Maudslay state park in Newburyport, MA offers a lot of fun terrain in a relatively small area of 483 acres. A long time ago I visited it while taking a crack at mountain boarding (an endeavor I gave up... can't have my feet in binders just can't do it!) but I didn't really get to go very far because at the time it was crowded. This time around was significantly different. I came armed with a mid level mountain bike, supplies and gear. The first thing to take into account is the park mostly goes downhill from the trailheads. While the park is small getting back up to the parking lot after riding awhile can be challenging, although experienced riders won't have a problem. I did note a lot of people walking their bikes back up from the main trail. Also there is a pay to play fee of 5 bucks in state and 10 bucks out of state. If you are out of state like I am best use the time well. One might think that is steep but it is 10 bucks to go to the designated surf beach in Delaware and 20 bucks to pay for parking in Seabrook, NH during peak summer season. In addition to good rides Maudslay offers some nice spots to park it for awhile near the Merrimack river. I did not get good pictures far into the park this trip but next time I head up there I intend to gather up more.
I like small ups and downs on a trail, say anywhere from 10 to 40 feet or so - well so far - I am still relatively new at all of this so it might be more correct to say I can handle small ups and downs versus going down mountainsides. The mountains I guess are to be determined. Of small ups and downs Maudslay has plenty. I found three really fun drops to play on. The one featured on the left is far off in the northeast pocket of the park and the terrain to get at it is varied but mostly packed dirt with pockets of mixed mud and dirt. The state rangers often put wood chips over the worst of the mud: I don't know if that is good or bad for mountain biking (someone should feel free to email me about it) but I didn't much like it: what I did like was that often there were little trails that bypassed the worst of the woodchip/muck mires many with roots that were fun to hop.
Close to the parking lot what I refer to as the main trail head drops down towards the river. The picture on the left and the first picture at the top of the article both show these. Right at the main field there is a fun Y shaped drop that one can sort of do a triangle ride (I played there for quite awhile) at one point I managed to come up to the top and jumped up and off of the side of the path. If you look closer or embiggen the picture you can see embankments some of these were as big as a couple feet. Of course I almost blew it a couple times because I am still learning how to come out of features. What was so interesting to me, and maybe not so much to experienced riders, was how I could get stuck playing with one feature for a half hour (which I did a few times). I would keep trying to do different things, vary my speed on approaches, different stance - whatever. I found it very much like skateboarding where I find a feature somewhere then trying to dial it in to my level of experience and preference.
When I said Maudslay has a lot of different terrain I was not kidding. The only thing it is missing is large exposed rock to grovel over - it has everything else. Mud pits, dried up water run beds, lots of small rocks to scrabble over, packed dirt paths, packed mud paths, horse doodie (oh yeah there is that), tree roots and the random rock jutting out of the dirt. What is so cool is how compact the park is. I found a lot of different things all pretty close together and if I wanted a break it wasn't much effort to ride back to the parking lot, take a breather then head out again. What I did not get this time around were good pictures of all the different terrain and some of the good views. Hopefully next time around (and there will be a next time) I will get them.