I was looking for something a little different (and longer) on Saturday so I decided a solo FOMBA to Bear Brook State Park ride was in order. I did this last year (one way) for the first time with a group but felt confident I could find my way back. Plus, I've ridden at BB quite a bit this year and figured I could find my way around once I got there.
A late afternoon start had temps in the low 90's so I loaded up the new Camelback and headed out. The main connector trail from FOMBA (near Lake Massabesic in Auburn) to Bear Brook (Allenstown) is called Trail 15 (or corridor 15), a north/south snowmobile trail that goes all the way to Canada I think. The trail is 'generally' easy to follow (if you pay attention to the arrows). It seems to have more uphill on the way over, was dry as a bone but the deer flies were out in force. I almost turned back a few times in the first 30-40 minutes. Relentless.
You actually hit Bear Brook State Park in less than an hour but it's out on the far edges where most mountain bikers don't actually ride. Mostly snowmobile/ATV type trails (with lots of water). I followed Ferret Trail past Bear Hill Pond, down to Podunk Rd and then went up a ways to jump onto Chipmunk (singletrack). I've come up Chipmunk many times but never rode it down. Totally different trail going down, seemed more technical (if that is possible?). Next up Bobcat, over to Little Bear and 1hr 47min later I was at the Podunk parking lot. Actually ran into a couple of aR riders in the lot (Geoff and Alex).
After chatting for a while (and fueling up) I decided to head back to FOMBA as the sky was getting darker (thunderstorm dark). Decided on a more direct route back (up Podunk Rd) due to the weather. I didn't even make it to the Ferret Trail before the storms rolled in. Steady, heavy rain for about 45 minutes (along with plenty of thunder/lightning). My previously dry trail was almost completely flooded the entire way back. Temps dropped by 20 degrees too! At least it kept the bugs away. 1hr 22min ride back to the car. Nice ride. Guessing total miles around 30-32 miles (I don't use a GPS).
I kind of like this connector trail.