Best Bike Rides in New England
by Paul Thomas (The Globe Pequot Press)
© Paul Thomas/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.
Great ride. Brand new paving too. The first 12 miles are tough, but well worth it. Rte 7 is a nice cruise back. As of the date of our ride, a bridge is out on Rte 43 just after the turnoff from Rte 7 to Rte 43, but looks like it will be back on line later this summer. Meanwhile, you can easily complete the ride by continuing on Rte 7.
This is really a beautiful trail and a real sense of accomplishment. On the day I did it (a Saturday and very overcast) there were very few people so I had almost no traffic to contend with which I think added greatly to the experience. I would suggest doing it on a weekday or very early on a weekend to have "the mountain to yourself" The climb is very strenuous but it doesn't have that "goes on forever" feeling that other tough climbs I have done have. Truth be told, I walked my road bike up on several stretches when my heart rate monitor started screaming at me. If you are not a Lance Armstrong type, but want to have the experience of staying on your bike the whole way up, I'd suggest a mountain bike that has the extra gear (I hate calling it a Granny Gear, but if you insist) It spite of its popularity as the highest peak in the state, it has a pristine quality to it. Very well maintained with gorgeous views and you can't beat standing on top of the state. Take it easy coming down. I don't suggest any daredeviling. Make sure your brakes are in good shape. The ride back to Williamstown is lovely too. All in all, this earns the label of "Classic"
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