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  1. #1
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    Trails and a cabin outside of Philli

    Looking for recommendations on a cabin or B&B near great trails and within 60-90 minutes of Philli from Oct. 4-6th. It'll just be the wife and I and we will have our bikes with us. We are both mostly xc style riders and I'll have my HT with me. Technical is fine but nothing insane. Rides from 15-40 miles are our safe range.

    Your recommendations are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    not super scenic but quality riding; newark, de.

    stay in the college town (lots of housing available of all kinds i'd imagine).

    ride middlerun one day fairhill the next.

    not too rustic (but nothing 60-90 min from philly would be) but great riding and all the post ride amenities you could want.

    if it were me and i wanted someplace so close (assuming you live in the city) i'd just go from home each day and spend the money you could spend on lodging on a nice dinner instead. you always sleep better in your own bed

  3. #3
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    Wulp that is some good advice but my story is sort of convoluted. We have Thursday, Friday and most of Saturday to ride and chill. On Saturday afternoon I need to be in Phili for a medical nutrition conference that last through Tuesday. Some things have changed in the last few hours that would allow us to expand our distance West of Phili a little further, including down into the blue ridge mountains of Virginia. Exploring the offerings of PA would be nice.








    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    not super scenic but quality riding; newark, de.

    stay in the college town (lots of housing available of all kinds i'd imagine).

    ride middlerun one day fairhill the next.

    not too rustic (but nothing 60-90 min from philly would be) but great riding and all the post ride amenities you could want.

    if it were me and i wanted someplace so close (assuming you live in the city) i'd just go from home each day and spend the money you could spend on lodging on a nice dinner instead. you always sleep better in your own bed

  4. #4
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    I would do The Michaux one day then drive to French Creek the next. These are hard Pa. trails and you get to stay in 2 nice areas for a day (and Chill and ride Hard)---

    AND I have A Hard Tail.... But why not (with Hard Tail for most) do Fair Hill one day (come back to White Clay the next)-----both are 45 minutes from Philly.. And you could get some crabs in Maryland--then shop tax free in Delaware....

  5. #5
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    Take a look at the Youth Hostel in Chamounix. Can't beat the proximity to both Belmont & Wiss - literally stagger out the front door and onto the trail in about 25 yards. Also, you are next to the scenic Schuylkill river and the restaurants/amenities of both Center City and University City Philadephia. It is a hostel, so it probably isn't luxurious. If you go this route, PM me and I'd be happy to show you around Belmont on Friday. If you have the desire you can always do both trail systems in one long ride.

    The recommendations above to drive out and try French Creek, Middle Run/White Clay/Fairhill, and Michaux are all excellent. It depends on how much time you want to spend on trail and commuting. Michaux is a full day's adventure if you are driving to and from Philly. Other spots worth considering are Trexler/Salisbury/Bear Creek near Allentown. 1-1.5 hours from Philly.

    French Creek has cabins, but it will not be convenient to your conference.

    EDIT: To those who read this thread in THE FUTURE I just want to encourage you to look at the Chamounix Hostel. It is a cool spot. It is located in a 200+ year old mansion. It is one of many mansions in Fairmount park, which is where the rich and famous of colonial Philly used to construct their summer homes.
    Last edited by buddhak; 08-02-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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  6. #6
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    important to know what types of trails you and the wife prefer.

    sounding like a chauvinist d@uche i am sure, but i recommended fairhill and whiteclay cause you said your wife was coming. back before kids, when my wife rode bikes off road, she liked those places. we live right behind the wissahickon trails in philly but she never really enjoyed riding there due to the rocks n steep stuff.

    so yeah type of trail might be important, there is lots of fun rocky stuff all over but the smoother XC type stuff is generally south of philly.

  7. #7
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    buddhak has the good advice. if you're conf is in philly, you should stay in philly and ride Wiss, then drive out to French Creek (about an hour) or even head out to blue marsh lake (outside of reading, but only about an hoiur and a half - not technical, but 30 miles of single track with beautiful views, couple stiff climbs, lots of speed and a lake to swim in when you're done.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

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    Stoked by the responses. I'll provide more details here.

    + The squaw is capable of manualing a 4 pack at the local rythm section and the occassional 8-10 foot huck while pouring herself a Belgian Doubble and making 6 figures .......OK, OK she's firmly XC and likes a rocky challenge on occassion. She's got no issues with riding in places like Pisgah and Dupont which can vary, but she LOVES Fats near Augusta. She lives in Northern Virginia but I live in Augusta so we get to ride in both places as well as meet in Asheville and Roanoke every few weeks. Yeah, life apart sucks but we fun hog it when we are together. It's what our jobs require.

    + Both of us ride Tallboys with 140 up front.

    + We have no desire to stay IN Phili Thursday through Saturday. We both want to get away from it all but stay someplace comfortable and close to trails. Saturday afternoon We'll head into Philli and I'll get us situated for that. A youth Hostel for the MTB portion of our trip is fine for folks that see each other on a regular basis but we tear off a rowdy piece when we get to see each other after being apart.

    So, yeah more XC stuff with rocks is best, 2-3 hours outside of Phili is now OK for our plans, a nice B&B or cabin is desired and trails within 30 minutes of the cabin/BB is prefered.

    MANY thanks!

  9. #9
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    Look around Jim Thorpe, PA. It's about 80 miles north of Philly and amazing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwh4130 View Post
    Look around Jim Thorpe, PA. It's about 80 miles north of Philly and amazing.
    I'm czecking that place out on Google images and loving it. What a beautiful town!

  11. #11
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    Stay in Exton or west chester area

    Far burbs of philly. Hotels and restaurants throughout even commutable to city if yoy would want to setup shop for the full stay. Within 1 hour or closer-white clay, marsh creek, blue marsh, the wiss, French creek, Gretna, bear creek. A little more than hour Jim Thorpe and fair hill md. Machiux probably 2 hours.

  12. #12
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    Both of us ride Tallboys with 140 up front.
    With that you are just 45 minutes from Mt Penn (Reading)---This should be 'no sweat' on those.

    Mt Penn trail 58 - YouTube

    But you have to ride The Wiss!! That's a Given!!

  13. #13
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    Fine suggestions all. I took the recommendation to look at j. Thorpe. That town is outta sight! The squaw is going to pick me up at the Dulles airport on thrusday AM and we will hit a trail on the drive up to JT. Spend two nights in JT then hit a trail on our way into Phili. I'll be choosing trails depending on their relationship to our travel path and appropriatness for our skills.

    Thanks again, I'm glad to be part of this community. If any of you are ever in the Augusta, GA area and want to ride FATS, give me a shout.

  14. #14
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    Jim Thorpe is nice but can be tough to navigate... try to hook up with somebody that knows where they're going. At the very least, you'll want to have gps files and/or a guide book. The trails there are a lot of fun but it's easy to get turned around and you may not see anyone else out there.

    I know there are trails in Allentown area, but I don't know anything about them. Bear Creek is a really technical 7-8 mile loop with a ton of rocks. It's fun, but it's tough. French Creek is a great option with a good mix of technical yet flowy trails.

  15. #15
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    venture across the DE River into Jersey. Central & South Jersey have plenty of trails to choose from:

    www.JORBA.org | JORBA - You Dig? for more info on the various trails.

  16. #16
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    ehhhh I live 30 min from Jim Thorpe and honestly, there's far better riding to be had elsewhere. This is probably where people who ride JT a lot will come on and correct me, but seriously, if your idea of sweet riding is legacy trails from the 80's that are either overgrown, washed out, illegal, or just not flowy, then go for it, but otherwise, I'd look elsewhere. Plus the town is a tourist trap and aside from a few historic buildings (and the rail trail scenery) is not super exciting.

    If it was me, and riding was important and I wanted to wow the wife, I'd get a cabin or room here and then you'd be within 25-45 minutes of trail systems of varying type (Salisbury, Trexler, Nockamixon, South Mountain Emmaus, Bear Creek), all groomed and designed for mountain biking...and you can still drive up to Jim Thorpe too easily enough.

    That's my Lehigh Valley spin on it, the suggestions regarding Fairhill, JORBA's stuff, and such are all excellent ideas too.

  17. #17
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    Second on the Jim Thorpe suggestion. Great place to ride and stay. Guys at the shop there have always been super nice and helpful with ride suggestions.
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  18. #18
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    xjaradx is right on about JT. Bshow has good suggestions too. MBMSG has one of the best by staying in West Chester, you will have access to alot and be able to get to Philly no prob. You should try and get a ride in at Wiss in Philly, it is a great place to ride and is right in the city. Full loop is 18-20miles and takes about 2.5 at moderate pace - you can stop at Valley Green Inn for lunch or cold beer right in the park after riding.

    I can't believe anyone would send an out of state guy looking to ride to JT. Of the "legal" trails, there are a couple ok rides if you're in the area, but from this guys description of what he's looking for, nothing he wants.

    I'm not looking for a flame fest but JT is history - let it go. There are some locals only trails and knowledge, but for someone coming from out of town, there are better options. Also, JT consists mainly of an intersection and is a tourist trap for North Jersey and New Yorkers with lots of tats, few brains who want to drink Mountain Dew and be "extreme" by rafting down a river with rapids you can swim with a boogie board.

    crockpot - go with the other options and you will have a better experience.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    crockpot - go with the other options and you will have a better experience.
    I agree... my first post was under the assumption that Jim Thorpe was already decided upon.

    If you're looking for technical, yet fun trails then I think French Creek is tough to beat. It's marked well enough to navigate with the park map and it's about an hour from the city (assuming no traffic). That's a good day trip or a place to hit on the way back into the city. Wissahickon is fun and it's in the city proper, but its confusing if you don't know the trails well and I've never seen a map of it. Fair Hill or White Clay/Middle Run/Judge Morris system would be perfect places to stop on your way to Philly from Dulles... Those are all well marked and great for out of towners. Both places are fun to ride and are super flowy.

    I think Raystown lake is one of your better options for the long trip, but it's a bit outside of your range at 4-5 hours. There are a ton of private Cabins/houses to rent, some B&B's, cheap motels, or camping. The trails are ear-to-ear grin type of fast flowy singletrack. The town isn't much to see, but Boxer's Pub is a must for lunch/dinner if you enjoy really good pub food in a quirky local setting, good beer and absurdly cheap prices. My wife and I ate dinner there a couple weeks ago and it was like $30 for dinner, two or three beers and a slice of pie. You can spend almost that much at a fast food joint around me.

  20. #20
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    +1 for Raystown if you can swing the drive. It's scenic drive and ride, incredible flowing XC trails, a town with fun pubs and bike shops, and it has that college town mojo. Rustic cabins abound.

    Signature PA cross country destination.

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  21. #21
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    another vote to skip Thorpe unless you can get a guide or are handy with your GPS.

    the riding and scenery up there are incredible BUT it takes some doing to find the good stuff. plus if you don't like chunky rock riding your in for a rude awakening...

    also french creek is indeed a local jem, but again only if you like riding rocky chunky stuff.

    honestly if it were me and i was starting at dulles... i would head out the way to somewhere around of harrisonburg, va and try to ride some trails in the george washington natl. forest.definitely out of your way a little but it is some of the best riding on the east coast. it is also a perfect place to see some sights in shenendoah natl. park as well since you probably can't ride bikes ALL DAY.

    best hike i've ever done (start EARLY): old rag Old Rag - Shenandoah National Park | Sperryville Virginia Hikes | Trails.com

  22. #22
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    I've been lurking this thread for the last few days and feel it's time to throw in my 2 cents. I've lived in Northern Va (Leesburg/Dulles), Maryland (Baltimore) and now in Philly (originally from South Central Pa).

    Obviously you now know you have choices, but it's how to use them wisely to get in riding/rowdy time without being on the road forever! Iím going to completely disregard all the trails in Northern Va. Though there are some nice trails there, sounds like you can ride them any time youíre with the squaw.

    You have 3 main choices of routes for how you want to get here from Dulles, and they all offer a little of something. Of those 3 choices for routes Iíll recommend trails that are not too far off.

    Route 1
    Route 2
    Route 3

    Iíd skip Route 2 altogether. Much nicer trails to ride and see with the other 2 options.

    Route 1 trails to hit: Gambril (Fredericksburg, Md) Michaux (Gettysburg, Pa) Raystown Lake (Huntingdon, Pa) Swatara (Hershey, Pa), Governor Dick (Mt Gretna, Pa), French Creek (Morgantown, Pa), Marsh Creek (Downingtown, Pa), Wissahickon (Philadelphia, Pa) and Belmont (Philadelphia, Pa).

    Route 3 trails to hit: Patapsco (Baltimore, Md), Fairhill (Newark, De), Whiteclay (Newark, De), French Creek (Morgantown, Pa), Marsh Creek (Downingtown, Pa), Wissahickon (Philadelphia, Pa) and Belmont (Philadelphia, Pa)

    Of those 2 route choices, Iíd highly recommend Route 1. Must ride trails on that route are Michaux, Raystown, French Creek and Wissahickon. Iím partial to the Wiss because itís amazing that a trail system like that exists within city limits.

    I can provide more detailed info if you want, or someone else on here will.

  23. #23
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    I just saw all the new responses and suppose I have some work to do! I'll start digesting this.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrostle View Post
    I've been lurking this thread for the last few days and feel it's time to throw in my 2 cents. I've lived in Northern Va (Leesburg/Dulles), Maryland (Baltimore) and now in Philly (originally from South Central Pa).

    Obviously you now know you have choices, but it's how to use them wisely to get in riding/rowdy time without being on the road forever! Iím going to completely disregard all the trails in Northern Va. Though there are some nice trails there, sounds like you can ride them any time youíre with the squaw.

    You have 3 main choices of routes for how you want to get here from Dulles, and they all offer a little of something. Of those 3 choices for routes Iíll recommend trails that are not too far off.

    Route 1
    Route 2
    Route 3

    Iíd skip Route 2 altogether. Much nicer trails to ride and see with the other 2 options.

    Route 1 trails to hit: Gambril (Fredericksburg, Md) Michaux (Gettysburg, Pa) Raystown Lake (Huntingdon, Pa) Swatara (Hershey, Pa), Governor Dick (Mt Gretna, Pa), French Creek (Morgantown, Pa), Marsh Creek (Downingtown, Pa), Wissahickon (Philadelphia, Pa) and Belmont (Philadelphia, Pa).

    Route 3 trails to hit: Patapsco (Baltimore, Md), Fairhill (Newark, De), Whiteclay (Newark, De), French Creek (Morgantown, Pa), Marsh Creek (Downingtown, Pa), Wissahickon (Philadelphia, Pa) and Belmont (Philadelphia, Pa)

    Of those 2 route choices, Iíd highly recommend Route 1. Must ride trails on that route are Michaux, Raystown, French Creek and Wissahickon. Iím partial to the Wiss because itís amazing that a trail system like that exists within city limits.

    I can provide more detailed info if you want, or someone else on here will.


    I love the idea of route 1 it will give you a taste of all the various terrain pa has to offer hilly, flowy,, rocky, roots, burbish, city, rural. Crowded and empty. Live between French and marsh, cut my teeth in the wiss. If there is one area you need to ride its the wiss, just for the fact it is inside the 5 or 6th largest city in the country. Enjoy pa its no Utah or colorado but it will do in a pinch. Also many of the areas mentioned in route 1 are marked or easy to get maps for or even guides right from this very board or thread.

  25. #25
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    the wiss

    I am new to mountain biking and looking for great places in and around the philadelphia area.

    i see that many of you are talking about the Wiss and I am wondering where it is located and what type of trails are there?

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