“When we opened, we were voted ‘Top Bike Park in New England’ on MTVParks.com. We have beginner-to-expert trails, including natural terrain as well as machine-built trails and jumplines,” says bike park director Gabriel Porter-Henry. “We’re currently building new trails, including an advance pro-jump line. We’re (also) a full-service mountain bike park.” Lessons are available to inexperienced downhill bikers, and the network of trails is set up as a progression, for people to use as their skills improve.
With the Deerfield River running right through town, Charlemont has become an outdoor adventure center with whitewater rafting, kayaking, fishing and zipline treetop tours, among other activities. In recent years, at least 30 miles of public mountain bike trails have been carved out the wooded hills from Berkshire East through the property of Zoar Outdoor Adventure Resort, a whitewater rafting and zip line resort. Some of these bike trails were laid along old ski trails that are no longer used, said Lessels. Members of the New England Mountain Biking Association also helped to build the trails. These trails are open to the public, but they are self-guided trips. Trail maps may be seen at Berkshire East and Zoar Outdoor. Both businesses have lodging and camping sites for those who want to extend their stay.
When biking further east, Riverside Picnic Area provides a perfect place for a rest and rejuvenation spot during a summer or fall bike ride. Located in Northfield along River Road and the Franklin County Bikeway, the riverside picnic tables and rest rooms offer a scenic spot to refill water bottles, stretch your legs and enjoy the beautiful Connecticut River. The area is open Memorial Day through Columbus Day and run by FirstLight Power.
Just across Route 63 from Riverview is Northfield Mountain’s Visitor Center and extensive trail system. (Please check hours of visitor center operation before visiting) Enjoy a quiet mountain top rest with three state views before an exhilarating descent. Perfect for the adventurous mountain biker, the hilly terrain offers over 20 miles of well-maintained trails. Choices include challenging uphill routes, thrilling downhill rides and meandering across the mountain’s forested trails.