May 28, 2004 - NEMBA Vietnam FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) from the NEMBA Land
For more detailed information on what's going on with Vietnam,
For a map and directions, click here.
As most of you in the mountain bike community know, in the fall of 2003, NEMBA accomplished
the incredible feat of being the first mountain bike group in history to
purchase and own property by buying 47 acres in the area commonly
referred to as “Vietnam.” This parcel of land has been designated for
use by all traditional non-motorized vehicles.
After the land purchase, NEMBA established a Land Management Committee to focus on the
area. The committee is tackling all concerns regarding this property and
welcomes your suggestions.
Presently, the committee is focused on establishing short and long term goals for
managing the property. See Vietnam Update
for more details. The number one short term goal has been to work
political issues with the Holliston and Milford Conservation Committees
and establish ourselves as “good neighbors.” Among our other goals are
to improve trails while respecting natural surroundings and maintaining
challenging terrain. This is all designed to provide full enjoyment of
our area. Please respect this area and our neighbors in order for
future riders to enjoy it for years to come.
Listed below are answers to commonly asked questions posed to the Land Management
Where should I park, and where are the legal access points?
NEMBA and the Land Management Committee recommend parking at Plains
Park on Route 85 about ¾ mile south of Route 495 and accessing the area
through the old rail bed entrance located on Route 85 approximately ½
mile north of Route 495. See
map and directions.
Trespassing poses a
huge long term threat, so be respectful of private property! NEMBA is
currently working with the Town of Milford on potential easements that
would provide more convenient access. Along with future plans of a new
“rail trail” that would lend close, ample parking, these easements are a
Is there a map?
A large portion of the trails
enjoyed by mountain bikers in the area are not on the NEMBA property,
though the NEMBA property does have some of the best trails. We are
working on developing a map in conjunction with other land owners. Due
to the complexity of usage issues, NEMBA cannot, at this time, put out a
map outlining trails advancing through private property. Also, without
signage at trail intersections, maps would not be very useful, so we are
hoping to eventually come up with a map and signage strategy similar to
Are you going to sanitize the existing trails to make them easier?
No, just the opposite. NEMBA
wants you, the rider, to have options, not sanitization. We will attempt
to restore some of the existing trails to their original singletrack
condition and also add challenging options. The new riding area will be
modified for all types of riders while maintaining the area’s already
challenging nature. We fully intend to preserve the character of ‘Nam.
No one wants to see a sterile area!
Are we going to get to build new trails?
Yes, there are new and challenging trails being planned, however it will
take some time to evaluate the current trail system and understand any
environmental or wetland issues. Along with new trails, existing trails
will be enhanced and in some cases re-routed to create more rider
options and challenges. We’re also working with the town of Milford to
build some trails on their property that would connect to the NEMBA
However, unplanned or
“renegade” trails will not be tolerated. Any unapproved trails will be
restored to natural state. The Land Management Committee is open to all
suggestions regarding this matter. Your input matters! You ride here.
Let us hear from you.
Can we build man-made structures (e.g., bridges, stunts, etc.)?
Presently, no technical trail feature construction is allowed, however NEMBA is looking into
liability issues, codes of construction standards, and what’s going on
at places like Whistler in Canada to determine whether we want to create
constructed trail features on our property. Unapproved construction will be taken down. Building
unapproved features or trails will only hurt our chances at gaining recognition as
good neighbors and could threaten further relations with conservation
committees. Historical stunt areas like the Spider, Golden Gate, and
Brooklyn bridge are not on the NEMBA property.
What about motorized vehicles?
Access by motor vehicle is not allowed on NEMBA land and is also
prohibited on all other land in the “Vietnam” area. There is presently a
major crackdown on motorized vehicles occurring in the town of Milford.
NEMBA recently purchased a number of “No motorized vehicles” signs, and
you should see them installed very soon.
How much land does NEMBA own?
The NEMBA parcel is 47 acres in Milford only. The parcel is surrounded
by approximately 1000 acres extending to Holliston, Hopkinton, and
Since the NEMBA parcel is landlocked, what happens if surrounding landowners don’t allow
We’re working closely with
other land owners to establish ourselves as “good neighbors.” It’s
extremely important that we be perceived in a positive light in order to
continue to have access to the surrounding land.
Is there an overall management plan?
A management plan is currently
being written which will cover a wide range of topics including:
ecosystems, land access, future plans, etc. We hope that this management
plan can also be presented to conservation committees as a blueprint for
the entire area.
Why have a number of trees been cut down?
The trees that have been cut down are not on NEMBA property. The owner
of that parcel is clearing the trees and then mining the stone and
aggregate from the site. There are no other future plans that we
currently know about.
How was the Land Management Committee selected?
The committee was selected by
the NEMBA BOD from interested NEMBA members who frequently ride Vietnam
and live within a reasonably close distance. Collectively, the group
represents a variety of riding styles and brings a range of experience
such as trail maintenance expertise and environmental knowledge. John G.
and John V. live in Holliston (one of our neighboring land owners).
How can I help?
Explain to other riders that this is our area and it is up to us to
promote it in the best light possible. Basically, be a good neighbor.
Attend trail days. This is a great way to showcase your ideas besides helping
maintain the trails. Trail
maintenance days will be posted on the Blackstone Valley NEMBA website (www.bvnemba.org)
as well as the Blackstone Valley NEMBA and Southeast Mass NEMBA email
lists. You can join the email lists through the main NEMBA website (www.nemba.org).
There is currently a trail maintenance day planned for October 24, 2004.
Do not litter the parking areas! If you see trash on the trails, please
pack it out.
Join NEMBA! This land requires a constant influx of funds.
Contact John Vosburg
with all suggestions and/or if you would like to attend a
meeting of the Vietnam Land Management Committee.