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Tags:
Level: Beginner
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +338/331 ft
Total: 82 riders
 

Mountain Biking Callahan State Park

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#142 of 216 mountain bike trails in Massachusetts
#9445 in the world

Callahan SP offers a south side in Framingham with well-marked trails that provide some good, basic riding. There's nothing particularly challenging, but it's a pretty forest that offers a few climbs and fun descents, as well as plenty of dog walkers and people enjoying the proximity to town. They're fun trails to burn up some miles on if you need to get out. The north side on Edgell Road features a pretty gnarly climb up Gibbs Mountain, spilling into a larger network of trails that are less used. Here you'll find plenty of climbs and descents bordering up into Marlboro and Sudbury, including some SVT land that may or may not welcome bikes. You can loop together several miles of pine forest, singletrack, and pipeline-style riding here and really open up for some speed due to the construction of the trails. Go explore!

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
Take exit 12 (Framingham/Route 9) off of the Mass Pike and head East on Route 9. Follow the exit off of Route 9 for Edgell Road (also for Framingham State College). Take a left towards Sudbury on Edgell Road. After about 1.5 miles, take a left onto Belknap Road. Go straight through an intersection or two until you turn right onto Millwood Street. The entrance to the park is on your left across from the golf course - plenty of parking if you get there early enough.
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Callahan State Park Trail map

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IvanG (on May 12, 2020)
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Good (on Jun 2, 2019)
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Reviews

  • Fitch
    ***

    Pipeline on the south side and another trail on the north side were basically destroyed by the companies doing maintenance on the gas lines. Shame. Otherwise, the north side is rolling crazy fast right now and DCR/ SVT has increased signage. It was easy to keep rolling and know where you are.

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  • Fitch
    ***

    The south side has been taking some beating in the weather. Many of the downhill trails are becoming washed out with some erosion, leading to ruts and babyheads. This does, per se, change up the ride a bit and give you some variety, but hopefully some trail work in the spring will clean it up.

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  • Verne L. Thayer
    ****

    Was there Aug. 29, 2015 with my grandson and a friend. We had a great time except when we were attacked by a dog that was off his leash at Eagle Pond. There were many dogs off their leash but only one was vicious. It could have been a bad out come. Luckily the dog didn't bite my grandson. The officials should make an effort monitor the leash law. Other than that it was a fine day. The trails were great. We parked at the South entrance, Next I want to try the northern part of the park.

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  • s_wats10
    ****

    Great trails, I started last week on the north side parking lot at the beginning of 'backpacker' from there we looped down gibs mountain to the pond then hit up the south side. I work in southboro right next door so its a great after work ride. Check it out!

    Update: Aug, 19th, Trails are dry and faaaasstt right now, top of gibs mountain down to the pond is really quick and technical right now.

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  • schwei
    ****

    I live right around the corner, so I ride here a lot! I wouldn't call it a "destination" ride, but you can certainly put together a nice loop! If you hit everything in the park you'll probably do around 15 miles, maybe a bit more. The trails aren't specifically built for MTB, but there is definitely some nice challenging root, rocky, and climby single track mixed in with some smoother flat stuff. As some other reviewers have noted, the north side is a little nastier, but I really think it's just because the climbs are longer. It will certainly keep you on your toes, but none of it is unrideable. I found it to be a great place to learn to ride because the climbs will get you in shape and there is enough technical challenge here to help you learn to handle a bike. I've been riding here for about four years and I still enjoy a nice after work loop! If you live close, definitely check it out and try to make the leaderboard on the Pipeline and Puke Hill clmbs!

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  • Fitch
    ***

    Everything on the north side is nice and dry; get up over Gibbs Mountain and go explore and enjoy the trails. Watch out for deer and horses.

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  • Gerald Audet
    ****

    Listen. Everyone who is saying the north side is hard, or "hell" even, has obviously not made it up and over the first rocky steep section and then down to the pond. Granted, that first hill is very tough, and even as an experience rider, I have yet to make it without putting a foot down. It's actually, after that bit, very similar to the south side, perhaps a touch tougher in places. It's very similar in terms of rocky, rooty single track. But way less people. I love bear paw, or whatever that trail is called, connect it to back packer, and you've got a good loop to rip on the hard tail (or XC FS). I have gone there now ~8 times, I live right near by. 3 of which were on my cyclocross bike, where I stuck to the south side. The whole park is worth a 1/2 hour drive, but certainly not an hour drive. It's pretty basic, and if you really rip, you will use up all the north side in ~45 minutes or less. But I have no problem doing multiple laps, and if I park on the sound side, where all the dogs are, then that builds on an extra 10-15 minutes just to get to the north side (I just consider it a warmup/cool down). Hey, I'm originally from the area, but have been in the rugged WV backcountry for a while, so maybe I am just used to rugged terrain, but I'd say Callahan is intermediate at best, except for that one section right after you cross the road going from south-->north.

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  • BalticSkier
    ***

    I agree with Thurnburger. Nice after work ride in the south side of the park. Stay to the outer trails around the perimeter of the southside for fewer people/dogs/horses. The north of Edmands Rd is hell. Rooty rocky climbs and descents, poorly marked trails and dead ends, but no people or dogs. The Mass DCR trail map is out of date so take care and explore.

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  • andybene
    ***

    Personally I did not care for this park. For a 11/2 drive from my home I would have been better off going to Taunton. I was hoping it would be a little more challenging, but i guess if your from boston it may seem pretty good. The other half was too challenging across the road.

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  • Thornburger
    ****

    Great place for a ride after work, just watch out for people walking and dog crap.
    I've had a couple good rides here and still like it even after snapping my chain on a climb.
    The North side usually has less people some fun stuff, so stick to the South if you arent confident with your skills.

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  • hani122
    *****

    This is my after work ride. It is great cause you can do a quick 5 mile loop or expand it out to 12 miles. Combining smooth single track with some real nice technical terrain on the north side (also called the Marlborough side)

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  • eastwood
    ****

    North side - WOW. Some crazy climbs with more than rewarding downhills on the back side. North gives you some technical challenge that is missing on the South side. On both sides some erosion from the massive rains this year, so just keep your head up. Some mud bogs here and there. Leave plenty of time to explore the North side - with unmarked trails it can be hard to follow the map so just be ready to ride and have fun, you'll hit a marked trail or map spot soon enough.

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  • eastwood
    ****

    Only rode the southern portion below Edmands Rd. But it was fun, smooth, fast trails. Perfect for a fun fast ride. Great for beginners. Another one getting 4 for fun factor - minimal technical challenge.

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  • Fitch
    ****

    Coco Ridge by the dam is a mudslide the whole way down, but for the most part, the trails survived the harsh winter with only some minor damage. There are some wet patches right now that need careful traversing so as not to destroy the ground, but it will dry up!

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  • john.from.vt
    ****

    The south side stuff is pretty good. There's more foot and equestrian traffic on this side. This entire area is good and rooty. You can print maps online or grab one at the park entrance.

    Some locals showed me the North side of the park, which was excellent! More rocky with steep twisty climbs and descents. If you've got the energy, you won't be disappointed here. Bring an extra tube for the rocks. And extra water.

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  • Fitch
    ****

    Some of the inner singletrack (Sparrow, Birch) take a bit longer to dry out after a rain, and as such, there are a few muddy crossings that you'll hit rather unknowingly. Also, beware the huge piles of horse p***.

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  • Slayer94
    ****

    The south side of Edmunds Road is a good place to cruise around but the north side gets nasty

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  • Fitch
    ****

    Enter on the Edmands Road entrance and head right up Pioneer Trail - leads to some rather nice slightly rooty awesome New England riding!

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