does any body wanna ride betzwood?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    does any body wanna ride betzwood?

    I've been there a lot lately and the trails are pretty nice, who else rides here? i haven't seen too many people besides hikers. and also heard stuff about nude hikers and people called the "suspects" lol

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    i ride there occasionally as it is my buddies home trails. real fun stuff!

    i am betting the nude people and the suspects are the same group of folks you have been told/warned about. Not people you want to seek out unless you are interested in "male bonding" that goes far beyond riding bikes and maybe sharing a beer afterwords (gay hookup areas all over the parking lots at VF so if you see someone longingly staring at you as you ride by now you know; they don't just like your bike). all that said, it isn't bad though, i have never seen anything other than dudes hanging in parking lots looking creepy.

    also, watch out for rangers as they don't actually want you riding anything other than the multi-use paths. I have never seen any but have seen stories here about encounters on occasion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    i ride there occasionally as it is my buddies home trails. real fun stuff!

    i am betting the nude people and the suspects are the same group of folks you have been told/warned about. Not people you want to seek out unless you are interested in "male bonding" that goes far beyond riding bikes and maybe sharing a beer afterwords (gay hookup areas all over the parking lots at VF so if you see someone longingly staring at you as you ride by now you know; they don't just like your bike). all that said, it isn't bad though, i have never seen anything other than dudes hanging in parking lots looking creepy.

    also, watch out for rangers as they don't actually want you riding anything other than the multi-use paths. I have never seen any but have seen stories here about encounters on occasion.
    haha I'm staying away from any one like that. i think I'm going to betzwood now. I've never actually seen a park ranger, but i was told they will occasionally "look the other way" and not say anything

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    i think that attitude may have changed for the worse... if i were riding and saw a ranger i would not hang out to see if he wants to be friendly or not. but yeah; i have probably ridden there 50-75 times over the course of 5+ years and never seen a ranger.

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    Fyi, there's a couple of big trees down on the park side of the river, close to the train tracks. Must've come down in last 5 days or so. I turned them into logovers; also cleared a bailout path around the bigger one. There's also a new, optional one alongside the main trail in the same area.

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    I moved out that way last year and have yet to get on those trails. Still holding on to my old home trails of the Wiss and been heading out to French Creek, Downingtown/Sawmill Road. Betzwood is super close to me though. Is it pretty easy to navigate or do I need a tour to figure out where to go? Is there any group ride (the non-naked, no male bonding kind)? And does anybody night ride there?
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    I moved out that way last year and have yet to get on those trails. Still holding on to my old home trails of the Wiss and been heading out to French Creek, Downingtown/Sawmill Road. Betzwood is super close to me though. Is it pretty easy to navigate or do I need a tour to figure out where to go? Is there any group ride (the non-naked, no male bonding kind)? And does anybody night ride there?
    you won't need a tour, and there is no group ride. Its actually not legal to ride there but its kind of an over looked thing that the park doesn't care about. I would night ride there with some one else, as i don't have a light. There are weirdos there, me and my friend call it pickle park bc its pretty much a gay hookup spot (at the parking lot anyways) the trails are fine though.

  8. #8
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    Thanks. I will avoid dropping the soap in the parking lots.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

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    It's not hard to navigate; the main trails run parallel to the river. Take a look at the Strava global heat map. I always park at the Pawlings road lot at the start of the Valley Forge River Trail, no weird stuff there.

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    I park at the Pawling Rd. lot as well, warm up on the Audubon Loop, then head into the woods about a half mile down the SRT. Great place to ride.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the info.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  12. #12
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    for those of you that park off pawlings, any of you night ride there? what's the best lot to park at & best access point for night riding?

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    If you're going to night ride, then parking at Pawlings Road is your best bet. They close the regular park lots at dusk. You can access the trails by riding down the SRT and hanging a right into the trails. Or if you go right on Pawlings road maybe 500 feet down on the left is a gravel road. It goes to one of the historical buildings, and if you follow the gravel, it will turn to the right and at the end there's a turn around. You can either go left into the trails (sometimes overgrown and hard to find) or go right and do the loop out there, then head back and cross over to go ride more trails and head towards the more commonly used trails towards the regular parking lot that is actually in the park.

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    that's what i was figuring would be my best bet. thanks for the info!

  15. #15
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    Ride there all the time. It's my home ride gets a lil boring but it's just to convenient. The single track on the other side of the rive that loops has almost recovered from the last big storms. The loop closest to the river gets beat to **** when the schulkil rages but it's nice now. Built a trail around those two huge downed trees and now u can ride it without dismounting

    The betzwood wood parking lots are beyond gay hook ups out of control how creepy those dudes are. Biked up to a bad scene in the woods years ago and almost wrecked. Let's just say one of the two dudes was on his knees. F'ed up. Right on the trail. At least walk into the woods wtf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhamss View Post
    Ride there all the time. It's my home ride gets a lil boring but it's just to convenient. The single track on the other side of the rive that loops has almost recovered from the last big storms. The loop closest to the river gets beat to **** when the schulkil rages but it's nice now. Built a trail around those two huge downed trees and now u can ride it without dismounting
    are you referring to the north or south side of the river? south of the river i've only ever done the paved trails in the park on my road bike.

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    the 4 miles of nice single track are on the south side. thats where those two huge trees have been down for a couple yrs?. its on the loop closest to the river. parking is no more off 23 bc of the pedestrian bridge construction so either park by GW HQ and head up the hill on gavel path and then cross over the tracks near the bottom thats where this loop picks up. or you can park at betzwood and ride the ped bridge back across the river..you have to work around the new fences put up to get to the single track but its now big deal

    here is a link to google maps. trail is not listed but runs all along here between the tracks and the river
    https://goo.gl/maps/wqugs

  18. #18
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    just a word of caution, if you use strava or similar apps make your loops private. I have been scolded by aself-righteous type on strava after riding on snowy days and "not riding in straight lines" ........not kidding. Hard to say whether the guy is a true whacko or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumblefish29er View Post
    just a word of caution, if you use strava or similar apps make your loops private. I have been scolded by aself-righteous type on strava after riding on snowy days and "not riding in straight lines" ........not kidding. Hard to say whether the guy is a true whacko or not.
    There is nothing 'straight' going on in Betzwoods...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    There is nothing 'straight' going on in Betzwoods...
    It took me 2 days to get that one.

  21. #21
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    does any body wanna ride betzwood?

    I missed the new path around the big downed trees ... Where is it?
    Last edited by Lou Z. Ryder; 04-06-2015 at 09:37 PM.

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    Just a heads up, and not to be a buzz kill.....Ranger activity seems to be very high so far this year...I heard about someone who got a big ticket for night riding, and I have seen the SUV hanging around trail entrances and also an unmarked white truck (ford ranger maybe). I also got the "no bikes here" from hikers ( one who had an off leash dog of course) twice recently after riding completely unharassed for 4+ years. For all I know they read these threads...just a friendly reminder to be a little stealth when you are out there.


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  23. #23
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    that's disappointing to read.

  24. #24
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    thats rich. yea don't bike but let your dog roam free. I have always found VF to be an adventure as most area riding. between horses hikers pets. i am just polite regardless and go about my ride. last thing I want to get into is an argument with some douche nozzle about how to best use the trail

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    i have not been out in close to 2 months but will this weekend and see if its still there. chances are it was destroyed by rangers although this is an area we are allowed to ride and they do absolutely nothing to help the cause. there will be downed trees on the trails for years so the MTB path in the section has always been an evolution w mother nature and the river flooding

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumblefish29er View Post
    Just a heads up, and not to be a buzz kill.....Ranger activity seems to be very high so far this year...I heard about someone who got a big ticket for night riding, and I have seen the SUV hanging around trail entrances and also an unmarked white truck (ford ranger maybe). I also got the "no bikes here" from hikers ( one who had an off leash dog of course) twice recently after riding completely unharassed for 4+ years. For all I know they read these threads...just a friendly reminder to be a little stealth when you are out there.
    I think the rangers just get frisky at certain times. They've only hassled me once in about 4 years, and they were training a newbie that day. And I was coming out of the swamp trail thats pretty clearly marked no bikes. How much was the ticket for night riding?

    I've heard from a friend that he got hassled for stopping at the Pawling sycamore, which is a damn shame because that is probably one of the most impressive trees on the east coast. I'm hoping its a liability thing with the construction project going on back there, and that maybe there are medium term plans to officially reopen that section of the park.

    On a brighter note the trails are in great shape right now, at least on the Montco side. There was one mud hole around where you drop into the swamp trail at the west end but I rode most of whats over there on 28c tires.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

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    Well it was a big ticket, I think $100 or so was attributed to night riding. The rest "may" have been for the reaction the ranger got. So I guess the lesson is if they do nab you, be cool.


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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VBZClrxDLQ

    also be warned; if caught national park rangers can search you... i found out that while camping the night before a race in North Carolina 10 or so years ago. some contraband in my pocket made for one expensive ticket... had i known he had the power to search me i woulda done things a little different. these ain't no mall rent-a-cops that is for sure! be careful out there....

  29. #29
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    Max is 100% correct.

    The national park service ranger - law enforcement are just like regular cops (as opposed to the interpretive rangers) - they can Terry stop you (stop and frisk), arrest you, execute warrants, carry fire arms, etc. There is also the the US Park Police, but I have never seen any of those at VF park.

    The most important thing to remember in your interaction with any law enforcement is: don't be a dick. Despite what you read on the internet and you remember from your college constitutional law class, they have broad powers to make your day miserable and get away with it. And guess what, almost everybody they interact with is a jacka$$ to them, so if you're polite and seem like a citizen (rather than a criminal), they will be more inclined to give you a warning and let you go about your business.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  30. #30
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    park rangers just tore down all the new log rolls on the single track..hey *****nozzle don't want us making log rolls than chain saw the trees that fall down

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    Not a good sign. Was it definitely the Rangers? I can't jump the logs without them, so I guess I'll be doing the CX jump-off-and-run thing




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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhamss View Post
    park rangers just tore down all the new log rolls on the single track..hey *****nozzle don't want us making log rolls than chain saw the trees that fall down
    actually that might have been your fellow bikers. i know sometimes the log rolls are way overdone over there. as a proficient mountainbiker you should be able to hop a decent sized log without resorting to putting a bunch of sticks on either side of it (if not is is something to work on)... it is part of the challenge for a lot of us. i know if you tried to put log rollovers up at belmont or wissahickon they'd disappear pretty quick. some people are not fans of dumbing down trails...

    btw, I am not trying to be hostile; just explain things i have discovered in my years of riding... some like the helper sticks; some don't; some REALLY don't.

    you can easily learn to get over a log without them and then you'll never be dependent on having em. it will seriously open a whole new world of trails around here. if there is one thing you need to learn riding in PA it is how to get over logs!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp_jDNN6XfQ

    i pretty much just use the second technique... the frontwheel bump at speed is such a fun move!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    actuall that might have been your fellow bikers. i know sometimes the log rolls are way overdone over there. asd a decent mountainbiker you should be able to hop a decent sized log without resorting to putting a bunch of sticks on either side of it (if not is is somthing to work on)... it is part of the challenge for a lot of us. i know if you tired to put log rollovers up at belmont or wissahickon they'd disappear pretty quick. some people are not fans of dumbing down trails...

    btw, I am not trying to be hostile; just explain things i have discovered in my years of riding... some like the helper sticks; some don't.

    you can easily learn to get over a log without them and then you'll never be dependent on having em.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp_jDNN6XfQ

    i pretty much just use the second technique... the frontwheel bump at speed is such a fun move to get dialed IMHO.
    +1
    yes.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    +1
    yes.
    Sure a challenge is always nice but this was not a log like that this was a series of three foot high logs that was put in place so you did not have to dismount and go underneath the downed tree along the trail. This was a nice benefit that really made the trail much nicer because you get to keep riding crazy haha. I have seen rangers do this for years and it's no big deal they will go right back up again and the game will go on and on.

  35. #35
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    The rangers do not like new trails, even if they're only 10 feet long.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Z. Ryder View Post
    The rangers do not like new trails, even if they're only 10 feet long.
    I don't like public indecency and guys blowing each other out in the open but that doesn't seem to bother the Rangers. Keep fighting that good fight in VF

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    I rode there today. The logs where stacked.

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    last time i rode there was memorial. nothing seemed amiss. saw a few hikers, was polite (and thankfully so were they!)

    after reading this thread i'm inclined to be more cautious when going there. have only been a handful of times so far this year due to a back injury.

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    I don't think you have to worry. I ride there all the time and have never had any problems with authorities. Just be nice and yield (as you always should) to pedestrians.
    The only tickets I've heard of have been for night riding -- the park closes at sunset -- and building new rogue trails.

  40. #40
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    Interesting article about mtb in National Parks

    http://www.bicycling.com/rides/mount...pr=24470421669

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Z. Ryder View Post
    Interesting article about mtb in National Parks

    Mountain Biking in National Parks? Hell Yeah. | Bicycling
    yea read the same article and was encouraged to see that going on. hopefully there can be some of that mindset within VFNP and MTB. the new pedestrian bridge will be nice. I would love to get a group together like FOW to work on maintaining these trails. I mean theres not much maybe 12 miles of 'legal' I guess its a gray area but if we could get in there with a chain saw and some tools it would be fantastic.

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    It begs the question....how much trouble could you get in for clearing downed trees with a chainsaw?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumblefish29er View Post
    It begs the question....how much trouble could you get in for clearing downed trees with a chainsaw?


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    In valley forge probably a decent amount if the wrong ranger catches you. I was thinking of grabbing my small saw and taking care of one spot that needs some quick cutting

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    Yeah one of the trails with lots of elevation change has 3 trees down that ruin the climbs. Would love to sneak back there and clear them out (without a bike of course).


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    I really doubt if anyone cares if you clear an existing trail. What they don't want is new trails. A big tree came down last year about 20 yards from the gully with a skinny. I spent quite a bit of time clearing that, and never saw anyone. But since it was big I made an optional go-around; that got erased immediately. The one time I was approached (it was a maintenace guy, not ranger -- in the area closest to GW hq) I was told that they had fined a guy for building a rogue trail -- but he said nothing about riding.
    I cut 5 or 6 blowdowns earlier in the year with a handsaw. No run-ins, but chainsaws make a lot of noise...

  46. #46
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    Everything is very overgrown right now. The section that goes along the creek on the Washington's headquarters side up to pawlings rd. is unrideable right now. The other side has some bad areas too. The only thing clear is the fun section right near the betzwood parking lot. If you're tires arent tubeless you'll have a very bad day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    Everything is very overgrown right now. The section that goes along the creek on the Washington's headquarters side up to pawlings rd. is unrideable right now. The other side has some bad areas too. The only thing clear is the fun section right near the betzwood parking lot. If you're tires arent tubeless you'll have a very bad day.
    yea its pretty ugly right now. rode last week and you cannot even see most of the single track on WHQ side. I think I will wait a month or so before I head back

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumblefish29er View Post
    Yeah one of the trails with lots of elevation change has 3 trees down that ruin the climbs. Would love to sneak back there and clear them out (without a bike of course).


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    If you're talking about the climb up from Yellow Springs Rd, it's not on park land. I'd take it out but I don't have a chainsaw.

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    i know this trail doesn't see a lot of activity locally but....

    the river trail parking lot on pawlings is closed through end of march. sewer work being done by the township. the mtb trails are not affected.

    rode the other weekend during the deep freeze. LOTS of ruts from the trails being ridden when they shouldn't have - ie during a thaw cycle when the ground is soft.

  50. #50
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    Probably shouldn't ride there until the end of March, anyway...

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    was only out because of the deep freeze. ground was frozen solid when i went.

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    Valley Forge National Park | VICE | United States

    This is the underbelly of that place. I ride there but don't back into your spot that means you're there to get down in the woods with some dudes.

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    That is some bad journalism. And I should know, because I used to be a bad journalist.
    I live about 2 miles from VFNP and ride there all the time and though I've heard about all the gay stuff, I've never seen anything, ever, anywhere. I'll buy the parking lot meetups, but I call bs on all that other shit.

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    +1 Never seen anything in the woods and I have spent a lot of time running and biking there. The betzwood parking lot and also the pawlings Rd lot do get a bit sketchy around dusk though.

    Not sure cultivation would work well with all of the deer plus people all over the place.

    Seems like the author is "blowing" it out of proportion


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumblefish29er View Post
    +1 Never seen anything in the woods and I have spent a lot of time running and biking there. The betzwood parking lot and also the pawlings Rd lot do get a bit sketchy around dusk though.

    Not sure cultivation would work well with all of the deer plus people all over the place.

    Seems like the author is "blowing" it out of proportion


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    They interviewed the police chief haha. He acknowledged there is a problem. I think it was worse before as he mentions he's doing his best to rid the area of the issues. I have seen used condoms near that stone building on the way to the path a few times.

    Anyway I still ride there I just find it hilarious. On another note one time a horse back rider and her friends started screaming at me that I scared the horse and that I need to share the trail.

    Mind you I pulled off the trail completely and tried to very slowly go around. I'm pretty sure when you have the full right of way and I am completely off the trail and almost stopped I am sharing. Apparently my bright orange bike alarmed the horse. Okay let me go repaint my bike real quick.

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    worth pointing out that vice article is from 2012

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    So you guys should check out Marsh Creek as well. About 30 minutes away from Betz but I actually enjoy the trails there a lot more.

  58. #58
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    Marsh Creek is good but White Clay is even better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EKEL View Post
    Marsh Creek is good but White Clay is even better.
    Yea White Clay is I agree, just an hour drive for me vs 30mins. I prefer Wissahickon over both though, more gnar.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by EKEL View Post
    Marsh Creek is good but White Clay is even better.
    I'm more entertained in an hour at marsh creek than I am in two hours at white clay. Just sayin ;o)

  61. #61
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    Yeah. Just feel like you can get more miles in at White Clay; I guess I just like the flowy stuff better. How does Fair Hill compare? Haven't tried it yet.

  62. #62
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    White Clay? might as well just ride the SRT...

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    I rode Betzwood yesterday.

    The King of Prussia side is doing mega construction near the trail head. The first section of the trail is blocked off now and they planted a bunch of trees there now. No biggie really, you just have ride down along the train tracks to drop in. The KOP side of trails were very well maintained. Their were like two trees down but everyone is just riding around them.

    Usually I take the trail all the way to the end and cross over the bridge to complete a loop on the Audubon side. Well they have signs up that the trail is closed because of construction. So ideally you have ride back to the trail head to cross over the other bridge.
    Just extra miles to lug.

    Someone dragged one of those old school 50-60" projection tv's back into the woods. A strange sight to see in that area.

  64. #64
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    the hook up and gay stuff overblown? bwahahaa ok just ask any of the park rangers how over blown it is. These guys are overwhelmed by complaints and trying to deal with the indecent out in the open solicitations. One ranger told a story how he was a part of a sting set up to crack down on it in the public restrooms in the park.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by EKEL View Post
    Yeah. Just feel like you can get more miles in at White Clay; I guess I just like the flowy stuff better. How does Fair Hill compare? Haven't tried it yet.
    FH is great little further down the the road than WC but it also has a ton of trails more variety and hills that WC. it could use a good map like WC but its def worth checking out very friendly MTB community down there

    WC is a blast. buff fast flow riding to mix it up from FC and Wiss.( then again by the time the wiss is reworked it may very well resemble WC bwhahaa) great trail network amazing group of people that work there- the trail spinners- bunch of trees fall these guys have it cleared in a matter of days. I am glad its a part of my network of local trails

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    Quote Originally Posted by goforbroke View Post
    I rode Betzwood yesterday.

    The King of Prussia side is doing mega construction near the trail head. The first section of the trail is blocked off now and they planted a bunch of trees there now. No biggie really, you just have ride down along the train tracks to drop in. The KOP side of trails were very well maintained. Their were like two trees down but everyone is just riding around them.

    Usually I take the trail all the way to the end and cross over the bridge to complete a loop on the Audubon side. Well they have signs up that the trail is closed because of construction. So ideally you have ride back to the trail head to cross over the other bridge.
    Just extra miles to lug.
    if you go just a little bit up Pawlings from the gravel lot after you cross the bridge there is an access road you can use to get to the trails.

    the trails on the audubon side themselves are not closed, just that parking lot, and a section of the gravel river trail.

    all the work was supposed to be done by the end of march, but they are clearly still working on it (i drive past it daily). haven't been able to find out an updated completion date.

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