Camp-MTB trip from Philly- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Camp-MTB trip from Philly

    Thinking of MTB destinations that we can drive to from Philly and ride for 2 days. So far French Creek and Raystown are on my list, anywhere else that I should look at ?

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    Depends on what you are looking for. Jake's Rocks has over 30 miles of professionally built trail that was completed over the last 3 summers. The surrounding area has another 25 miles of old CCC type single track and 50+ miles of ATV trails that are challenging rides
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    There are quit a few nice trails about an hour from Jake's Rocks in Ellicotville NY as well.
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    Jakes looks great, a bit far (330 miles) for a quick weekend but I will certainly visit at some point

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    Watershed trails in Port Jervis, NY. Camping available outside of trail .system

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    The answer for this used to be simple: Jim Thorpe.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

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    If you are considering Raystown, take a look at Rothrock/Coopers Gap as well.
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    If you camp in the Delaware Water Gap you're within reasonable distance to Glen Park and Port Jervis trails.

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    Most of it is still there to ride. It's just not maintained that well.
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    If you're looking for close in Nockamixon might work. You can camp on the lake, rent a canoe, fish, etc. with the family. Tohican/highrocks, Lehigh, Salisbury and probably some others are close by for a second day of riding. While it's been a long time since I've been there, I liked the riding at French Creek but the available camping absolutely sucked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    If you're looking for close in Nockamixon might work. You can camp on the lake, rent a canoe, fish, etc. with the family. Tohican/highrocks, Lehigh, Salisbury and probably some others are close by for a second day of riding. While it's been a long time since I've been there, I liked the riding at French Creek but the available camping absolutely sucked.

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    Nockamixon is an outstanding recommendation. A lot of fun with good flow. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the trails are closed for the winter.

    lpranger467, did you plan to camp in the Spring?

    Another option would be across the border at White Clay, DE.

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    What happened with Jim Thorpe ? Last I heard (after I posted a thread a while back) was that the town wasnt all that supportive of MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    The answer for this used to be simple: Jim Thorpe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coal-Cracker View Post
    Nockamixon is an outstanding recommendation. A lot of fun with good flow. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the trails are closed for the winter.

    lpranger467, did you plan to camp in the Spring?

    Another option would be across the border at White Clay, DE.

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    Is there camping at Nox ? I was gonna wait til summer to go, just pre planning

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpa102 View Post
    If you are considering Raystown, take a look at Rothrock/Coopers Gap as well.
    Thanks, I start researching those as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
    Is there camping at Nox ? I was gonna wait til summer to go, just pre planning
    There is a campground right in the park at Nockamixon, but it's on the opposite side of the park from the mountain bike trails. There are a few other options close by. This past fall a friend of mine stayed at Lake Towhee Campgrounds (just north of Nox). If you google, you can find others on the north side of the park.

    You can also ride Ralph Stover (High Rocks) which is right down the road from Nox. They have a campground there too (Deer Wood Campground) which is right in the park and you can drop right into the trails from the camping loop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coal-Cracker View Post
    Nockamixon is an outstanding recommendation. A lot of fun with good flow. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the trails are closed for the winter.

    lpranger467, did you plan to camp in the Spring?

    Another option would be across the border at White Clay, DE.

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    Maybe for a day trip...but I wouldn't want to camp at WCC. I don't even know if you can camp there...but I don't know if it's prohibited either.

    What about the "other Dirtfest" location: Bruceton Mills/Cooper Rock? Maybe more of a three dayer, but can prolly be done in 2.

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    Take a look at the SAMBA website SAMBA | Susquehanna Mountain Biking Association and find a campground or hotel that's central to several of the systems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
    What happened with Jim Thorpe ? Last I heard (after I posted a thread a while back) was that the town wasnt all that supportive of MTB
    Yeah, they are not that supportive but I think there is still camping and locals that know trails.

    I don't think a place like Nox or such is enough of a destination in my mind. Not sure when you are thinking of going (now or in summer) and what exactly you are looking to do (just ride or such) but if you are all about riding - Michaux State forest is a worthwhile destination.
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    If you are looking for a good weekend trip of camping and riding, don't rule out Stokesville, VA. It's about 4.5 hr drive from Philly but a MTB oriented campground with trails in the campground and George Washington National Forest trails ridable from the campground. Super fun place for camping and riding.

  20. #20
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    Iíve heard Patapsco is a great place to go, just West of Baltimore...

    https://www.mtbproject.com/directory...ley-state-park

  21. #21
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    Stephens State Park in NJ. Great riding right from camp and next door to Deer Park and Allamuchy.

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    Thanks again guys, looking at every one of them

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Yeah, they are not that supportive but I think there is still camping and locals that know trails.

    I don't think a place like Nox or such is enough of a destination in my mind. Not sure when you are thinking of going (now or in summer) and what exactly you are looking to do (just ride or such) but if you are all about riding - Michaux State forest is a worthwhile destination.
    Nothing but ATV trails and rattlesnakes in Michaux. Move along, nothing to see here...

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    You must not know Michaux very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkgobe View Post
    You must not know Michaux very well.
    Iím sensing heís pulling your leg a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smartyiak View Post
    Iím sensing heís pulling your leg a bit.
    Yeah, it really is PA's hidden gem.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

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    Damn, I feel like an ass if he was being sarcastic. I'm generally decent at spotting that.
    Seriously though, Michaux is awesome BUT, you really need to hook up with locals there (Mountain bikers of Michaux is a great group) because very few trails are marked and it's still confusing if you're using a purple lizard map because there are a bunch of trails that aren't on the map . It still helps to have one but unfortunately I wouldn't go there with just the map because of the fact all the trails aren't on it. You may think you need to take the next trail on the right but if the next trail on the right happens to not be on the map you have , you'll be heading somewhere other than where you want to. I'm guessing there's about 75-100 miles of singletrack there if you count all the trails in Michaux state forest. Enjoy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkgobe View Post
    Damn, I feel like an ass if he was being sarcastic. I'm generally decent at spotting that.
    Seriously though, Michaux is awesome BUT, you really need to hook up with locals there (Mountain bikers of Michaux is a great group) because very few trails are marked and it's still confusing if you're using a purple lizard map because there are a bunch of trails that aren't on the map . It still helps to have one but unfortunately I wouldn't go there with just the map because of the fact all the trails aren't on it. You may think you need to take the next trail on the right but if the next trail on the right happens to not be on the map you have , you'll be heading somewhere other than where you want to. I'm guessing there's about 75-100 miles of singletrack there if you count all the trails in Michaux state forest. Enjoy!
    I was being a bit of a wiseass.... Michaux really is a hidden gem, and as a local there is a selfish part of me that would like to see it stay that way. Having said that, I would be glad to take the OP (or anyone else for that matter) out for a ride around Michaux. I have been poking around these woods for a long time, and always enjoy seeing riders experience Michaux for the first time.

  29. #29
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    You don't need to go too far! Brandywine, White Clay, Fair Hill are all Delaware options, in addition to French Creek, St Peters is nearby. A little further afield are Rattling Creek and Michaux, and the riding around State College (Rothrock, Bald Eagle, etc) is awesome.

    Thorpe is also excellent but it is increasingly difficult to find your way around the trails if you don't know them or aren't riding with a local.

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    I didnt see any camping at White Clay and I thought French Creek was just cabins, am I mistaken ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
    I didnt see any camping at White Clay and I thought French Creek was just cabins, am I mistaken ?
    Yeah, I don't think there is any legal camping in that area. The Boy Scouts camp in Fair hill but I believe they are the only ones that get permission.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Yeah, I don't think there is any legal camping in that area. The Boy Scouts camp in Fair hill but I believe they are the only ones that get permission.
    I believe thatís also true of B-wine: Special group camping only; scouts and the like.

  34. #34
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    I was looking for someplace close to do a camp and ride trip with my oldest that was close to Philly. It was his first camping experience, so I wanted a place that wouldn't be too far away if I needed to bail. I found out that Green Lane Reservoir has a nice little campground and it provided the perfect low-key introduction. We hit the trail the next day, doing the full reservoir loop, with him on a suspension trail-a-bike. Dragging him up the hills just about killed me, but we had a great time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
    I didnt see any camping at White Clay and I thought French Creek was just cabins, am I mistaken ?
    French Creek has plenty of "regular" campsites also.

    https://pennsylvaniastateparks.reser...&parkId=880406

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    Thats awesome, Mines grown now (27) and he remembers trips we took back in Michigan when he was 12, Thanks I'll look into it

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    Thabnks Rick, I stand very corrected, Maybe I was thinking of a different one I was looking at

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    If you're planning on staying at French Creek, you should definitely hit up Mt Penn and Neversink. Both are incredible trail systems though you might need help with navigating them.

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    If you're consider Rothrock, you can camp in Penn Roosevelt State Park. I have a cabin right down the road from there and it's in the middle of everything. It's just over a 3 hour drive, but worth it, if you're willing to explore.

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    Is Rothrock near Raystown ? and which one would you do if you were riding just 1-2 days ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtrostle View Post
    If you're consider Rothrock, you can camp in Penn Roosevelt State Park. I have a cabin right down the road from there and it's in the middle of everything. It's just over a 3 hour drive, but worth it, if you're willing to explore.

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    If youíre driving from Philly, Rothrock is closer. Basically Turnpike west to Harrisburg and then 322 west to State College. If you wanted to camp in Penn Roosevelt State Park, I could give you back roads to get there off of 322.

    Driving to Raystown, itís basically the same way, but you get on Route 22 west in Lewistown, which is about 20 miles south of Rothrock. Again, I can give you detailed directions if you want.

    As for riding, it really depends on what type of terrain you want to ride. Raystown is all flow with elevation. Nothing technical. You could easily ride all of it in one day, or brake it up over 2 days. Itís very easy to navigate. Trails are accessible from 7 Points Campground, which is nice. If you want rustic, off grid camping, stay at Susquehannock Campground. Itís at the base of the trail system there. Raystown is/was home to DirtFest Featival, but with the news this week, who knows whatís happening. Raystown draws a lot of riders from all over year round. I wouldnít say itís crowded, but youíre never alone. Reminds me of the traffic in Wissahickon.

    Rothrock is a completely different animal. Rocks with more rocks and when you think youíve cleared them, you hit fields of baby heads! Everything has elevation. Itís much more enjoyable on a full suspension, but I ride it with a steel hard tail. So many trail options over the entire Forrest. You could ride all day and not see another rider, or if youíre on the State College side, see tons of riders. Depending on the trail system, some are easy to navigate, others are more challenging if you donít know where youíre riding. Youíll want a Purple Lizard map or use an app like Trail Forks or MTB Project. You have many options for where to camp, but Iíd recommend Penn Roosevelt State Park. Itís rustic and isolated, but in the middle of the Forrest. Youíre not suppose to drink alcohol since itís a State Park. Youíll have to drive to the trail heads, depending on your choice of trails to ride and which mountain theyíre located on.

    Rothrock is fun, challenging and definitely a commitment. Raystown is fun as well. Like I said above, theyíre completely 2 different styles of riding, one being flow and the other a technical slugfest.

    Iíll throw out one more idea based on your criteria of a 2 hour drive/camping. Have you considered Patapsco in Maryland? Itís just west of Baltimore and checks all your boxes. Camp in the middle and multiple options for trails. Iím planning a trip there this coming spring.

    Alright, this was a long ass winded reply. Between Rothrock or Raystown, theyíre a hard choice. Raystown is fun and easy. Rothrock is fun, but a well youíre going to want to go back and continue to explore. If only riding for 1 day, then Raystown. If riding for 2+ days and want a challenge, Rothrock.

    BTW, Iím in Philly, so hit me up if you want more info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarmark View Post
    I was being a bit of a wiseass.... Michaux really is a hidden gem, and as a local there is a selfish part of me that would like to see it stay that way. Having said that, I would be glad to take the OP (or anyone else for that matter) out for a ride around Michaux. I have been poking around these woods for a long time, and always enjoy seeing riders experience Michaux for the first time.
    I've ridden Michaux on my dirtbike a bunch of times. The Mixhaux DS is always a highlight of my year. One of these days I'd love to make it out on an MTB, though it is a serious hike. Lovely part of the state, feel wild and middle of nowhere. Might hit you up some time this year.

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    Hey not sure why my earlier reply isnt in here. I wanted to thank you for your detailed response. I think Raystown will likely be my first trip this year, my local trail is pretty rocky and I'd like some flow

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    I've been doing alot of camping the past couple of years with the family and some mtb trips. I have an old motorhome and my ideal trip is to park for the weekend and ride from camp. Easy to do at French Creek, Raystown Seven Points are huge sites with showers or Susquehannock for primitive no shower sites. Michaux was great stayed in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Susquehanna State Park in MD has challenging trails and camping.

    Rothrock is on my list for this year staying at Greenwood Furnace State Park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m-wilhelm View Post
    I've been doing alot of camping the past couple of years with the family and some mtb trips. I have an old motorhome and my ideal trip is to park for the weekend and ride from camp. Easy to do at French Creek, Raystown Seven Points are huge sites with showers or Susquehannock for primitive no shower sites. Michaux was great stayed in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Susquehanna State Park in MD has challenging trails and camping.

    Rothrock is on my list for this year staying at Greenwood Furnace State Park.
    I had booked a site at Seven Points last year for Dirt Rag Fest then had to cancel (work), and naturally now that fest is cancelled, thinking of doing my first trip there regardless..How is French Creek, is it rocky or smoother like Raystown

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    French Creek is rocky with some flow. You can camp right in the middle of the trail system.

    Honestly, I'd recommend Raystown. All flow. French Creek is a day trip and 1 night of camping. Raystown is worth a weekend of camping/riding.

    If you book at 7 points, you can drink in the campground. If you camp at French Creek, you can't drink there since it's a state park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrostle View Post
    French Creek is rocky with some flow. You can camp right in the middle of the trail system.

    Honestly, I'd recommend Raystown. All flow. French Creek is a day trip and 1 night of camping. Raystown is worth a weekend of camping/riding.

    If you book at 7 points, you can drink in the campground. If you camp at French Creek, you can't drink there since it's a state park.
    Ok thanks, Glad you mentioned about the drinking. I like to have some suds after my rides and that would have put a damper in things. It is too bad the Dirt Rag fest cancelled it would have been a nice way to learn the trails

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
    Ok thanks, Glad you mentioned about the drinking. I like to have some suds after my rides and that would have put a damper in things. It is too bad the Dirt Rag fest cancelled it would have been a nice way to learn the trails
    You basically can't get lost at Raystown. At least not easily. Much mellower than French Creek for a beginner. I get burnt out on Raystown after a day or two of riding though. Two max.

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    Agreed, 2 days is all you need for Raystown. You can do it in 1 day, but you don't want to drive 3+ hours home afterwards.

    I went to Dirtfest 10 years ago. It was cool and not on the scale it had grown over the years, but too many people for me. You won't be alone when you're there. It's a destination and draws riders from all over year round.

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    Following this one - a few of us from NY area are looking for weekend trip ideas and new places are always cool ... we did Raystown a few years back - how is it typically early season, does it take a while to dry out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrostle View Post
    Agreed, 2 days is all you need for Raystown. You can do it in 1 day, but you don't want to drive 3+ hours home afterwards.

    I went to Dirtfest 10 years ago. It was cool and not on the scale it had grown over the years, but too many people for me. You won't be alone when you're there. It's a destination and draws riders from all over year round.
    I had heard some trails like Osprey were directional (or better to ride in certain directions) but I havent seen any maps that indicate what direction. If anyone who has ridden there can let me know if this is a concedrn please let me know

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    I'm assuming since you're from NY that Harrisonburg VA would be too far.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

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    They're only directional during DirtFest. It helps to manage the amount of riders on the trail at the same time.

    Everything on the north east side of 7 Points Campground we rode clockwise. Everything on the south west side we rode counter clockwise.

    If you stay at 7 points, make sure your reservation is at Ridge Campground. It's the upper camping area and the trails are right there. Plus it's more private if you can reserve a site at the end of the loop.

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    That's tricky with how this winter has been. We haven't had a lot of snow (zero amount in Philly) but we've had a ton of rain.

    My last time there was late fall. It rained the first night and the temperature dropped to low 30's. The trails where greasy, but they're well built and maintained. Last few DirtFest's have been mudfest because it rained a lot before the festival. Never canceled the event. The trails handled the abuse of hundreds of riders over 3 days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrostle View Post
    They're only directional during DirtFest. It helps to manage the amount of riders on the trail at the same time.

    Everything on the north east side of 7 Points Campground we rode clockwise. Everything on the south west side we rode counter clockwise.

    If you stay at 7 points, make sure your reservation is at Ridge Campground. It's the upper camping area and the trails are right there. Plus it's more private if you can reserve a site at the end of the loop.
    Ok thanks, I remember reading somewhere about some trails having better flow in certain directions. I'd likely just try them both ways

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker64 View Post
    I'm assuming since you're from NY that Harrisonburg VA would be too far.
    Not totally out of the question - what are the trails like there? For us, Raystown is super smooth and flowy (compared to NY with all rocks and roots). I see a few trail systems on trailforks - what should I check out?


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    A few tips on directional riding at Raystown: The only 2 trails that make sense 1 way are Osprey: Down from Doe or Fawn
    Rays Revenge: Down from the overlook on Ridge towards Sidewinder.
    All others are pretty much fine in either direction.
    In regard to snow cover, here's the latest snow depth chart for that area:

    https://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/snow_mod...heny_Front.jpg

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    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougr View Post
    A few tips on directional riding at Raystown: The only 2 trails that make sense 1 way are Osprey: Down from Doe or Fawn
    Rays Revenge: Down from the overlook on Ridge towards Sidewinder.
    All others are pretty much fine in either direction.
    In regard to snow cover, here's the latest snow depth chart for that area:

    https://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/snow_mod...heny_Front.jpg
    Thanks very much !

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