“An awesome 22-mile loop to see the best of north central Massachusetts. Connects to the M & M Trail.
— Elizabeth Day
Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Be aware of mountain bikers during the Long Pond Section of the trail, and of bears and coyotes. There is little to no cell service along the loop.
This trail starts on the Tully Lake Loop Trail
but, once out of the woods at the Tully Lake Campground, you'll take a right onto the street and cross the street. You'll see the yellow gate to the start of the Long Pond mountain bike trail. A large climb and then descent will bring you to Spirit Falls. Photo op!
Next, you'll ascend Jacobs Ladder, where you'll come across a stunning view of what's to come, Tully Mountain. Be sure to follow the Tully Trail and the yellow trail markers here as you should descend through a singletrack trail in thick brush. Lots of people get lost here.
You'll eventually come back down to the Long Pond Trail and turn right back onto the trail. (If you are worried that you'll get lost at Spirit Falls, you may choose to stay straight on the Long Pond Trail, following the yellow markers instead of turning right at the Spirit Falls trail sign.)
You'll find a lot of singletrack here. You'll eventually come to a jeep road and turn left. Keep following the signs for the mountain bike trail. You'll come to wetlands and a small bridge. Keep going until you see the sign back into the woods for the mountain bike trail. You'll continue through the woods until you come to a fork where the Tully Trail will continue straight and the Long Pond Trail will bear left. Stay straight and follow the Tully Trail markers.
This trail takes you up to Royalston Falls. Again, get the camera out because it's beautiful, but this is where you'll do some serious running up to the falls. This is also where you can connect to the M&M Trail. Keep your eyes open because it's easy to end up on that trail. If you see a sign that says you are in New Hampshire, turn around—you've gone too far! Stay on the yellow blazes here, and follow the Tully Trail markers.
Eventually, you'll come out at Royalston Falls parking area and find yourself at Route 32. Cross the road and find the yellow trail blazes on the left to enter the woods. You'll find yourself climbing up a hill. This hill is Bliss Hill where you'll come out on a dirt road (Bliss Hill Rd). Follow this road until come across a jeep road marked with the yellow blazes on the right. Descend again and start another ascent.
Next, you'll come out to a dirt road, Butterworth Rd. Turn right then left onto Tully Rd. (gravel). Turn left into woods connect to Tully Mountain Trail on right. There is one last ascent up Tully Mountain then a donwhill, before the trail comes out on dirt road. Follow the road until you come to another dirt road, Royalston Rd. on the left. Follow this road until the end, then turn right onto the gravel road (Route 32) to complete the loop.
Flora & Fauna
Black bears, deer, wild turkey, foxes, bobcat using other smaller critters. The views during the fall are gorgeous!