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  1. #1
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    Wissahickon Trail Conditions 2017

    New thread for 2017.

    Lots of rain this past weekend. Dirt is soft from the snow melt and rain, but surprising enough the wind last night dried the top surface. Give it another day and the trails should be ok.

    Just be aware of the freeze/thaw conditions. Also, curfew is still in effect due to the deer cull.

    Post up conditions or any other news.

  2. #2
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    Both Wiss and Belmont should be okay by this weekend (maybe sooner) with the wind and dry weather.

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    Thoughts on this weekend? It hasn't rained in a while and it's been windy
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  4. #4
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    yeah since it shouldn't dip below freezing plus wind means it should be pretty good this weekend i'd wager. only problem would be fighting crowds if you go during peak times. 60 degree winter days bring ALL the people out. i definitely need to go get my tires dirty somewhere round here this weekend!

  5. #5
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    Yeah. No thank you on wiss this weekend. Every twice a year hiker will be out there with the dogs running free.

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    I may hit the trails in about 2 hours. If not, I'm doing an early morning ride tomorrow before the masses come out.

    Will post up the conditions "live" from the trail.

  7. #7
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    Hit the Wiss yesterday afternoon (Fri 2/17). Trails were mostly good with a few greasy spots. Started at NW Ave and rode Forbidden to Bells Mill climb and continued up and on the Yellow trail to Livezey Lane descent back to Forbidden then up and back Cresheim trail, back to Forbidden. Over covered bridge to single track back to Bells Mills and Forbidden and NW.
    https://www.relive.cc/view/869972419
    Gonna be a mad house out there today. Taking the cross bike out for some mileage on the Perky trail today then hitting Middle Run De, tomorrow

  8. #8
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    saturday morning was a little premature (worse than i expected; ended up bailing after riding a few REALLY greasy sections...)

    but by monday afternoon it was a glorious smooth packed ribbon... it was pure awesome yesterday afternoon!

    get some this week! we got summer conditions in february. enjoy it while it lasts.

  9. #9
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    Road last night in shorts/long sleeves. Is it really end of February? Hero dirt, so get some while you can.

  10. #10
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    Rode Belmont this past Sunday (3/12) and conditions were very nice. That said, today's winter weather will render conditions negatively for the forseeable future. Might be able to finally break out the xc skis for a few days!

  11. #11
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    this crust might be so thick and frozen that you might be able to ride ON TOP of this... those who have ridden philly for many moons may remember one winter where there was much more snow but contions were similar (velcro traction logs with wind drifts turned into launch ramps).... unfortunately i really have no time to ride today but i might need to sneak out for a 1/2 hour or so this afternoon just to see if this crust is so hard you can ride anywhere again.

  12. #12
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    The snow is dense enough to walk on the top but on every trail I walked today there were footprints everywhere. You could probably ride the golf course but the trails aren't much fun. Belmont or Pennypack might be fine though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    remember one winter where there was much more snow but contions were similar (velcro traction logs with wind drifts turned into launch ramps)....
    Not sure if it's the same year, but these shots were from 2007(?):

    Mar17_0003
    Mar17_0008
    Mar17_0006 (this one shows the tracks left from actual riding)

    Coincidentally, it appears they were taken March 17th of whatever that year was. Too bad this year it's full of frozen footprints, judging by danmer's post.

  14. #14
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    Funny, I was just thinking about sneaking out to check it out tomorrow.

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    repo that was totally it! i was up in the houston meadows riding for a bit on and over anything in sight.

    it froze hard last night. i wasn't able to get out last night but i am definitely gonna give it a o this evening.

    once this finally thaws it is gonna suck for a good bit!

  16. #16
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    Yup, all this snow is going to melt into the top layer of soil and total eff up the riding for a while.

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    I rode on my fatbike Wednesday afternoon in SE PA (not Wiss) and was able to float for about 90% of the time. The other 10% was crappy, with my rear tire breaking through the crust or at least cracking it enough to steal momentum. I'm sure my skinny tire bike would have broken through more often.
    April is just around the corner and many of the trees around here have started budding already. Assuming this cold snap hasn't f-ed them up they should start sucking moisture out of the ground soon.

  18. #18
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    it was too soft by last night. saw pictures and got reports of epic fun had yesterday morning and this morning.

    anyone know the current condition of forbidden drive (3/17)? I gotta go somewhere after work and would like to ride my bike. Only good way to get there is forbidden from VGI down to Lincoln Dr. i am worried this melting will lead to long stretches of smooth unrideable ice on the drive... mud is no problem; my bike has f3enders but not studded tires so i just need to be able to ride (walking would take too long). anyone been down there yesterday or today???

  19. #19
    West Chester, PA
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    Think it's dried enough to ride today?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    Think it's dried enough to ride today?
    Crossbow looked fine yesterday afternoon so you should be good to go.

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    Yea I went out yesterday fully expecting to ride up and down Forbidden, but the trails were actually in pretty good shape. Couple soft spots, but definitely rideable. Should be even better today, I am going to sneak out for an after work ride. More rain coming this week I think though.

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    The only real problem spot yesterday was the low-lying spot on Cresheim right by Germantown, after the wood bridge if you're heading towards Germantown. It was completely submerged under inches of water. Otherwise, even the new trail there was OK. I can't speak for the Meadows personally, but I read elsewhere that even that section was OK.

  23. #23
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    rode roxy side and other side of lincoln yesterday. trails were great except the couple puddle areas from all the people who couldn't wait and rode saturday. definitely seems like the plants are starting to do there thing and ride times after rains can be reduced a little. you should still wait at least 24 hours after a ridiculous rain like we had friday.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RepoMan2112 View Post
    The only real problem spot yesterday was the low-lying spot on Cresheim right by Germantown, after the wood bridge if you're heading towards Germantown. It was completely submerged under inches of water. Otherwise, even the new trail there was OK. I can't speak for the Meadows personally, but I read elsewhere that even that section was OK.
    I'm sure you've noticed it but there is trail running along the creek that avoids the submerged section of the Cresheim Trail.

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    Rode Wednesday. The trails where great (granted today changed that). Avoided creheim area.

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    remember 99% of cresheim is fine it is just one low trail all the way out at germantown that is muddy. no need to avioid all the cresheim stuff. that spot is easy to get around or avoid all together.

    this weekend looks like a great one for getting the tires dirty!

  27. #27
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    Trails were fine this weekend and should be great this week with the weather looking the way it is.

    Lost gloves: if you lost a pair of Fox full finger gloves recently and parked at the Wise's Mill side VGI lot and think you may have left them on top of your car, they were midway up Wise's Mill by the big white house on the hill lying in the gutter. They're hanging from the fence near that house's driveway.

  28. #28
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    Anyone know when the gorgas project will be complete and the trail opened again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rollinrox View Post
    Anyone know when the gorgas project will be complete and the trail opened again?
    I've been going down the gravel road and down to forbidden at the "closed trail ahead" sign on the path leading from pachella but from the strava data it looks like most people are still riding it.

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  30. #30
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    yeah looks like it is nearing completion???

    what i do is ride to the top and look down to see if anyone is working. if they are; use the bypass, if not play through. it is very easy to ride through and that is what most folks are doing. I am sure it annoys the hell out of the crews when they are working so i just try to be polite and avoid it if there is work being done.

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    Yea that makes sense. I might just wait anyway. On another note I saw what i believe to have been a rabid racoon at the creshim crossing on Saturday. He was emaciated and was stumbling around in broad daylight.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    yeah looks like it is nearing completion???

    what i do is ride to the top and look down to see if anyone is working. if they are; use the bypass, if not play through. it is very easy to ride through and that is what most folks are doing. I am sure it annoys the hell out of the crews when they are working so i just try to be polite and avoid it if there is work being done.
    That's exactly what I did the other day. I came through there about 4:30 and no one was there working, so I proceeded. It seems if they really wanted to keep everyone out, they would have more of a blockade up instead of just signs you can ride around. The last I saw on the FOW site was the work was to be completed fall 2016.

  33. #33
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    There's still equipment there but they don't have the "guard" there turning people away anymore. I think its OK to ride through.

  34. #34
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    I usually ride through, but if there are workmen there, I do double back and use the bypass. I haven't seen work men there in months. Although it does seem like they have been doing some planting of new trees. Which would seem to indicate to me that they are at least very close to finished.

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    I was coming down the trail above the devils pool trail from valley green road on friday and I guess i never realized that everyone hanging out can see you. When we were going to the water fountain this miserable old man said "dont waste your time, they will crash and its really funny to see". We weren't even going fast. I slowed to less than 5mph to go by some hikers then moto whipped the next bump before coming to a complete stop in the gravel before the road. I always try to be as friendly as possible but the hiker- biker interactions at the wiss are the worst ive ever encountered.

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbikemax View Post
    I always try to be as friendly as possible but the hiker- biker interactions at the wiss are the worst ive ever encountered.

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    bring a bad attitude and they get even worse...

    sorry to be rude but you just had a bad day and now you are jumping to conclusions....

    people in the wiss are no more rude than anywhere else. it is an east coast city so you won't get much false flattery but i ride all the time and can't remember the last negative interaction i had. if you go into each trail encounter with a big smile you are pretty unlikely to get anything less back in my experience. if you do encounter a random dick; feel sympathy for them; it must be horrible to not even have a good time when your out in the park.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    bring a bad attitude and they get even worse...

    sorry to be rude but you just had a bad day and now you are jumping to conclusions....

    people in the wiss are no more rude than anywhere else. it is an east coast city so you won't get much false flattery but i ride all the time and can't remember the last negative interaction i had. if you go into each trail encounter with a big smile you are pretty unlikely to get anything less back in my experience. if you do encounter a random dick; feel sympathy for them; it must be horrible to not even have a good time when your out in the park.
    Come on Max-a-mill, you just have that extra thick skin from being a Philly resident and riding there for so many years. I do like your last sentence a lot though.

    I lived in Rox for almost 14 years and rode the park an average of 3-4 days a week, not including days I would trail run. I moved out to the western burbs 3 years ago and predominately ride Harmony Hill and French Creek. I can say with the experience of living and riding the Wiss for so many years and now out in the burbs, Mountainbike Max is correct. You don't get the stink eye, the uncontrolled dogs, rude comments and flat out vitriol of the hikers/walkers in the Wiss have toward mountain bikers, anywhere else. I don't miss the unleashed pit bulls, angry dykes on the Chestnut Hill side, weird serial killer looking guys that live in the park in the summer, the Guy's bike's group ride, stravatards and douchey hikers.

    Out in HH or FC, they all smile, say good day, move over and yield to you (More than once, I've stopped and said, i'm supposed to yield to you and they say "its easier for me to yield, I'm not on a bike and don't want to slow you down"). The attitude is totally different and non-confrontational.

    Even so, I miss riding the Wiss so much: the convenience, the trails, maybe even some of the characters.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    angry dykes on the Chestnut Hill side,
    The pair with the mean ass giant black standard poodle?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridenfish39 View Post
    The pair with the mean ass giant black standard poodle?
    hahaha. Yes. They are infamous to the Wiss mountain bike community.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

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    Yea the benefits of the wiss far outweigh this small inconvenience which os why i still keep coming back. I usually try to go early morning or late evening on weekends or during the early afternoon on weekdays to avoid the crowds anyway. Im just comparing my experiences over the last 4 years of riding at the wiss compared to white clay, six mile, fair hill and local places in south jersey. I just cant believe someone would hope i would crash and get hurt. The only thing i ride that i ever feel like other traffic is the limiting factor of my speed (and not my endurance) is the "horse trail" segment because its truly single track and has some blind turns over 20mph if you let it ride.

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    hahaha. Yes. They are infamous to the Wiss mountain bike community.
    I had it out with them once. Called them every curse word including one that begins with c.
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    I have really been improving on my climbing. I got up the wises road climb and crushed my friends up it, got off my bike just past the trail and sat down to catch my breath. I looked to my left and saw a used needle a foot from me! It really freaked me out. I jumped up and saw that there was a whole case of them, probably 50 or so. That's Philly for you!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbikemax View Post
    I have really been improving on my climbing. I got up the wises road climb and crushed my friends up it, got off my bike just past the trail and sat down to catch my breath. I looked to my left and saw a used needle a foot from me! It really freaked me out. I jumped up and saw that there was a whole case of them, probably 50 or so. That's Philly for you!
    cup 1/2 full people... aside from that; i bet you also had a great mtb adventure in a major east coast city!

    sure there are some weirdos and some "city" elements to our riding most don't have to deal with BUT don't ever take what we have for granted.

    that being said; if you ever see anything like that that needs cleaning up or a closer look by someone with a badge don't hesitate to call the local police (district 5 215-686-3050 on the roxy side; district 14 215-686-3140 on the germantown side) or put in a complaint via 311.

    i have found a couple cars still smoldering over at belmont and know folks who have found much worse... luckily that was all years ago and ALL the parks are getting much more traffic these days which seems to mitigate shady behavior almost better than anything else. We are making the city safer by riding bikes in places most folks don't go.

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    Absolutely! It takes me 45 mins to get to where I park but compared to anywhere else I would ride it is the best. I am having so much fun out there this year now that I can clean almost everything I ride. Still bail sometimes on the climb up to both the statues coming clockwise and the monster. Also the rock garden at the intersection up to the meadow (mother?) gives me trouble on my HT. Love this place and as soon as my schedule frees up next week I'm going to start coming out to trail days with FOW once or twice a month. As for the needles I took a picture yesterday and I will contact the Roxy PD and let them know. It just freaked me out because I was so close to sitting on a stray one.

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