Willowdale

Ipswich, Massachusetts

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Nestled between Bradley Palmer State Park and Georgetown-Rowley State Forest is the lesser-known and perhaps under-appreciated Willowdale State Forest. Divided into two sections, the 2,400-acre forest features roughly 40 miles of trails. Mountain bikers with the time and stamina can connect Bradley Palmer and Georgetown-Rowley through Willdale via the Bay Circuit Trail. Because of its hub nature, Willowdale has become popular among equestrians, nature lovers, walkers, and other trail users-these trails have become a favorite of a local off-road running club. Luckily the forest is popular among wildlife as well. Whitetail deer, owl, partridge, wild turkey, fox and coyote sightings are not uncommon. Be mindful that this is a working forest, used for logging and hunting (in November and December). Exercise caution if you're riding during hunting season or near logging areas. Terrain: Improved dirt roads, doubletrack (often wet), and singletrack. consists of mostly smooth-running doubletrack, but there are a number of tight, twisty singletrack sections. Low-lying areas can be muddy during spring, fall, and following heavy rains.
Mountain Bike America: Boston

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Mountain Bike America: Boston

by Jeff Cutler (The Globe Pequot Press)

Nestled between Bradley Palmer State Park and Georgetown-Rowley State Forest is the lesser-known and perhaps under-appreciated Willowdale State Forest. Divided into two sections, the 2,400-acre forest features roughly 40 miles of trails. Mountain bikers with the time and stamina can connect Bradley Palmer and Georgetown-Rowley through Willdale via the Bay Circuit Trail. Because of its hub nature, Willowdale has become popular among equestrians, nature lovers, walkers, and other trail users-these trails have become a favorite of a local off-road running club.

Luckily the forest is popular among wildlife as well. Whitetail deer, owl, partridge, wild turkey, fox and coyote sightings are not uncommon. Be mindful that this is a working forest, used for logging and hunting (in November and December). Exercise caution if you're riding during hunting season or near logging areas. Terrain: Improved dirt roads, doubletrack (often wet), and singletrack. consists of mostly smooth-running doubletrack, but there are a number of tight, twisty singletrack sections. Low-lying areas can be muddy during spring, fall, and following heavy rains.

©  Jeff Cutler/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Ipswich
Distance: 5.8
Elevation Gain: 114 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Technical Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Physical Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 45 minutes
Season: Year-round.
Local Contacts: Bradley Palmer State Park, 978-887-5931
Local Maps: USGS Ipswich; Willowdale / Cleaveland Farm State Forest Trail Map - available from the Bradley Palmer State Park.
Driving Directions: Directions to Willowdale

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Apr 2018