Eastern Bloc Cycling Club
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Nepaug Gravel RAW and Camping
I’m still sort of newish to the area and trying to figure out ride options. Can you do decent after work loop in Nepaug? Is the campsite accessible from the gravel road (wondering for bike camping with the kids)?
I never realized there was a camp area in Nepaug until you posted this and I pulled up the map. Based on the DEEP map, it looks like it's in a pretty remote section of the forest (and it's described as a backpack camping area). Unfortunately, I can't tell you how easy it is to reach by bike with kids.
As a mountain bike area, I have mixed feelings. I ride there occasionally because I can reach it by bike from Simsbury (via Ratlum Mountain), but the "good" trails are hard to find if you don't know where to look. Some of the trails are great and very technical, but the area is criss-crossed with dirt roads that mostly suck (think hub-deep puddles and lots of sand), and the roads all look alike and lead to a lot of people getting hopelessly lost. I'd suggest a guided tour before you try to ride there alone after work with darkness approaching. Better option nearby would be Nassahegon.
Where are you driving from for an after-work ride? Maybe we can suggest other options.
I live in Weatogue and work in Farmington. Thanks for the insight.
Okay, I just re-read your thread title - are you looking for gravel riding areas vs mountain biking?
I pass through Nepaug often on my cross bike, but only on Satans Kingdom Roads (the two main roads through there). Most of the rest of the Nepaug roads are full of hub-deep water holes or lots of sand. If you climb the Upper SK Road, it is a good 1+ mile very steep climb.
You can string together a gravel ride by starting in Collinsville and hitting Nepaug and some of the local dirt roads in New Hartford and Canton - maybe about 40% gravel, but you can work in a lot of climbing.
Maybe try this or this Other dirt roads nearby that you could work in include Farmington River Turnpike, Breezy Hill Road, Carpenter Road, Pussy Lane, etc.
I have not looked at the maps that have previously been provided, but would encourage you to join us on one of the ‘gravel’ rides over the weekend.
There is actually a camp on Breezy Hill that is owned by The Canton Land Trust. I know that in the past, the Capen Cabin could be rented for overnight use. We would host a kids hiking group (Trailblazers) cookout there. It’s an accessible area for working together a gravel loop and camping overnight.
Let me know if I can help.
Thanks for the insight (and, again, for your support of the CCAP kids). I’m definitely in for the rides this weekend.