West of Greenfield in northwestern Mass., the Catamount State Forest has a diverse trail system off the dirt Catamount Hill Road. Steep hills and rocky passages provide many thrills for the beginner. It is, however, the trails off this main road that the experts and adventure seekers will enjoy. One set of trails climbs high to the top of the small mountain ridge. The vertical assents are steep and rock covered offering many difficult climbs. The other set of trails travel the wetter areas around the streams. Mud, rocks, roots, and trees all come together to provide challenge after challenge.
To reach the mountain biking trailhead from Greenfield at Exit 26 of US91, head west on SR2 for 15 miles to the town of Charlemont (the sign is on the left side of the road as you approach a bridge). A few hundred feet after the bridge, there is a gift shop on the right with a HUGE wooden indian in front. Turn right after the gift shop. This road winds back a while and then starts a long downward slope. About halfway down the hill, a field opens up to the left. It is much higher than the road surface, so you cant see much except the trees stop. Watch carefully for a road to the left. It is very well hidden. This is Old Colrain Road. The street sign is rarely up, so don t count on seeing one. If you reach the bottom of the hill at the bridge, you went too far.
There are 2 points of entry to the trails, Catamount Hill Road and Stacey Road. Once you turn onto Old Colrain Road, you will pass a few fields and then cross a very small bridge. Climb the hill after the bridge and you will see an intersection to the left. This is the bottom of Catamount Hill Road. This road is a nice graded but steep. Continue down Old Colrain Road further and you will pass an old barn on the left and a beautiful log cabin on the right. After the log house, there is an old farmhouse on the right. Across the street is the entrance to Stacey Road. Stacey Road offers a more gradual climb, but the road is more washed out requiring either a slightly lifted 4x4, or an experienced driver to negotiate. Stacey road ends at McLeod pond and offers access to the BEST campsite in the area. From Stacey Road, Old Colrain Road descends a hill to the intersection with Rt. 112. At this point, there is a large area for parking.
Overall, Catamount Forest is the 12th most popular mountain bike trail of all 35 mountain biking rides in Massachusetts.