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Myles Standish State Forest Trails

Southeast Region

Family
Directions & description

Location: Southeastern Massachusetts. South Carver, MA. Plymouth County.

Length/Configuration: 15 miles paved bicycle paths, 35 miles of equestrian trails, 15 miles of hiking trails. Many additional miles of sand forest roads. Many options for out-and-back and mountain bike loop rides using extensive network of trails and sand roads.

Terrain/Surface: Varied, from hard-packed dirt to grass to loose sand.

Technical Difficulty: Easy to Moderate.

Elevation Change: Mainly flat with short climbs and descents.

Trail Use: hiking, mountain biking, bicycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing

Caution: Multi-use trails. Bring map and compass (easy to get disoriented here) and plenty of water. There are ticks so bring plenty insect repellent. Avoid hunting season, or ride on Sundays.

No off-road vehicles allowed.

 

 

 

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Myles Standish State Forest Trail Map

Note: The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features. Read Full Disclaimer.

Directions:

From North: Take Rte. 3 south to exit 5, turn right onto Long Pond Rd. (west) and continue for about 3 miles to the forest entrance on the right.

From I-495: Take Rt. 495 to exit 2 (South Carver) and the intersection with Rte. 58. Take Rte. 58 north to Cranberry Rd., follow signs.

From Southeast: Take Rt.3 north to exit 3. Left off of ramp. Turn right onto Long Pond Rd. and travel 2 miles to the forest entrance.

 

General Description:

14,600 acre, Myles Standish State Forest is a popular multi-seasonal Massachusetts mountain biking destination for both spring and winter mountain biking. Enjoy the countryside outside of Boston and Plymouth on an endless network of forest trails and roads including a 15 mile bicycle path. The well-drained trails are rideable during the spring “mud” season, which usually keeps riders off the trails elsewhere. Colder weather hardens the normally loose sand and combined with the normal lack of snow, this becomes a great place for winter mountain biking.

Myles Standish State Forest encompasses diverse habitats including cranberry bogs, Pitch Pine and Scrub Oak Pine Barrens and lush pine forest found more typically on Cape Cod. It is also an area rich in history, with road names reminding us of the original pilgrim settlers. Scattered throughout the coastal plain are “kettle ponds”, formed during the retreat of ice-age glaciers.

There are two Wildlife Management Areas in the forest that allow hunting in season. There are five campground areas, four of which are set around the edges of four of the Park's 16 ponds: Curlew Pond, Fearing Pond, Charge Pond and Barrett Pond. All campsites are in forested areas and very shady in the summer. You can swim in Barrett Pond and Charge Pond. A section of the Charge Pond area is set aside specifically for horse camping. A Day-use Area at College Pond provides opportunities for picnicing, swimming, fishing and canoeing.

 

The Trails:

The forest is criss-crossed by a maze of trails, bike paths, firebreaks, dirt roads and paved roads. Mountain Biking is allowed anywhere within Myles Standish State Forest, except on the sensitive pond shores and a designated hiking trail located near park headquarters. A seemingly endless network of trails and forest roads that don't see much traffic, provide many options for short or long out-and-back or loop rides. The terrain varies from secluded hard-packed smooth forest roads to doubletrack and winding singletrack.

If you plan to hike and bike in the Forest, bring a compass and get a free detailed map of the trail and road system at forest headquarters - it is easy to get lost in the maze of trails. Water is only available at the headquarters or at campsites, so carry plenty of it for long rides. There may be hardly any rocks here, but some of the sand roads turn what should be easy riding into tough going. After a few times mountain biking here, you will learn the routes and what to avoid. Most are very rideable. The equestrians trails provide some of the best experiences for mountain bikes.

Myles Standish also has 15 miles of paved bike paths. There are two main branches, along Bare Hill Road to the west and Upper College Pond Road to the east. These run to the far reaches of the forest and are a great way to familiarize yourself with its layout. They also provide for bail outs or short cuts from the off-road sections.

 

Other Activities: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Skiing (Cross-Country), Boating (kayaking, canoeing)

 

Historical Note:

Plymouth Plantation

Experience 17th century Plymouth noted for "Plymouth Rock" and visit nearby Plymouth Plantation, a re-creation of the Plymouth colony. Board the Mayflower II, a full scale replica of the sailing vessel that carried the English colonists in 1620. At Hobbamock’s Homesite learn about the history and culture of the native Wompanoag people. In Plymouth, you'll also find restaurants, shops, and ocean beaches.

 

The Myles Standish Monument State Reservation (Duxbury)

A 116ft. granite shaft crowned by a 14ft. statue of Captain Myles Standish, the military leader of the Plymouth Colony. It was built between 1872 and 1898 and refurbished in 1988 and provides panoramic views of the south shore and blue hills to the northwest. 125 steps take you to a viewing deck at the top.

 

For More Information:

Myles Standish State Forest
Cranberry Road, P.O. Box 66
South Carver, Massachussetts 02366

Phone: (508) 866-2526
Website:Myles Standish State Forest

 

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