Sunday, November 20, 2022

Bay Circuit Trail (Just a Taste)

I was at a trail building workshop recently and one of the questions that was presented to us was, “what’s your favorite trail?” 

I started scouring my memories, would it be Joe’s Ridge in Fruita? Black Bear at Kingdom Trails? Flow Trail in Santa Cruz? All killer trails, but then the more I thought about it, I finally settled on the Massachusetts' own Bay Circuit Trail

This isn’t just some sweet section of killer singletrack, nor is it even off road for its entirety, but, the BCT checks many of the boxes on my list of best trail features. 

First off, it’s long, and admittedly, I’ve only done a relatively small portion. The whole trail is 230 miles and runs from Newburyport to Kingston, essentially between rt 128 and 495. I like trails that “go somewhere” and prefer that as opposed to going to one spot and going round and round on a 3 or 4 mile loop. 

Because the trail is so long, it relies on many, many, many connections and I am in awe of the amount of work it must have taken to form partnerships with so many public and private landowners and agencies. Just in the portion I’ve done a few times, the trail crosses a State Forest, a State Park, property managed by Essex County Greenbelt Association and The Trustees of Reservation, municipal properties and more. I love seeing networks of trails that connect communities. 

And, the trail is fun. Again, I have only done a portion—a portion that I can take the commuter rail to the start and ride home—but what I have done is a blast. Great trails, some good climbs, some killer views, and a wide diversity of terrain and habitat. 

Doing the whole trail is on my bucket list, and hopefully I'll check that off soon. Until then, I'll certainly continue to enjoy the portion I have close to home.

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