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  1. #1
    Member noonito's Avatar
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    Routes in the Berkshires?

    I'm going to be in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts in the next month or two and I'm planning to bike while I'm there. Any suggestions on some good routes? I wanted to climb Mount Greylock but I just learned that the roads to the top are closed this year. What other good climbs (preferably with views) are in the area?

    I might bring my mountain bike as well, so any info on mountain bike trails is appreciated too. Thanks!

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    Get the Western Massachusetts bicycling map, by Rubel BikeMaps.

    I've done some riding in several parts of the Berkshires, and I find myself liking the southern part best for road riding, like this route.
    (and as long as you're in the area, might want to sample some of the great farmland riding in Columbia county New York, which I usually like better than most of the Berkshires for road bicycling.)
    Ken

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    Railroad Photographer Orgnoi1's Avatar
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    If you take your mountain bike then October Mountain situated behind Lenox, MA is really nice... lots of trails for all abilities... just be aware that its also ORV friendly so you may see some dirtbikes or quads up there too... I drive through there quite a lot enroute to my railroad...
    Ross Mealey of TRJ Photography
    Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum - Staff Photographer
    http://www.northeastfoto.com/gallery...trainwreck.gif
    My Railroad Photography

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    .ks
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonito View Post
    I'm going to be in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts in the next month or two and I'm planning to bike while I'm there. Any suggestions on some good routes? I wanted to climb Mount Greylock but I just learned that the roads to the top are closed this year. What other good climbs (preferably with views) are in the area?

    I might bring my mountain bike as well, so any info on mountain bike trails is appreciated too. Thanks!
    Here's the webpage for the Multiple Sclerosis "Bike and Hike the Berkshires" event: http://bikemam.nationalmssociety.org...try&fr_id=9022

    See cue sheets. And toss a donation toward "Team Acusphere"

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    Cycler Suzie Green's Avatar
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    Start in North Adams, take Rt 8 south, then Rt. 116 east, Rt. 8-A north, and Rt. 2 west back to North Adams. That will be a 50+ miler with LOTSA hills. The best part is the last bit from Whitcomb Summit on the Mohawk Trail (Rt. 2) back down to North Adams is all downhill. Watch out for the nasty hairpin turn. In fact it's a good place to stop and enjoy the view anyway!

    Anything east of Rt. 7 and Rt. 8 and north of Rt. 20 is fine, all the way over as far as I-91. I've ridden down around the towns of Peru, Beckett, Washington, and Worthington and it's fine roads and light enough traffic.

  6. #6
    Respect Your Hill spindog's Avatar
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    The Great River Ride is offered in the fall and the century route has some unbelievable climbing along with beautiful views. I cannot attest to the shorter routes because I never rode them, but I am sure that they are all memorable.

    Check out the GRR website - they post and you can print the cue sheets for the rides.
    http://newhorizonsbikes.com/page.cfm?PageID=161

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    There's lots of good riding up there. Since my inlaws have a house in S. Egremont, I'm there a lot and I usually bring the bike. Mt. Washington road is a good climb, and then you can follow the signs to Bashbish Falls, which straddle the NY/MA state line. Once in NY, the rail trail will take you a short way, and then Undermountain road to Millerton, back across the hills into CT and north on Rt 41 back. If you are further north there are plenty of rides. Check out Berkshire Bike and Blade on Rt. 7 in Gt Barrington, they'll have maps and books, and pretty decent gear too.

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    Member noonito's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, this is great information. It sounds like I will have plenty of options while I'm up there. Hopefully the weather is good!

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    In the summer I live in the Berkshires and literally in October Mountain State Forest, which has a combination of dirt roads, ATV trails and some excellent hidden single track. Depending on your skill level you can go for any of the above in there. It's muddy, rocky with lots of roots and ups and downs but really remote and I love it.

    I'm more of a road rider though and there are a ton of great rides out here and no shortage of good steep climbs. Greylock is sorely missed the past two years by many of us but there are still a lot of good climbs to be had.

    PM me when you get to the area and I'd be glad to help get you started.

    P.S. and get the Rubel Bike Map for Western Mass.- indispensable.
    Last edited by buzzman; 07-02-08 at 10:51 PM.

  10. #10
    zungguzungguguzungguzeng Catnap's Avatar
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    thank you guys for all the great links! my parents live in Great Barrington, and tomorrow I'm taking the train from NYC up to Wassaic, and then riding my bike to their house from there. I will consult the map links you've posted, but any specific advice on that ride?

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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    I take the train into NYC from Wassaic frequently. Rte. 22, which goes by the Wassaic train station is supposedly a "bike route" it's a bit narrow in places with broken pavement and windy sections that climb but is quite beautiful as it cuts through the valley and is rideable and ridden by quite a few riders so drivers will watch for cyclists. There are also "Shared Roadway" signs and smaller "bike route" signs occasionally.

    There is also a bike path that starts at Wassaic and runs north for quite a bit ( maybe 14 miles). It's a pleasant path and runs on the old rail bed so less climbing and, of course, no cars.

    There are a few right turns (is it 41 or 42? I'd have to look at the map) that take you up towards Great Barrington. They're all pretty good, quieter than 22 to some degree but also winding and hilly.

    All in all I think you'll like the ride. I think it's about 35-40 miles from Wassaic to GB.

  12. #12
    zungguzungguguzungguzeng Catnap's Avatar
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    awesome!!! i printed the directions to the "Harlem River Valley Rail Trail to Falls" ride at http://www.roberts-1.com/bikehudson/.../map/index.htm

    i'm planning on following this up to Hillsdale before turning right (east) onto Hillsdale Road towards Great Barrington.

    hopefully i can get a decent map at a bookstore in Grand Central before the train leaves... i'm headed over there in an hour or so to catch the 9:48 to Wassaic. i'm so psyched i haven't been able to sleep in this morning.

    of course i'll have plenty of time for that on the train ride up there. thanks again for your help Buzzman. I will post up a ride report later this weekend.

  13. #13
    zungguzungguguzungguzeng Catnap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
    awesome!!! i printed the directions to the "Harlem River Valley Rail Trail to Falls" ride at http://www.roberts-1.com/bikehudson/.../map/index.htm

    i'm planning on following this up to Hillsdale before turning right (east) onto Hillsdale Road towards Great Barrington.

    hopefully i can get a decent map at a bookstore in Grand Central before the train leaves... i'm headed over there in an hour or so to catch the 9:48 to Wassaic. i'm so psyched i haven't been able to sleep in this morning.

    of course i'll have plenty of time for that on the train ride up there. thanks again for your help Buzzman. I will post up a ride report later this weekend.

    so here's my ride report from Friday July 4th:

    got off to a funky start due to morning rain in NYC and then losing my keys on Metro-North. this was offset however by meeting some cool people on the train ride up: a nice older guy fully decked out in race clothes / jersey and a fancy road bike, and a very cute girl with a beach cruiser. the guy told us about some of the great harlem river valley rides and history, taking my mind of how the heck i'm gonna get back into my apt. when i return to the city tonite.

    arriving in Wassaic, I rode up the rail trail to Amenia with the girl I met. the trail there is great, paved all the way, quiet and gorgeous. there were many other riders out that day, mostly families but also a few hardcore types wooshing by. we rode pretty slowly since the girl's beach cruiser was rusty plus she caught a flat about 10 minutes in. fixed the flat and continued on to Amenia... i would say that first leg, despite going so slow, only took 20-30min. her destination was Amenia, so from there we parted ways and I continued on the trail to Millerton.

    When the rail trail ended in Millerton, I got a little confused as to where to go to next. I had the directions from the link above, but couldn't find a map that had any detail of the area. luckily I ran into the older guy from the train, who gave me detailed directions to 62 / Maple Ave. I took this past Rudd Pond / Taconic State Park. This leg of the trip was more challenging, with rolling hills and a couple climbs. Also, I had to ride on the road versus a car-free trail, but the quality of the roads were great - no cracks, rocks, glass, etc.

    My ride concluded in Copake Falls, where I met up with my folks. I would've gone farther but they had other plans... overall it was a awesome ride, and I'm about to do it in reverse - leaving in an hour to ride back to Wassaic! if anything new or exciting happens, i'll post about it later.


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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    For future reference: here is a simple route to Great Barrington from the Wassaic Station.

    Take the bike path to Amenia. Then route 343 to 361 to 41 North to 23 into GB. The roads are winding and hilly. Sometimes a bit narrow but on a weekend or early in the morning usually pretty quiet. Great scenery in thru here.

    I've google mapped it for you here: Ride to GB from Wassaic Train.

    Sorry I wasn't more specific in my earlier post but it sounds like you had a great ride anyway- even met a pretty girl on a beach cruiser- that's an all round good day.

  15. #15
    zungguzungguguzungguzeng Catnap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    For future reference: here is a simple route to Great Barrington from the Wassaic Station.

    Take the bike path to Amenia. Then route 343 to 361 to 41 North to 23 into GB. The roads are winding and hilly. Sometimes a bit narrow but on a weekend or early in the morning usually pretty quiet. Great scenery in thru here.

    I've google mapped it for you here: Ride to GB from Wassaic Train.

    Sorry I wasn't more specific in my earlier post but it sounds like you had a great ride anyway- even met a pretty girl on a beach cruiser- that's an all round good day.

    oh awesome! thanks very much for those directions, as I am planning on "going the whole way" next time. the ride back (Copake Falls to Wassaic) this morning was much quicker than the ride on Friday - I did it in a little under 2.5 hours.

    this is such a great ride and the people i pass on the way are always so friendly, waves and smiles every time. it's not like that in NYC!!! next time i'm bringing some friends.

    if only i'd have run into that girl again... i kicked myself all weekend for not getting her number.

  16. #16
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    I was up there today dropping my kids off at camp Hi-Rock, which is straight up the road from Copake Falls, past Bashbish. On the way up there were 5 guys riding on their bikes up the grueling hill to the top. The NY Cycle Club does a Berkshires weekend every year on Memorial Day, and that is the highlight of the weekend to do that hill. I haven't even tried.

    That road past Rudd Pond is Undermountain road that I described above. It's a very nice ride and it leaves you at the other end of the rail trail to Copake, as you probably discovered.

    And next time, get her number. You won't get lucky again.

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    Grab a dart, throw it at a map of the Berkshires and wherever it hits will be a great ride... Guaranteed.

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