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Old 09-14-2011, 07:49 AM   #1
Beer Baron
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Default Quabbin Reservoir

I haven't done any serious riding since the Nighthawk Rally. That marathon ride from Lewisburg, PA back home to the Boston area really wore me out. I got the itch for a longer ride recently and took a trip out to the Quabbin Reservoir. Didn't know much about the area, I just took a peek at the map and any water feature that large is usually interesting. Turned out to be a great trip. Here is the intro from the Wikipedia page about the Quabbin, "The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest inland body of water in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and was built between 1930 and 1939. Today along with the Wachusett Reservoir, it is the primary water supply for Boston, some 65 miles to the east, as well as 40 other communities in Greater Boston. It also supplies water to three towns west of the reservoir and acts as backup supply for three others.[1] It has an aggregate capacity of 412 billion U.S. gallons (1.56 km) and an area of 38.6 square miles (99.9 km). Quabbin Reservoir water flows to the Wachusett Reservoir using the Quabbin Aqueduct."

The ride to the Quabbin Reservoir is good once you get out past 128 heading west and really is enjoyable once you pass 495. The ride out was just about 80 miles. I was forced to take a detour from my route near a Correctional Facility. All the roads were blocked by police officers. Didn't hear any news about escapes but it had me wondering. Once I reached the reservoir I decided that I would ride around it. It was a nice ride with light traffic and scenic roads but for the most part the reservoir isn't in sight from the main highways and on the west side there are very few roads that get you close.

Hell Huddle Road leads down to the Quabbin from the main road. Probably about two miles of very narrow, rough and broken road. It was hell on my 26 year old suspension.

First stop at the reservoir. The Nighthawk, commuter, tourer and when needed a coatrack.

The water is spectacularly clear.

Lots of water bugs, thought I could find some frogs but none were evident.

Found this mushroom on my frog hunt.

This is one of the DNR boats. You can launch your own boat if it is tagged and trailered. You cannot launch your own kayak or canoe because of concerns of water contamination. You can rent one of their kayaks for $14/day. However you are allowed to bring your own paddle, water shoes... I guess they don't contaminate the water.

Ant's view of the reservoir.

After wandering around this part of the Quabbin for about thirty minutes I returned to my bike to realize I had left my key in the ignition, that with all my gear on the bike. Thankfully there were only about five people wandering the area.

A scenic ride down Greenwich Road along the eastern shore of the reservoir.

Getting hungry I stopped in a pizza joint in the town of Ware. I had no idea the Calzone would be this big... I mostly ate the whole thing.

I decided to ride around the reservoir at lunch. On my way to the Winsor Dam area a big white Harley tried to pass me going uphill, I wasn't going over the speed limit but his bike ran out of steam running up the steep hill. I turned off on a local road that wrapped around the southern part of the Quabbin. Here I past a couple riding what looked like ancient BMW bikes, they happily waved as they rode past, maybe the appreciated my vintage Nighthawk. This photo is one of the spillways for the Dam.

It leads down this trench and over a falls just under the bridge in the distance.

My shots of the falls didn't turn out as the sunlight was in the wrong part of the sky. This is looking back from the bridge towards the spillway.

I love all the rock formations in the New England area. Very common here unlike back home in Wisconsin.

This area is stunning. It is the southern overlook of the Quabbin Reservoir. I learned from an historic marker that the town of Enfield used to rest in the valley that was flooded in the early 1900's to provide a reservoir as a fresh water resource for Massachusetts. The town was dismantled and the families uprooted and the area was flooded. Funnily enough the town is still marked on the map. Apparently you can still see the layered terraces of the town cemetery, I was unable to locate the site. While Enfield was mentioned at the overlook site according to Wikipedia three other towns were also uprooted and residents moved. They didn't move quietly and took the matters to court but eventually lost the case and the area was flooded.

Found my way to the Winsor Dam. I don't know what I was expecting but it was a bit of a letdown visually. Probably for the best as time was going by fast and I was still on the south shores of the reservoir and I had planned to ride around the perimeter before heading back home.

I took HWY 202 around the western side. You are never close to the water but the highway is made of big sweepers with nice elevation changes and is very scenic. Found this sort of hidden pullout with a grand view of the forest... somewhere out there are the western shores of the Quabbin.

A different view of the Nighthawk.

After the pullout I rode a few more miles to reach the northern tip of the reservoir and decide to beat feet and head home. A nice two hour ride through mostly scenic highway and had to deal with the beginnings of rush hour traffic just as I arrived a few miles from home. The Quabbin Reservoir is a nice destination, very peaceful and scenic and the roads are enjoyable.

1984 Honda Nighthawk cb650sc
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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Nice ride, Dan.

Thanks for the post-up and pics!
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:36 AM   #3
Captain Steve
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Nice pictures!

Sounds like you had a great ride. Next time you're out that way, check out the Mohawk Trail (Rt 2)just north of the reservoir. It's a nice ride as well.

You were probably thinking of the French King Bridge on Rt 2 just to the north.
French King Bridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by Captain Steve; 09-14-2011 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:58 AM   #4
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Nice ride review! Seeing those pics brings back old memories. I used to ride my bicycle around those parts when I lived up there (Leominster). Good times (... and [email protected] roads)!

Thanks for sharing!
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