Hodges Village Dam - TRAIL

Hodges Village Dam - Trail, Oxford, Massachusetts

Hodges Village Dam has some of the most diverse and interesting trails in central MA. There is no permanent lake behind the dam which was built by the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control. It is filled only temporarily with runoff from rainwater which would otherwise cause flooding problems downstream. The lands upstream of the dam are open to the public providing hundreds of acres of forest, shrub meadows, glacial topography and wetlands, all interlaced with outstanding trails. Few of the trails are blazed and signed but they are well-used and easy to follow. Exploring the network of trails could take you days as they wind around the tops of glacial terraces, foundations of long-abandoned buildings and travel an old railroad bed and woods roads. The Corps permits properly registered motorized trail bikes on the west side of the French river only; mountain bikes are welcome on either side of the river. The hardpacked trails are well used and relatively easy to negotiate. The overused sections - you'll find a few - are rock strewn and exposed roots can make even slow going a challenge (I have the bruises to prove it.) Mountain bikers don't crash, they "bonk". The entire area can be traversed on woods roads or the west side's old railroad bed in less than an hour, but the meandering trails are far more scenic and challenging. The walk back to our car with a flat or broken bike may take a few hours, provided you know which direction you came from. A helmet, patch kit, pump and water are always good ideas. The Mid-State Hiking trail runs across the area from west to east, crossing he French River at the dam. It was laid out for foot traffic and maintained by volunteers who would prefer to see it stay that way. There are only a few narrow singletrack sections which leave the relatively wide woods roads, and I recommend avoiding these while biking. The trail is well marked with yellow triangles and signs, so it is easy to avoid.

User Reviews (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2  
OldHeckler   Cross Country Rider [May 24, 2005]

Just completed a long NEMBA trail building school at Hodges Village Dam and got to ride many of the trails a couple times. The first review here was a couple years old. The motor bikes and quads have taken a toll on many of the trails, widening them and making the babyheads come to the surface. Roots too! On the whole though, many of the single track trails are still very tight and twisty! Great intermediate riding. This weekend we built a 1/4 mile reroute to avoid one of the completely trashed hill climbs. Also we put in a new bridge over one of the worst water bogs in the place as well as a slick new rock trail feature for those that like that sort of thing! Over 400 man hours went into the park this weekend! The blazing is much better than in the past with black dots on the color paint to indicate whether you are heading back to the dam or not. Hard to get lost!

Customer Service

The east side definitely has fewer dirt bikes digging the place up (they are still there though) so the ride experience is better but both sides offer great riding!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
woodsguy   Cross Country Rider [Sep 08, 2003]

I rode Hodeges for the first time last weekend ago and then attended a NEMBA ride there last Wednesday. This place is alot of fun! There is alot of technical single track on the right side of the river and fast banked turns on the left side. There are usually motorcycles here as well but all the ones I've run into so far have been very friendly.

Similar Products Used: Rayburn Trails
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-2 of 2  

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