New England is a delightful place to trudge in the woods and find yourself in the area’s backyard. Or is it backyahd? The terrain is a mix of everything - mountain bike style single track, smooth grasslands, gravel, and even a beaver dam, if you can call that a surface.
Rural and urban areas blur together. Sometimes you’ll be where no one has been for years, where other times you’ll tumble through sleepy towns that help maintain those natural areas. The geography is surprisingly lush with inviting ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams, which provides a break from the sometimes humid day pedaling through the forest.
New England was home to a rich diversity of Indigenous peoples. For example, Massa-adchu-es-et is named after a prominent tribe and Quinnehtukqut (Connecticut) amounts to “place of long river.” Even the tribe Podunks literally means “where you sink in mire” helps explain the occasional boggy place you may be traversing. We encourage you to do your own research on your local Native history and find your own ways to honor and respect the land as you ride.
When you emerge from the woods, quenching your thirst will be pleasurable with an excellent selection of New England’s famous hazy IPAs from breweries identified on route. The local town’s corner store will also have a great selection of craft tallboys. Alternatively, you can pick up a Narragansett (call it Gansett), which is Rhode Island’s inexpensive lager. Narragansett as you might guess is also a local tribe!
This route is planned for approximately 45 miles a day, which is basically a full day of riding given the overall technical challenge of the terrain. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner places are identified. We wild camped a few miles upstream of the coffee joints and did formal accommodation in Northampton and at Otter River Campground. However, using warm showers will make lodging comfortable in some of the cities or towns along the way.