Where to Find the Best Mountain Bike Trails in Pioneer Valley

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  • Orchard Hill/UMass Trails

The Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts is home to old hills covered in a combination of dense forests and rocky hills. With terrain full of hills and mountains, a mix of ups and downs and technical forest terrain, it’s not hard to imagine how this area has become such a draw for mountain bikers to travel and enjoy.

With so many options to choose from in the Pioneer Valley, choosing the right vehicle can be a bit overwhelming. Runners don’t want to make the wrong choice. To help riders looking to narrow down their options or discover somewhere 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 the UMass Amherst Cycling Club and community trail builders. For about twenty years, these trails have existed in various states but have, over time, been leveled. Over the past two years these trails have received a lot of attention from students and Kurt B. Together they have cleaned up and added several new lines. The trails are in the hills above the university. There is a mix of all kinds of difficulty, but travelers should be aware that the trails are quite tightly braided and often intersect. Some of the more difficult trails are filled with jumps and other challenges for the most experienced riders.


  • Main trail type – Cross country
  • E-bikes allowed – Nope
  • Easy trails – 21
  • Moderate trails – 6
  • Difficult trails – 4
  • Difficult trails – 3
  • Trail map

Brimfield State Forest

Brimfield State Forest is home to tree-lined hills that span 3,500 acres in the towns of Brimfield, Monsoon and Wales. This versatile recreational property has over 20 miles of cart routes and 15 miles of trails. Mixed together they make a great mountain biking destination. The majority of the trails here are moderate in difficulty and a great experience for most cyclists.

  • Car park – Free
  • Main trail type – Cross country
  • Easy trails – ten
  • Moderate trails – 21
  • Difficult trails – 9
  • Difficult trails – 1
  • Trail map


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Batchelor Street Trails

For runners who like tight, technical trails, they should check out the Batchelor Street Trails. At Batchelor Street, the winding technical trails weave their way along rocky spines of rocky hills and dense forests. An interesting aspect of Batchelor Street Trails is that Mount Holyoke Range State Park is serviced by two parking areas. The first is north of the trail system at The Notch Visitor Center at 1500 West St, Amherst. The second is south of the trail system on Bachelor Street. The majority of trails here are rated as moderate, but due to their rocky nature, some should be rated as more difficult than they are.


  • Main trail type – Cross country
  • E-bikes allowed – Nope
  • Easy trails – 8
  • Moderate trails – 27
  • Difficult trails – seven
  • Trail map

South Amherst

The trails in South Amherst, Massachusetts are open to both horseback riding and biking. Places like Common Pathway and Appel Way Trail are popular with locals and visitors to the area; the trails here are easy and perfect for a scenic and relaxed ride. Cyclists wishing to hit the trails here should be sure to bring their cameras.

  • Main trail type – Cross country
  • Easy trails – 3
  • Trail map

Earl’s Trails

Located in Mount Holyoke Range State Park on the north side of Notch, it includes an area known as Earl’s Trails. Here, cyclists can enjoy miles of flowing singletrack, full of challenging climbs and steep descents. All of these incredible trails were designed and made by the folks at Hampshire College. These trails are usually not on state forest land, but are incredibly fun. Less rocky than Bachelor Street, Earl’s Trails offers more chances for great climbs.


  • Main trail type – Cross country
  • E-bikes allowed – Nope
  • Easy trails – 18
  • Moderate trails – 24
  • Trail map

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Jeep Eater Trails

The Jeep Eater Trails are located between Armory on Spring street and Sylvester road in Florence, Massachusetts. The trails in this area are a mix of wide jeep eater roads and wide single tracks. Offer cyclists long rewarding climbs with great views and fast technical descents that will give cyclists a good time. The trails here are generally only rocky along the Jeep Eater areas. The rest is mostly single track or old cart path. Runners will have the chance to move quite quickly through the forests. However, there is always the possibility of encountering a jeep attempting the route, so drivers should keep their eyes peeled.

  • Main trail type – Cross country
  • Easy trails – 6
  • Moderate trails – 12
  • Difficult trails – 3
  • Trail map

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