Lazy Mary on Hardwick Commons (by Terry Holland)
Published on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 in Guest Columns, News & Updates
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Well, my sled is back together and I had ridden it around the yard until I was bored. At that point I decided that it needed to hit the trails, to make sure things are fixed. I had been in contact with Jay Pease, of the relatively new Ware River Snowmobile Club. I figured it would be fun to check out their new trails and, of course, ride in an area of Massachusetts that I’ve never been to. Jay and I played phone tag for one or two seasons in the past and just due to the lack of snow we kept pushing off a ride together. Well this day it was going to happen, unless we got totally lost on the way or ran out of snow.

Andy & I headed off to Rutland State Park to unload and head towards Hardwick. We spotted a sled dog truck in the parking lot so we made sure to take our time and watch out for them on the trails. The 4-strokes are so quiet that others don’t hear us coming and have little warning as we approach. We got to see the new ITS sign while riding on ITS 71 through Rutland, Barre and Oakham. As we got closer to the top of the “dump” area we kept our eyes open for the yellow hazard ribbons. Jay and his group had put them out a few weeks prior for us to find the beginning of the new trail. Everyone knows of the dump, a capped landfill, on ITS 71, north of Spencer. It will be on your left just after you leave the high-tension lines prior to crossing the river and Rt. 122. Just before turning onto the trail we passed a mirror image of 4-Strokes like ours. We were now on uncharted trails, just taking our time and enjoying the “exploring” if you will. There were a few intersections that we weren’t sure about but as luck would have it the sister sled to ours returned. They were members of the Ware River Club and heading to Hardwick for a ride as well. So, we tagged along with Tom Clark and his wife. We came to this clearing where logging was going on and the snow was very sparse. They decided to turn back but we figured we would get through and see what the trails were like on the other side. I am glad we did. There were in great shape and the snow was fantastic. Keep in mind that there is only one trail into Hardwick and one out; it’s a key connection to the rest of the SAM trail system. The club has worked very hard to make the link and several landowners have warned that they will revoke permission IF ANYONE RIDES IN THE FIELDS. The Ware River Club has the use of rail beds, horse farms, conservation lands and private lands. So… relax and enjoy the great job these folks have done but stay on the trails. Common sense regardless of where you ride.

This club has built their own drag for grooming the trails and it appears that they use it often. When crossing over the horse farm we ran into some locals, Mark Kemic and his daughter and a few other local guys. They were nice enough to stop and talk to us but once I said (with a huge smile on my face) “Hello I’m the SAM Trail Pass Inspector,” the three guys headed as far away from us as possible. Mark and his daughter stayed and were very nice to talk to and give us some history about the lands were riding on and how much further to food. Food is very important on our ride. There are no gas stations along this trail, at least we didn’t see any signs, so make sure your sleds are full before going.
Our final destination was Lazy Mary’s Pizzeria and Bakery, right there on the common of Hardwick. The food is EXCELLENT and it is well worth the ride. As we were eating lunch we called Jay to see where he was and if we could meet. I got a call back and in about 5 minutes, he and his family met us at Lazy Mary’s. From there we headed to his house.

This club deserves lots of praise for all the hard work they have done with very few members and little to no equipment. They knew it would be a lot of work and they kept at it. Club members designed and fabricated their drag; a fine accomplishment. A big thanks to all involved who help get this new club onto their feet. Andy and I found the trails well-marked, the only problem was at the beginning and along the high-tension lines and a few water crossings. It was later explained to us that they aren’t allowed to mark that particular area. Now that we are familiar with the trails we will definitely go back again, especially for another visit to Lazy Mary’s on Hardwick Commons. When riding in a new area I always suggest you call or email the club ahead of time. Most clubs are willing to give you a map and tell you of any sensitive spots or trail changes that could make the day more enjoyable.

Remember ALL clubs need help to keep the trails open. If everyone would just lend a hand for a day or a few hours the trails in Massachusetts would be even better then they already are. Be safe and ride smart.

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