June 22, 2014
Earl's trails are located on the north face of the Holyoke Range, bounded on the west by Mount Holyoke and J. A. Skinner State Park, on the north by Chmura and Bay Roads, east by Route 116 and to the south by the ridge-line. The map from Frankenstein above includes all the boundary trails. Although it is easy to get somewhat lost within the trail system (there are more trails than the map shows), the only ways to get really lost would be if you took one of the 2 or 3 hiking trails (not singletrack) to the south or one to the west that leads to Skinners. If you stick to singletrack you shouldn't go far wrong. Surprising for the near absence of rocks, technicalities and other people (plenty of roots though), this is a well designed and well maintained layout... fast and flowy with plenty of climbing and sweet descents. Hard-tail friendly. Most trails are good in both directions. Never needing to get off your bike means a very efficient workout and it's easy to design rides of any length. I park at the end of Chmura and since that's lower than 90% of the trail system I can get back to my car in 15 minutes or less from anywhere, yet I could easily put together 3 or 4 hours of riding with little or no repetition. One star off for the lack of technical bits.
Unique in my experience.