Thursday, November 19, 2009

TA Report Bluff Point & Haley Farm State Parks

Date of Activity: November 19, 2009
Location: Bluff Point & Haley Farm State Parks

Trail Ambassador Names: Glenn Vernes
Trail Ambassador Email: glennvernes33athotmaildotcom

Town: Groton
Trail(s) Ridden: Many, all unmarked
How did you use the trail? Mountain Bike
What was the time of day? Late Morning/ Afternoon
Duration (Hours): 3.75

Distance (Miles): 15ish
Condition of Trail(s): Dry, clean, with a thin layer of leaves. Lots and lots of thorn bushes.

Observations: The plan was to scout out a route for a chapter group ride to be held in the near future. I figured I might find two hours of riding, but was pleasantly surprised to find a good deal more. This place sports quite an inventory of trails considering its relatively small size. They wind like spaghetti over the large dome-shaped hill that makes up most of Bluff Point, and some are pretty technical. Not a lot of roots, but some tricky rock gardens, and steep ups and downs. Tight and twisty sections too. They're in very good condition considering the amount of traffic they get. Many sections are lined with thorn bushes. It's a great place for a 29er (is there any place that isn't?) but single speeders might find themselves spinning out their gear in some places. The trails are all unmarked, no blazes anywhere, and the map is useless. It's pretty easy to use the ocean, cove, and airport for orientation- at least when the leaves are off the trees.

I visited Sunset Rock, which is not as romantic as it sounds- especially when you're alone. I crossed the bridge over the railroad tracks to Haley Farm State Park. It's a scenic place with good views of Mumford Cove and Groton Long Point, stone ruins that give it and old world feel (see picture), more thorn bushes, and a lot of dog walkers. The better trails are on the Bluff Point side.

All told I saw five or six other bikers and too many hikers/joggers/dog walkers to count. I cut one fallen tree that was sticking into the trail at a dangerous angle.

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