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  1. #1
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    Pine Hill Park - Couple of Questions

    Hey all, from a neighbor just across the border in NY.

    Thinking about making the drive over to Rutland (about 45 minutes) in the next few weeks to hit PHP. Ive read a few other threads on the park and it seems like its my kind of ridings - lots of flowy buff stuff with a chance to get technical if I'm feeling frisky.

    I'm a pretty timid beginner so its going to depend on when I can get someone to come with me, but I'm thinking maybe the second weekend of October.

    How late do the trails stay good? Could I make it my go-to weekend riding place into November?

    How well are the trails marked? Seems like the suggested route for beginners is Escalator > Svelte Tiger > Sisyphus Rembrandts Brush > Sore Elbow. Looks like I'd be able to make this a loop by using the road to circle back around to Rembrandts Brush then ride Svelte Tiger > Escalator on my way out. Would someone that hasn't ever been there end up turned around and lost? Would also like to hit a couple of the bridges while I'm there.

    I know there are a ton of route recommendation threads so I'm trying not to duplicate those but if you have any recommendations, I'm all ears.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    It's well marked and easy to navigate (you mostly just go downhill to return to the trailhead). Print off the color map from home as it's easier to read than the black/white one sometimes available at the trailhead. Maps It will still be open in November, but if you're a beginner, you might like it better before a lot of leaves fall and stay wet as the days get shorter. I don't know if they do any leaf-blowing or not. Have fun!

  3. #3
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    your route should be great for beginner. Instead of escalotor on the way out id probably go Exit Theory.

    If you wanted to extend the ride go check out Droopy Muffin, to Salmander, to Voldemrot, to Birches. all fairly easy to ride.

    Curious do you ride in New york? do you ride Luther state forest(aka Malta).

  4. #4
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    Yes, I ride in NY, and have ridden Luther a couple of times. Not super familiar with it and always tend to get "lost" and not find the loop Im looking for but its a very fun place. Good place to introduce people to technical/root riding. Takes me about the same amount of time to get the Luther as it does to Rutland.

    I would definitely be open to extending the ride. I like to be able to flow trail to trail as much as possible so I'll check those out and try to work out a route that would let me hit all of them a few times! Thanks.


    Thanks also for the advice on the marked routes and where to get the map. I hope to get over there the second or third weekend of October but I was thinking it might be a fun place to hit on the weekends into the fall. I imagine the leaves make it a bit sketchy?

  5. #5
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    they probably leaf blow at pine hill......even if they do not dry leaves are not so bad... wet leaves are really not so bad with knobby tires...

  6. #6
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    I'm pretty excited to get out there. A couple of endurance events the next two weekends but after that I plan on hitting it.

    I am currently running Geax AKA's so they're... lightly knobby? But do pretty well even in wet as long as I keep the pressure below 35.

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I'll try to stop long enough to take photos and post them after I head out there.

  7. #7
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    I run the same tire on the rear in the summer but I run them at 20 psi.......

    If you ever need Luther Explained I ride there all the time when I am visiting my Girlfriend.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    I run the same tire on the rear in the summer but I run them at 20 psi.......

    If you ever need Luther Explained I ride there all the time when I am visiting my Girlfriend.

    The first time I rode Luther it was with people that were able to show me around. The next time I went there it was like I was completely new to the place. Couldn't figure out how to link the trails to the right with the trails to the left like we did the first time, then ended up on some switch backs which was fine and an unexpected ladder bridge that I was apparently not prepared for.

    Needless to say I could always use some guidance.

  9. #9
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    Is hunting allowed at PHP?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    Is hunting allowed at PHP?
    No, but I have seen a few hunters passing through the park on the way elsewhere. I will say that i won't be surprised to see hunters around on the new trail to Proctor though as it leaves the confines of the park pretty quickly. To the OP I typically ride PHP until snow gets too deep for me (over 6" fresh stuff) and the trails are fine.

  11. #11
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    PHP looks very similar to XC at KT, is that true? Thanks

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_m View Post
    PHP looks very similar to XC at KT, is that true? Thanks

    IMO not at all. Pine hill is pine hill. The majority of pine hill trails are easier and more flowly than the majority of KT but its not as big..... you know that bombed out rooty, multiple tracks everywhere with mud pits at Kingdom? does not exist at pine hill.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    IMO not at all. Pine hill is pine hill. The majority of pine hill trails are easier and more flowly than the majority of KT but its not as big..... you know that bombed out rooty, multiple tracks everywhere with mud pits at Kingdom? does not exist at pine hill.
    Interesting, thanks

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    IMO not at all. Pine hill is pine hill. The majority of pine hill trails are easier and more flowly than the majority of KT but its not as big..... you know that bombed out rooty, multiple tracks everywhere with mud pits at Kingdom? does not exist at pine hill.
    You just made my day. Looks like I'll ride PHP this season. My first-season-back-to-mtb-trip-to-KT just got less important. I like easier and flowy right now.

  15. #15
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    headed to PHP Sunday 9/29/13, looking for a local guide? every time I head up there I'm with a beginner or a mechanical/injury shortens the ride. live to see it ride from a locals perspective/trail wisdom...
    Brattleboro/Keene NEMBA officer and trail hero!

  16. #16
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    anyone want to go tuesday?

  17. #17
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    good ride today @ PHP, thanks to the guide on the black rocky mt.
    https://www.strava.com/activities/85782979


    Brattleboro-Keene NEMBA veep
    Brattleboro/Keene NEMBA officer and trail hero!

  18. #18
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    Any recommendations for a good place to stay close to PHP? Was going to hit KT one more time this season but I may check PHP out instead. Thanks

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_m View Post
    Any recommendations for a good place to stay close to PHP? Was going to hit KT one more time this season but I may check PHP out instead. Thanks
    What sort of place are you looking to stay? Budget? Chain place?

    If you're looking for something a bit different and a great value, I've had visiting family stay here (Mendon Mountain Orchards & Motel Home) a bunch. Great rates for a basic, clean place if you don't need anything fancy. Just keep in mind the area's lodging will be pretty busy with it being foliage season and prices will be higher as a result.

    Pine Hill typically remains rideable on dirt until a snowpack forms. I'm usually riding there well into November before switching over to skiing. Morning is typically better as we get later into November to avoid any sloppiness (and resulting trail damage) from freeze-thaw cycles. Most trails get leaf blown and the park sees enough traffic that they are naturally pretty cleared out on their own.
    2005 Cannondale Jekyll with Manitou Minute Super 140mm

  20. #20
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    Looks like I am finally able to make it out there this Saturday for some morning riding. Possibly solo, possibly with a buddy. Watch for the big guy on the Airborne bike with orange bits on it going extremely slowly and don't be afraid to say hi.
    Eric

  21. #21
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    wish i would be their saturday. FYI I found a place near albany called Pine Bush preserve. I think there is something like 17+ miles of really fun singletrack in and around that place.

  22. #22
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    Ah yeah, Pinebush. I've never ridden there but have a bunch of Albany-based friends that do. There and Central Park in Schenectady, and Thatcher Park outside of Albany. I'll make it down there one of these days. I've hiked Thatcher and I bet it would be a blast to ride but some of the trails are very far over my skill level at the moment. I've heard Pinebush is really sandy, what was your experience?

  23. #23
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    Pine Bush - aka "Sand Bush" isn't what I would call a ride destination. It was a convenient area to hit after work 9-10 years ago when I lived in that area. You have to link together the different sections to make a decent ride out of the place.

    Keep in mind the primary goal there is preservation.

    There used to be a bunch more really good trails there, that were technically off the map. Then the commission started shutting down trails over an endangered butterfly.

    If you do go, make sure you obey the no-bikes signs. They used to be pretty serious about bikes riding in areas not approved for bikes.

  24. #24
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    Quite honestly I live and work a solid 25-30 minutes closer to PHP than to Pinebush and can't describe my hatred for Albany after working there for many years, which is why I haven't gone down there to ride at all.

    Sounds like a decent enough place to go walk around, or ride if I happen to be down there, though.

  25. #25
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    If you live north of Albany, go to Moreau instead. Be prepared to do some climbing, but once you get up top the trails are pretty good.

    Best option a little further south is to join SMBA. Really good trails. The reason you have to join to ride there, is all of the trails are on land leased from the paper company. Well worth it, and the best trails in the Albany area, IMO.

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