we would like to thank all of those who volunteered on this project and for the town's blessing for the ”Div Pond” project.  Hope to see you on the trails.

-Luis Moreira Read more about [node:title]

Local Shops

Central Wheel

Pedal Power

Northern CT

Norbrook Brewery Trails, Colebrook

204 Stillman Hill Rd
Colebrook  Connecticut  06021
United States

Easy

30%

Moderate

80%

Difficult

10%

Description

The Norbrook Farm Brewery hosts over 11 miles of mountain bike trails on its property. And more are in the works.

Some are flowy machine built singletracks. While others are old school singletrack mountain bike trails. Some even have advanced technical features and drops.

A couple of the trails are one-way only downhills. These are clearly marked on the map. But you'll also find maps on signboards at key intersections.

Most of the trails have the reputation of going either straight up or straight down. The descents are amazing!!!

The trail system has been built by professional trail builders.

Of course, a big draw is the excellent selection of suds after your ride. But, no purchases are necessary.

The trails are open to all during daylight hours and you can park right at the brewery.

Check it out. You'll come back. Read more about [node:title]

Local Shops

Benidorm Bikes

Links to Relevant Resources

QC NEMBA Zoom Meeting

Date

2/18/21 6:30pm to 7:30pm

QC NEMBA Chapter Meeting

 
Join us for QC NEMBA's first 2021 Zoom Chapter Meeting on Thursday, 2/18 to talk about our upcoming season. Bring your ideas & volunteer hours from January. Send agenda items to crisecadiz@gmail.com by Wednesday morning, 2/17.
 
Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/Laf8qhZ0Agenda will be posted in discussion.
 
Zoom link:
Control Concepts Inc is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: My Meeting
Time: Feb 18, 2021 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 963 3894 6374
Passcode: 398317
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Meeting ID: 963 3894 6374
Passcode: 398317
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abAHqSjjm5
 

Chapter

Quiet Corner

Event Leader

Cris Cadiz
crisecadiz@gmail.com

Northern CT

Crandall's Park, Tolland

120 Cider Mill Road
Tolland  Connecticut  06084
United States

(860) 871-3690

Easy

0%

Moderate

80%

Difficult

20%

Description

Crandall Park in Tolland is approximately 400 acres of town owned land. It is heavily utilized by hikers, but the biking trails are largely separate from the hiking trails. 

Overall there are about 14 miles of trails at Crandall. Trails are a mix of 80% intermediate and 20% advanced terrain, due to the amount of rock there really aren't any true beginner friendly trails. 

There is a decent climb from the parking to get to the top of the hill where you'll find some very tightly packed, twisty trails. The trails descending off the back of the hill are a bit more technical. The trails close to the highway weave through a mountain laurel thicket, those trails seriously test your bike handling skills. There is a loop out to Old Kent Road that includes a pretty intense climb, though it's relatively short. All of the trails at Crandall are on Trailforks. 

There are features scattered throughout the trail system, mainly naturally occurring rocks including drops, rollers, log rides and highly technical rock sections, all features have go around trails.  

The most popular parking spot is the "dirt lot" which is located at 120 Cider Mill Road in Tolland, however there are four other parking lots for the park, all of which have easy access to the trail system. 

By John Isch

Crandall Park Mountain Bike Trail in Tolland, Connecticut - Directions,  Maps, Photos, and Reviews Crandall Park - Explore Connecticut Crandall Park - Explore Connecticut Crandall Park - Hike It Baby : Trails Read more about [node:title]

Local Shops

Putnam Cyclery

Pedal Power

Links to Relevant Resources

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