Slab Bridge Road, Assonet
minutes from Fall River and Taunton, and 15 minutes from New Bedford,
Freetown State Forest is a vast tract of public land acquired over a twenty
year period beginning in the 1930's. Near the main entrance is a day use
area, with wading pool, picnic area, fields and restrooms. The remainder
of the forest offers 50 miles of unpaved roads and trails. Horseback riders,
dog Sledders, mountain bikers, and seasonal motorcycle and snowmobile
users are welcome, as are hunters and anglers in season. Rattlesnake Brook,
which meanders throughout much of the property, is stocked with brook
trout each spring.
The 6,550 acre forest has been a mecca for area mountain bikers since
the sport began. At least two races a year are held in the forest, and
there is usually a "show & go" ride every Tuesday, Wednesday
and Thursday night.
stoney gravelly soil drains quickly and does not promote the formation
of bogs or mudholes. After a rainstorm there is a lot of water in the
forest but in most cases you can drive right through it on a firm bottom.
extensive network of somewhat degraded dirt roads sees a lot of use from
motorized vehicles, very little from horses and seasonal use by snowmobilers
and nordic skiers. This is one of the few places in Southeastern Massachusetts
where you'll find dogsleds. In all but the warmest weather, the dogs will
be barking around the forest as they train for the winter dogsled season.
You may also come across hunting dog trials. If you do, you'll see small
groups of dogs running through the forest with numbers painted on their
sides and wireless transmitters on their collars.
is a very remote area. You will need to pick up a map and some directions
at the ranger station. Non-trail activity in the forest consists of a
small picnic area at forest headquarters and hunting season.
negative of this area is mosquitos. On evening rides during the bug season
you'll have extra encouragement to keep moving. (Mosquitos rarely bite
moving bicyclists.) A good mosquito repellant, or one of those electronic
bug-aways helps a lot.
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State Forest is located in southeast Massachusetts.
From the north: Take Rte. 24 south to exit 10. Bear left
onto South Main Street. Turn left at four corners onto Rte. 79 north and
right onto Elm Street which then turns into Slab Bridge Road; continue
for 1.5 miles to the forest entrance.