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      This area is one of 10 parcels of Open Space in Chelmsford, Ma. It is the largest of the 10 yet is still quite small by comparison to many of the areas we ride coming in at 130 acres total. Total because approximately 12 acres is either under water in the form of a pond which can be used for fishing/canoeing, or taken up by the town's soccer fields. Keep in mind as you read this that although small, through the efforts of Merrimack Valley NEMBA, it rides bigger than expected.


      Here is a link to the official map which is largely reproduced here: http://www.townofchelmsford.us/DocumentCenter/View/268/Russell-Mill---Public-Trail-Map?bidId=

      A few yars ago the town's Open Space Stewardship, of which Merrimack Valley is a partner, asked us if we would be interested in designing and building mountain bike trails on the property. This coming at a time when the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail was in the beginning stages of construction the town was very interested in increasing it's diversity of biking and pedestrian trails. We naturally accepted the challenge and proceeded to outline what this would mean for the property. Approximately 4-5 miles of technical trail (singletrack) would be added to the existing trail system originally consisting of a couple miles of old carriage road and doubletrack.

      This proposal was enthusiastically accepted by the Stewardship and the Conservation Commission, we were on our way. As an added note, part of our responsibilities in addition to the design and build of the trail system, was and still is, to work closely with the Stewardship in an effort to clean up the property, as there was a fair amount of illegal dumping in the back parking lot, assist in efforts to eliminate the illegal uses of the property, gps the property and be on a committee to develop a GIS based map of this and other properties and finally develop and install signage for user convenience and public safety. We had a lot to do

      After around around 18 months and we were about three quarters of the way to completion, although we all know these things are never complete. There is now nearly 5 miles of new singletrack, 6 new boardwalks, the site is considerably cleaner, illegal activity is almost non-existent and about half of the new signage is up. There are still several wet tread issues and small re-routes of old trail sections to deal with and we were hoping to be 95% complete by the end of that season.

      For those of you who have not yet experienced Russell Mill, you will find the new trails familiar if you've ridden Lowell/Dracut State Forest. This is a State Forest that MV has been working on for a number of years with co-operation with the DCR. We have taken our philosophy there and applied it to Russell Mill. Fun singletrack which appeals to all levels of riders is what we are after and judging by the feedback we have received in the last couple of years we are confident that this has been delivered.

      Russell Mill now sports 7 miles of trails ridden in one direction with enough connector trails that easily allow much of the system to be ridden forwards and backwards giving the potential for a 10 to 12 mile ride just at this site. One thing we have always attempted to include in our trail design is the ability to have enough of a different riding experience doing the same trail in reverse and make it easy to do so. We have learned a great deal from our great resources of trail design, NEMBA, IMBA, FOMBA and especially from the input of individual riders. We always try to incorporate Philip Keyes' "KISS" formula…KEEP IT SINGLETRACK STUPID.

      With that said let me jump back to the part of the last paragraph where it said "just at this site". This is because one other unique thing about this property besides being fully supported by the local community and authorities is that it lies equidistant between two other great riding areas. Within, in both cases a little over a mile of "road work", is Great Brook Farm/State Forest in Carlisle where I know many of you have ridden for years and in the other direction Billerica State Forest.

      Great Brook is known for being able to incorporate a 15+ mile solid intermediate ride into your schedule and allow for an ice cream/frappe stop to boot. An easy jaunt to the east is Billerica State Forest. Not known for an extensive or exciting riding experience, that will hopefully begin to change as MV gets more involved with the property. The DCR has expressed interest in having us work with them in evaluating the existing trail system and setting up a plan similar to what we have done at Lowell-Dracut. This would ultimately add another 7 to 10 miles of riding in the area giving the potential for 30+ miles worth of rides in the Chelmsford area alone, not to mention the ability to connect all the way to the PR in Bedford. Epic rides here we come!

      Russell Mill is open all year round. We have a scheduled Friday night ride starting from the parking lot off Mill Rd., Chelmsford, Ma. Very much like the Tuesday night ride at Lowell/Dracut, the start time is 5pm and we swing back to the lot at approximately 5:45 for those who can't get there at 5. When the snow begins to fly there is a scheduled Friday night snowshoe walk at Russell. We have dubbed event this "Friday Night Lights". This, like our rides, is open to everyone, based on the premise that exercise is a good thing, being out in the woods is a good thing, beating down the snow on the trails is a good thing (we ride in the winter too), goes from 5pm to around 8:30, and is allowed and supported by the town. Great town!

      Well hopefully this will create awareness and generate interest in MVs' latest trail project(s). Please feel free to check out the Russell Mill trails, whether you start at the lot or are extending a ride from Great Brook we hope to meet you out there sometime soon. As this is being written we are planning an Open House for the site on May 16th, hope maybe by the time you see this article you will have already taken the time to explore our newest endeavor and would consider hooking up with us on one of our rides or trail days.

      Check out this video Youtube of the Pump Track!
      Primary Trail Type: Cross-Country
      Land Status: City Managed
      Merrimack Education Center Parking google parking directions
      Access Info:
      Directions:
      130 Mill Rd, Chelmsford
      From route 3 in Chelmsford take exit 29 and head West. Take your first left on Mill Road and follow it 1.3 miles to the parking lot at the soccer fields
      Activities Click to view
      Region Details
      • 9
      • 9
      • 9
      • 1

      Region Status
      Caution as of Oct 7, 2021
      Local Trail Association

      Stats

      Avg Trail Rating
      Trails (view details)
      28
      Trails Mountain Bike
      28
      Trails Hike
      28
      Trails Trail Running
      28
      Trails Snowshoe
      28
      Total Distance
      12 miles
      Total Descent
      928 ft
      Total Vertical
      144 ft
      Highest Trailhead
      260 ft
      Reports
      370
      Photos
      56
      Ridden Counter
      15,508

      Photos of Russell Mill Pond & Town Forest Mountain Bike

      61 |
      Nov 30, 2020 @ 8:26am
      Nov 30, 2020
      63 |
      Nov 10, 2020 @ 6:49pm
      Nov 10, 2020
      trail: Pump Track
      82 |
      Nov 3, 2020 @ 5:21pm
      Nov 3, 2020
      trail: Upper White
      119 |
      Sep 22, 2019 @ 6:43am
      Sep 22, 2019
      trail: Upper White
      104 |
      Sep 22, 2019 @ 6:43am
      Sep 22, 2019
      trail: Upper White
      77 |
      Sep 22, 2019 @ 6:43am
      Sep 22, 2019
      trail: Upper White
      67 |
      Sep 22, 2019 @ 6:43am
      Sep 22, 2019
      trail: Upper White
      93 |
      Sep 22, 2019 @ 6:43am
      Sep 22, 2019

      Videos of Russell Mill Pond & Town Forest Mountain Bike

      Green Trail  Thunder Mountain MTB lift park
      11:31 | 190 | Jul 10, 2015
      Russell Mill Pump Track

      0:44 | 556 | Oct 18, 2014
      youtuber Fatbiking Russell Mill Pond and Billerica Town...
      14:32 | 123 | Feb 10, 2021 , Chelmsford
      youtuber Fatbiking Russell Mill Pond and Billerica Town...
      14:32 | 80 | Feb 10, 2021 , Chelmsford
      Mountain Biking Russel Mill Trails |...

      5:00 | 311 | Aug 28, 2018

      Recent Trail Reports

      Activity Feed

      usernameactiontypetitledate
      user #1829242jgryckaddreportOrange Goose Loop and 6 more
      Oct 7, 2021 @ 8:06am
      Oct 7, 2021
      user #2195939Chriswt314addreportPurple Martin and 1 more
      Oct 3, 2021 @ 12:25pm
      Oct 3, 2021
      user #766481SofakingfastcommentreportGreen Trail
      Sep 11, 2021 @ 11:46am
      Sep 11, 2021
      user #1217956tootechyaddreportGreen Trail
      Sep 11, 2021 @ 10:40am
      Sep 11, 2021
      user #2837948PurpleShamrockwishlisttrailWild Turkey
      Sep 1, 2021 @ 3:08pm
      Sep 1, 2021

      Recent Comments

      usernametypetitlecommentdate
      user #766481SofakingfastreportGreen TrailThanks Neil. I saw it Friday. I will take care...
      Sep 11, 2021 @ 11:46am
      Sep 11, 2021
      user #766481SofakingfastreportLower WhiteThanks Neil. All set.
      Jun 30, 2021 @ 3:39pm
      Jun 30, 2021
      user #766481SofakingfastreportUpper WhiteAll set. Thank
      May 27, 2021 @ 3:34pm
      May 27, 2021
      user #2415826Mikefro1reportBlue Heron LoopZwa
      May 11, 2021 @ 11:56am
      May 11, 2021
      user #1791795natescanreportOrange Goose LoopAppreciate it, I also added a couple TTF's...
      Jan 14, 2021 @ 5:02pm
      Jan 14, 2021

      Local Badges


      Activity Type Stats

      activitytypetrailsdistancedescentdescent distancetotal verticalratingglobal rankstate rankphotosreportsroutesridelogs
      Mountain Bike2812 miles928 ft5 miles144 ft
      #256#1135637016,760
      Hike2812 miles928 ft5 miles144 ft
      #158#8136921
      Trail Running2812 miles928 ft5 miles144 ft
      #159#8136916
      Snowshoe2812 miles928 ft5 miles144 ft
      239
      • By tbubier & contributors
      • Admins: MV NEMBA
      • #5265 - 7,486 views
      • russell mill pond & town forest activity log | embed map of Russell Mill Pond & Town Forest mountain bike trails | russell mill pond & town forest mountain biking points of interest
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