“Dubuque’s singletrack trails wind through gorgeous and diverse woodlands and offer a variety of challenges, loops and scenic features that mountain bikers seek,” says Harold Green, President of the PV-NEMBA Chapter, in a press release.
In addition to its lift-served downhill trails, an all-mountain/cross-country system is already accessible from the resort, but consists of more advanced riding, according to Gabe Porter Henry, Thunder Mountain's director of marketing. The new trails in nearby Hawley are reportedly mostly beginner and intermediate.
Along with the existing 35 miles of Charlemont trails, the new Hawley trails bring the total to more than 50 miles of singletrack in the area for those who choose to earn their turns.
“By opening the trails in Hawley State Forest, it provides an additoinal 15-plus miles of beginner and intermediate riding to complement some more of the aggressive steep climbs and descents in the Charlment system," Porter Henry told MTBparks. "By putting these pieces together, it’s shaping up to provide an excellent well rounded mountain bike experience for both cross-country and downhill in the region."
NEMBA has agreed to organize volunteer trail maintenance and stewardship of the new trail system, help monitor against illegal trail building and work to educate trail users about etiquette and stewardship, according to the release.
"We are very excited about this partnership to expand recreational opportunities at Dubuque,” said DCR Commissioner, Leo P. Roy. “We expect that this new trail network will draw users from both the Pioneer Valley and Berkshire County to Hawley, and we believe that excellent trail networks and recreation can have economic benefits to local communities and the region."
DCR and NEMBA are currently working to install signs, create new on-line maps, and build some additional trail connections.
Thunder Mountain Bike Park jumped into the gravity scene head first in 2015 guided by the expertise of Gravity Logic's trail crew. Featuring a variety of trails including the all new Hawleywood expert jump trail, it offers the only lift-served mountain biking in the region.
-by Don Stefanovich