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The Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts is home to old rolling hills covered in a combination of dense forests and rocky hillsides. With terrain full of rolling hills and mountains, a mix of ascents and descents, and technical forest terrain, It isn’t hard to imagine how this region has become such a draw for mountain bikers to travel to and enjoy.

With so many options to choose from in the Pioneer Valley, selecting the correct ride might be a bit of a challenge. Riders don’t want to make the wrong choice. To help riders looking to narrow down their options or looking to discover someplace new, here are six locations to choose from.

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Orchard Hill / UMass Trails

Orchard Hill, also known as UMass Trails, is a tight network of local trails built and maintained by UMass Amherst Cycling Club and community trail builders. For about twenty years, these trails have existed in various states but have, over time, been buffed out. During the last couple of years, these trails have received a great deal of attention from students and local Kurt B. Together, they have cleaned and added several new lines. The trails sit in the hills overlooking the university. There is a mix of all sorts of difficulties, but travelers should be aware that the trails are braided together quite tightly and cross each other often. Some of the more challenging trails are filled with jumps and other challenges for the more experienced trail riders.

  • Primary Trail Type - Cross-Country
  • eBikes Allowed - No
  • Easy Trails - 21
  • Moderate Trails - 6
  • Hard Trails - 4
  • Challenging Trails - 3
  • Trail Map

Brimfield State Forest

Brimfield State forest is the home of rolling tree-lined hills that encompasses 3,500 acres in the towns of Brimfield, Monsoon, and Wales. This multi-use recreational property has over 20 miles of cart roads and 15 miles of trail. Blended together, they make an excellent mountain bike destination. The majority of the trails here are of moderate difficulty and make for a great experience for most riders.

  • Parking - Free
  • Primary Trail Type - Cross-Country
  • Easy Trails - 10
  • Moderate Trails - 21
  • Hard Trails - 9
  • Challenging Trails - 1
  • Trail Map

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Batchelor Street Trails

For riders that love narrow and technical single tracks, they should check out the Batchelor Street Trails. At Batchelor Street, the snaking technical trails here work their way along the rocky spines of rocky hills and dense forests. A nice aspect about the Batchelor Street trails is that the Mount Holyoke Range State Park is served by two parking areas. The first one is to the North of the Trail Network at The Notch Visitor Center at 1500 West St, Amherst. The second one is to the South of the Trail Network on Bachelor Street. The majority of trails here are ranked as moderate, but due to their rocky nature, some should be considered to be more challenging than they are rated.

  • Primary Trail Type - Cross-Country
  • eBikes Allowed - No
  • Easy Trails - 8
  • Moderate Trails - 27
  • Hard Trails - 7
  • Trail Map

South Amherst

The trails in South Amherst, Massachusetts, are open to both riding and biking. Locations like the Common Pathway and Appel Way Trail are popular with both locals and visitors to the area; the trails here are easy and are great for a scenic and casual ride. Riders looking to take the trails here should make sure to bring their camera.

  • Primary Trail Type - Cross-Country
  • Easy Trails - 3
  • Trail Map

Earl's Trails

Located in Mount Holyoke Range State Park on the northern side of the Notch features an area known as Earl’s Trails. Here riders can enjoy miles of a smooth flowing single track full of challenging climbs and swooping descents. All of these incredible trails were envisioned and realized by the people at Hampshire College. These trails are mostly not on State Forest land but are incredibly fun. Less rocky than Bachelor's street, Earl’s Trails offers a greater chance at some great climbs.

  • Primary Trail Type - Cross-Country
  • eBikes Allowed - No
  • Easy Trails - 18
  • Moderate Trails - 24
  • Trail Map

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Jeep Eater Trails

The Jeep Eater Trails are located between the Armory on Spring street and Sylvester road in Florence, Massachusetts. The trails in this area are made up of a mix of wide jeep eater routes and sweeping single tracks. Offer riders long, rewarding climbs with great views and fast technical descents that will keep riders having a great time. The trails here are usually only rocky along the Jeep Eater areas. The rest is a mostly smooth single-track or old cart path. Riders will have the chance to move quite quickly through the forests. However, there is always the chance to encounter a jeep attempting the route, so riders should keep their eyes open.

  • Primary Trail Type - Cross-Country
  • Easy Trails - 6
  • Moderate Trails - 12
  • Hard Trails - 3
  • Trail Map