Grafton Lakes State Park in Grafton, 30 minutes outside of Troy, is my new favorite place for outdoor fun.
There are a few small lakes, each with trails that run around them for hiking and mountain biking.
Some of the trails start out easy and get really hard–lots of large rocks! It was almost impossible for me to ride through some sections, but it was a good workout and most of the trails have great views of the lake. It’s so serene!
On Monday Jordan and I met my parents there. The just got a new canoe, so we took it out for a short test paddle. So fun!
Last week we had a rare, warm, summer-like day. It is the beginning of March so it is a bit weird for this area, but I won’t complain. Jordan and I took advantage since it was my spring break week and I had the afternoon off. We went to Luther Forest to go mountain biking.
We covered about 8 miles in a few hours. It was a great. Every time I ride here I try something new. This time I rode over the bridges and a few big drops that usually freak me out.
Riding a mountain bike, in the snow, without fat tires up a mountain is not easy. That’s what I did on Sunday…for fun. Well, the second half was fun. I went with Jordan and our friends to Pittsfield State Forest, just over the border. I knew we would be riding up hill but I didn’t expect there to be so many switchbacks! The trail went up for what seemed like forever..but it was just over two miles.
Nothing like riding up a large hill (mountain?) to make you feel completely out of shape.
We got to the top and took the same trail back down. It was a lot more fun than I thought–usually I freak out on downhill portions, but I decided to just stay on my bike and see what happened. I only crashed twice.
It really wasn’t so bad!
Luther Forest was one of the first places I ever went mountain biking with Jordan. (Technically, the first place I went mountain biking was at Winterbike in Vermont! But there was a lot of snow on the ground for that, so it’s a lot different.) Yesterday, we decided to go to Luther Forest to get in some riding before the snow hits and I can’t ride anymore. It was a bit chilly, but after riding for a bit we got warm.
It still feels weird without snow, but it was kind of nice to not have to worry about it.
We only went out for about an hour. Still good to be outdoors, though!
Thacher Park is one of my favorite local spots for outdoor activities. I hike, snowshoe, ride my road bike to the lookout and run many a trail race there. But last weekend was the first time I went mountain biking there.
We start at the Carrick Road parking lot at the Northern end of the park. We rode all the way to main entrance to the park and back, which totaled about 10 miles. 10 miles seems like nothing on a bike, but I’ll assure you that mountain biking 10 miles is a lot harder than road biking 10 miles.
I had to get off a few times to walk the bike up and down some major hills but other than that I think I’m getting better at it.
The weather lately has been pretty strange for this time of year. Zero snow and warmer temps make it easier to do the outdoor activities we love so much! As much as I like snowshoeing, I’m hoping the snow holds off so I can mountain bike as long as I can, since I don’t have a fat bike (yet).
A cool shot of Jordan’s friend’s bike on the cliff.
Jordan loves mountain biking. I still like trail running and hiking more, but mountain biking is growing on me. But getting over the fear of falling off the bike and tumbling down a ravine is the hard part.
Osprey Zealot hydration pack, Canari echelon gel cycling tights, icebreaker wool baselayer, Marmot water-repellant trail wind hoodie, Giro mountain biking helmet with MIPS, Giro Rulla biking gloves, Buff neck gaiter, New Balance Minimus trail shoes