Trails to hit with a CX bike?
I'm heading to Bayhead for a week at the beach, but I am bringing my trusty Surly Crosscheck with me running some CX tires. I was hoping to find out if any of the following parks are worth riding on this rig.
Allaire State Park
Brendan Byrne State Forest
Otherwise I'll probably end up trolling up and down the beach highway to get some type of riding in.
Hartshorne/Huber and Allaire are definitely doable with a rigid bike, as long as the wheels (and you) are up to the task. Allaire will be more smooth in general than Hartshorne or Huber, but you will have to watch out for the sand patches with the skinnier tires...stuff under 1.9-2" doesn't do too well there, but if you ride on the very side of the trail, you can probably power through it.
Once you get a good head of steam up, Hartshorne has a number of 6" drops/obstacles, especially when you are going down/uphill into/out of Buttermilk Valley on the blue trails. So if you think your bike is up to the terrain, go for it!
Both Hartshorne and Huber Woods both have their share of logs, which may be difficult to conquer with smaller tires. For what it's worth, the blue trails in Huber Woods seem to be groomed better than Laurel Ridge (which is much closer to a 'black diamond' in Monmouth County, once you are off the fire road.) but I suppose that is part of the fun.
I ended up riding out at Allaire as it was bikable from where we were staying in Bayhead. I took the Edgar-Felix bikeway from Manasquan to Hospital Rd. and then entered the trail system at the parking lot.
I did all of orange and parts of blue and white. I also explored some of the unmarked trails which I later found out were parts of Tiger Woods, Hog Bog and some unofficial trails. I had to turn back on some of my side excursions when it got too hairy to ride on the CX bike. Next year I am definitely bringing a mountain bike up there, so I can ride the other stuff.
Really nice trail system you guys have up there!
Allaire CX ride