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  1. #1
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    Valley Forge/Betzwood Ranger activities?

    Valley Forge/Betzwood is one of my favorite places to ride, but lately I've heard stories at my lbs about rangers kicking people off of the trails and issuing fines to riders. Officially, mountain bikes aren't allowed, but in the past, there has been at least tacit approval and I've heard of rangers showing people where the trails were... Has anyone heard anything similar about Ranger enforcement at Betzwood?
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  2. #2
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    A friend of mine got kicked out of the area where they're doing all the construction. There is signs in that area that the trail is closed though...
    Around the same time I had another friend stopped by a ranger just to introduce himself and ask how the trails were.
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  3. #3
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    That construction is on the main park side if I'm not mistaken? Not on the Betzwood side.

  4. #4
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    I ride Betzwood all the time and the rangers have never bothered me. A good portion of those trails are so deep in the woods rangers probably don't even go back there. I rarely ever see anyone while I'm out there. A good place to get in 15-20 miles if you do both sides of the river. I'm surprised more people don't ride back there.
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    I ride there quite a bit. Judging from the bicycle traffic, I can't imagine it's unwelcome or at the very least tolerated. I've seen the rangers get up in some guys grill at the gravel lot on pawlings. He was a rider, and I think he was spotted taking a wiz in the woods next to the lot or something. Dunno if he got a ticket or just yelled at.

    While we're on the topic - and I'm not trying to be a hater here - but I'm ready to see the end of tubing season. I think some business picks up tubers at that lot and they're constantly leaving trash and beer cans in the grass next to the lot.

  6. #6
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    That gravel lot could use a porta-potty. It's about 3 miles back to the Betzwood lot and restrooms.

  7. #7
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    S'up Andy?
    I find the pines in the logjam section offer plenty of cover; no need for porta-johns.
    I'd stopped in a bike shop not far from Valley Forge the after I rode there a week ago and one of my buddies who rides there had mentioned that he's heard of riders getting some pressure from the rangers... We actually did see a ranger in a car patrolling from the paved trail, but we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and beat it out of the clearing so we didn't have to risk an encounter.

    It would be nice to have the trails officially recognized for mountain biking, so we could have organized trail maintenance and planning and make the trails more sustainable and less susceptible to erosion. It's really a shame that there's not a mountain biking trail advocacy organization affiliated with IMBA here in South Eastern Pennsylvania...
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  8. #8
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    Seriously, a few days each summer of cutting back brush would do everyone some good and that hardly ever comes from the hikers and equestrians. I basically stopped riding there in July because it got so overgrown.

    Maybe someone should hit up a "DE" Trail Spinners meeting and bring it up
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    See now that's where you're wrong Alex. The worst part nears pawlings on the railroad side has had the pipeline areas cleaned out by utility crews and I took a machete to a bunch of it a ways back. Everything else is in pretty good shape, but for a little nettle - and who doesn't like a little nettle.....

  10. #10
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    The meadow on the pond loop is seriously overgrown, but it's not impassable. At least there isn't much poison ivy at VF, just a bit on the RR side approaching Pawlings.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    It's really a shame that there's not a mountain biking trail advocacy organization affiliated with IMBA here in South Eastern Pennsylvania...
    As per their website, SEPTR is the affiliated group for the Valley Forge area.

    Website here

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clicker1 View Post
    As per their website, SEPTR is the affiliated group for the Valley Forge area.

    Website here
    like I said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    It's really a shame that there's not a mountain biking trail advocacy organization affiliated with IMBA here in South Eastern Pennsylvania...
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  13. #13
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    ... give me a moment, while I try to stop laughing.

  14. #14
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    fruitloop.

  15. #15
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    The best way for stuff to get done is to get involved! ! Here looks like a good place to start. It might not be for the Betzwood side but, I'm sure this guy could point you in the right direction.
    Volunteer.gov Search Results

    Every second Saturday of each month (March through November ONLY) weather permitting volunteers can help clean up and maintain trails in Valley Forge NHP.
    No trails maintenance skill necessary, on the job training will be provided.

    Trails work projects includes:

    Clearing draining features

    Removing limbs and downed trees from across the trail tread

    Cutting back over grown brush to maintain trail corridor

    Blazing to direct trail user

    Stabilization and rehabilitation projects to prevent trail erosion

    Trash removal

    The work requires occasional effort in lifting heavy materials.

    Protective gear is important and must be worn. Valley Forge NHP will provide tools.

    Wear or bring long-sleeve shirts, long pants, hiking boots, work gloves and protective eye wear. Bring plenty of water!

    Meet at 9am in the small parking lot off Yellow Springs Road (near the white Covered bridge on Route 252). Work ends by noon.

    Come join the fun!

    If you have any questions, contact Ernestine White, Volunteer Program Manager at 610-783-1029. You can also view the trails maintenance schedule by going to Outdoor Recreation & Conservation - Appalachian Mountain Club and click onto AMC- Delaware Valley Chapter, trails work.

    Valley Forge National Historical Park Monthly trail work session. Meet at parking lot at White Covered Bridge on Yellow Springs Rd. at 9AM for a 3 hr. session. Bring water, snacks, and gloves. Wear comfortable clothes that you donít mind getting dirty.

    You must be 13 and older to participate.

    For youth under the age of 18, you need parental approval and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate.

    Work Leaders:

    Phil Mulligan (215-247-8658, valleyforgetrails@amcdv.org),


    Housing AvailabilityHOUSING & AMENITIES
    Not Available

    More Information
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  16. #16
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    I always park in the gravel lot off pawlings road and then ride the gravel trail down a bit make a left and hit the other gravel trail where the horse riders park and take that down to the single track that you are allowed to ride. near where the horses are parked the trails are marked no bikes but i see guys poaching them all the time. anybody on here ever do those trails and get stopped for it? I never tried going back on them. I heard there were trails on the railroad track side, where do you pick them up from the pawlings road lot? and are they any good? , I like riding there after work because it's close. I ride out of that lot at least 4 times a week.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammin View Post
    I heard there were trails on the railroad track side, where do you pick them up from the pawlings road lot? and are they any good?
    It's not bad. Maybe a 2.5-3 mile loop. You'll need to cross the river using the 422 pedestrian bridge.

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    Been riding Betzwood for 7 years or so. Never any issues.

    Often thought about this...It's likely that most of the frequent riders, including myself, know the trails beter than the rangers.

    You would think that managment would be open to some kind of "volunteer bike patrol" covering the "remote areas" of the park Would be a win-win.

  19. #19
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    there's more than that. You can ride from 422, all the way to Pawlings Rd. there's the loop on the river side of the tracks, then theres more on the other side: Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Betzwood near Norristown | Times and Records | Strava
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypermac View Post
    Been riding Betzwood for 7 years or so. Never any issues.

    Often thought about this...It's likely that most of the frequent riders, including myself, know the trails beter than the rangers.

    You would think that managment would be open to some kind of "volunteer bike patrol" covering the "remote areas" of the park Would be a win-win.
    Here's where an effectively managed, IMBA affiliated organization would be essential: Officially, mountain biking is not allowed on much of the trails we ride there. In order for the Valley Forge land managers to approve of a mountain bike patrol or official trail maintenance, that status would have to be officially changed, most likely at the federal level, at the Bureau of Land Management or National Park Service. What we have now, is at best, tacit approval, where the rangers either look the other way or let us ride with a wink and a nod. A new land manager at Valley Forge could put the kibosh on that in a hurry, if they so desired.
    While I am cautiously optimistic with regards to SEPTR, I'm not seeing enough activity to be convinced that they're presently up to the task. They have managed some small wins here and there, but their outreach and PR seem rather limited. I'm not convinced that they currently have the organizational capacity to make this happen. I hope that they can grow into that, though.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    there's more than that. You can ride from 422, all the way to Pawlings Rd. there's the loop on the river side of the tracks, then theres more on the other side: Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Betzwood near Norristown | Times and Records | Strava

    Once i cross the 422 pedestrian bridge over to the park side/rail road track side, IS it easy to spot the trail and easy to follow it all the way back to pawlings road?

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammin View Post
    Once i cross the 422 pedestrian bridge over to the park side/rail road track side, IS it easy to spot the trail and easy to follow it all the way back to pawlings road?

    joe
    Hi Joe, I think it's pretty straight forward, but there are several options. Here's a link to the ride I did today, but I did in reverse. I started at the pawlings rd gravel lot and then went right over to the tracks side. Here's a KML (http://goo.gl/maps/lMxqK). There are a variety of options. Many of them are viewable via a project I've been working on (disclaimer it'll probably someday be commercial, but for now it's a work in progress) : Zugunroute : Zugunroute: Sign in. There are more than 100 rides at Betzwood logged there including the one referenced above.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypermac View Post
    Been riding Betzwood for 7 years or so. Never any issues.

    Often thought about this...It's likely that most of the frequent riders, including myself, know the trails beter than the rangers.

    You would think that managment would be open to some kind of "volunteer bike patrol" covering the "remote areas" of the park Would be a win-win.
    This was clear at Evansburg when we were doing trail work and a ranger "checked us out" at the trailhead. It was clear he only knew the trails from an official map perspective and had no idea of what was really out there.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypermac View Post
    It's not bad. Maybe a 2.5-3 mile loop. You'll need to cross the river using the 422 pedestrian bridge.
    Actually I think there are more like 9 miles over there. The ride I posted earlier didn't have some of the trails available on the RR tracks side, and the milage on the RR side comes in around 7. I'm guessing there are probabl
    y two more miles or so over there.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by alibby View Post
    Hi Joe, I think it's pretty straight forward, but there are several options. Here's a link to the ride I did today, but I did in reverse. I started at the pawlings rd gravel lot and then went right over to the tracks side. Here's a KML (http://goo.gl/maps/lMxqK). There are a variety of options. Many of them are viewable via a project I've been working on (disclaimer it'll probably someday be commercial, but for now it's a work in progress) : Zugunroute : Zugunroute: Sign in. There are more than 100 rides at Betzwood logged there including the one referenced above.

    Cool thx. i was out there riding today but just on the one side, I like going there because it's good for an after work ride. You may have seen me before, i always park at the pawlings road lot. I have a goldish colored dodge ram with black wheels. i notice on you map when you get closer to 422 it looks like you ride a loop then hit the other trail to go to 422. Can you just go straight without doing the loop? Where do you enter on the track side from pawlings road? I was looking when driving by but didn't notice much. Thx. for all the info.

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