Nathan Hale Homestead Mountain Bike Trail, Coventry, CT

Nathan Hale Homestead Mountain Bike Trail, Coventry, CT

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Nathan Hale Homestead
2299 South St
Coventry Ct

 

Posted 10-26-2011 by:
Elizabeth Chabot Allen

 

Nathan Hale is undoubtedly one of the best places to ride in Eastern CT. This place packs a punch. There are two really fantastic loops that you can do here, and both are pretty easy to access. The first is somewhere around 8 miles long and located out behind the Nathan Hale Homestead. The best way to go is to park at the house (yes, the one in the picture), and when standing directly in front of the house and facing it, a driveway will extend on your left into the woods. Follow that driveway into the woods until you see another fire road on your right. At this intersection, you can access the beginning of an incredible loop. Take the trail to the right of the stone wall.

As you are riding, you will come to countless fire roads. The best rule of thumb is to cross the fire road in to the next piece of single track in the most obvious direction. There are times where you will likely come out onto a fire road and not have single track directly in front of you. This is ok, just follow the most traveled path and hop on the next piece you see. Always be on the lookout for more single track because there are no trail markers to guide you.

The other loop is located across the street from the homestead. It is about 4 miles long, give or take a mile. The best way to access this is: with the Homestead to your back, go left onto South Street. Just after passing the Museum House on your right, there will be a path leading up from the road into the woods. Take this and when it forks to the right near the beginning, (this is VERY easy to miss) take the right. Otherwise, you will go down a long trail to a swamp that goes pretty much nowhere.

Both of these loops have extremely challenging sections. There are drops, log rides, rock gardens, climbs, descents, twisty turny trails, and all kinds of wonderful things. Most of the difficult sections have alternate easier routes around them, and the ones that don’t can obviously be walked.

 
 

 


 

### GPX FILES AND ANDROID PHONES ###

Here’s the GPX file (gps trail map) of Nathan Hale by Marc Dupuis:
Download: http://www.necttrails.com/wp-content/uploads/gpx/Marc%20Dupuis%20-%20Nathan%20hale.gpx
(You may need to hold your finger on that link and choose “Save As”.

Instructions for viewing this trail on an Android phone using Google My Tracks (so you can compare your current gps location with the trail, so you don’t get lost… but the best reason to do this is so you ride the trails that are the most fun).

FIRST, you MUST install these apps:

Google My Tracks - https://market.android.com/details?id=com.google.android.maps.mytracks&hl=en
Linda File Manager - https://market.android.com/details?id=com.lindaandny.lindamanager&hl=en
Dolphin Browser - https://market.android.com/details?id=mobi.mgeek.TunnyBrowser&hl=en

The standard Android browswer won’t download gpx files as gpx files. It renames them to txt files for whatever reason, so that’s why you need the Dolphin browser. Haven’t found a way to get around this.

USING THE DOLPHIN BROWSER ON YOUR ANDROID PHONE:
Download this trail map of Nathan Hale by Marc Dupuis:
http://www.necttrails.com/wp-content/uploads/gpx/Marc%20Dupuis%20-%20Nathan%20hale.gpx

Now, open the Linda File Manager on your phone, go into downloads, then click on the gpx file. (or HOLD your finger on the gpx file to choose “OPEN WITH”)

When it asks you which app to use, choose Google My Tracks and set it as default.

Done.

(If  you’re as in love with using other peeps’ gpx files to guide you on new trails as I am, you may want to invest in a waterproof handlebar mount off ebay for your phone and a couple double life batteries).

You’re welcome. Enjoy.


Google Earth KMZ File of Nathan Hale Homestead: (Plays an animated 3d trail tour)
Click here to download the KMZ File. Open the file in Google Earth and click the “Play Tour” button on the left side under “Places” and “Tracks” (it looks like a folder with an arrow above it)
Credit to Marc Dupuis for the KMZ file. He uses the Backpacker app (Trimble Outdoors) on iPhone to record his rides, and he is the freakin’ man. Lots of great gps files to come on NECTtrails from both him and Liz Allen. Thanks to you both.

Download Google Earth here.

Video posted by Tony Chabot:

2011 – 11

 

2011 – 11 – different day

 

2011-10

 

BONUS! 7 MINUTE NATHAN HALE DOCUMENTARY/BIOGRAPHY

Photos posted by Tony Chabot:

Jay wanted to ride over this rock, but I convinced him otherwise so I didn’t get in trouble with his wife if he got hurt.

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Great review, Liz! Thanks so much. I can’t wait to check it out. After hearing you sing such high praises of it, it’s definitely on my radar.

    Being a noob, I keep seeing references everywhere to “fire roads”. What exactly is that?

    • fire roads are were mountain bike do not belong.

  2. I googled it… I guess they’re dirt roads to give firefighters access to fires caused by lightning? The opposite of singletracks.

    Also:
    http://www.linemansfactory.com/Fire%20Storm%20Photos/images/1%20Old-Fire-On-Road.jpg

    Yowza!

  3. If you can only give out one 5 star rating, Nathan Hale gets it. For reference, Thompson Dam is a fun 3 star, Arcadia is a challenging 4 star, but the Homestead is a 5.
    Nathan Hale is true singletrack. The trails have not been widened or hollowed out from use, and they are relentless. There are very few flat speed sections. It’s mostly climbs and descents that are equally fun and challenging. Whomever cut these trails went over every exposed rock ledge, rock wall, and rock garden they could find (they found lots).
    Lizridesbikes (my talented guide) mentioned 2 loops. The longer loop behind the Homestead is my preference. It has less frustrating sections, i.e. swampy areas and insane rock gardens, but is just as technical and fun.

    • Dan, now you’ve really got me thinking I want to go there Saturday instead of Goodwin. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Finally made it to Hale. It’s the perfect mix of twisty singletrack mixed with some of the coolest rock and log obstacles I’ve seen. We only went out about a mile on the day I went, but from what I could tell, it appears to be very well maintained and planned out. The rock formations are so cool… there’s one rock that’s way too big for me to attempt, but the picture on the website doesn’t do it justice compared to how it looks from on top.

    Its reputation is well deserved. It’s now my favorite place to ride. I’d say Mansfield Hollow is in second place. I’m looking forward to trying Old Furnace and Pachaug Forest soon.

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