Russell Resvoir - Trail, Russell, Massachusetts

Russell Resvoir - Trail, Russell, Massachusetts


Old New England carrage roads. Quad trails. Nice vistas. White knuckle downhills. Seven miles up, seven miles down.


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[Jul 10, 2000]
Eric Harlow

Off of Route 20 in Russell, park either at the Russell Inn or at the church parking lot near the base of Pine Hill Road. Proceed up Pine Hill Road. Up is an under statement. Go about 3/4 mi. to the second entrance of the reservoir watershed area. This is a gnarly dirt/4wd road, which is actually a town (public) road named Martin Phelps Road. Proceed up past the Russell weather station where you will finally crest the hill. A welcomed downhill will bring you to a four way intersection where you will need to take a right. Watch out as it comes up quick. Take a right onto the Pipeline. (If you end up at the reservoir, turn around and go back about fifty yards, but you may want to check out the incredible view first!). The Pipeline offers some very technical climbing, loose rocks and steep sections requiring serious power bursts!. After about 1/2 mile you will now be in Huntington where the climbing stops and a beautiful view of the Hidden Hills appear. This only lasts a second as you will then plummet down what has to be nearly a 40 degree decent! Seat in chest and butt only millimeters off your rear tire, proceed down to a sharp left which will take you into the woods. This singletrack trail traverses accross the mountain across a stream and into a grassy area. Go through the grassy section, about 50 yards, taking a left up a gravel road. The gravel road lasts about 1/8 mile to where it turns into a nasty Jeep trail (Huntington Road - Blandford). This trail is basically a dry streambed. If the weather is wet, this is one of the most technically demanding climbs you'll ever hate! It isn't that steep, but it will seemingly go on forever. If it's dry, it will be a nice challange. Go up this trail about 1/2 mile where the hill crests at a three way intersection. Keep going straight on what is now a much more navicable Jeep trail. Keep your eye out for Turkeys and Black Bears. I haven't seen any bears lately, but I consistntly see tracks! This wide section of the trail goes up and down slightly. After about a mile from cresting the nasty climb, you will come to a quad trail that sort of forks to the right over a wet kinda streamy area. Take this trail. This will lead you past an old cellar hole that was once a farm house. This is a good spot to stop and eat a Power Bar. If you search around you will also find an old well. A few hundred years ago, the forest you are riding through was all mountain pastures. Continue on this trail. You will come to Mass Electric powerlines. Keep going straight crossing under the powerlines. Go for a mile or so where the trail merges left with what was the old carrage road from Huntington to Blandford Center. Here you will find a long straightaway that climbs (again!) for about a mile. You will then pass under the powerlines again. Immediately after passing under the powerlines, take a left onto the dirt road. You will now begin a seven mile downhill! After a short distance you will see Cochran Pond on your left, and then a sugarhouse. Just past the sugarhouse you will arrive at a four way intersection. Go straight onto this more rugged trail and continue your decent. There has been a little bit of logging here in the past but it is totally passable. After a short distance you will come to the best part of the ride. Serious twisting fast singletrack downhill. Continue snaking your way down for a few miles. You will come to a stream crossing which may or maynot be crossable while mounted. Just over the stream you will enter a small field. Follow the trail about 100 yards where you will come to a T intersection. You will see the reservoir kind of off to the left. Take a right. The trail will meander on for about 1/2 mile where you will merge right, just past a stream. There is a very short grassy section, about 50 feet where you will need to take a left into the woods. Another old cellar hole will be on your left and stone walls will line the trail. A few massive trees have fallen accross the trail of late, so be prepared to dismount. This trail is not very well worn so pay attention! Continue down this trail for about 2 miles where you will end up at what kinda looks like someone's back yard! It really isn't. It is the top of Upper Moss Hill Road in Russell. You will pass by a sign/graphics studio (I've met the property owner, and he has given permission for Mt. Bikers to pass through, nice guy, say hello if he's outside). Going down Upper Moss Hill is a blast, its only about 1/2 mile but you can hit speeds of 35-40 mph! This will take you to a paved road, Blandford Stage Road. This is a well traveled road. It is the main road between Blandford and Russell as well as the access road to Blandford Ski Area. Blast down Blandford Stage, again, you will definately run out of gears quick on this downhill! At the bottom you will come to the intersection of Route 20. The Russell Inn will be right in front of you. The pizza here is great. It's a good place to down a few post ride beers as well! If you've parked here you're done. Otherwise take a left heading west on Rte. 20 and your car will be about 200 yards on the left. Remeber to pack out what you packed in and obey all trespassing and posted signs. This ride is recommended for advanced riders. Riding time is about 2/12 hours.

Customer Service

Off Route 20 in Russell. Pine Hill Road (steep paved country road - 3/4 mi.)to Martin Phelps Road (Jeep trail) to Pipeline (doubletrack) to Huntington Road (Jeep trail)to singletrack trails leading to seven mile long downhill ending at Upper Moss Hill Road (dirt) to Blandford Stage Road (paved)to Rte. 20 back to parking area. aprox. 14 mi. or 2.5 hours.

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Mt. Shatterack to Tekoa Mt. Loop in Russell.

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