Trans-Mass Trail

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Northeast, Southeast & Florida' started by Hulked Up, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Hulked Up

    Hulked Up Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    http://goo.gl/h0IXh

    The file is also located at Post 36
    Paper route maps are at posts 351 and 405.
    Big thanks to Augustfalcon for hosting the file.

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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Using a Rubel bicycle map and a GPS I set off exploring public, dirt roads, seeing how accurate the maps were and whether they were passable for bigger bikes, like my KLR. I wanted a route that nearly anyone could ride, especially a noobie like myself.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    After a lot of trial and error I&#8217;ve come up with what I think is a decent route, one I&#8217;m dubbing the Trans-Mass Trail. The attached file has two routes: a north and a south leg. The total distance is only about 90 miles for the whole route. I had to create two legs because several of the roads on the north leg are mistakenly listed as closed on the GPS and Mapsource wants to route you around them. For the north leg the gpx file contains my actual tracks so that there won&#8217;t be any confusion.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I would encourage people to look over the route and suggest or make changes to it. I would consider my draft a first step. Although I&#8217;ve taken it as far as I can, others with a fresh set of eyes or more local knowledge will likely suggest better alternatives to some of the roads I&#8217;ve chosen.

    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CKeith%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="City"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="State"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="PlaceType"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="PlaceName"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="Street"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="address"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:UseFELayout/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Wingdings; panose-1:5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:2; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:0 268435456 0 0 -2147483648 0;} @font-face {font-family:"MS Mincho"; panose-1:2 2 6 9 4 2 5 8 3 4; mso-font-alt:"&#65325;&#65331; &#26126;&#26397;"; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:modern; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:-1610612033 1757936891 16 0 131231 0;} @font-face {font-family:"\@MS Mincho"; panose-1:2 2 6 9 4 2 5 8 3 4; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:modern; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:-1610612033 1757936891 16 0 131231 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS Mincho"; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} /* List Definitions */ @list l0 {mso-list-id:1978992510; mso-list-type:hybrid; mso-list-template-ids:1285560174 67698689 67698691 67698693 67698689 67698691 67698693 67698689 67698691 67698693;} @list l0:level1 {mso-level-number-format:bullet; mso-level-text:&#61623;; mso-level-tab-stop:.5in; mso-level-number-position:left; text-indent:-.25in; font-family:Symbol;} ol {margin-bottom:0in;} ul {margin-bottom:0in;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> A few notes about the route if you would like to explore it:
    <o:p> </o:p>
    • The route starts in Winsted, Connecticut, the closest place I could find that has reliable gasoline and close proximity to dirt roads. Unfortunately I could find no dirt roads that crossed the border in this area. There are several roads that the Rubel map indicates cross the border, such as <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Norfolk Rd</st1:address></st1:street>, <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">State Line Hill Rd</st1:address></st1:street> and Simmon&#8217;s <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Pond Road</st1:address></st1:street>. In reality each of these roads is either a dead-end or turns into gnarly single track before reaching the <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Connecticut</st1:place></st1:state> border. I had no choice but to ride Route 183 into <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">Massachusetts</st1:state></st1:place> and then hit the dirt.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    • In almost all cases the route is over dirt roads that are public ways and are town-maintained. I did this intentionally so that nearly anyone could do this ride.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    • Three of the roads in the north leg are not maintained in the winter: Old Route 9, (the start of the north leg), Stage Road (both in Cummington) and <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Hawks Road</st1:address></st1:street> (Shelburne). These will be rougher than the rest of the route, but still do-able on a big bike. Be especially careful after a recent rain storm as there may be some washout sections. There are easy ride-arounds on paved roads if you don&#8217;t feel comfortable tackling these sections. A note that these roads may have signs that say, &#8220;Closed.&#8221; Don&#8217;t let that deter you, each are open to vehicle use, but closed to all traffic in the winter.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    • I&#8217;ve ridden every mile of the route personally and believe the GPS files are as accurate as possible, but there may be some errors.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    • <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Massachusetts</st1:place></st1:state> has a number of dirt roads, but the challenge is linking them together. It was much easier in the southern part of the state. The south route is about 75% dirt, 25% pavement; the north route is about 65% pavement. Even though it is not truly an &#8220;all dirt&#8221; route I think most people won&#8217;t mind the paved sections. Many are in pretty remote areas and you will be rewarded with great vistas, rural farms, no traffic lights and few other vehicles. It&#8217;s a side of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">Massachusetts</st1:state></st1:place> not seen on the main roads or in the tour books.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    • Many of the roads that are dirt also have some short sections of pavement to prevent washouts. Be careful as the road can change from pavement to dirt without much warning.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    • If you care about that type of stuff...Bill Cosby has a residence on <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Bardswell Ferry Road</st1:address></st1:street> in Shelburne. Immediately after crossing the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Deerfield</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">River</st1:placetype></st1:place> and going over the railroad tracks, his estate will be the first property on the right.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    • Enduro&#8217;s could still have some fun on this route. Many of the roads have single track trails running off of them. There are a lot of other dirt roads in the area that are worth exploring that I didn&#8217;t use in the route.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    • The route ends in <st1:city w:st="on">Greenfield</st1:city> at the same gas station where the <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Puppy Dog Route</st1:address></st1:street> into <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Vermont</st1:place></st1:state> takes over.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This is typical of what most of the roads on the route look like:
    <o:p> </o:p><o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Crossing the Mass Pike, on dirt!<o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>

    Enjoy.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #1
  2. RockyNH

    RockyNH Older Than Dirt!

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    Just downloaded it... will give a look when I get home tonight. I did the PDR in early July...

    Thanks for your efforts on this...

    Pat in NH
    #2
  3. RockyNH

    RockyNH Older Than Dirt!

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    Has anyone else done your route yet?? I have looked at it and know it was a lot of work... so again, Thank You!

    I am hoping to try it or the Bailey Hazen in VT labor day weekend..

    Pat in NH
    #3
  4. Cutter

    Cutter Girivek

    Joined:
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    Looks fun,,, Ya heading up a ride for this??
    #4
  5. Hulked Up

    Hulked Up Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    No...just don't think I'm going to have a free weekend this September and I don't have the off-road skills yet to be leading a group. Someone with a GPS should be able to follow the route without any problems.
    #5
  6. RockyNH

    RockyNH Older Than Dirt!

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    Have GPS will Travel!

    Pat in NH
    #6
  7. Cutter

    Cutter Girivek

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    Rocky,,,,,,,you steppin up to the plate???:ear
    #7
  8. RockyNH

    RockyNH Older Than Dirt!

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    Being a Noob.. I am not convinced I am qualified to lead much of anything yet.. I am planning to do either this or the Baley-Hazen this Sunday (a long day figuring time to get there and then get home..)

    I do have a GPS and hopefully can navigate either route easy enough with all the work others have done..

    Pat in NH
    #8
  9. Ridin Dirty

    Ridin Dirty What day is it?

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    WMASS
    I was planning a ride out of Otis, MA in September. I'm familiar with alot of the roads listed in the lower third of the route. We were looking at riding up through MA on a more Westerly route to VT but I was just starting my research. My riding buddy has a GPS so maybe I'll get him to load it up. Someday I'll crawl out my cave. Maybe I enjoy being blistfully lost.

    Has anyone ridden the Puppy Dog Route here? Almost all dirt? Any nasty stuff? I assume the BMW guys like their roads groomed.
    #9
  10. RockyNH

    RockyNH Older Than Dirt!

    Joined:
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    Ridin,

    I did the PDR in June... 2 of us each on F650 GS with tourances... I liked thge northern section better ... more dirt and better scenery and a couple slightly more difficult areas (rut's rocky etc) but nothing a noob (and I am!) could not handle.

    The southern section was ok... and in its defense, there was likely more dirt than I saw cuz I got off course twice for sure...

    Sunday we are heading up to do the Baley-Hazen north of Wells River VT


    Pat in NH
    #10
  11. Hulked Up

    Hulked Up Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I've ridden part of the lower section, Greenfield to S. Woodstock, VT. There is actually a fair amount of pavement on the route, about 40% in my estimation. This is my first season on dirt and I only had one pucker moment. For the most part the dirt sections are on town maintained roads and in good condition.

    There's a recent Ride Report on a group that did it. Unfortunately one of the members of the party was hurt on the route.

    Nothing nasty on the PDR.
    #11
  12. AWM

    AWM Beard Bros Racing

    Joined:
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    Your Mom's house
    First off let me say THANK YOU!!!!!
    Second off,you don't need to be Ricky Johnson to lead a Dirt road route.Its not a Hare scrambler!
    You mapped it you should be the one not ride'n in the dirt cloud.:D
    I would like too take a early moring start to ride the Puppy Dog down to your route.
    I say you pick a date and a time,and call RIDE!!!
    #12
  13. Hulked Up

    Hulked Up Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Thanks. Let me see what my weekends in September might be like. So, you'd like to run it in reverse, from the Vermont border?
    #13
  14. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    That looks like a great route. Now I just need to find a fun way to get to it from Boston. Perhaps the wife and I will try it out over thanksgiving break, thanks for posting!
    #14
  15. RockyNH

    RockyNH Older Than Dirt!

    Joined:
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    If there is any interest with some of the guys over east (NH) .. I may try and run teh route next Sunday (the 7th)

    Not sure yet what the locals are doing that day yet... but if I flipped a coin this weekend and did the Baley-Hazen.. So I suspect it is time for this.

    Pat in NH
    #15
  16. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    I am familiar with the southern half since I trailboss the BTRA Berkshire Dualsport Ride and we use a lot of those roads. Some of your pics are in my neighborhood, more or less. Seems like a pretty good route. I am not familiar with the norther MA portion.

    There is a dirt road CT/MA border crossing just east of where Rte 183 crosses, and you could still connect to Fox Rd. and resume your route. The road doesn't appear on most maps (it looks like a relatively recent "improvement") but it is a town-maintained dirt road that connects two paved roads. It is not any "better" a route but if you wanna cross the border on dirt, you can.

    Everybody please keep in mind that many of the dirt roads are lightly travelled residential areas with low speed limits; in some cases the houses are close to the road and people won't appreciate bikes ripping past their house at high speeds. When we do the dualsport we ask the riders to be considerate of the neighbors in the inhabited areas. We send a LOT of bikes through at once but try to obtain tolerance for it as a charity event and it's "just for one day". Our club regularly rides in the same area and we don't want hostility to develop towards motorcycles. At least the loud pipe Harleys mostly stay off the dirt roads!
    #16
  17. RockyNH

    RockyNH Older Than Dirt!

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    #17
  18. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Hey thanks, sorry if I was preachy. Just that I live here and want to keep riding (and keep putting on events) without hassles.

    -V.
    #18
  19. RockyNH

    RockyNH Older Than Dirt!

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    No apology needed... and I did NOT take it as preachy.. we all need to be aware and share thoughts that will preserve our right to ride..

    I just wanted to acknowledge to you that I heard, understaood and felt the same way...

    I have (so far) had great luck with locals, especially by slowing in neighborhoods and by waving as I pass them.. most smile and wave back..

    Pat in NH
    #19
  20. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    When coming up Rte 183, before you get to the MA line, an option is to turn right on Wolfords Hill Rd. (small bridge right at Rte 183) then left on Prock Hill Rd. Prock Hill Rd. will be paved at that point, but then turns into a maintained dirt road (easily rideable by V-Strom) and goes through to New Hartford Rd.

    Every map that I have seen, including the one in my Zumo, shows Prock Hill as dead ending before the MA line, but indeed it goes all the way through. Then you can continue up New Hartford Rd. and turn right on Fox Rd. to resume the established route.

    Prock Hill Rd. itself branches directly off of Rte 183 further south but is just a paved residential road and of no advantage (IMHO) over Rte 183, thus the suggestion to continue up 183 to Wolfords.

    Local trivia: a Hare Scramble was held on a camp property that is located at the end of a dead end extending off the other side of Prock Hill Rd. (I rode in it.) However, a promoter of quad events got in there and allegedly ruined it for everyone by promoting events that left the property in an attempt to connect over to MA trails. This didn't fly with the CT locals and I don't know if the camp is used for any riding events any more.
    #20