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  1. #1
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    Wissahickon permit and map?

    Was thinking of making the trip from Hazleton to ride the Wiss on Saturday and then maybe head down to White Clay on Sunday. I heard you need a permit for the Wiss. If so where do I get one and is there a trail map available and where would I get that?
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  2. #2
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    Well, you can get away with ridding the wiss without needing a permit. For the map, you should be able to find one on the internet. The place is simple so you should not have any trouble...
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  3. #3
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    Its not even a matter of getting away without a permit. In 15 years, I have been checked one time. I had taken my seat post off and my permit tag fell on my shop floor, so it wasn't on my bike. I told the ranger, he was cool and just handed me an application.

    Also, finding a map online should be no problem - try Home | Friends of the Wissahickon - just remember to stay in the upper trails. If you get lost head down hill and you will either hit Forbidden drive or one of the bridges that cross over to forbidden drive. The trails form one big loop
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  4. #4
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    I highly recommend you park near the stables on Northwestern Ave. Avoid the parking lots on Bells Mill Avenue at all cost - parking near Valley Green Inn is your next best option but can be crowded. Break-ins happen. If you are traveling, leave all valuables in your trunk, or better yet where you are staying. Do not leave your wallet "hidden" in your car - take it with you.
    Google "Wissahickon Park trail map", select images, and your should see a map from the "Rally in the Valley", which shows route for that event.
    Check the weather before making the trip; the rocks at the Wiss can be very slick when wet/damp, and they will likely still be that way on Saturday if we get all the rain they are calling for Friday.
    I agree with the other posters - I haven't gotten a permit in 5 or 6 years; was stopped twice (both times over 10 years ago), had a permit once, not the other time.

  5. #5
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    good advice. Stay out of Bells Mill parking area. Your best bets are the trail heads in the neighborhoods on the Roxborough side, like Jannette Lane.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    Its not even a matter of getting away without a permit. In 15 years, I have been checked one time. I had taken my seat post off and my permit tag fell on my shop floor, so it wasn't on my bike. I told the ranger, he was cool and just handed me an application.
    I've always purchased the permit and was never checked.... until this year they have posted signs stating it required and were stopping bikers on the weekends and they were ticketing!!
    '14 Specialized Enduro Carbon Expert 29
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrc2006 View Post
    I highly recommend you park near the stables on Northwestern Ave. Avoid the parking lots on Bells Mill Avenue at all cost - parking near Valley Green Inn is your next best option but can be crowded. Break-ins happen. If you are traveling, leave all valuables in your trunk, or better yet where you are staying. Do not leave your wallet "hidden" in your car - take it with you.
    Google "Wissahickon Park trail map", select images, and your should see a map from the "Rally in the Valley", which shows route for that event.
    Check the weather before making the trip; the rocks at the Wiss can be very slick when wet/damp, and they will likely still be that way on Saturday if we get all the rain they are calling for Friday.
    I agree with the other posters - I haven't gotten a permit in 5 or 6 years; was stopped twice (both times over 10 years ago), had a permit once, not the other time.

    Although I can't recommend not getting a permit, I have never been checked in over 15 year - and have been ridding that place for over 20 years.

    With that said, wrc2006 is right on. Be careful where you park. I have had my car broken into 3 times. Twice in the lot up the road from the valley green and once in the lot next to the valley green. The stables are the best place to park. Leave nothing out and visible.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Although I can't recommend not getting a permit, I have never been checked in over 15 year - and have been ridding that place for over 20 years.
    Don't get me wrong, i wasn't recommending to the OP to not get a permit. I get mine every year, but a guy who is just passing through, shouldn't be too worried about not having one. Although, I saw above that they are checking and enforcing on the weekends now, which I have to see to believe.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone for the advice on where to park? Just wondering how it drains with the rain we are supposed to get?
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  10. #10
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    the general consensus is Wiss drains well and is drier faster than most areas around after a good rain. I haven't been back in a week, but last week the trails were in good shape. It depends on how much we get tonight, but usually 24hrs and you are good to go.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  11. #11
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    I was out yesterday and it was awesome. Supposed to rain a lot tomorrow though, so yea the 24 to 36 hour rule is usually a good rule of thumb if it rains a lot. I have gone out the day after rain and had it be fine though too.

    I bought a permit in the mail last year and it never showed up. Rode the whole year with no tag and never got pulled over. Bought one this year and they actually sent it, which is nice. FOW charges for their maps i think, so I would go the google route suggested above.

  12. #12
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    There is an app called maprika where you can download a map of the wiss and actually track your gps location over the map

  13. #13
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    I'd leave you a map at a trailhead kiosk if was riding on Saturday. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who has a stack of maps collecting dust since they send them every year with the permit.

    Total agreement on the parking, too. Play it safe and choose the neighborhoods mentioned above and Northwestern (or on Thomas Rd if you can't find a spot). https://goo.gl/maps/n1s6U (note that you have to go back out to Germantown Ave to get to Thomas as it's one way). All the other trailhead lots remain break-in risks.

    edit: I'd also add that if you start at Northwestern, you'll soon have two choices. Choose wisely. Just kidding, you can't lose either way, one's just going to hurt more. Wissahickon permit and map?-monster_or_not.jpg

  14. #14
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    Nice map and labeling, RepoMan. To the OP: I usually take the "Not the Monster Route" to the covered bridge, cross over the creek, head right about 50 yards and head up the hill at the first trail going up on the left. It's a rocky climb, but lets you warm up a bit unlike the Monster. Make the left at the top of the hill (not the first left you see) and enjoy the new(ish) trails up in the meadow area. Riding counter-clockwise, IMHO, is the better direction to ride the Wiss...
    Have fun!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flytime View Post
    I've always purchased the permit and was never checked.... until this year they have posted signs stating it required and were stopping bikers on the weekends and they were ticketing!!
    Did you forget this - ?

    I was just there last Saturday, rode the entire loop. There are no "new" signs - just the same old ones in the display cases that have been posted forever. No sign of anybody that had an F to give about permits, which is in line with my experience of 20 years.

  16. #16
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    There was a repo man on Preston and Steve this morning that was bad ass

  17. #17
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    By the way - your break in risk is about 90% lower if you make use of street parking in one of the surrounding neighborhoods. I ain't tellin my spot though.

  18. #18
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    Park here:
    Pachella Fields
    1071 Henry Ave
    Philadelphia, PA 19128
    40.035182, -75.210025

    Or here:
    620 Green Ln
    Philadelphia, PA 19128
    40.035182, -75.210025

    Just a heads up that FOW is holding a 10k event on Forbidden Drive on Sunday morning. Parking is going to be annoying in a lot of the usual areas. If you're riding Saturday morning, it'll probably be sloppy in the low areas. It all depends on how late the rain moves out.

  19. #19
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    Thanks all. As of now I guess it's a wait and see what we get.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  20. #20
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    Most of the trails are on Google Maps so if you have a phone you can find out where you are in the park.

    Based on reported car break-ins Pachella is the safest lot to park in. If you want to park in the neighborhoods, parking by Houston Meadow is always a good spot (Grakyn and Sequoia). There is access to the trail system between the hockey rink and the baseball field.

  21. #21
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    Yea the Not the Monster direction doesnt have the Monster, but there are some balls hard climbs in that section too. When I park at the stables, I usually go up the Not the Monster side indicated above, do that whole section and end up at the Inn. Then head up Wises Mill and go to the left and do the whole section behind the Inn ending up at Lincoln. then head back up on the Mount Airy side and wind up back at the Inn. then head back up Wises and through the meadows section ending going down the Monster. So basically a giant figure 8.

  22. #22
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    Don't worry about the permit if you're riding there once. Also, I prefer parking at the Inn. Just my $0.02.

  23. #23
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    Wissahickon permit and map?

    Quote Originally Posted by glorth2 View Post
    Don't worry about the permit if you're riding there once. Also, I prefer parking at the Inn. Just my $0.02.
    Parking at the inn sucks on weekends, plus you are adding an extra climb to your ride with no benefit of a good descent. Park up high on the roxborough side. Livezy pavilion at Henry ave and livezy is a safe parking lot that gets you direct access to the trails. Just drop in right behind the pavilion. I recommend heading counter clockwise (to the right) to get some of the more fun downhills. Clockwise to me feels like more climbing with less reward.


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  24. #24
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    Rain is coming down in solid sheets right now. Postpone the trip.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by justo8484 View Post
    Parking at the inn sucks on weekends, plus you are adding an extra climb to your ride with no benefit of a good descent. Park up high on the roxborough side. Livezy pavilion at Henry ave and livezy is a safe parking lot that gets you direct access to the trails. Just drop in right behind the pavilion. I recommend heading counter clockwise (to the right) to get some of the more fun downhills. Clockwise to me feels like more climbing with less reward.


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    Parking at the Inn sucks on weekends. No doubt. I'm not sure what you mean by "adding an extra climb to your ride with no benefit of a good descent" though, and I'm not arguing. I'm very familiar with going to the Inn so, it's kind of habitual. I also ride counter-clockwise. I head north on Forbidden for a bit and take the long climb up to Summit and then start riding. Yeah, it's a tough climb but, you have to get up there somehow and the flow starts right away. There's definitely a downhill back to the Inn whenever you decide to end the ride. I'll look the Pavillion up. Is that where the ballfields south of Kitchens are?

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